Wednesday 24 November 1993

Region 2, IWA Building Society Act, 1993, Bill Pr 65, Mr Bisson

Gilles Bisson, MPP

David Pouliot, solicitor, IWA Building Society

Children's Oncology Care of Ontario Inc Act, 1993, Bill Pr57, Ms Poole

Dianne Poole, MPP

Deborah Paul-Brent, president, Children's Oncology Care

David Fleet, solicitor, Children's Oncology Care

City of Toronto Act, 1993, Bill Pr45, Ms Akande

Zanana L. Akande, MPP

Betty Disero, councillor, City of Toronto

Ian Maher, planning manager, Parking Authority of Toronto

Dennis Perlin, city solicitor, City of Toronto

York-Durham Heritage Railway Association Act, 1993, Bill Pr64, Mr O'Connor

Larry O'Connor, MPP

Eric Button, counsel and treasurer, York-Durham Heritage Railway Association


*Chair / Présidente: Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente: MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton ND)

*Eddy, Ron (Brant-Haldimand L)

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

*Hansen, Ron (Lincoln ND)

*Hayes, Pat (Essex-Kent ND)

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

*Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND)

O'Neil, Hugh P. (Quinte L)

*Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Paul R. Johnson (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings) for Mr Fletcher

Clerk / Greffière: Grannum, Tonia

Staff / Personnel: Hopkins, Laura, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1006 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr65, An Act to revive Region 2, I.W.A. Building Society.

The Chair (Ms Christel Haeck): Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to call the meeting of the standing committee on regulations and private bills to order. Our first order of business is Bill Pr65, An Act to revive Region 2, I.W.A. Building Society. Mr Bisson, if you would introduce your applicant, please, you have a few brief opening remarks at your disposal.

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): This is on the brief.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Hayes. The applicant can make his remarks.

Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): We have with us today David Pouliot, who's a solicitor for I.W.A. out of Thunder Bay. They have an act in order to revive Region 2 of I.W.A. I'll let Mr Pouliot make comments on that.

Mr David Pouliot: Good morning. The private bill that we're proposing revives Region 2, I.W.A. benefit society. The corporation was dissolved by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations on January 27, 1987. The Corporations Act permits a revival of a corporation within five years of the date of dissolution, and that wasn't done. The dissolution was for the reason that the appropriate information notices hadn't been filed. The reason for that is simple inadvertence.

The corporation has to be revived because there is a significant asset that is registered in the name of the corporation. That's a building that the union owns on Weston Road here in Toronto. In order to deal with that building they require the benefit society to be revived. That's the reason for the application before this committee. It's the only way the benefit society can be revived, since we're out of the five-year limitation period for reviving the corporation under the Corporations Act.

The Chair: Very good. I will turn to Mr Hayes at this point. Oh, excuse me; I'm ahead of myself.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): This has nothing to do with the new IWA, does it?

The Chair: No. Would one of you like to translate the acronym just so that it's on the record?

Mr Bisson: It's the International Woodworkers of America.

The Chair: I thought it might be.

Now I will ask if there are any other interested parties in the audience who would like to come forward. Seeing no rushing forward, I will ask Mr Hayes, as the parliamentary assistant for Municipal Affairs, if he has any comments to make.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not have any objections to this bill.

The Chair: Are the members ready to ask some questions?

Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): I'm ready to say that we should go ahead and revive this bill. I don't think there's any question. I think if we get into a long discussion on it, it would be a waste of the committee's time, unless any other committee members have any questions.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): Speaking on behalf of all of the opposition --

The Chair: I know you can do that singlehandedly.

Mr David Johnson: -- I offer my support.

The Chair: Very good, Mr Johnson.

Mr Bisson: And speaking on behalf of all the proponents, we offer our support. It's a tripartite agreement.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Bisson. As a result of that, I will pose the question. Are the members ready to vote? Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

The deed is done. Thank you very much for coming.


Consideration of Bill Pr57, An Act respecting Children's Oncology Care of Ontario Inc.

The Chair: I'd like to call forward the sponsor, Ms Poole, for Bill Pr57, An Act respecting Children's Oncology Care of Ontario Inc., and the applicants. Ms Poole, would you like to introduce first and then make some opening remarks with regard to the application.

