Wednesday 27 November 1991

City of Windsor Act, 1991, Bill Pr99

City of Hamilton Act, 1991, Bill Pr53

Canadian Hearing Society

Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Act, 1991, Bill Pr81

City of Toronto Act, 1991, Bill Pr85

City of Toronto Act, 1991, Bill Pr86


Chair: White, Drummond (Durham Centre NDP)

Vice-Chair: MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton NDP)

Abel, Donald (Wentworth North NDP)

Beer, Charles (York North L)

Drainville, Dennis (Victoria-Haliburton NDP)

Farnan, Mike (Cambridge NDP)

Hansen, Ron (Lincoln NDP)

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

Sola, John (Mississauga East L)

Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford NDP)

Wilson, Jim (Simcoe West PC)


Frankford, Robert (Scarborough East NDP) for Mr Drainville

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock NDP) for Mr Farnan

Also taking part:

Christopherson, David (Hamilton Centre NDP)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich NDP)

Clerk: Decker, Todd

Staff: Mifsud, Lucinda, Legislative Counsel

The committee met at 1002 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr99, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

The Chair: There will be a slight change on the agenda this morning. Mr Dadamo will be sponsoring Bill Pr99, An Act respecting the City of Windsor. Mr Dadamo, could you introduce your witnesses, please.

Mr Dadamo: Good morning. This is the first opportunity I have had to appear before this committee, to present this bill, An Act respecting the City of Windsor. I would like to introduce you to the mayor elect of Windsor, Mr Michael Hurst, and the city solicitor, Mr Abraham Kellerman.

Let me begin by saying to the committee that the city of Windsor has undertaken a substantial redevelopment of its downtown area, particularly the part that fronts on the Detroit River. A number of hotels and apartment buildings have already been built or are proposed to be constructed in the downtown riverfront area. As well, the cultural character of the area is enhanced by the Cleary Auditorium and Convention Centre, the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Hiram Walker Historical Museum, all located in the riverfront development area.

In conjunction with the existing downtown riverfront development, the city has identified a need to construct a new multi-use facility. The success of functions held in the existing Windsor Arena, built in 1927, is seriously compromised by the present building's age and technical inadequacies. Further, the Windsor Spitfires hockey team will look forward to playing and winning in our new state-of-the-art arena soon.

With the legislative support of the provincial government, Windsor plans to enter into a partnership agreement with a private sector developer to build and operate a new arena and exhibition centre in downtown Windsor.

Mayor-elect Hurst, Mr Kellerman, city councillors and MPPs Dave Cooke, Wayne Lessard and myself would like to express excitement at a very unique way for the province, municipality and entrepreneurs to build for the future in this province. As well, I would like to give my thanks to Mayor John Millson for all his hard work and vision into the future for all Windsorites.

At a time when money is tight at all levels of government, it is extremely important to look for innovative ways of financing public projects. The recession has emphasized the need for more creative approaches in order to strengthen the economy at the community level. This agreement is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together as partners in order to produce a facility of significant value for the community as a whole.

At this time I would like to ask Mayor-elect Hurst and Mr Kellerman to highlight the specifics of this bill and also the key elements of the joint venture agreement contemplated. Further, I know both these city representatives would be receptive to responding to any questions you might have.

Thanks to all the good people from Windsor city hall for making the trip to Toronto this morning.

Mr Hurst: Thank you for this opportunity. Additionally, we have Mr Kellerman, the city solicitor, and Mr Wills, the finance commissioner for Windsor, here to give the details, the specifics of the arrangement we have negotiated with the private developer, vis-à-vis realizing what we in Windsor feel is an absolute necessity.

Our position is that we have established the need very clearly. As Mr Dadamo suggested, the Premier has indicated a desire that government and the private sector get together in creative ways to allow municipal projects to proceed. At this point in time, I would simply like to pass it over to Mr Kellerman and have him, and if need be Mr Wills, speak to the specifics on behalf of the city.

Mr Kellerman: The bill we have before us is generally structured to allow the municipality to enter into an agreement with the developer as a co-venture. There is a developer in Windsor and Council has already entered into or authorized the execution of an agreement in principle. The bill follows in order to carry out that agreement in principle, although it is structured so that it can be carried out with anyone. The intent is that the land be leased for a nominal consideration, which requires an exemption from the bonusing sections of the Municipal Act -- I am looking at section 1 -- and that the lands also be absolved from the obligation to pay municipal taxes, save and except business taxes, which would be payable to both the municipality and school boards in Windsor.

The commissioner of finance will be able to speak to the increase in taxes that would occur in the event this building is constructed as opposed to what is currently being received. There is an exception: The developer must continue to pay the local improvement rates, the normal rates paid as a business improvement area, sewer impost fees and an area levy. Those remain the obligation of the developer. That obligation is carried forward in the agreement in principle between the municipality and the developer.

Section 2 provides for the establishment of a reserve fund and an agreement in conjunction with that reserve fund. The intent is that a small surcharge will be taken against all tickets sold in the facility and that surcharge will be deposited into a joint trust account to the benefit of the city of Windsor and the developer. Those funds will be spent on the non-housekeeping items of repair and to upgrade the facility with the interest of ensuring the transmission to Windsor of a first-class building upon lease termination.

Obviously, what is intended from this is that the lands be leased for a term of somewhere between 30 and 33 years. The obligation of the tenant, which is the developer, is to pay the nominal taxes as provided for and to enter into the agreement respecting the surcharge.

With respect to the business assessment which would normally be collected, and is obliged to be collected, from this building, both school boards -- the separate school board and the public school board -- have agreed to an equal share in the business assessment. You will find that provided for in section 3 of the proposed bill. There is one amendment that is being requested in subsection 3(2), to change the word "shall" to "may," which will give greater flexibility to the commissioner of finance in carrying out his function under the adjustment of taxes.


This bill has a limited lifetime. It has a sunset provision as of December 31, 2026. At that point in time, concurrent with the end of the lease which is entered into, the building reverts to Windsor. In essence the city, by expenditure of some $7 million at this point in time to acquire the land and entering into this joint venture with the developer, will enjoy for 30-odd years the benefit of having the structure in the downtown area, and at the termination of the lease will become the owner of that structure. It has provided, in section 2, for the reserve fund to ensure the structure is maintained over the lifetime of the building.

I believe those are the salient points of this application. If there are any further questions, I would be pleased to respond to them.

Mr Ruprecht: I have a question. You mentioned the sunset clause. You are saying the building would revert back to Windsor in 2026?

Mr Kellerman: It would be the term of the lease. It is intended that it be somewhere between 30 and 33 years.

Mr Ruprecht: What is that based on? Why did you not have it at 2026? What comes due at that time?

Mr Kellerman: Nothing. It was determined that the land would be leased for a limited period of 30 years. It would take two or three years to construct the building. At that point in time, the reversionary interest of the lease to the municipality, it would be appropriate also to sunset the legislation.

The Chair: We have a couple of documents from objectors that have been circulated recently and I believe there is one previously circulated with your package. I hope the committee members have been able to read that. Before getting into further questions perhaps we could hear from those objectors. If you gentlemen would remain, there may be questions pending the information from the objectors.

I believe we have present Arlene Rousseau and Walter Natyshak. Please come forward and have a seat. The committee members all have a copy of your brief, but please feel free to make a presentation. I am sure there will be questions pending.

Ms Rousseau: All right. You have Bernard Rondot's submission. We brought it with us, but I guess everybody has read it, so I will go on with mine.

Windsor has one of the highest unemployment rates in Ontario because of the numerous plant closures we have experienced in the last few years. Thousands of displaced workers have run out of unemployment insurance benefits and are winding up on our swelling welfare rolls. Personal bankruptcy cases are on the increase. Homes and vehicles are being lost and families are falling apart due to the financial stress.

Tony Santarossa, a 61-year-old home owner, lost his job due to a plant closure. When his unemployment insurance benefits ran out he applied for Canada pension early retirement. Now he receives $450 a month. His home is paid for but he still has to pay his property taxes, utilities and insurance. What little is left over is used for groceries. Tony is not alone in this type of situation, yet the author of Bill 99, George Dadamo, MPP, did not deem it necessary to ask Windsorites how they felt about the great tax giveaway.

Why is it that all governments of the past were determined to make the rich richer off the backs of weary taxpayers and now this government is going to follow the same old beaten track?

Windsor needs a multi-use complex-sportsplex, but at whose expense? As a member of the city of Windsor's bingo advisory committee, I am also worried about the statement by the proposed developer that he will run giant bingos out of this hall. We already have 11 bingo halls in the city and charities are only making a meagre profit now. With a giant bingo in the city who will support these charities?

To date, the property for this development has cost taxpayers approximately $7.5 million. This year we have lost approximately $250,000 in taxes on this property and this money will have to be replaced by someone, and we all know who that someone is: Yes, the good old taxpayer, the same abused taxpayer the federal and provincial governments continually visit.

Council's projection on tax loss for the next 30 years is estimated at $7 million. I wish that were true because property taxes would stay at the 1991 rate for the next 30-year time span of the proposed legislation. Common sense shows that $250,000 multiplied by 30 years works out to $7.5 million.

Let's be realistic: We are in a recession. Windsor has had many plant closings and times are difficult for all Windsorites. Can this committee justify the passage of Bill Pr99 when it will only create more hardship for Ontario's most southerly residents? Is this government willing to shoulder the blame for the loss of more family homes due to higher property taxes that must be incurred because of the lost revenue from the multi-use facility property? Can this government guarantee that the needy will receive tax exemptions? Seniors would not have to sell their homes if they were allowed tax exemptions. The multi-use facility is not a dream but a nightmare to those who can barely make ends meet.

Many have said that a private bill is a done deal and that everyone is just going through the motions. I hope this is untrue and that there is democracy left in Ontario. I implore you not to pass Bill Pr99 as it will be a hardship for too many Windsorites. This bill would set an unhealthy precedent in Ontario. What you give to one you will have to give to all others. If a developer is interested in building in the city of Windsor then he should do so, but not at the cost of taxpayers.

I wish to thank you for this opportunity to put forth my strong reservations and the reservations of many Windsorites pertaining to Bill 99 and its unfairness to taxpayers.

Mr Hansen: Was this issue brought up in the last municipal election? The people who supported the members who were elected again are with this particular complex, am I not correct?

Mrs Rousseau: You had a 33% turnout in one ward. There was a very poor turnout in this last municipal election. People just did not care.

