Wednesday 22 June 1994

Heritage Baptist College and Heritage Theological Seminary Act, 1994, Bill Pr60, Mr Winninger

David Winninger, MPP

David Brander, solicitor, Central Baptist Seminary and Bible College and London Baptist Bible College

Electrical Construction Association of Hamilton Inc Act, 1994, Bill Pr126, Mr Abel

Ron Hansen, MPP

Paul Milne, solicitor, Electrical Construction Association of Hamilton Inc

Namdhari Sangat Canada (Society) Ont. Act, 1994, Bill Pr110, Mr Marchese

Ron Hansen, MPP

David Jebb, solicitor, Namdhari Sangat Canada (Society) Ont.

Township of Sidney Act, 1994, Bill Pr123, Mr O'Neil, T-350

Hugh O'Neil, MPP

Michael Bowman, solicitor, Trent Severn Power Corp

Fred Brooks, councillor, township of Sidney

Jim Pine, chief administrative officer, township of Sidney

Lions Club of Kingsville Act, 1994, Bill Pr125, Mr Crozier

Bruce Crozier, MPP

Karl Melinz, member and past president, Lions Club of Kingsville

Tyler Puddy, solicitor, Lions Club of Kingsville

City of Scarborough Act (Smoking By-Law), 1994, Bill Pr101, Mr Frankford

Robert Frankford, MPP

Vicki Beardemphl, representative, Scarborough hotel association

Sharon Delurey, tobacco-use prevention coordinator, city of Scarborough

Tom Friedland, legal counsel, Club Bingo

David Harris, vice-president, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Paul Oliver, president, Ontario Restaurant Association

Steven O'Melia, solicitor, city of Scarborough

Township of Seymour Act, 1994, Bill Pr124, Mrs Fawcett

Joan Fawcett, MPP

Raymond Mikkola, legal counsel, Algonquin Power Corp

City of Windsor Act, 1994, Bill Pr122, Mr Dadamo

George Dadamo, MPP

Al Kellerman, solicitor, city of Windsor

Thomas Lynd, city clerk, city of Windsor

Town of Dresden Act, 1994, Bill Pr127, Mr Hope

Randy Hope, MPP

County of Lambton Act, 1994, Bill Pr113, Mrs MacKinnon

Ellen MacKinnon, MPP

Robert Krieg, director of libraries, county of Lambton

Ronald Van Horne, solicitor, county of Lambton

City of Ottawa Act, 1994, Bill Pr28, Mr Grandmaître

Bernard Grandmaître, MPP

Jerald Bellomo, deputy city solicitor, city of Ottawa

Brian Smith, coordinator, parks and trees maintenance, city of Ottawa

J.G. Taylor Community Centre Inc. Act, 1994, Bill Pr117, Mr Hope

Randy Hope, MPP


*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)

*Hodgson, Chris (Victoria-Haliburton 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:

Johnson, Paul R. (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings/Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings-Sud ND)

for Mr Mills

McGuinty, Dalton (Ottawa South/-Sud L) for Mr Ruprecht

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND) for Mr Perruzza

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Winninger, David, parliamentary assistant to Attorney General

and to minister responsible for native affairs

Ministry of Finance:

Caines, Bob, senior manager, industrial and special properties section

Dennis, John, economist, taxation policy branch

Ministry of Municipal Affairs:

Hayes, Pat, parliamentary assistant to the minister

Melville, Tom, solicitor, legal services branch

Skinner, Ron, manager, taxation policy

Ministry of Transportation:

Dadamo, George, parliamentary assistant to the minister

Ferguson, David, manager, public transportation office

Clerk / Greffière: Grannum, Tonia

Staff / Personnel: Mifsud, Lucinda, legislative counsel

The committee met at 0943 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr60, An Act to incorporate Heritage Baptist College and Heritage Theological Seminary.