Ms Dianne Poole (Eglinton): Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the committee. First of all, I would like to introduce, to my immediate right, Deborah Paul-Brent. Deborah is president of Children's Oncology Care of Ontario Inc. To Deborah's immediate right is David Fleet, a former colleague from the Legislature with whom I'm sure you're familiar. David is the solicitor for Children's Oncology Care of Ontario.

Children's Oncology Care of Ontario Inc was established in 1979 as a non-profit organization that would be responsible for the operation of Ronald McDonald House. I know that all members of the committee are familiar with the very fine work of Ronald McDonald House and how it has made it possible for the parents and families of children with cancer to actually stay with their children when they're undergoing this gruelling experience. Their work has become renowned not only in Ontario and Canada but throughout the world.

There was the first Ronald McDonald House established in Toronto in 1981, and now a second Ronald McDonald House has been established. At the time of the first Ronald McDonald House, Susan Fish introduced a bill exempting Ronald McDonald House, as a charity, from the taxation. This is what we're doing today, to exempt the second Ronald McDonald House.

As far as I'm aware, there are no objections. This has been approved by both the city of Toronto and the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. I believe Deborah would like to make a few comments about Children's Oncology Care of Ontario and Ronald McDonald House.

Ms Deborah Paul-Brent: Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the committee. Toronto's Ronald McDonald House has operated as part of Toronto's health care community since 1981, providing accommodation and support to thousands of out-of-town families. These children are receiving treatment for cancer in Toronto hospitals. Toronto's Ronald McDonald House provides services to families residing outside the Toronto area, and at the same time other Ronald McDonald houses worldwide care for Ontario families should they travel to other centres for medical procedures. Toronto's Ronald McDonald House provides services to families from all over the world, but the majority of families who stay at a Ronald house come from northern and southwestern Ontario. The charge for accommodation is $10 a night and is often waived.

About five years ago, the Hospital for Sick Children identified a need to provide the same accommodation and support to families of children receiving treatment for all other life-threatening illnesses. This need arose from the ability of the hospital to provide new procedures, such as organ transplants.

Children's Oncology Care of Ontario, COCO, which owns and operates Toronto's Ronald McDonald House, responded to this need by obtaining the Gerrard Street property to construct a 22-bedroom facility which will accommodate an additional 500 families a year, including 100 cancer families who are currently being turned away.

The expansion to 26 Gerrard Street East will also enable COCO to create a drop-in centre for the use of families from the greater Toronto area, offering a valuable network of support from our volunteers and the other families they can meet who are facing similar challenges.

COCO has been fortunate to receive a grant of $20,000 towards the establishment of this drop-in centre from the city of Toronto health care fund. The Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital all recognize Ronald McDonald House as a partner in the Toronto health care community.

Because we facilitate its delivery of services, Ronald McDonald House is able to accommodate outpatients, enabling doctors to release their patients sooner, knowing they will receive ongoing support close to the hospital upon their release, thus freeing up beds sooner and shortening waiting lists. This benefit flows down to all Ontario residents seeking the services these hospitals provide.

Toronto's Ronald McDonald House has always received grass-roots support from merchants and organizations, such as schools, church groups, service clubs and sports associations all across Ontario, which hold dances, tournaments, bake sales and bazaars to assist with the operating costs of the house. The capital campaign has also attracted the support of many corporations such as Wood Gundy, Coca-Cola Canada, Nestlé, Sun Life, Prudential, Colgate-Palmolive, Rogers Cable, Bell Canada and all the major Canadian banks.

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada is our largest donor but does not generally contribute to operating costs. Its contribution is limited to the capital costs of each new Ronald McDonald House constructed.

In conclusion, I wish to convey that during its 12 years of operation Toronto's Ronald McDonald House has gained the respect of the major treatment centres in Toronto, which have come to recognize and depend on it as an integral part of the Toronto health care community. The past generous and largely unsolicited support we have received from individuals and organizations throughout Ontario can only reflect the sentiment that Ronald McDonald House is regarded as a credit to the province, providing a unique and much-needed service to families facing the challenge of a lifetime.

I wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank the city of Toronto and Metro for their past recognition and generous support of the Toronto house since its inception. I wish to thank the committee for this opportunity to tell you about Ronald McDonald House.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Paul. Mr Fleet, did you have some comments to make at this time?

Mr David Fleet: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman. I will try to be brief. I'll deal with the more technical aspects. The bill that is before you is a replication of the previous bill that was passed by the Legislature. It has met with approval after considerable discussion among representatives of the city and of the ministry and legislative counsel. We're obliged to each of those groups and those representatives for their assistance. I know that Mr Dennis Perlin, who is counsel for the city of Toronto, is present and I want to also thank him for his assistance.

There is an amendment, which perhaps now is being circulated, that will deal with making the power of the city to pass the bylaw retroactive to the 1st of the current year. I understand Mr Johnson has agreed to put that amendment, and we thank him for that.

This bill is designed to permit the municipality to pass a bylaw for an exemption. As such, it complies with the usual criteria that the ministry has. I've spoken briefly with Mr Hayes at the start of today's proceeding and I understand they're in agreement so that the tax exemption is actually implemented by bylaw, and this bill gives authority to the city to pass such a bylaw. As the compendium notes, Metro Toronto and the city have both dealt with the issue in council and approved of it. We've also, of course, given notice to the school board.

I would be pleased, if you have any technical questions, to do my best to respond to them. Again, thank you for the opportunity to address you.

Mrs Ellen MacKinnon (Lambton): Maybe you're going to put this under the category of a technical question. I just wondered if you could please explain subsection 3(5) to me, "If land is substituted for the land described in an agreement made under subsection (1)...." It looks to me like you could divest yourself of the land that you're looking at now and get some substituted land.

Mr Fleet: Yes.


Mrs MacKinnon: What is the purpose of that particular paragraph?

Mr Fleet: The purpose is, I suppose, to avoid unnecessarily coming back to the Legislature in the unlikely event that there was, for some reason, a shift of the location. That might happen. The only thing I can think of that's even likely at all -- it's not very likely at that -- would be, for instance, because there was a municipal need to take the land, you do a swap and you've got another piece of land.

There are no plans to have anything other than Ronald McDonald House number two operate where it is, as it is, literally indefinitely. But that was the reason for that. It permits the parties to deal with the concept that's approved under the bill without coming back to the Legislature and incurring the time and expense. It's exactly the same as the provisions contained in the earlier bill and, I believe, in fact previously in other private bills before this body where you've got exemptions.

Mrs MacKinnon: Did I understand you correctly, that this would only be effected by the municipality; it would not be effected by the fact that Ronald McDonald House might wish to substitute some of the land?

Mr Fleet: You'd have to have agreement. I know there are no plans to do anything of that sort in the short, medium or long term. Of course, lawyers draw these things up in order to try to catch every conceivable eventuality. But if for some reason there is a need to change -- say, there is a desire to expropriate that location on the part of the city and Ronald McDonald House doesn't want to lose its ability to provide a service to needy parents; I say "needy" in the sense of the health and emotional needs as well as the financial ones -- then this permits that to take place in the ordinary course without coming back to the Legislature and seeking an amendment, because the concept would be identical. There would be no difference in concept.

Mrs MacKinnon: I think I understand what it is you're saying. This is just a portion of some lands that surround where you wish to put the new Ronald McDonald House, correct, not the entire land?

Mr Fleet: There is a building with land. It's all of that plot. It's not like there's excess land somewhere; there's no spare land. There's no development potential, if I can put it that way, that I'm aware of. In fact, there are other provisions in this that, for instance -- again, this isn't really conceivable from the point of view of Ronald McDonald House -- in order to provide a measure of assurance and protection from the city's point of view, if for some reason it was sold, then there's a provision that causes a retroactive 10-year immediate obligation to pay taxes. It's a heck of a bang if somebody went to do it. In fact, that even kicks in if they lease the property or a portion of the property. That's an effective way of making sure that the organization does exactly as it says it's going to do. Nobody really doubts that. It's put in as a matter of pro forma, as I understand it, as a routine that the city does so that effectively there's no other function that will ever take place on this property.

Mrs MacKinnon: I'm afraid it's a little too technical for me.