Mr Hansen: In your brief it says, "Windsor needs a multi-use complex-sportsplex." Reading through this, the $7.5 million taxpayers would be giving up in taxes -- now if the municipality builds this it will not receive taxes because it will be a municipal --

Mrs Rousseau: But it will receive the profits.


Mr Hansen: Then there is the layout on the cost of the building. What would be the profits? You are going to inherit this building after 30 or 33 years. I do not live in Windsor, this is why I am asking these questions.

Mrs Rousseau: I know you do not. I can understand where you are coming from and, yes, it would be a very large output for the city itself, but there are other developers interested in this. I do not even know if they were offered this exemption or if they just proposed to build it on their own.

Mr Hansen: Can you tell me how many developers were interested in this particular complex?

Mrs Rousseau: Including the one that has it now, it is three.

Mr Hansen: I guess I would have to ask the city what the process was on bidding.

Mr Sutherland: You mentioned bingos and that one of the proposals would be that a large bingo operation would go in this complex. You said that would take away from the charities. I guess my question is more one of clarification. I thought the regulations or guidelines for operating bingos meant that the profits have to go to charities anyway. I do not follow the argument that charities are going to lose, because the money from bingo would still have to go to charities. Is that the way it works? That was my understanding of how bingos operate in the province. Could you comment?

Mrs Rousseau: Halls right now receive 15% and the charities receive 20%. They are barely making that now. With a giant bingo, you would be taking away from the already thinning halls and putting it into one big hall, so the charities in the smaller halls are going to lose out. Windsor, as well as this province, cannot afford to give to charities when they have to keep their budgets in line.

Mr Sutherland: If I can just ask one more question, why would the smaller charities, if there was not enough business at the other ones, not decide to get involved in this one?

Mrs Rousseau: Because there are only so many nights and there are a lot of charities.

Mr Ruprecht: I have a number of questions that concern me here. What is the Windsor Citizens Association? It says A. Nelman, vice-president, who I assume wrote a letter objecting to it.

Mrs Rousseau: That has nothing to do with me.

Mr Ruprecht: It does not?

Mrs Rousseau: No.

Mr Ruprecht: Okay. Can you tell me what is your main objection? Is it actually that the city will be losing in terms of tax revenue, or am I mistaken? In other words, can you very quickly tell us what is your main objection there? Is that the only one or are there others?

Mrs Rousseau: My objection is the 30-year or more tax exemption. This year they lost $250,000. That is going to have to be made up somewhere. Next year, with rate increases and interest increases, it is going to be more than $250,000 and you cannot continually run at a loss. If the developer was that interested in building in Windsor and felt the multi-use facility would be a profitable venture, I do not think it would be asking for this type of tax exemption. It is something I have never heard of before.

Mr Ruprecht: There is another letter here. Do you know Bernard Rondot.

Mrs Rousseau: Yes. Well, no. He contacted me and asked us to bring his with us.

Mr Ruprecht: I wonder whether you can back this up. I find this very strange. Mr Rondot writes in his second paragraph, "It is difficult to address a group committee that has not been identified, and to address the bill in its legal form as a copy has not been made available. Has a copy been made available to you?

Mrs Rousseau: It was made available to me through an MPP's office.

Mr Ruprecht: It was not easily --

Mrs Rousseau: No. In fact, even knowing about this meeting was by accident.

Mr Ruprecht: Finally, I asked the question earlier to the city solicitor. He indicated that in the year 2026, if I understand this correctly, it would all revert back and consequently taxes would be paid then. Does that mitigate your concern to some degree?

Mrs Rousseau: First off, you are receiving a 30-some-odd-year-old facility, and you are saying the taxes will be paid on it then. Well, then the city owns it so it does not have to pay the taxes. When I started writing my submission I was looking at my children; they are 10 and 12. When it comes back to the city, my oldest daughter will be 42 years old and she will still be paying for our mistakes.

Mr Ruprecht: Then my final question would be, how many other residents or citizens do you know of who object to this, and in what way are they objecting to it? Are they objecting vehemently or are they just saying, "Well, it's the city of Windsor; there is not much we can do about it"?

Mrs Rousseau: I think the last municipal election and the number of voters who turned out was an example of just how apathetic people are now: "If the government does something, to heck with it. We will just leave it alone. There is nothing we can do."

Mr Ruprecht: But you think the dissatisfaction with this project is wider than simply the three letters we have received?

Mrs Rousseau: Not the project, the exemption.

Mr Ruprecht: The exemption, sorry, yes.

Mrs Rousseau: There are so many people who could use that tax exemption besides a rich developer.

Mr Sola: I would just like to ask one question. Without the exemption, would this project go ahead?

Mrs Rousseau: Yes, it would. I am sorry; the developer would not go ahead without the tax exemption, but the city does own the property now.

Mr Sola: Is the city better off with the project or without the project?

Mrs Rousseau: As it stands right now with the exemption? Without.

Mr Hansen: Was Bill Pr99 not advertised in the paper? It seems that in these write-ups the people of Windsor were quite aware of this project. I think the other members asked some questions also. In the election, if this was a big issue with the residents of Windsor, they would have turned out and supported whoever their council people were who spoke against this. It just does not seem to be there.

Mrs Rousseau: I have worked in many elections in the city of Windsor, and it is awful to say that when they have to fight the government, people feel they would rather just give up.

Mr Hansen: That is where they put the "X."

Mrs Rousseau: That is why most of them do not show up. As for the notice, it was in the paper. I am looking at Mr Rondot's submission in September. I did not know about this meeting until Mr Natyshak ran into Mr Dadamo in October.

Mr Miclash: As a supplementary to that, did any of the people who were elected run on a platform where they were against this project?

Mrs Rousseau: No. All incumbents were re-elected.

Mr Sola: Further to that, were there any people who campaigned exclusively against the project and did not win?

Mrs Rousseau: Yes, me. I might as well be honest because Wayne will tell you.

Mr Ruprecht: But that may not be because you were against the project. That may simply be because you were not running a good campaign.

Mrs Rousseau: Ask my campaign manager. He was George's.

Mr Sola: Strike that from the record.


Mrs MacKinnon: Is there anybody who can give us an approximate dollar amount of loss or gain or otherwise in regard to this assessment, or is that not relevant?

The Chair: Do you have some approximation?

Mrs Rousseau: All I was given was that this year we lost $250,000, and then it stated in the newspaper that we would only lose about $7 million or $7.5 million in taxes over the time span. If you multiply the $250,000 by 30 years, you come out to $7.5 million, but for every year the rate is going to change, so that cost is not right.

Mrs MacKinnon: So in that figure, are you multiplying numbers? If you put together the business assessment and the land assessment and the building assessment -- are you putting all three of those in those figures?

Mrs Rousseau: No.

Mrs MacKinnon: What are you figuring?

Mrs Rousseau: That is just the property taxes.

Mrs MacKinnon: Okay, thanks.

Mr Sola: You said about 33% of the people voted in the election?

Mrs Rousseau: In my ward.

Mr Sola: What is the normal turnout in Windsor in a municipal election?

Mrs Rousseau: It is 47%.

Mr Sola: You ran a campaign opposing this project and you had 14% fewer people voting than would normally vote. The way I read things, then, there was not very much opposition in your own ward to this project, because it seems to me if the people in the ward or in the city were opposed, they would go out in great numbers to vote for the person campaigning against the project. I am getting the feeling that now you have failed on one front, you want us to take up your battle here at Queen's Park. I feel a little bit uncomfortable with that. I think the people who are closest to the project should be making up their minds one way or the other and not asking those of us who have no clue of the situation in Windsor to help you in your campaign after the municipal election is over. I feel a bit uncomfortable about that.

Mrs Rousseau: Mr Sola, the municipal campaign is over with. Whether I had run or not, I would have still fought this. I do not believe the rich should get richer off the backs of the taxpayers, and I believe very strongly that everybody pays their fair share. If I am going to have to pay my fair share, then everybody else in that city, whether they are a developer or a person on a limited income, has to pay his or her fair share, no matter what the amount is. I am getting very angry at the thought that there are companies across this province that are not paying taxes, yet we have people sleeping on the streets. It is very evident in this city alone.

Mr Sola: But may I point out that this is still a democracy, and the majority opinion counts. If you cannot get the majority of people to think your way, I do not see where you can insist on having your way. We do have a process here. You did mount a campaign against the project, and I would suggest that in a democracy, we allow the democratic process.

Mrs Rousseau: I am not going to get into the pros and cons of why people lose elections. One party lost an election in 1990. Whether it was because the people liked or disliked its election platform or what it did does not matter. You are in the position I am now in: City council is the government; we are the opposition. I support the city in many things, but I will not support the city when it comes down to a rich developer not paying its taxes when my next-door neighbour and I still have to.

The Chair: I do not believe there are further questions. Thank you very much, Mrs Rousseau, for a very articulate presentation.

Mr Sutherland: I may have missed it in the literature that was handed out, but obviously a feasibility study was done for this project on what type of revenue it would generate for the city in terms of business. Can you give the committee some estimate as to what that feasibility study indicated and the type of revenue it would bring into the city overall?

Mr Hurst: I am going to defer shortly to Mr Wills, the finance man from the city of Windsor, but let's have one thing clarified here at the very beginning. If this project proceeds, it will generate, we estimate, approximately $250,000 a year in business tax. That $250,000 figure is substantially more than the property and business tax generated by the buildings that used to exist on this property. That is the fact of the matter. In terms of precise revenue projections, I will defer to Mr Wills.

Mr Wills: The precise revenue projections are in the developer's domain, but I think from the city's perspective there are three things to be noted.

One, if we built this ourselves, there would be no taxes generated from the property. It would be exempt. Further, we would be entering into debt, anywhere from $30 million to $38 million, which would also have to be paid off by the taxpayer. Frankly, if we did finance this in the conventional way, we would be coming to senior levels of government, such as the province and the federal government, looking for grants to help pay for the $38 million to $40 million.

I think all of us are in financial positions now that we just cannot afford it. It is because we could not afford to do this in the conventional way that we sought a co-venture where private enterprise helps to develop a public facility. It is on that basis that the council has approved this project, because I believe it is win-win. The business taxes alone, as already pointed out by His Worship, exceed the amount we are currently getting in property and business taxes from that particular site. When this development is done, the business tax alone that will be paid will generate more money than the current property and business taxes on that particular site.