The Chair (Ms Christel Haeck): We've changed our usual time, so that may have led to some confusion for some presenters. I ask Mr Winninger to bring forward his applicant on Bill Pr60, An Act to incorporate Heritage Baptist College and Heritage Theological Seminary.

Mr David Winninger (London South): I'm here with Mr David Brander, of the distinguished London law firm of Little and Wright, who represents the applicant, to speak to second reading of An Act to incorporate the Heritage Baptist College and Heritage Theological Seminary.

I expect that Mr Brander may have a few additional remarks and may be able to answer any questions that may arise, but I just thought I'd say by way of introduction, and you can see this in the preamble:

"Central Baptist Seminary and Bible College and London Baptist Bible College and London Baptist Seminary have been operating as one institution since January 1, 1993 and have applied for special legislation to continue under the name `Heritage Baptist College and Heritage Theological Seminary' as an institution for religious education that" grants "degrees in the field of religious study. The applicants" indicate "that they have been operating seminaries for the education and training of students preparing for Christian work at home and abroad since they were incorporated."

We're basically looking at what is in the nature, I believe, of an amalgamation and name change here.

Mr David Brander: My name is David Brander. I'm from the law firm of Little and Wright in London, solicitors for both applicants.

There are two applicants, Central Baptist Seminary and Bible College and London Baptist Bible College. Both of these are long-standing bible colleges. Central Baptist has operated in Toronto and was incorporated by letters patent in 1949 and then by a private bill in 1984. It ceased its operation in Toronto at the time the operations were combined with London Baptist in 1993 and now operates from the London campus. London Baptist was incorporated in 1976 by letters patent and then by private bill in 1981 when it became degree-granting.

The nature of the bill that's before you is in a sense housekeeping in order to maintain the degree-granting status of the colleges. To amalgamate their operations, it was necessary to obtain a new private bill and to rescind the existing bills.

The required advertising has been completed, of course, and no objections have been received by either the colleges themselves or by our office. The bill attempts to address the interests of past students and graduates in its transitional provisions by providing that their degrees and credits will be recognized.

Finally, I ask for a motion for remission of the printing costs on this bill, because both applicants are charitable organizations and the new corporation will be as well.

The Chair: Any amendments or motions will be presented by one of the members as we go through the proceedings. I understand from my own notes that at least to this point there have been no persons or groups in opposition, but I am required by our procedures to ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward at this time. Seeing none, we're safe to say there are no other speakers from the audience at this time.

I have a couple of people who wish to ask questions, but first I'll turn to Mr Hayes if there are any comments from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on this matter.

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this bill.

Mrs Ellen MacKinnon (Lambton): I suppose this is perhaps a very moot point, but I noticed when Mr Winninger read out the preamble, he said "one institution since January 1, 1993." In our bill, or my bill at any rate, it says, "July 1." I just wondered for the sake of Hansard if we should maybe make some correction there.

Mr Brander: The "January 1" was a typographical error in a previous draft of the bill and the correct date is July 1, 1993.

Mrs MacKinnon: I'm not trying to be picky, but for the sake of Hansard I thought it should maybe be right.

Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): The government will support this bill, and we can get on with the voting.

The Chair: Very good. I would then put the question. Are members ready to vote? Agreed.

Since there are no amendments, shall sections 1 through 19 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.

Mr Hansen: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr60.

The Chair: All those in favour? Any opposed? None. Carried unanimously.



Consideration of Bill Pr126, An Act to revive Electrical Construction Association of Hamilton Inc Act.

The Chair: Our next order of business is to call Bill Pr126; Mr Paul Milne, solicitor. I suspect Mr Abel has another meeting, so I would ask Mr Hansen to introduce the applicant at this point.

Mr Hansen: I'd like to introduce Bill Pr126 to the committee here, if Mr Paul Milne, a solicitor, wouldn't mind giving some background on it for the committee.