Mr Fleet: That's part of the reason I'm here. It is difficult in terms of the legal ramifications.

The Chair: Thank you, both to Mr Fleet and Mrs MacKinnon. I don't see any other questions at this time, but I will ask if there are any other interested parties in the audience who may wish to come forward at this time. Seeing none, I will ask the parliamentary assistant for any comments and concerns.

Mr Hayes: The applicant meets the criteria and the city of Toronto and Metro Toronto support this application. Therefore, we have no objections to it.

The Chair: I would like to ask if there are any further questions.

Mr David Johnson: Just to indicate that I think this is a wonderful example of governments and the private sector working together, where you have the local council -- the city of Toronto -- Metropolitan Toronto council, the province of Ontario and the corporate sector working together for a very worthy objective. It must be a big assistance in terms of having the children close to their parents. I'm sure it assists quite greatly in the treatment they get.

I'm pleased to support this application and I'm also pleased, Madam Chairman, with your guidance, to place the amendment at the appropriate time.

The Chair: We have a comment yet from Mr Eddy, and when we get through the reading of the sections, we'll stop at the appropriate point for you to make the amendment.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): Just briefly, I want to add my support. Although I apologize for not being here for the total presentation, I'm well aware of the operation of McDonald House and am complimentary to and do support the bill.

The Chair: I'm quite sure we're all well aware of the good work they've been doing, and it's a nice briefing package as well. Thank you very much for that.

Seeing no further questions, I will ask if the members are ready to vote. Agreed.

Shall section 1 carry? Carried.

Mr David Johnson: I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

"Retroactive bylaw

"(3) The bylaw may be retroactive to January 1, 1993."

The Chair: All those in favour of the motion to amend? Agreed.

All those in favour of section 2, as amended? Agreed.

Shall sections 3 through 6 carry? Carried.

Shall the schedule carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill as amended carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr David Johnson: I believe there's a motion that would be appropriate with regard to the Children's Oncology Care of Ontario on waiving the printing fees, because it is a charitable organization. I'm not sure of the precise wording, but I know you'll bear with me. The Children's Oncology Care of Ontario has just been given exemption of its taxes. Being a charitable organization we're all very supportive of, I'm sure we would be prepared to waive the printing costs for its application. I would so move.

The Chair: Are all the members in favour of waiving the printing costs for the Ronald McDonald House, Pr57? Agreed.

The work is done, Ms Poole. A quick comment from you?

Ms Poole: On behalf of the Children's Oncology Care of Ontario Inc, I would just like to very much thank the committee for its support and let you know that Ronald McDonald House II is opening its doors next week, so your support is particularly timely.

The Chair: Very good. I know they will continue to do all that good work. Thank you very much.


Consideration of Bill Pr45, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

The Chair: Good morning, Ms Akande. I would like to ask you, acting as the sponsor for Bill Pr45, An Act respecting the City of Toronto, if you would introduce the deputants, the applicants, and then make any remarks that are necessary to get this rolling.

Ms Zanana L. Akande (St Andrew-St Patrick): Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I have with me this morning city councillor Betty Disero and city solicitor Dennis Perlin. They are here this morning to present the bill to this committee

I'm pleased to be able to introduce to the standing committee this morning the proposed City of Toronto Act, Bill Pr45, designed to allow the council for the city of Toronto to pass bylaws authorizing the Parking Authority of Toronto to enter into agreements with any person for the management and operation of parking facilities on lands or in structures located within or outside the city of Toronto on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the person and the authority. I will ask that they continue in its explanation.


The Chair: Very good. Ms Disero, if you'd like to, on behalf of the city, open up conversation or a dialogue, whatever we have, this is obviously something we've had some passing knowledge of.

Ms Betty Disero: Great. Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the committee. Thank you so much for hearing this bill this morning. Unfortunately Mayor Rowlands is unable to be here. She's probably stuck in a room with no windows, with her sleeves rolled up, working on how to cut budgets and cut spending for the city of Toronto --

Mr Mills: Good; sounds familiar.

Ms Disero: -- in order to try to keep the taxes this year down to a zero increase. It's a very difficult task for her, so she's unable to be here this morning and sends her regrets.