Mr Ruprecht: Was any attempt made to have the parties get together with Mrs Rousseau? Was an attempt made by the city to sit down with Mrs Rousseau and some of the other residents or citizens who were unhappy with the project to try to iron out some of the differences, if that was even feasible? Was there a meeting or an attempt made to do that?

Mr Hurst: No, I do not believe there was. But with all respect, I do not believe Mrs Rousseau represents in any way the feeling of our community vis-à-vis this particular project.

We have, as a municipality, as Mrs Rousseau pointed out, an unemployment rate in excess of 15%. City council has adopted something called the fiscal fitness policy, which speaks to the issue of the responsible use of taxpayers' money. For example, in 1991, the tax mill increase in the city of Windsor was 3.8% in the face of an inflation rate that is going to be around 6%. That gives an indication how serious the elected representatives -- who, by the way, were all re-elected. The complete slate was re-elected, including myself as the new mayor of the city of Windsor. Many of us spoke very eloquently, I would submit, on the issue of economic diversification, on the issue of allowing this particular project to assist us to develop in a very big way our ability to attract tourism to the city of Windsor.


We have a 15% unemployment rate in Windsor. We also have access to millions and millions of people in the midwestern United States. We have also expanded, with support from the then Liberal government of $32 million, in creating what is called the Cleary International Centre. That is the key to our ability to get into the US market in a very big way, and we need that, to be honest with you. We are a border community and we are hurting; we are hurting very hard. This is part and parcel of the support of the infrastructure necessary to allow us to get into tourism, to allow us to get into the trade business, to allow us to get into the exhibition business and so on.

I have lived with this thing for four years and I can assure you that my point of view is one that is representative of those who live in the city of Windsor. We understand the need to become less reliant upon the manufacturing-automotive sector in Ontario. We have made every effort to scrutinize this proposal to the best of our ability, and we have all the experts here. We believe we have done our job. I think we have been supported by Premier Rae almost directly. He suggested that things like this are things that all levels of government are going to have to deal with in the future. It is called creative financing and it is called partnership with the private sector. I think this is a classic example, an example that hopefully, if this bill is passed, will be used by other municipalities in the province.

Mr Hansen: Who were the other people who bid on this complex? Were they asking for the same deal of tax rates or was this a developer who came forward with an idea?

Mr Hurst: It was a combination of the two. There was the normal process in terms of a request for proposals. One of the specific items described in the proposal call was the city of Windsor's desire for creative financing which would have a minimal impact on the tax base, on the taxpayers of the city of Windsor. To be completely honest with you, going through the process, there was not a proponent who provided that creative financing package we were looking for. What we did was to allow the final two bidders, or proponents, so to speak, to sit down and discuss with us in great detail the possibility of creating a financial package that would be creative and would provide for impacts on the taxpayers that were as minimal as possible.

Mr Docherty was one of them. There was another group with which we sat down and had extensive discussions. We were told there was going to be an innovative financing proposal made to city council, and it was never made by the other proponent. Mr Docherty, to his credit, fulfilled the very important aspect of this entire undertaking, which was to allow the provision of a municipal facility with as minimal as possible impact on the taxpayers of the city of Windsor.

Windsor has something called the debt reduction policy and we have adhered to it religiously over the last number of years. In Windsor -- I am going to do a little bragging -- we have been able to reduce our debt from in excess of $100 million in 1985 to $29 million in 1991. As an elected representative, I am going to state quite clearly that there is no preparedness on the part of city council to encourage or incur debt to the tune of $35 million to $40 million to allow the creation of what we believe is basically a municipal facility.

Mr Sola: I would like to ask the mayor if this was a big issue in the recent election campaign.

Mr Hurst: The best way I can answer that is that there were basically two candidates for the mayor's chair. My opponent was of the mind that this particular deal should be put aside. I was of course of the mind that I was extremely supportive and I thought it was beneficial to our community. I won the election by 20,000 votes.

Mr Sola: You mentioned that you could build it yourself and finance it conventionally. What would be the difference in cost -- financing it conventionally, raising the money and paying off the mortgage as any other person would have to do, and giving this exemption to the builder and going the route you are going -- to your ratepayers in Windsor? Would it be the same? Would it be tilted in favour of one or the other?

Mr Hurst: I will defer to the expert, Mr Wills.

Mr Wills: If we were to issue the debentures, if for example we could not get any additional funding from senior levels of government, that would be our first thing, but I think all levels of government are having difficulty coming up with additional funds. If we assume we have to put up the whole $38 million ourselves to develop this, we are looking at principal and interest charges over 30 years of $4 million additional a year to our taxpayers, and that works out to $120 million in 30 years just because of the interest rate of 10% that we used in this particular calculation. There is a huge addition to our debt load, in relative terms to the city of Windsor, by funding this ourselves. I cannot speak for senior levels of government, but I do not see them with a lot of money to help fund such a project as well.

The Chair: Any comments from the parliamentary assistant?

Mr Sutherland: As you know, I am not the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. He unfortunately is absent, but I have been giving comments and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has no objections to this.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Sutherland. Are members ready to vote?

Mrs MacKinnon: Before we vote, do you want the motion to strike the word "shall" and substitute the word "may."

The Chair: That would be part of the voting procedure.

Mrs MacKinnon moves that subsection 3(2) of the bill be amended by striking out "shall" in the third line and substituting "may."

Discussion? All in favour of the amendment? Thank you.

Mr Ruprecht: You have to ask "opposed," Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Any opposed?

Motion agreed to.

Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 4 to 6, inclusive, agreed to.

Schedule agreed to. Preamble agreed to.

Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported.



Consideration of Bill Pr53, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

The Chair: We have before us Bill Pr53, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton. The sponsor is David Christopherson. Mr Christopherson, could you introduce the witnesses.

Mr Christopherson: I appreciate the opportunity to be here. With me is Mr Don Peters, who is the assistant chief fire prevention officer for the city of Hamilton, and Mr Lorne Farr, who is a solicitor with the solicitors' department in the city of Hamilton.

Briefly, Bill Pr53 is to enable the city of Hamilton to require that low- and high-rise apartment buildings be retrofitted with smoke alarms and emergency lighting in light of the fact that neither the fire code nor any other piece of legislation will currently allow the city of Hamilton to enact such bylaws. With that, I would turn it over to the city representatives to present the details to you.

Mr Peters: My name is Peters, initials D. L. I am the assistant chief fire prevention officer for the city of Hamilton. I appreciate the opportunity to appear here this morning.

The city of Hamilton is progressive in its delivery of fire protection, public fire safety education and fire prevention inspection services. Our rating by the insurance advisory organization is in fact second to none across Canada.

In 1986, the city of Hamilton passed bylaw 86/253, which made smoke alarms mandatory in one- and two-family dwellings constructed prior to the 1976 building code, which required them in new construction. This bylaw was seen as necessary to provide this lifesaving protection as there was no retrofit legislation forthcoming at the provincial level, either through the fire code or as an adjunct to the Ontario Building Code. Our public education efforts and those of the office of the fire marshal extolled the lifesaving benefits of the early detection and notification of fire, and also the appropriate responses to take upon that notification.

Statistics released by the office of the fire marshal for 1989 indicate that 46.9% of all people who died in residential fires did not have a smoke alarm, and of those fatalities 30% were asleep at the time of the fire occurring. Sadly, a further 26.5% of all fire fatalities occur in residential occupancies where there is a smoke alarm that has been rendered inoperative due to lack of maintenance, mechanical failure or damage. Unfortunately, people are dying where they feel most secure and yet where they are the least protected: in their residences.

The regrettable but true fact of the matter is that friends, family and fellow citizens in this country, and more important specifically in Ontario, are needlessly dying as a result of their extended and unnecessary exposure to fire. Prompt detection and early warning of the existence of fire in its first stage increases survival odds and reduces the number of persons fatally and finally affected by fire.

The requirements set out in the proposed legislation, we feel, are no more onerous than, nor do they conflict with, the detection requirements set out in circulated drafts of the proposed sections 9.5 and 9.6 of the Ontario fire code. These drafts of the proposed retrofit sections of the fire code have been reviewed, discussed and subjected to cost impact analysis since 1988 and are still not passed into law despite the demonstrated need.

Our purpose in requesting permission to municipally enact this lifesaving retrofit legislation is to address a very real need for a large segment of our municipal population that resides in older buildings which are not protected to the same levels that newer residential buildings have been constructed to.

We recognize that our municipal legislation will be superseded by provincial legislation upon its enactment. As we do not know how long we will have to wait, we are merely asking for permission to provide an interim or bridging piece of protective legislation to protect a sizeable target population in a manner which will not be inconsistent with the proposed provincial legislation and regulations.

Proactive measures and intervention, whether in the field of health care, worker safety or in the area of fire prevention is the most prudent and cost-effective method of mitigating situations or conditions which can have dire effects on the safety of one's person. It is for this reason that we urge you to support Bill Pr53 and permit us to provide a higher degree of protection for our citizens.

We recognize there are cost implications involved and associated with the proposed installations which must initially be borne by the building owners and ultimately passed on to their tenants. We find it a little difficult, though, to equate these with the physical suffering and loss of life arising from fire. There is also the benefit to the owner arising from the early detection of fire, resulting in its speedier extinguishment, resulting in less damage to the structure.

What we have in Bill Pr53, we feel, is a positive method of protecting what may be termed a very valuable and non-renewable resource, namely, the human lives of the city of Hamilton. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak to you on this matter this morning, and trust that your decision will be taken with due consideration of our reasons for seeking this legislation.

Mr Ruprecht: I have a brief question. I note you have a special section, which I find very admirable, in this Act respecting the City of Hamilton, subsection 2(2), on hearing-impaired tenants:

"A by-law under clauses (1)(a) and (b) may require the owner to supply a smoke alarm which emits a strobe light for any hearing-impaired tenant who requests such a smoke alarm."

One question is, what is the cost of this? The other one would be, if a tenant were not hearing-impaired -- of course we would agree with all of this -- and still wanted a strobe light, what would your answer be?

Mr Farr: In fact, I was going to make an amendment. I am told that the proper term for the hearing-impaired should be "the deaf or hard of hearing." I would ask the committee, if it passes the bill, to make the amendment to those two sections of the bill from "hearing impaired" to "deaf or hard of hearing."

The cost of the strobe light smoke alarms is somewhere, I believe, in the $150 or $200 range. It was the intent of the aldermen of the council who moved that amendment that it only apply to the deaf and hard of hearing to enable them to be warned of fires. On your question of other people who would wish to have them in their houses or apartments, I suggest they could purchase them themselves. I am sure the superintendents of the building would not mind having them installed.