Mr Paul Milne: I act for the Electrical Construction Association of Hamilton Inc, which was incorporated in September 1982. In 1986, the various construction associations and contracting associations in Hamilton moved to their new premises at Construction House. They all joined together in owning the new facility, which is actually quite a beautiful facility in York Street.

Through inadvertence, the necessary notice to the ministry of the change of address of the registered head office of the corporation was not filed. It is a non-share capital corporation incorporated under the Corporations Act. The notices to file the special notice under the Corporations Act were forwarded to the previous address.

Unfortunately, they went astray and somehow didn't reach our client at its new address. Through an odd circumstance, the ministry, as a matter of courtesy, also sent a notice to the president. The president also moved at the same time and, through inadvertence, that notice wasn't given to the ministry. Unfortunately, it wasn't discovered until the fall of 1993 and it was beyond the period to revive the corporation.

It is very important that this bill be passed because of the importance of preserving all the union contracts and also its interest in Construction House, which otherwise will escheat to the crown. We would appreciate it very much if this bill could be passed by this committee.

The Chair: Do any other interested parties wish to come forward? Seeing none, Mr Hayes, are you aware of any concerns about this bill?

Mr Hayes: No, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not have any objections to this bill.

The Chair: Any questions or comments by members?

Mrs MacKinnon: Yes, I find it a bit -- I don't know what to call it -- amusing that so much of your mail went astray, but maybe it shouldn't be amusing; maybe it's a symptom of our mail system.

Mr Milne: Madam, if I may say, I don't wish to blame the mails. It's most unfortunate this has happened and we really don't have an explanation of what happened to the notices. They were certainly forwarded.

Mrs MacKinnon: Oh, I'm not blaming you.

The Chair: At this point, seeing no other questioners, are members prepared to vote on this bill? Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Agreed.

Shall the preamble carry? Agreed.

Shall the title carry? Agreed.

Shall the bill carry? Agreed.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.


Consideration of Bill Pr110, An Act to revive Namdhari Sangat Canada (Society) Ont.

The Chair: If Mr Hansen would do double duty again and act on behalf of Mr Marchese, our next order of business will be in relation to Bill Pr110. Would the representatives please come forward.

Mr Hansen: In substituting for Rosario Marchese, the MPP, I'd like to introduce David Jebb, the solicitor.

Mr David Jebb: My name is David Jebb. I am a solicitor with the law firm of Levy and Jebb and I'm representing Namdhari Sangat Canada (Society) Ont.

This is a bill to revive the corporation. The corporation was incorporated in 1983. It is a religious organization and is a branch of the Sikh faith. The organization's head office changed subsequent to its incorporation and the directors failed to advise the companies branch. The special notice was sent out to be completed and returned and it was never received and, as a result, the corporation was dissolved.

It was only subsequently, in 1993, that the organization became aware it was even dissolved. Up until that time they had been filing whatever was necessary with the federal taxation people. This bill is before you in order to revive this charitable organization.

The Chair: I would ask at this point if there are any interested parties who wish to come forward to speak to this bill. Seeing none, I would ask Mr Hayes from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to give us any additional information about this bill.

Mr Hayes: Actually, there's a letter here from the Ministry of Finance stating it has no objections, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has no objections either.

The Chair: At this point, I would ask if there are any questions on behalf of the members. None. It seems like it's pro forma.

At this point, I would ask if members are prepared to vote. Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 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.

Mrs MacKinnon: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr110, An Act to revive Namdhari Sangat Canada (Society) Ont. Please forgive my pronunciation.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs MacKinnon. I think we've both made the same mistakes and we apologize collectively.

All those in favour of the motion, as presented, please indicate. Any opposed? Seeing none, it's carried.

Thank you, Mr Jebb, and thank you to the other presenters who are here this morning.

I would ask for a quick recess while we ascertain if our next applicant is here. Mr Crozier is here. We are wondering if the Lions Club is here. Other than that, we'd have to put it aside for a while, so we'll just ascertain that.