I'm here this morning very strongly supportive of this bill and to urge you to support the bill for a couple of reasons. The Toronto parking authority has been one of the -- maybe the only -- profitable authorities or companies that the city has that actually makes money. Last year I guess they made a profit of over $4 million. This year they anticipate coming in over $5 million. They are a good revenue generator for the city of Toronto.

On occasion, because they do operate very affordable lots that are probably the best maintained in the city of Toronto, they are asked by various people who own properties in the city of Toronto to operate lots for them on their behalf. Quite often, what happens at that point is that the same property owners, and sometimes even others, come to the Toronto parking authority and ask it to oversee lots in other municipalities. At this point the Toronto parking authority is unable to do that but would like the opportunity to be able to operate on a private owner's behalf in other municipalities, with the consent of course of the local municipality. So we're here today to ask for that consent. North York I believe already has a similar situation in place, so we're asking this morning for you to allow us to do that as well.

Dennis Perlin is here and is happy to speak to you and answer questions, and Ian Maher from the Toronto parking authority is also here if you have any questions for him.

The Chair: Very good. Any initial comments that you'd wish to make at this point, Mr Perlin?

Mr Dennis Perlin: Councillor Disero I believe said all that had to be said in terms of the bill unless there are questions.

Mr Hansen: I would just say that we went through this with North York and we didn't have a problem. We supported North York on this and I don't have a problem supporting this bill.

Mr David Johnson: I guess it was the North York bill I was thinking of earlier. I don't really have a problem with this either, but it's just that when you mentioned that other municipalities may ask you to operate within their boundaries, it twigged my memory that in fact you do operate one in the borough of East York. I wonder how that happened.

Ms Disero: The situation there is that what we're allowed to do by law is that if Metro owns the lot, we can operate on behalf of Metro. So Metro probably is the owner of the property in that parking lot you're talking about. But this is to allow the Toronto parking authority to operate lots for private owners.

Mr David Johnson: I don't think so. This isn't a trust company.

Mr Ian Maher: What happened on that site -- it's at Bayview Avenue and Millwood Road.

Mr David Johnson: That's right.

Mr Maher: Because of the lack of ability in the legislation, at that time the parking authority had to arrange for Metro to purchase the property from Canada Trust. We entered into a lease agreement with them, a 25-year prepaid lease agreement. So Metro in fact owns the property, but the parking authority has paid for it and operates the lot.

Mr Eddy: I think this is a much better way to do it, to have the legislation, and being in favour of more parking, I'm prepared to support the bill.

Mr Anthony Perruzza (Downsview): Just a quick question: Do you have any deals already in the works outside your city limits that you're pursuing, or is it just that you're looking for the right in case something happens to come along at some point down the road? If you do have any sort of prospective deals, where?

Mr Perlin: We don't have any at the moment. We've had requests in the past, as Councillor Disero said. At the moment there are none on the table, but we've had requests in the past, and once the city of North York made the breakthrough, we've now decided to come in and seek similar authority so that we too can do that which North York does.

Mr Perruzza: Competition is wonderful.

Mr Perlin: Exactly.

The Chair: I have the obligation to ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward to speak on this particular bill. Seeing none, I will turn to the parliamentary assistant and ask him if there are any comments from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs has no objections to this application.

The Chair: May I ask the members at this point if they are ready to vote? Agreed.

Regarding Bill Pr45, shall sections 1 through 4 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Very good. This is a very fast passage in comparison to our previous encounter. We'll hope they're all like this.

Mr Perlin: No vendors with us this week.

Mr Mills: I think he should get a per diem, Madam Chair.

The Chair: I told him we're going to reserve a seat for him.


Consideration of Bill Pr64, An Act respecting York-Durham Heritage Railway Association.

The Chair: Mr O'Connor, you and your group have been most patient. Would you introduce the applicants for Bill Pr64, An Act respecting York-Durham Heritage Railway Association.

Mr Larry O'Connor (Durham-York): It's indeed a pleasure to be at this point today before the committee bringing forward this bill. It's something that the communities of Stouffville and Uxbridge are very excited about and it's something that's been long awaited. We'll, I'm sure, hear a little bit more about that. If you'll allow me to introduce the solicitor for the York-Durham Heritage Railway Association, Eric Button, perhaps he can introduce a couple of the association members here for this very historic day for our community.