Mr Ruprecht: I want to thank Mr Christopherson, who is obviously the sponsor of this, for having thought of some of these things. Being the former minister responsible for disabled persons, I really appreciate that this section is in this bill.

Mr Christopherson: I appreciate the credit. We do not often get that from across the House, but the credit goes to my local city council. It is their piece of legislation. I just have the privilege of being here to access this committee with it. Thank you, and I will pass that along to the council, Mr Ruprecht.

Mr Sola: Is this a unique piece of legislation or is it based upon something that some other city has already incorporated?

Mr Peters: The requirements, as set out in the draft legislation, were drawn from proposed drafts of the Ontario fire code. They were not taken specifically from any municipal legislation presently existing.

Mr Hansen: I was just going to ask a question on buildings under three floors. Are the alarms in the units hooked up from one unit to another, if they are electric ones, in some of your bylaws here? I got through quite a few of them, but I did not get to that point. Are they interconnected?

Mr Peters: Are you referring to buildings not covered under this legislation under three storeys?

Mr Hansen: Yes, under three.

Mr Peters: For under three storeys we presently have a municipal bylaw that covers one- and two-family dwellings, which requires non-interconnected smoke alarms in those one- and two-family dwellings. The smoke alarms in those one- and two-family dwellings may either be AC or DC powered.


Mr Hansen: But when you get into the three floors, in the hallways they would be interconnected but in the units themselves they would still be independent?

Mr Peters: Not interconnected; they would be single station.

Mr Hansen: I owned an apartment building and they were all interconnected; it was a bylaw in the municipality. When somebody was cooking fish that meant they went off in all the units, and it was under two storeys. I think it is very true here.

Mr Peters: It is a very valid point.

Mr Hansen: You have thought all these out. I think it is a very good bill and I will have to support it.

The Chair: Any further questions of the applicants? Gentlemen, if you would not mind attending, there may be questions pending the witnesses who will be forthcoming. We should have a vote within a short amount of time.


The Chair: I believe we have a delegation from the Canadian Hearing Society.

Miss Conlon: Unfortunately I am alone today. I am Mandy Conlon from the Canadian Hearing Society. I would like to note that two of the representatives from the deaf community were unable to come here for the meeting today due to the lack of a sign language interpreter. They would have liked to have given their views, but because of the communication barrier were unable to do so. I am here to relay that information on their behalf.

In regard to the bill itself, we are not opposing it. We want some amendments to it. I would be interested in knowing the smoke detector cost for the one with the strobe light at $150 to $200. I would be interested in seeing that. I have been working at the Canadian Hearing Society for over two years now and we have yet to find an effective smoke detector for deaf or hard-of-hearing people. The strobe lights are ineffective so far, due to the fact that they are not strong enough. They have not been designed for deaf people. They are usually a very weak light that does not wake somebody up in the middle of a dead sleep.

Strobe lights are not the only visual alert that is needed. There should be a tactile alert for hard-of-hearing people, a vibrating system that would shake the bed at night. Hard-of-hearing people who wear hearing aids in the daytime and take their hearing aids out at night would not be light sensitive and would not wake up to a strobe light going off.

There also has to be a relay with these smoke detectors. If there is one smoke detector in an apartment dwelling in the living room, somebody is not going to see that strobe light if it is in another room. For hearing people, when a smoke detector goes off there is an audible sound which is very ear-piercing and can usually be detected throughout a whole apartment dwelling. For deaf people, it has to be line of sight -- they would have to see that light -- and it would have to be a fairly bright light. For hard-of-hearing people, again, it would have to be a vibrating unit to wake them up at night. I believe it was Mr Peters who said that 46.9% who died were asleep. It would be interesting to know how many of those people were deaf and hard-of-hearing or seniors who were just unable to hear that smoke detector going off.

Our concern is not that the bylaw is passed, because this bylaw is probably a godsend for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, as it may force a manufacturer or somebody out there to design a smoke detector that will work for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. A lot of manufacturers have come up with some wonderful ideas, but they do not work: The lights are the wrong colour; the strobe lights are not strong enough; they do not relay to other rooms, and they do not have a vibrator attached.

It is all fine and well to tell me that one will cost $150, but so far the best smoke detector we had somebody manufacture required a control panel and a lot of relay switches and was over $1,000. That one actually worked and the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities were very impressed with it. Who is going to be financially responsible for that? If the building owners are financially responsible for that and the cost is going to be that type of cost, the other concern is that deaf and hard-of-hearing people will be turned away as tenants in those buildings because of the extra cost that will be incurred by the building owners.

There are a lot of added things that need to be looked at. We are sort of passing a bylaw for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but there really is not an effective smoke detector on the market for deaf and hard-of-hearing people yet. There are a lot of claims of smoke detectors working for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but there is nothing yet that I am aware of. If we come up with something, great, but there is nothing yet. That is about it.

The Chair: Before I solicit questions from the committee members on the issue of the deaf and hard of hearing, does the suggested amendment to that section fit with your experience?

Miss Conlon: It would fit with my experience. Again, I do not like speaking on behalf of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. I am sure the deaf people who would have liked to have been here would have wanted to add something.

The Chair: With all due respect to the city of Hamilton, I think you could probably do so better than they. We could bear that in mind in regard to the amendment, if anyone is going to produce said amendment. Committee members, do you have any questions for Miss Conlon?

Mr Ruprecht: Your discussion was somewhat helpful when you said there are some smoke alarms or detectors on the market whose use may be somewhat limited. Has your association been in touch with any of the manufacturers to give you a brand of approval, a certain item or a certain smoke detector that may be of more use than others?

Miss Conlon: We have been in contact with a couple of different organizations and companies. Serv-Alarm was one of them within the Hamilton region. What we are coming up against with some of the private manufacturers is that they do not see a market out there and will not invest the time or money to develop such a smoke detector because they do not anticipate a return on their investment.

Most of the smoke detectors we have researched come from the United States, so we are looking at some problems with standards. We have been working on it for two long years that I am aware of and it is still being worked on. As soon as we find somebody who is willing to make one for us, we will bring some people up to test it out. That is our main point: The deaf and hard-of-hearing people need to test them first before they are actually designated as workable units.

Mr Sola: I would like to ask a question regarding this amendment. Is this just a question of semantics or is there a definition associated with "hearing-impaired" and the other wording, "deaf or hard of hearing?" Is this just a more acceptable way of phrasing the same thing or is there a difference in level of hearing-impairment?

Miss Conlon: There is a difference in level in hearing-impairments. "Deaf" and "hard of hearing" are two separate issues. When you speak of "hearing-impaired," you are grouping a bunch of people in one set group, where the needs of deaf people and the needs of hard-of-hearing people are totally different. That is why there is the distinction.

Mr Sola: But would not "hearing-impaired" cover a broader range?

Miss Conlon: I guess the best answer to that would be I wish the deaf people were here to explain that. It is again something that deaf and hard-of-hearing people prefer. Most deaf and hard-of-hearing people, if you were to call them hearing-impaired, would correct you as to which they would prefer to be deemed as.

Mr Hansen: I think this legislation, what I can see, is very progressive. Being progressive and being one of the first municipalities to enact legislation like this -- it has been noted that some of the manufacturers have not come up to speed to meet these requirements for the deaf community -- I think that with Hamilton, manufacturers will see that one municipality has already passed a bylaw, and as other municipalities take the direction of Hamilton it will be a lot cheaper and easier to obtain smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing. I have to go along with Hamilton. But when we get into shaking beds, I do not know how much we can put in this bill right at the very beginning. Sometimes you have to learn how to walk a little bit first and then you can walk faster later on. I have to agree with the bill. As I said, I will be voting for the bill because I think it is very progressive.


Miss Conlon: I agree with the bill myself. It is just a matter of amending it and making some changes to it so that the detector has to be deemed by deaf and hard-of-hearing people. It cannot just be something that is decided by other people. It has to be in there that whatever detector is going to be used for deaf and hard-of-hearing people is deemed by those people as a workable unit.

Mr Hansen: Maybe there can be an amendment later on when the right products come on the market that they feel are sufficient. Maybe there will be new technology in two years and you could go back to the city and say, "We'd like to have this put into this particular bill as an amendment."

Mr Abel: This is more of a comment than a question. I certainly agree with the bill and the intent of the bill, but I can also understand, Miss Conlon, what you are saying because I am hearing-impaired. When I sleep on my left side I do not hear anything. I am also a very sound sleeper and I can say through experience that a strobe light simply would not do it. It would not alert me to a fire or whatever the problem may be.

I think if we perhaps change the wording a little bit to replace "strobe lights" with something to the effect of "an appropriate device," it leaves it broader, more general. As Mr Hansen said, when things do come on the market, if they are available, that would be in the legislation and it would be an option to bring it out. It is a good bill. I will support the bill, but a strobe light simply would not do it. I would feel more comfortable if the words "strobe light" were replaced by "an appropriate device."

Mrs MacKinnon: I think Mr Abel's question pretty well answered mine. I am absolutely amazed that any municipality in Ontario has to go through this. Obviously the ministry or the government, whatever you wish to call it, does not have this built in. I really commend those who have seen fit to come forward with this. I am going to support the bill, with a few minor changes perhaps.

For the benefit of those who do not know, I try to understand "deaf" as opposed to "hearing-impaired" or "hard of hearing" because I too am hard of hearing. Today my hearing is really good because last night I had some corrections done on the inside of my ear. I would not want anybody to call me deaf, although my kids do it time and time again. I think maybe I am deaf when I want to be.

I too support what Mr Abel says in regard to "suitable device." I know for a fact a strobe light would wake me up. I know when my smoke alarm goes off it feels as if my head is coming off, but I am sure for somebody very deaf, like our colleague Gary Malkowski, the strobe light may not do it. A strobe light would wake me up in a hurry because any movement in my room would do that. I would like to ask you what you mean by "vibrating device." Do you mean something to vibrate the bed or vibrate the chair?

Miss Conlon: There are a couple of different vibrating devices that are used as alarm clocks. It is a little square electrical device that is placed in between the mattresses. Most people who have been deaf from birth are very sensitive to vibrations. That vibration will travel through the bed and wake them up. It does not have to shake the whole bed, but it can be just a slight vibration depending on the person. Again, changing the amendment to "appropriate" allows that person to choose the type of system that would work for them. Some people need a larger, stronger vibrator. It all depends on the individual and everybody is different.