The committee recessed from 1000 to 1004.


Consideration of Bill Pr123, An Act respecting the Township of Sidney

The Chair: I'd like to call the committee back to order, please. I would call, as our next order of business, Bill Pr123. I would ask Mr O'Neil to join his delegation at the available mikes and, when appropriate, to make his introductions and presentation.

Mr Hugh O'Neil (Quinte): It's my pleasure to sponsor Bill Pr123, An Act respecting the Township of Sidney. For the members of the committee, this private member's bill deals with a proposal by the township of Sidney to construct an electric power -- not to the township of Sidney, but there will be constructed an electric power generating station within Sidney township, located on the Trent River. The project will be explained, and any other details.

I'd like to introduce Michael Bowman, who is the solicitor for the Trent Severn Power Corp, Mr Fred Brooks, who is a councillor with Sidney township, and Mr Jim Pine, who is the chief administrative officer for Sidney township. Mr John Campbell will take this chair in just one minute, and he is the president of the Trent Severn company.

Mr Michael Bowman: Thank you for hearing us this morning. Our purpose today is to come and ask this committee for support for private bill Pr123. We understand that there is a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs which does not recommend support, but I would ask you to support this bill none the less and I hope to be able to persuade you as to the merits of this legislation.

You've received our compendium and I would just like to give you a little bit of background information with respect to this project. Trent Severn Power Corp, which is a company that has the same principles as Gananoque Light and Power which has over 100 years in the operation of hydro plants and the development of hydro facilities in Ontario, has been licensed by the federal government to construct a hydro-electric power generation plant on part of lot 1, concession 4, in the township of Sidney.

This land is owned by Parks Canada. I would like to tell you up front that this land is currently exempt for municipal taxation under the Assessment Act as crown land. A licence has been issued to Trent Severn to construct this facility. This licence expires in December 1996. I'd like you to bear that in mind as well. The site is on the Danforth site of the Trent-Severn waterway and it's one of the few undeveloped sites in eastern Ontario where a hydro-electric power plant could actually be developed. The plant would have 5,000 kilowatts.

This project has had a lengthy history. It was historically supported and encouraged in the early 1980s by the then Minister of Energy and the then chairman of Ontario Hydro, Mr Welch and Mr Macaulay. The project has received all federal, provincial and municipal approvals; it's been subject to a federal environmental assessment; it's received support from the province, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Environment and Energy; a building permit has been issued by the township; and a contract has been entered into with Ontario Hydro that's been signed to supply energy to Ontario Hydro for 30 years.

This project contains a number of advantages, particularly for the local community. It represents a significant capital infusion of $13.5 million. That's significant. You'll hear Mr Brooks talk about plant closings in this community and the fact that there's a real unemployment rate in the greater Quinte area of 20%, so this is a significant investment. It's a significant boost to the local economy. There's an 18-month construction period proposed that would employ approximately 50 local tradesmen. There would be spinoff benefits in terms of subcontracts as well as for services and supplies.

This project has environmental advantages. It's a water project, a renewable energy resource. I would ask the committee to consider the long-term need for this type of facility over the life of the plant, notwithstanding the current supply situation in Ontario, bearing in mind that this type of facility would have a life well in excess of 50 years. The project would also have environmental benefits in terms of net gains to a local sport fishery and regulating the control of the Trent River system.

Just shortly before Trent Severn was about to commence construction and tender contracts at the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994, the principals of Trent Severn, Mr Campbell and Mrs Campbell, who is with us, learned what the municipal taxes would be on this project. The most recent information we've received from the Ministry of Revenue -- the Ministry of Finance now -- is that the taxes would be $136,000 a year. This is because there's a new method of finance, of assessing these types of facilities. I won't get into the details of that, but I see Mr Caines is here and he could probably give you good background on that.