The Chair: Mr Button, if you'd continue.

Mr Eric Button: Thank you, Mr O'Connor, Madam Chair, members of the committee. I'm not only the counsel; I'm also the treasurer of the association. On my immediate right is Rob Paré, the president of the association. On his right is Ken Harding, the secretary of the association.

This is indeed a big step for us. Perhaps I can give you just a brief background of the association. We've been in existence approximately nine years. We are incorporated under section 3 of the Business Corporations Act, which means we are a non-share, non-profit association. Our main goal is to develop a heritage railway, not only a tourist train but a historic setting, in both Uxbridge and Stouffville to attract tourists to the area.

We at present have equipment. We have a passenger car and caboose. Canadian National Railways has just donated a second passenger car to us. We expect, through one of our members from Canadian Pacific, to receive a donation of a diesel locomotive within the next two months and, through one of our other contacts, we also are right in the middle of negotiations and it's quite likely that we will receive a donation of a second diesel locomotive, hopefully in the near future.


The main thing we've been waiting for over the last two years is that Canadian National abandoned the rail line that runs between Stouffville and Uxbridge. The Ontario government, through GO Transit, has been negotiating with CN. It's taken a couple of years, but the transfer of the land has taken place. The actual deed was registered on September 30, so we are now proceeding.

We have been dealing with GO Transit over the past six months. There isn't a signed agreement yet, but everything appears to be in order. Other than the usual concerns of liability insurance and proper operating equipment, there do not appear to be any concerns. we certainly appear to be on track, if you'll pardon the pun on that.

As I said, we've been in existence for about nine years, and through our various fund-raising activities we have quite a number, approximately 150 people, who not only are assisting us at this point but also have volunteered to help us in our endeavours, everyone from railway engineers to mechanics and contractors. It's been quite a wonderful experience for us to see the number of people who volunteer their support and assistance to us.

Perhaps I could turn briefly to the reason for this bill. I'll apologize to counsel. One of the interesting quirks of the law of Ontario is that when we incorporated under the Business Corporations Act, or the Ontario corporations act, that act has right in it that the company cannot incorporate in order to construct or work a railway. It leaves us, shall we say, out in the cold.

Over the past few years, the accepted practice has become that what we do is incorporate under the Business Corporations Act, or the Ontario corporations act, but to have on our articles of incorporation that our objects are to hold railway equipment or develop railway equipment but not to operate a railway. We then have to go through this next step, have a private member's bill, which basically is that we're incorporated by a special act and, notwithstanding those certain sections of the Ontario corporations act, we can operate a railway. That's really the first major step for us to go through.

From there the regulating body, the Ontario Municipal Board, takes over and regulates the actual operations of the railway.

The Chair: I will ask if there are any interested parties. Seeing really no one else in the room, other than some ministry staff, I think it would be fair to say that there are no objections from other members of the public with regard to this bill.

I will now turn to the parliamentary assistant and ask him to provide us any information regarding the ministries.

Mr Hayes: I understand that MTO, for example, doesn't have any objections, and this ministry doesn't have any objections. Also, due to the fact that Mr O'Connor seemed to be so enthusiastic about this application, I don't think we'll object to it at all. We'll support the application.

The Chair: I would ask if there are any questions among the members of the committee at this point.

Mr Hansen: I'm going to support this bill because there have been a lot of short rails in Ontario that are being saved by groups like this. I think we'll lose all the heritage of steam and the old diesel here in Ontario, so I'll support this bill.

The Chair: I believe there is one amendment which has been circulated. Mr Mills will handle that.

Mr Mills: Paragraph 1 --

The Chair: No, no. It just has to go through --

Mr Mills: Oh, you're not ready yet.

The Chair: No, we have a couple of pieces of business to take care of first. Did you have a question, Mr Johnson?

Mr David Johnson: No, no more questions. Let's hope you meet your objectives. Good luck.

The Chair: Very good. Are the members ready to vote?

Shall sections 1 through 10 carry? Carried.

Section 11, Mr Mills?