Mrs MacKinnon: Thank you very much. I really respect what the Canadian Hearing Society is doing in its work for people who have problems with their hearing.

Mr Sutherland: While there is certainly general support for the principle here, it may be appropriate at this time to have some comments. We received some letters to the committee, comments from a couple of different ministries that expressed concerns about some aspects of this legislation and this specific bill coming forward. I do not think anyone is disagreeing with the principle of the bill and the intent of the bill, but there may be some concern. We have staff here from the Solicitor General and from the Ministry of Housing. Maybe, Mr Chair, we could have them comment at this time.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Sutherland. Before that occurs, and I am sure it has the permission of the committee, are there further questions of this witness?

Mr Sola: I am a little bit bothered by the specifics, because if every hard-of-hearing person is different as far as his sensibility in regard to these vibrators is concerned, how on earth can we design a law to take care of every individual? Even hearing people have different levels of hearing. We just specify a smoke detector which is audible. Some people have very sharp hearing and other people do not, but we have sort of a general standard. I think it would be almost impossible to design a law that would cover people individually.

Miss Conlon: It would not necessarily be individual in the sense that every person would have to come up with his own idea. If we were to include a strobe light and define the colour of the strobe light, as deemed by the majority of hard-of-hearing people, and a vibrator, as deemed by the strength that is needed -- the vibrator can appear stronger depending on where it is placed within the bed. Under the mattress it may not be as strong a feeling or sensation as it would be under somebody's pillow. That is a way to be able to have the freedom and flexibility there, but if it were to be deemed a white strobe light of X intensity and a vibrator of X strength, that is what we are looking at, and that would be the majority of those people and that is the survey we are trying to come up with now because of this bylaw, to put down in a concrete form what is needed.

Mr Sutherland: Maybe we could have the ministry people, first Ministry of the Solicitor General. Would you come to the microphone and introduce yourselves for the purpose of Hansard.


Mr Philippe: My name is Roy Philippe. I am the deputy fire marshal of Ontario. The bill introduced by the city of Hamilton addresses the issue of smoke alarms and emergency lighting. As Mr Peters indicated in his presentation, the basis for the bylaw or the power for bylaws was the draft fire code retrofit provisions 9.5 and 9.6.

We as a ministry agree in principle with the draft bill as provided by the city of Hamilton. However, since 1981 we have had a uniform piece of fire legislation in Ontario. We also believe that the provisions made in the Hamilton act address only smoke alarms and emergency lighting. In draft retrofit provisions we believe our draft legislation will encompass all the life safety features required in the building. The draft proposals we have and that have been circulated to the fire services indicated by Mr Peters address adequate exits from the building, confining and controlling the fire through compartmentation, provision for early warning systems, including the installation of smoke alarms, and the installation of fire suppression equipment.

We also believe firmly that any standards that would apply to one municipality, if they are appropriate, should apply province-wide. On that basis, we believe that what is being proposed for Hamilton should be considered and applied to all municipalities within the province. We believe that the retrofit provisions are more comprehensive and, as indicated, appropriate for uniform application.

The draft legislation or retrofit has been under consideration for a significant period of time. We have however completed our final consultations, are finalizing the regulations and will be bringing them forward for consideration. On that basis, we do not recommend that the Hamilton bill go forward at this time.

Mr Sutherland: The Ministry of Housing representative?

Mr Arlani: My name is Ali Arlani. I am manager of the building code services section of the ministry. I want to echo some of the points the deputy fire marshal raised. Our ministry, because of its mandate throughout the building code, does not have any problem where you deal with minimum safety standards. We have always supported it. However, if we are talking about minimum safety standards, they should be province-wide. There is no reason why, if something is good for the city of Hamilton, the city of Toronto or North Bay should not have the same. Based on that, we have always followed the route that a uniform set of provincial standards should be built. We have been working with the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the office of the fire marshal for the past couple of years to finalize a package of amendments which comprehensively deals with the issue of minimum breadth of the standards for residential buildings, under sections 9.5 and 9.6 of the fire code.

The consultation on that package has been completed. Our understanding is that we are talking about bringing it forward for consideration by cabinet, as well as the standing committee on regulations and private bills, and that is in sight. At this point, our ministry's recommendation is not to go with this private member's bill and support the introduction of the residential retrofit standards province-wide. Also, the committee may look at the issue of deferring final consideration of this bill at least for the next few months. If the residential retrofit standards are introduced within the following few months in time for the spring session, there may be no need for introduction of this bill.

Mr Sola: Could this bill not serve as a pilot project to see about the feasibility of the recommendations made as far as cost and everything else is concerned?

Mr Philippe: As Mr Peters indicated, the criteria in the bill are based primarily on the retrofit provisions that we are developing, so they would be based on sections 9.5 and 9.6. In his presentation he indicated they would be no more onerous than what is presently in the draft document that we have available. We do not believe there is any more need for pilot. We believe the principles in that bill adequately address the life safety provisions for all citizens in the province.

Mr Abel: The comments I have just heard are certainly not new to me. As many of you are probably aware, in December 1990 I introduced a private member's bill, Bill 22, An Act to provide for Certain Rights for Deaf Persons. It involved hearing-ear dogs. The comments I just heard are the same comments I heard earlier, that there is more legislation forthcoming and that it should be province-wide. Those comments are very commendable, but when is this legislation going to come out? People who could benefit from the use of, for example, hearing-ear dogs could be benefiting from that piece of legislation for a year, two years, whatever it takes for the umbrella legislation to come out. If it takes six months, fine. If it takes a year, fine. At least the people have the benefit of the legislation.

This private bill that is being submitted from the city of Hamilton, as I said earlier, is commendable. Let's hope that some permanent province-wide legislation does come out, but at least let's have this in place until we see that legislation. I support the bill. I would like to see some changes in terms of provisions for the hearing-impaired and the deaf, but I do not think we should be turning this bill down for the simple reason that there is some province-wide legislation coming whenever. We do not know.

Mr Hansen: It looks like Hamilton is a pioneer in this particular area and I think, as my friend here has already said, let's get on with it. If this legislation comes in, let's call it a pilot project in Hamilton. As other municipalities come forward to upgrade their fire regulations, you can be telling them this is coming up and is going to be put through by the province. Maybe a lot of legislation that comes in does not work, but you propose it. But when something is working, then you can fine-tune what Hamilton has already for the whole province. I think it would be a good guideline for the ministry to take a look at.

Mr Sutherland: While I do not disagree with the comments that Mr Hansen and Mr Abel have made -- I think they are very valid -- I still think I would like to give the ministry some time. I would like to move a motion at this time that we defer this for up to a four-month period to give the ministries time to come back.

The Chair: Four months?

Mr Sutherland: Yes.

The Chair: Mr Sutherland moves deferral of this bill for four months.

Is there any discussion on Mr Sutherland's motion?

Mr Hansen: Could I have the chief fire prevention officer for the city of Hamilton fire department come back, please?

The Chair: Is this on a discussion of the deferral motion?

Mr Hansen: Yes. I would like the opinion of the city of Hamilton, the assistant fire prevention officer, on the thoughts of the ministry of deferring this bill for four months.

Mr Peters: The four-month deferral would represent approximately the time it would take us to implement this at the municipal level, given that we have a new council, as most municipalities have, coming on stream. We would clean up some of the language, as we have heard today, and bring it before council some time in January. We are looking at approximately that time frame before it could be passed at the municipal level. I would suggest, not to commit the municipal councillors, that would seem to be a reasonable length of time. The four-month time frame, even at the provincial level -- it is going to take some time after that. People are obviously still going to be at risk. What we are looking for is a method of getting the legislation, either at the provincial level or the municipal level, in place as quickly as possible to provide the protection necessary for these people.


Mr Christopherson: On the motion for deferral, with the greatest respect, I have listened to the comments from the ministries and certainly, as a member of the government, am quite prepared to give, and lean towards giving, the benefit of the doubt, if you will, to the ministries where there seems to be some solid ground for it. But at best, I think the arguments we are hearing are that the province will be doing something down the road at some point that should encompass all, and perhaps more than, what is being proposed here.

I think my colleagues on the committee are expressing the fact that all it is really doing, in terms of the city of Hamilton's point of view, is inhibiting its ability to move forward on something I have heard no one speak against. Again, with all due respect to the process, and being a member of the government party, quite frankly I see no reason why we should not push this through, give Hamilton an opportunity to enact this and use the experience of what happens in Hamilton to benefit this kind of legislation.

Those of us from the Hamilton area would be able to participate in a much better fashion, and certainly with some experience from what has happened in Hamilton, when the government legislation comes through. I really have not heard anything that suggests to me that some kind of wrong would be committed were this bill to be enacted. I encourage committee members to please follow your instincts on this one and give Hamilton a chance to step forward and do what is right.

Mrs MacKinnon: I respect very much the motion Mr Sutherland has put forward, but I will not be able to live with myself if, within four months, even one person is injured or dies or there is even the loss of property in Hamilton. We are now in what is often called -- I am sure the fire marshals and fire safety people who are here can back this up -- the fire time of year. I would really like to see Hamilton have this lead and go ahead with it. I could not live with myself if I ever heard of a death in Hamilton or any other city, but especially Hamilton, now that we know it has been so progressive.

Mr Sutherland: My only comment in response to what Mr Christopherson said about "somewhere down the road" is that we have had a very strong indication from the deputy fire marshal and the Ministry of Housing official that it is not a long way down the road. The consultation is done. The regulations are being drafted and are going to come forward in the next few months. That is why I have put forward the motion to defer for four months, because it is close to being near the finished process.

Mr Philippe: Just a clarification: The draft regulations are drafted. It is a matter of a minor cleanup.

Mr Abel: Can the ministry give us any indication when this legislation will be coming forward?

Mr Philippe: As a civil servant, I can address the time frames to put it forward. As I indicated, we are very close to having the final regulations. We have been in discussion with our legal staff and legislative counsel. That is how close we are with that material.

The Chair: All in favour of Mr Sutherland's motion? Opposed?

Motion negatived.

The Chair: Are the members ready for a vote on Pr53?

Mrs MacKinnon: I have an amendment.

The Chair: Mrs MacKinnon moves that subsection 2(2) of the bill be amended by striking out "any hearing-impaired tenant" and substituting any "tenant who is deaf or hard of hearing."

Motion agreed to.

I would like to propose an amendment to subsection 2(2) of the proposed bill in reference to my earlier comments. This is not written. I apologize. This is something that came up during the discussion. Our ever-efficient clerks have already taken care of that for me. I appreciate that.