These projects are typically debt-financed, and I think members of the committee should appreciate that it takes many years to run them at a break-even point, to actually make them profitable and to get beyond the break-even point. As a result, there were extensive discussions which took place beginning last January and February with representatives of Sidney township, and I want to point out that full financial disclosure has been made by Trent Severn Power Corp to Sidney township, including the township's accountants and legal advisers.


What I want to make very clear here is that if the municipal taxes remain fixed at $136,000, this project, which is on the verge of being constructed, will not go ahead. The project just simply cannot go through on the basis of those proposed taxes. This is not a threat; it's not leverage that we're trying to achieve here. It's just a very simple economic fact, and that has been shared with representatives of the township, including their financial advisers. The project makes no economic sense if the taxes are going to be $136,000 a year.

Bear in mind as well that the project is facing other obstacles these days. Today, you'll read in the paper about rising interest rates for debt-financed projects. Contract prices are also going to be difficult to be held, so delay is hurting. But the tax situation is really a make-or-break aspect of this whole project.

As a result, negotiations and deputations were made to the municipality, to the local school boards and to the county to get support for a private bill, which is before you today. I would like to point out that this private bill is only for up to a period of 20 years. It would allow a tax reduction for a period of up to 20 years, not 25 years as stated in the minister's letter. The purpose is to get this project off the ground. After the up-to-20-year period, this project will pay its full share of taxes, and as I've indicated, this project will have a long life. A 50-year life of a project like this is probably a conservative estimate. Gananoque Light and Power is operating a number of facilities that are in excess of 60 or 70 years old.

Also, the taxes would not be frozen at a low level. There would be step-up provisions, and that's been negotiated with the municipality, so over the 20 years, taxes would go up.

We received a letter just this morning and we had discussions with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and we understand that the objection from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is that this offends the bonusing provisions of the Municipal Act.

There's another objection, that they want the school boards and the county to provide approval on an annual basis. With respect to the second objection, which we see as really a more technical objection, we don't have a problem with the school boards having a say in this matter. In fact, they've been consulted, and if you'll look through the compendium, you'll see that there are resolutions from both school boards, as well as the county, indicating their support.

There is a problem with having them provide their support on an annual basis, because what we would be looking for and what Trent Severn needs is some certainty here, and its financiers, frankly, need to know that as well, that municipal taxes will not all of a sudden increase to levels that make this project unfeasible.

That second issue is a technical one. We think that could be worked out.

What I'd like to respond to more generally is this question of bonusing. It's not our position and we're not trying to suggest that the bonusing provisions of the Municipal Act are wrong or that the province is heading in the wrong direction in its consideration of the bonusing provisions or its recent passage of Bill 40, but what I would like to suggest to you is that the bonusing provisions of the Municipal Act do not apply in this particular case.

I would like to urge the committee to support this bill for a number of reasons, notwithstanding the minister's objections, the first of which is that this is an important project to the local community. Again, I must emphasize that it's a $13.5-million investment in a community that has lost jobs, that has a real unemployment rate of 20%. I don't think it would be appropriate to turn one's back to this type of investment in this economic time. There will be economic benefits in terms of construction and other jobs as well as environmental advantages.

The second point I'd like to make is that this bill has received full support. There's a consensus at the local level for this bill. There is no objection at the local level. Township council has passed a resolution in support, the two local school boards have been consulted and they are in support of this, and the county has taken a position that it is neutral. In other words, what everybody realizes at the local level is that they're going to get something where right now they're getting nothing, so there is no controversy at the local level, only consensus.

The third point I'd want to make, and again I can't emphasize this too much, is that if this bill is not passed, this project will die. That's a certainty. Again, there's been full financial disclosure, that's been made, but our financial consultants tell us, in their terms, that this project is, what they say, "skinny." There's no room: $136,000 a year in taxes, given the debt load that the project will carry, will just simply kill the project. The principals will not build the project. This economic investment, this $13.5-million investment will be lost.