Mr Mills: I have an amendment. I move that paragraph 1 of section 11 be struck out and the following substituted:

"1. An accident or incident that affects the safe operation of the railway or the safety of the railway's property."

That amendment, I believe, is self-explanatory.

The Chair: All those in favour of the amendment that's been put forward? Agreed.

All those in favour of section 11, as amended? Agreed.

Shall sections 12 through 14 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Gentlemen, your work is done at this point. There is probably lots more work that you have to do.

Mr Button: Madam Chair, if I may, we're a fully volunteer organization and we rely upon the support, encouragement and help from people from the community. First of all, I thank Susan Klein and Tonia Grannum for their assistance through this; they've been most helpful and most friendly. Particularly, I want to thank Larry O'Connor. His friendly face, support, help and encouragement throughout the last two years have been wonderful. Larry, thank you very much.


Mr Button: He has friends in the railway.

The Chair: We need friends everywhere.

Mr O'Connor: Just to add, not to the praise but to the people who have worked on this railway, it's really had a lot of hard work and a lot of hours put into it. In fact, their volunteer network has cleaned up the existing railway bed that they're going to operate on. They had on many occasions wonderful events within the community. You can see a miniature railroad, which my son just loves, and for a loonie you can have a ride.

They dismantled this little railroad and they carted it all around the area. It can be found at Bruce's Mill conservation area one time and for a loonie -- this is how they raise their funds -- or it can be found at the Steam Show in Uxbridge or a county fair. It's just incredible. Really, there was an awful lot of work done by this association and it certainly is something that is driven by the community. Both councils, Uxbridge and Stouffville, fully support this, and hopefully it will bring an economic benefit to all the community. It certainly is a pleasure to be here.

The Chair: As someone who has had the opportunity to, on occasion, ride on some reconstructed lines and antique rail lines, where my husband, being a rail enthusiast, can indulge those interests, I have to say I wish you a lot of success in your endeavour. For those of us who do get a chance to see other parts of Ontario, if we get to your neck of the woods when it's running, I'm quite sure my husband and I will be very happy to travel your rails.

Mr Button: We're only an hour away from here.

The Chair: We live at the other end of the peninsula. We don't get out of the peninsula as often as we would like. Thank you very much for coming before us and having a pleasant time talking about railways. Thank you to the members and thank you, Mr Perruzza. We'll move adjournment.


Mr David Johnson: It was a point that occurred to me as we were discussing it, but it's been brought to my attention again that this is a charitable organization, and normally in this situation we do waive the printing costs because we're very supportive of the objective. I'd be happy to move that, but I think Mr Mills has been making this motion, if he would like to make that motion.

The Chair: Mr Mills, would you like to formally move that, then?

Mr Mills: Yes, I formally move the intent to waive charges.

The Chair: Any further comments or questions?

Mr Paul R. Johnson (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings): Having had a number of heritage rail organizations and similar organizations come forward, I would like to know if in the past we have printed their bills for free.

The Chair: The information that I can give you is that where it is a charitable organization and it makes application to do so, basically in a similar manner to this, it has been done.

Mr Paul Johnson: Because I would not want to think that we have in the past excluded the opportunity for some non-profit organizations.

The Chair: It has even been done retroactively.

Mr Paul Johnson: Very good.

Mr Mills: Madam Chair, on another issue -

The Chair: We haven't carried that or voted on that, though.

Mr Mills: Oh, I'm sorry. I beg your pardon. I'm always in a hurry.

The Chair: Mr Perruzza?

Mr Perruzza: I'm in favour.

The Chair: All right. All those in favour of that particular motion to waive the printing costs? It is unanimously carried.

Mr Button: Thank you very much.

The Chair: Mr Mills has one other point of business.

Mr Mills: On another point, Madam Chair, I received this first report and it says, "Please bring to the committee." I'm just wondering, if I was told to bring it to the committee, it would lead me to believe there was going to be some discussion on it, or is there not?

The Chair: That's for next week.

Mr Mills: Oh, I'm a week ahead of myself.

The Chair: You're ahead of the game. Mr Perruzza, you have raised your hand?

Mr Perruzza: I move adjournment.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Perruzza. The committee is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1050