Mr Abel: I move that subsection 2(2) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"2(2) A bylaw under clauses (1)(a) and (b) may require the owner to supply a smoke alarm that is suitable to warn persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, of the type described in the bylaw."

The Chair: Your amendment really makes Ms MacKinnon's amendment totally irrelevant.

Mr Abel: I wish I had time to word it a little better.

Mr Hansen: "Device."

Mr Abel: "Device" is what I was looking for -- "an appropriate device" or "suitable device" is the wording I was talking about earlier.

The Chair: "A bylaw under clauses 1(a) and (b) may require the owner to supply a suitable device which will warn tenants who are deaf or hard of hearing."

Is that the precise wording?

Mr Abel: Yes, I think having a "suitable device" is a little clearer -- "require the owner to supply a suitable device to warn tenants who are deaf or hard of hearing."

The Chair: Is that suitable or should we break for a couple of minutes to get the appropriate wording?

Mr Abel: Could I please have a couple of minutes to work on the wording?

The Chair: We will recess for two minutes.

The committee recessed at 1138.


The Chair: I call the meeting back to order.

Mr Abel: I thank the committee and the presenters for the time allotted to me to look for the proper wording on this amendment.

The Chair: Mr Abel moves that subsection 2(2) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"(2) A bylaw under clauses (1)(a) and (b) may require the owner to supply a device capable of warning tenants who are deaf and hard of hearing of the danger of fire.

"(2.1) The bylaw may prescribe the type of device required under subsection 2."

Motion agreed to.

Section 1 agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 3 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Christopherson and witnesses.

With the committee's consent, we would like to proceed with Bill Pr81 in the absence of its sponsor, Mr O'Connor. Do we have consent?

Agreed to.


Consideration of Bill Pr81, An Act respecting the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.

The Chair: Can I have the representatives from the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville? Could you introduce yourselves.

Mr Pilla: My name is Louie Pilla. I am appearing as agent and solicitor for the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. With me is Mr Robert Bennet, director of building for the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Bill Pr81 is a bill empowering the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville to pass bylaws regulating and prohibiting the dumping of fill within the town.

In the past, the town has experienced problems with indiscriminate dumping of fill, which creates certain drainage problems and causes unsightliness within the town. It has also led to cost being incurred by the town to deal with these problems. The town's goals of maintaining the aesthetic beauty of the rural community and the health and safety of its inhabitants are being threatened by the indiscriminate dumping.

Currently, there exists a gap in the law regulating and prohibiting the dumping of fill. The powers of the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, which are based on the Regional Municipality of York Act and the Municipal Act, do not provide for the town to regulate and prohibit such activity.

The Ministry of the Environment is unable to regulate this activity due to the exemption of inert fill under part V of the Environmental Protection Act, which is what this act will deal with.

This application is based on two precedent acts. The first is An Act respecting the Town of Richmond Hill, which received royal assent December 20, 1990, and the second is An Act respecting the Town of Oakville, which received royal assent June 13, 1991. The powers contained in Bill Pr81 will enable the town to ensure aesthetic beauty in the rural community of the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville and the health and welfare of the inhabitants. Therefore we are asking this committee for their support of this bill.


The Chair: Thank you very much. Before we entertain questions from the applicants, it is noted that there is at least one opponent or interested party to the bill. Is that person present?

Mr Pilla: Mr Chairman, I spoke to that objector, Mr Bruce Arrowsmith, yesterday, and he indicated he had no objection to the bill itself.

The Chair: I am sorry, are there parties present? No? Thank you.

Mr Pilla: Mr Arrowsmith indicated he was content with the act proceeding. It was more the nature of how it would be enforced, or how the town would use the powers under the act. We have agreed that his concerns would not be violated or objected to with the passing of this act. He has an objection on behalf of developers who deal with a lot of fill, either being brought on to a construction site or being carried away from, which is dealt with through subdivision agreements or site agreements with the town.

Mr Sola: You mentioned that there are two precedents for this bill. How does this bill go further than those precedents? Or is it within the bounds of the previous two bills?

Mr Pilla: It is within the bounds of both of those acts. It is based on the wording of those acts.

Mr Sola: Then I have no objection.

Mr Hansen: I think the city of Toronto already has such a bylaw, which was passed by this committee just six months ago, if I am not mistaken. Could I ask the clerk, is this close to the same type of bylaw?

Mrs Gray: I am Linda Gray from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. There a number of municipalities which have very similar legislation by private bill: Toronto, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Oakville, I believe, and a number of others. The ministry is looking into general legislation on this issue and a task force is being formed in the new year to look at the various aspects of it. It involves a number of ministries: Natural Resources, Environment and our own, but in the meantime the ministry does not have any objection to the private bill process continuing. Those municipalities that want to have legislation on this issue are free to go ahead.

Mr Hansen: I am glad to hear that, because I have a couple of municipalities in my riding taking a look at a similar bill. Since we discussed the last bill from the city of Toronto, I guess we are in the same circumstances with this particular bill, to get going on it so that these municipalities will have the coverage until proper legislation comes in.

Mr Sutherland: I think the comments have been made from the government's point of view.

The Chair: Are we then ready for a vote?

Sections 1 to 6, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr85, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

The Chair: Mr Marchese I believe is on his way, but given the hour, I am wondering if we can have again the consent of members present to proceed with Bill Pr85 without the sponsor being present. Is there agreement?

Agreed to.

The Chair: Could I have the representatives of the city of Toronto? Please identify yourselves.

Ms Foran: My name is Patricia Foran. I am the deputy city solicitor for the city of Toronto. I will be presenting Bill Pr85. With me are Mr Ken Bingham, chairman of the board of management of the Balmy Beach Park, and Mr Gary Baker, president of the Balmy Beach Club.

In 1903, the Legislature passed An Act respecting the Town of East Toronto and Balmy Beach Park, which basically established a park in the town of East Toronto to be known as Balmy Beach Park. That act placed the general management, regulation and control of Balmy Beach Park under the jurisdiction of a board called the board of management of the Balmy Beach Park. The board of management has continued in existence since 1903. In 1908, the town of East Toronto was annexed to the city of Toronto and the city of Toronto has since that time owned all of Balmy Beach Park.

Since 1903, the special legislation governing the board of management of Balmy Beach Park has provided that the board of management shall be a body politic incorporate, and shall be composed of the mayor and six other persons appointed by council on nomination of the mayor. Since 1903, it has been specifically provided in the special legislation that, other than the mayor, none of the other six members on the board could be members of council. But it is also provided that of such six members, two must be residents on land in the former township of York included in plan 406, which is an old plan registered in the registry office for the county of York, two must be owners of land in the said plan 406, and two must be residents of the part of the city of Toronto which was the former town of East Toronto.

The council is applying for legislation today to delete the ownership requirements for membership on the board and to provide that members of the board must be qualified to be elected as members of council. As well, because of the passage of time, reference to the old plan 406 is being deleted and we will just refer to the specific geographic area by incorporating existing streets.

Basically all that Bill Pr85 does is as set out in the explanatory note. It enables the city to change the composition of the board. It takes away the requirement that certain members of the board must be owners. It provides that the members of the board cannot be members of council, but must be eligible to be elected as members of council.

Mr Bingham and Mr Baker may answer any questions the committee may have.

The Chair: Are there questions for the applicants?

Mr Sola: Are there any objectors to this bill?

Ms Foran: I have not been made aware of any objectors. Nobody has contacted me, and I am not aware of any on the committee. We did the advertising and there has been no objection.

Mr Sola: Then I move that we vote.

The Chair: Are there any interested parties who are objectors? Seeing none or hearing of none --

Mr Sutherland: Municipal Affairs supports this.

The Chair: Thank you. All in favour of the vote?

Sections 1 through 3 agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.



Consideration of Bill Pr86, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

The Chair: Moving on, we are now considering Bill Pr86, An Act respecting the City of Toronto. Ms Patricia Foran is before us again. Ms Foran, could you introduce your colleagues.

Ms Foran: Mr Vic Nishi is with the city of Toronto environmental protection office; Mr Gordon Chan and Pam Scharfe are with the city of Toronto department of public health.

Bill Pr86 would enable the city to pass bylaws for regulating the disposal of ozone-depleting substances and the testing, servicing and repair of products, material or equipment containing such substances.

I do not think there is any need for me to deal with the urgency of global control and the elimination ultimately of all ozone-depleting substances, nor do I think it necessary to remind members of your committee of the steps which have been taken and are being taken by the government of Canada and the government of Ontario towards the reduction and ultimate elimination of ozone-depleting substances.

Since 1988, city council has sought to do its fair share in the global crusade against ozone-depleting substances. This was before either the federal or the provincial regulations were passed. In fact, in 1989 city council passed a bylaw under the general Municipal Act powers and in 1990 passed a successor bylaw. However, the coming into force of the latter bylaw has been phased because in the interim there have been federal and provincial regulations brought into existence. Some of them are not in force and, furthermore, the city council needs legislation in the form of Bill Pr86 to ensure its bylaw is enforceable.

The city has had its staff work with both federal and provincial staff in an effort to ascertain what role the city of Toronto could play in this important global project. Given the nature of the federal and provincial government involvement one might ask, "What is the city's role?" Basically the city at this time wishes to make a contribution towards resolving the global problem by passing bylaws which would fill in some gaps that exist now not covered either by federal or provincial regulation. These bylaws would regulate the disposal of equipment or products containing ozone-depleting substances by delivery to recovery sites, disposal in accordance with municipal systems or the draining and recovery of the offending substances before disposal.

The city's bylaw will also deal with disposal of vehicular air-conditioning units, the service or repair of equipment containing ozone-depleting substances and the testing or servicing of fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher systems.

The city's bylaw will deal only with those things not covered by federal or provincial regulations. If and when either the federal or provincial governments step into an area covered by the city bylaw, there is no doubt the regulations passed by the higher level of government would prevail.

I shall pause and let Mr Vic Nishi of the city's environmental protection office tell you a little bit about the background of Bill Pr86 and what the city proposes to do when the bill is passed.

Mr Nishi: I would just like to go back a bit and fill in some of the details in the process around the development of this bylaw. As Pat mentioned, this is actually the second bylaw city council has passed to regulate control of CFCs.