I would urge this committee to weigh this concrete investment that's available to this community that needs this type of investment against policy considerations that in my submission will not apply to this particular case, and I'd like to address that right now. I'd like to specifically address the bonusing provisions, and we're not attacking the bonusing provisions of the Municipal Act; they make sense.

We've had several discussions with staff of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and the underlying problem of bonusing, the underlying policy, as I understand it, is to avoid a situation where municipalities compete with each other for investment, and we understand that. We understand that the province wants to avoid the situation that you get in Ohio or someplace like that, where General Motors comes to the province, comes to one municipality and says, "Hey, you give us a concession and we'll build our car plant here," and to this other municipality, "You give us a concession and we'll build a car plant here."

We understand that policy, that's a sound policy, but this is not a car plant; this is a hydro-electric power plant. What it requires is water. It also requires a river, and it requires a river where the elevations change.

As my clients have pointed out to me, there is only one Trent River. This project cannot be moved from one municipality to another. This is not a scenario where there would be competition among municipalities for this type of project. It either gets built in the township of Sidney at the dam 4 site or it doesn't get built. It can't go to another municipality. So in terms of the underlying policy of the bonusing provisions, they do not apply to this situation.

Another point that I would like to make with respect to the bonusing provisions and why they don't apply is that I want to draw to your attention again that this site is owned by Parks Canada. It is crown land. It is already exempt from taxation. Because there's a tenant on it at this point, the municipality, I believe the total taxes that are being achieved from this site right now -- Mr Pine will advise you if I'm wrong -- are $130 a year, of which $40 a year goes to the township.

The land itself, and we can show you photographs and I could circulate photographs of the property, is beside the river. It's just a long, skinny piece of land along Highway 33. It has no other development potential. The site is owned by Parks Canada and, as I've indicated, it's already exempt from taxes. If this project is not built, the status quo will remain. The municipality, the school boards and the county will get no other additional tax revenue from this project.

What the bill would propose is that during the startup period, the municipality would get taxes, instead of the $136,000 that the Ministry of Finance's formula would apply, that in the early years the project would receive -- instead of the $130 in taxes that they're getting now, they would get about $35,000 to $40,000 in taxes a year. There would be provision for the taxes to increase over time, over the up-to-20-year period, and as well we've indicated to the municipality that in our contract, in Trent Severn's contract with Ontario Hydro, there will be an opportunity, I think after 10 years, for rates to increase. When the rates increase with Ontario Hydro, there will be an opening for the taxes that the municipality will achieve to increase. So the municipality will benefit as the project gets off the ground, and again, after 20 years or after the end of the period, full taxes will be paid, and this project will have a very long life beyond that.


When you talk about bonusing, I'd like to put it to you that the only bonus that is in effect in this project is the bonus that the municipality is going to achieve and that the school boards and the county are going to achieve, because what you'll be getting is something where you otherwise get nothing.

The third point I'd like to make in response to the bonusing suggestion made by the minister is that this bill is really within the spirit of Bill 40, which I'm sure members of the committee are familiar with. Bill 40 encourages municipalities to provide financial or other assistance to worthy capital projects. Surely this is that type of project that comes within the scope and intention of Bill 40, and it's worthy of local support and certainly should be worthy of the province's support.

Finally, I'm going to draw to your attention, and again I suspect that members of this committee are aware, that last year there was a private member's bill, I think it was Bill Pr38, and it is attached as appendix 1 in tab 2 of the compendium. It was An Act respecting the Township of Atikokan. You all have it.

The bill that we're proposing is identical to the bill that this committee and this Legislature passed last year with respect to the township of Atikokan. The precedent was derived from there, and it was the same problem. Atikokan had a hydro plant, and because of this new method of valuing these projects they couldn't carry it out financially.

This bill was used as a precedent and I understand that the minister says in his letter that the Atikokan bill was a mistake. I would put it to members of the committee that the bill was not a mistake. It recognizes that there was a problem and it addressed the problem, and it addressed the problem in a constructive way.