The first and original bylaw passed in 1989 prohibited the manufacture, sale and emissions of CFC and CFC-containing products within the city of Toronto. It represented a very wide and powerful bill. In the interim between passage of the original bylaw and the coming into force of the sections, both the provincial and federal levels of government moved and took significant steps to reduce and control the emissions of CFCs and CFC-containing products. This forced the city to review what the provincial and federal initiatives were, and to reassess its own role in CFC control.

After that review the city concluded that many aspects of the bylaw, especially those pertaining to the manufacture and sale of CFC-containing products, were adequately covered by the various federal and provincial legislative initiatives. However, the city identified a potential municipal contribution in the areas of refrigerant release to the atmosphere during servicing, white goods disposal and the testing of room-flooding fire extinguishers.

These were seen as areas in which the city's role could be made complementary to the province's own CFC control strategy, so focusing it a little more clearly on what the municipality felt was a potential role it could fulfil. We examined the provincial strategy in close consultation with ministry officials who were at the same time developing and fleshing out their own regulations to follow up on their legislation. As we saw the provincial legislation and regulations in this area, it was designed to control the CFC releases during servicing and disposal by creating a system, an infrastructure, that would make recycling of CFCs efficient and easy, and then encouraging the services and technicians to access this process.

During those discussions with the Ministry of the Environment we asked why there was no enforcement or prohibition of emissions. It was indicated to us -- and I think very reasonably -- that enforcement of prohibition would be far too difficult to do on a province-wide basis. It was explained to me quite eloquently that what you can do in Toronto is one thing. If you try to enforce something like this at a level such as, say, MacTier, Ontario, where you have one service person who perhaps sees a refrigerator once a week, and where roughly 20% of all refrigerators actually require the removal of CFCs, it was quite clear to me that to try to enforce an emissions ban on CFCs would be very difficult at that level.

However, we acknowledged that the situation in Toronto is very different because of the high concentration of population, refrigerators and refrigerant systems. In the city of Toronto it was far more feasible to enforce an emissions ban. At the same time, you have to acknowledge the total quantity of CFCs across the province and looking at the percentage of CFCs actually found in the city of Toronto, we felt that effort towards enforcement would reap much greater returns in the city of Toronto.

Earlier, on another private bill, the possibility of a pilot project was discussed. Looking at the municipal role as conducting almost a pilot project to see how things can work, that is exactly how we discuss with the ministry our CFC regulation and enforcement: as a pilot project. Because the city of Toronto already has a network of health inspectors in contact with people at the commercial level, that expertise and those contacts could equally well be applied towards the enforcement of a bylaw on emissions.

We also felt that, as a pilot project within Metropolitan Toronto -- as the city of Toronto is just one of several municipalities -- the effectiveness of emission controls could be examined in that context: the city of Toronto with emission controls, and Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York without emission controls. Were emission controls having any significant difference on how the province's infrastructure for recycling was being accessed?


This is the way we are approaching the committee today, in terms of providing something clearly complementary to what the province has put together. The province has a recycling infrastructure that is critical for any enforcement effort on our part. What we are doing is in effect creating more pressure for people to access that recycling infrastructure, and in doing so our hope is that we will be able to reduce the overall CFCs emitted into the atmosphere.

One problem I hear quite regularly from service technicians who want to do well is that if they do well it costs them money. If they go to the effort of buying the equipment to recycle the products; if they take the extra time required to recycle the products and do what is considered right for the environment they are penalized because it is not a level playing field. They are penalized because there is no assurance that their competitor is going to do that.

It was made very clear to me by people in the industry that the most critical aspect in cost is time. If it takes an extra half an hour or an hour to go through the effort of recycling CFCs, that makes it a prohibitive venture for any small businessmen.

When we are talking about a recession right now, we want to allow these people to do what is best for the environment, not put them out of business. In that respect we feel we are offering a pilot project to the province which at the same time will reduce the CFCs being emitted into the atmosphere. As we all know, any CFC emitted into the atmosphere today will be up there 150 years from now, still reducing the ozone layer above our children and even our children's children.

Ms Foran: I would also like the committee to hear from Pam Scharfe of the city's department of public health, who will deal briefly with the city's plan in respect to the implementation of Bill Pr86.

Ms Scharfe: Thank you, Pat, and thank you, Mr Chair and committee members, for this opportunity to appear before you.

The department of public health will be responsible for an implementation strategy. One of the first priorities for the department will be to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the corporation of the city of Toronto are not contributing to the release of ozone-depleting compounds to the atmosphere illegally.

The department would first contact the superintendent of heating, ventilation and air conditioning for city-owned property, document the name of the heating and air conditioning service company, the written agreement to abide by the bylaw when servicing city-owned equipment, and the date when the contract expires. We would then reinterview the superintendent when contracts are renewed and new contractors are hired.

We would also meet with business managers of city departments occupying rental offices to accommodate that future leases include clauses which specify that contractors who service refrigeration and air-conditioning units are to comply with the bylaw. We would also conduct walk-through inspections of the fleet services air-conditioning repair facilities twice per year, in the spring and the summer, with the fleet services supervisor to monitor the refrigerant reclamation procedures.

We would also notify the director of materials, management and sanitation that the department of public works and the environment must comply with the bylaw when disposing of old refrigerators and freezers and monitor the quantities of refrigerant reclaimed each month.

Last, we would contact environmental representatives from the federal, provincial and municipal governments of Metropolitan Toronto as a group to propose the purchase of a reclamation device capable of removing and capturing the CFC-11 from polyurethane foam insulation refrigerators and refrigerators destined for disposal from the metropolitan area.

Turning to education and promotion, we plan to make presentations to promote the bylaw, which would be given at schools, community colleges and any other facilities which offer courses in refrigeration and air-conditioning. Service associations such as the Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada, the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society Canada and the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers would be contacted and efforts to attend seminars as presenters would be made. We have to date already made some presentations to some of these companies or associations.

Public relations visits would be made to high-profile companies such as large supermarket chains which may want to publicize that their equipment is serviced by environmentally friendly service contractors. The use of media could be advantageous in reaching a large segment of the population as quickly as possible to promote the intent of the bylaw.

Lists of recovery or reclamation equipment available, reclaim companies available and authorized depots would be distributed by the department to all relevant people who fall under the jurisdiction of the bylaw. Reclamation equipment on these lists would meet the air-conditioning and refrigeration institute's specifications to avoid the illegalities of recommending any substandard machine.

The department would contact educational institutions such as high schools and community colleges and service associations for the refrigeration industry to attend one of their classes or meetings for the purposes of promoting the bylaw through presentation. We would select presentation material suitable for the audience involved. We would establish contact with managers of high-profile companies such as supermarket chains and fast food outlets to try to attend one of their staff meetings in order to promote the city's initiatives in reducing the emissions of ozone-depleting compounds.

Last, we would suggest at the company meeting that if the contractors who service their equipment are environmentally conscious, the public may want to hear about it and may wish to support a company that is trying to protect the ozone layer from further destruction.

For chlorofluorocarbon users, the implementation of the bylaw will have to contend with complexities brought about by being part of such a large metropolis.

There is at present no mechanism to monitor the servicing of equipment which contains regulated compounds. Ideally, to identify the service people involved, the equipment owners would be interviewed to ascertain who maintains their equipment, and a computer data bank would be created by the department. However, the inputting of every single establishment in Toronto is not practical in today's economic climate.

The department would therefore send written notification to operators in Toronto who use air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, advising them of their legal responsibilities when such equipment is being serviced. Large operations such as shopping centres, office towers, department stores, supermarket chains, restaurant chains, etc, would be notified first. We would then interview maintenance supervisors to document the type of equipment in use, the type of refrigerant employed, the frequency of repair and whether recovery equipment has ever been used on their units.

Dealing with the major service people, we would collect data, and we would start by sending out written notification to the major contractors who service the air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment in Toronto, advising them of the intent of the bylaw and the responsibilities under this bylaw. We would also, as a follow-up, send written notification to the contractors inquiring about the type of recovery equipment used, the types and quantities of refrigerant recovered or reclaimed in the city of Toronto, and the depot which receives the used refrigerant. We would enter the data collected and monitor the success of the city initiatives with instantaneous readouts and graphic representations. Companies involved in producing or reclaiming CFCs would be contacted on a regular basis, perhaps every two months, to encourage them to set up a network for the collection of used refrigerant if they have not already done so.

In terms of white goods, shops in the city of Toronto where domestic refrigerators and freezers are repaired would be inspected for the presence of refrigeration recovery reclamation equipment.

Turning to fire protection equipment, the fire safety industry appears to be responsible and conscious of the phaseout of ozone-depleting compounds. However, fire prevention companies would be contacted to be sure they are aware of the requirements of the bylaw and to periodically peruse the records to monitor halon consumption.

Dealing with demolition projects, the department would contact the major demolition contractors to promote the recovery of bank CFCs and/or halons and to advise that the bylaw requires the draining of recovery of CFCs and halons.

Ms Foran: I also have with me Mr Gordon Chan of the department of public health, who can answer any questions dealing with the enforcement of the proposed bylaw, and two representatives from the city's department of public works and the environment, Mr Don Young and Mr Ted Bowering, who could deal with the city's recycling program if there are any questions.

The Chair: Thank you. In addition, are there other interested parties to this bill? We have heard of no objectors.


Ms Foran: I have heard of no objectors.

Mr Sola: I would like to pose a question regarding inspectors. It says the council may appoint inspectors for the enforcement of the bylaw, but it does not give any qualifications or credentials that the inspectors will have to meet in order to be able to do this job. What criteria will you be requiring?

Ms Foran: At this time, as you have heard from the people in the department of public health, it is proposed that the city would use the public health inspectors who have been appointed as such under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, simply because those are the people who are already in contact with the industries. They already go in to inspect, they are a working group and we have them set up across the city in different areas. That would be the quickest way. They would be the ones who would be doing it, so it would be the people who are now called public health inspectors who would also be given the additional responsibility, which, after all, is not only an environmental matter but is a public health issue as well. As you can see, the city is putting this not under its department of public works and the environment, but rather under the department of public health. It views it, first and foremost, as a health issue.

Mr Sola: For the right of entry, you say "at all reasonable hours." What would that mean -- operating hours or scheduled hours for the inspectors?

Ms Foran: We are coming forward with some amendments in respect of the rights of entry. There are some motions which arise out of concerns raised by the Deputy Attorney General. Therefore, rather than look at what is set out in the bill in so far as rights of entry are concerned, if you would look at what is set out in regulations, those are the specific amendments coming from the Ministry of the Attorney General, and I understand that the ministry is in agreement with these amendments.

Mr Sola: One further question. Where you refer to the justice of the peace, you say "without notice," that no notice is required to go before the justice of the peace as far as the employer, owner or occupier of the business is concerned. Is this common practice?

Ms Foran: That is in accordance with what is now set out in the Provincial Offences Act.

Mr Hansen: I have a question. Is halon still being used in the fire system or is that being phased out? Mainly it is used in areas where there are computers and where water cannot be used, or is there another product being used to replace halon?

Mr Chan: The existing halons that are in the systems right now are remaining. They are a very expensive item to replace. There has been a tightening up of the fire industry not to test their systems any more in terms of full-flooding, just to see if it works type of thing. They are basically just testing for the integrity of the room now, and the only time halons will be released would be in an actual fire.

Regarding the use of certain gases to test the rooms, there are some replacements that are, in terms of pressure and flooding ability, equivalent to the halons. That is what has been coming through the industry from people like Du Pont, which is trying to get some replacements for the testing process, but as far as actual compounds to replace the halons, I do not think they would come up with anything better. The halons themselves, by their structural formula, are very, very stable and are able to interrupt chemically the progression of a fire, so it is extremely efficient to have this type of compound.

Mr Hansen: I think it is a very important bill here in Toronto, where a lot of head offices are equipped with computers which will be using this particular chemical. I think MacTier, as you mentioned, would be completely different. There it might be maybe just the municipal office that would require a bylaw like this, although I have had people come forward in my riding on this particular issue, saying that the government has not moved ahead in this area. I welcome the suggestions and the bill and seeing the city of Toronto taking the leadership role.

Mr Nishi: I want to make clear that the bill is only designed to restrict the emissions during testing. I can say from speaking to people in the industry that because of the high cost of halons, much of that is apparently already being done for economic reasons anyway.

Mr Sutherland: While the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has no objections to the bill itself, the Ministry of the Environment does have some concerns. We have some representatives here who are going to make some comment, and as referred to, I believe, there are some proposals coming forward for some changes from the Ministry of the Attorney General just on wording in terms of what time inspectors should be going in. Could I ask the representatives from the Ministry of the Environment to introduce themselves and comment on what their concerns are at this stage.

Ms Scott: My name is Adrienne Scott. I am with the legal branch of the Ministry of the Environment, and joining me are two ministry staffers: George Rocoski, the manager of the waste management policy section, and Keith Madill, the senior project specialist for CFC regulation for the province. Perhaps they might be of some assistance to you in appreciating the ministry's position with respect to this proposed bill.

As you, Mr Chairman, and the members will appreciate, this bill being put forward by the city of Toronto is in the nature of an environmental protection bill. Obviously the Ministry of the Environment has an interest in the bill and wants to make sure the committee is fully aware of our position.

It is the ministry's position that the committee should defer final consideration of the bill today. We are requesting this deferment of the bill for the following reasons:

To begin with, the ministry would like to have more time to consider the bill. It appears the bill has progressed rather expeditiously through the private members' bill process, and it is our opinion that the ministry has not had sufficient opportunity to explore all of the ramifications associated with it.

Perhaps more important, Mr Chairman, it is clear from the text of the proposed bill and the submissions made today that the city of Toronto bill is intended to give the municipality jurisdiction to regulate CFC releases from air-conditioning and refrigerant systems. There is no question that these are a major source of CFC releases into the environment.

As we understand it, the city is contending that there is a need for its involvement in this area, as it is not being covered by federal or provincial legislation and regulations, and I will touch on that in a minute. I can advise you, Mr Chairman, and the members that the ministry is not in a good position at this time to respond to this particular aspect of the bill, particularly the concerns and the proposal for the city to be involved in regulating servicing and venting of refrigerant systems.

By way of background, I think I should make it very clear that the province has a CFC reduction goal, which is to reduce Ontario's consumption of CFCs by 50% by the year 1993. I should make it very clear as well that we have been working towards that goal. In fact, Ontario was the first province to regulate ozone-depleting substances in Canada when it banned the use of CFCs in aerosols and foam packaging in 1989.

It goes without saying that the ministry is also concerned about CFC releases into the environment, releases being somewhat different than CFCs being used in the production of certain products. Again, one of the key sources, as the city has identified, is ozone-depleting substances from discharges from refrigerants and air-conditioning systems.

I should indicate that the ministry has been involved in regulating these CFC releases, and this is where the important part comes in. Basically at this point the ministry is at a watershed. We are looking at the whole CFC picture. We are in the process of examining what we have done to date and where we are going to go in the future with CFC controls and bans. Part and parcel of that is the whole area of the control of CFC releases from refrigerants and the need for a uniform provincial scheme. In fact, I might inform you that a major policy paper on the whole issue of CFC regulation provincially has been prepared and will be put before senior management and the minister over the next few weeks. Quite possibly the province will be covering what the city proposes to do and more.

I suppose that relates to the comment of the city's representatives that they want to complement the provincial and federal schemes. It seems premature for the city to make this proposal at this time, as we are at the stage where some major and serious initiatives are being put forward by the ministry and hopefully will be solidified within the next month. However, at this stage today we do not know what the outcome of that initiative will be. Essentially that is the reason behind our request for a deferment of the bill.


On a related note, I could perhaps indicate that once we know where we are going with further controls and what the future direction of CFC regulation will be, we will have a better idea of the role the municipality can play in terms of complementing what we are doing. Perhaps we could even assist the city in drafting a bill which would do that and which would allow it to fulfil its potential role in this area and assist us, because we certainly want to encourage any creative solutions with respect to CFC controls. There is no issue on that. There is definitely room for some co-operative and complementary effort. In light of the policy paper which is going forward to the minister within the next few weeks, as a matter of fact, we feel it is premature for the committee at this time to consider the bill.

The Chair: Are there any questions of ministry staff? Mr Sutherland, do you have a question of staff?

Mr Sutherland: No. Actually, I was going to put the motion on the floor right now for deferment.

The Chair: I believe that would be in order.

Mr Sutherland: Once you have a motion on the floor we can have debate on the motion, correct?

The Chair: I appreciate that but I believe it is appropriate to have full discussion with the staff on this presentation.

Ms Foran: It will depend on how long you are going to defer this for. We have been working on it since 1988. The Ministry of the Environment knows that. This is the very first objection. The bill was filed in September. Surely between September and November somebody from the ministry could have said they were bringing in some papers. It is exactly the same situation as you heard on a previous applicant today: We sit back, we wait and more damage occurs to the ozone. If we were going to defer it for two or three weeks and give the ministry the chance to discuss it with us, I would agree to that. But if we are going to defer it -- once the break comes we may be looking at April or May or June. How much more damage can be done in the meantime?

As we said, the problems in the city of Toronto are somewhat different from the problems in the rest of Ontario, but at the same time it would give the government and the ministry some impetus, some plans and some knowledge as to how this would work in the city if it was deferred to December 17 or something like that where we have a goal to work with and the ministry can sit down with us and deal with it, or if there could be a fixed date, but not something two or three years from now. This bill did not proceed any quicker than most bills, if you look at the other bills that were before you today. It was advertised last June. That is six months ago. There has been no acceleration of this bill. It has been around for a long time. We just want to proceed. We would gladly sit down and discuss with the ministry what its concerns are and try to reach some compromises, not for the next meeting but maybe two weeks down the road. We would be glad to do that, but not to put it off for ever.

The Chair: Could we at least have the motion for deferral out on the floor? I believe Ms Foran was responding to the motion for deferral.

Mr Sutherland: I will put a motion on the floor to defer this until March.

Mr Hansen: That is what I was going to say, because if something is not done in the next four weeks, this committee only sits when the House is sitting so it would be the last week of March before we would be back.

Ms Foran: It could probably be back December 17. That is three weeks from today.

Mr Hansen: The ministry said a month.

Ms Foran: I am trying to be as reasonable as I can. I think if you put it off until March it probably will be back here, hearing the ministry's comments at the committee for the first time, which puts me in a very unfair situation because I do not know what the ministry is saying. I heard late yesterday maybe they would ask for a deferral; maybe they would be opposing it. That is not the way to deal with one of the most important pieces of legislation coming before this Legislature.

Mr Hansen: Mr Chair, do you think we could see that we have this back on the agenda for December 17?

The Chair: The motion was to defer to March. Are you wishing to change that?

Mr Sutherland: That is right; the motion is to defer to March.

Mr Sola: I would put an amendment to the motion and make it until December 17th.

Ms Scott: I think the ministry would be in the same position on December 17, asking for a deferral, because of the way the scheduling has been done with respect to meetings with senior levels of the ministry and the minister. It will not be going before the minister, I understand, until December 19, so that really will not be of much assistance to us. I want to make it clear that in no way are we asking for a deferment of consideration of upwards of two to three years. I would wish -- I think I am representing the ministry on this -- that it be heard the first possible instance in the new year. There is no issue about that. Again, I really would like to stress that in light of the uncertainty and some of the major decisions that are going to be made in this area, it would be advantageous for everybody if this deferment was granted.

The Chair: Mr Sola, would you like your amendment to stand?

Mr Sola: Yes, I would. I do not see why this could not serve as a pilot project again to see whether it works and then the final province-wide legislation could have the benefit of the experience that Toronto has had, positive or negative, so that the final bill can be as smooth as possible and easier to implement.

The Chair: Are we ready to vote on Mr Sola's amendment which is to defer until the date of December 17? All those in favour of Mr Sola's amendment? Opposed? Mrs MacKinnon, are you in favour or opposed?

Mrs MacKinnon: It appears that I oppose the amendment.

The Chair: The amendment is defeated.

Motion negatived.

Mr Sola: Is the parliamentary assistant a member of the committee?

The Chair: Yes, otherwise I would have to vote, would I not?

Mr Sola: Right. I wanted to put you on the spot.

The Chair: On the main motion, which is to defer consideration of this bill until the end of March: All those in favour of the motion please signify? Opposed? The motion is defeated.

Mr Sutherland: You said the motion was defeated?

The Chair: I saw three hands raised: Mr Hansen's, Mrs MacKinnon's and Mr Sola's. Could I have a revote please? All those in favour of Mr Sutherland's motion that consideration of this bill be postponed until the end of March please signify. Opposed? Three to two. Thank you.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: I am sorry, Mrs MacKinnon, I thought you had voted to oppose the first time around.

Thank you very much for your presentation. We are adjourned until notice.

The committee adjourned at 1240.