I appreciate and our client appreciates that the Ministry of Finance is now going to be looking at the way these facilities are assessed, and that's a constructive step. But in the meantime, a project like this cannot survive without the introduction of a private bill. That's the long and short of it.

I'm almost done and I appreciate the time that you've given me, but it is an important project. I understand there's also a concern that there will be a domino effect. We understand that the township of Seymour has a similar bill here this afternoon and that there are other municipalities waiting in the wings. Again, that is reflective that there is an underlying problem that this Legislature should address. Until the ministry is in a position to address this problem by way of a constructive policy, the private bill method is the only way to go.

What makes this project different? This project doesn't exist right now. If the Legislature wants to support the local community and to ensure that this $13.5-million investment gets made, then this bill has to go through. The difference is that this project has not been built yet and cannot be built without this support.

In summary, and again I thank you for listening to us, I would ask members of the committee that notwithstanding the minister's views on this matter, I think you should stand back and think about and weigh the advantages of a positive, concrete, $13.5-million investment to be weighed against policy considerations that the ministry is raising that do not apply, when you think about it, to this particular project. It may apply to General Motors when it's looking at different car plants, but it does not apply to this project.

I would therefore ask that the committee support this bill and help us get it through the Legislature so that this project can be built and the benefits accrue to the community as the community wishes. I'd be pleased to answer any questions. I understand that Mr Pine or Mr Brooks will be speaking as well.

The Chair: We have some problems with time. We have a couple of major, major bills before us today, yours being one of them, and the bill that will follow you. We have a real problem because the committee rises at 12. I know, for myself, I have an obligation immediately at 12.

I would ask that any of the other speakers, in light of the rather full remarks Mr Bowman has made, limit their remarks to one or two minutes because I also have to ask, according to our procedures, if there are any other interested parties, and I know there is going to be a lot of discussion on this bill.

Mr Brooks, are you making any comments at this time?

Mr Fred Brooks: Yes, Madam Chair, I'd like to. First of all, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a bureaucrat, but I'm an elected politician just like yourselves. I have the distinct honour of representing a municipality or a combination of municipalities in the greater Quinte area.

What amazes me during these times is that, especially during election year, there's a lot of jockeying among municipalities and governments, but this municipality, this greater Quinte area, has come together on a particular issue in that you have the county of Hastings, you have the school boards and you have municipalities agreeing that this project should go ahead.

This area has been devastated just like other areas in the province of Ontario over the last couple of years during the recessionary times. This is a $13.5-million project. That's a great deal of dollars, specifically in an area that has about 50,000 people.

We have unemployment, as Mr Bowman suggested, of over 20%; real unemployment of over 20%. We have lost, in the area, 2,746 manufacturing jobs over a period of a couple of years. That's very significant when you have a population base of 50,000. We have lost $54 million in wages. That again is very significant.

This is a $13.5-million project that will make some money for the area. It'll bring in some jobs. In fact, the constituency has said, "Let's go with this." They have not objected in any respect whatsoever.

It's environmentally sound. Mr Bowman suggested all the other great points, but I bring to you, basically from a politician's point of view, that these are the constituencies, these are the people who have said over and over, "We need to bring employment, we need to bring jobs, we need to bring money into the area." There aren't a lot of jobs, there aren't a lot of people coming into the area, but now we have a viable project of $13.5 million coming in here.

We need your support. We need you to go deep and say to yourselves -- just like it would be within your own constituency, people are saying: "Please bring it to your community. Please bring it to our community." We need your assistance greatly in this.

Those are basically my points. I have a brief here that was brought together by the bureaucrats, but I think I'm just going to appeal to you from a political point of view. You have people asking you as a politician to represent your area. This is my area that I'm representing and I'm bringing it to you. We need your support on this.

The Chair: Do either of the other two gentlemen wish to make a presentation at this time? None. Are there any other interested parties in the audience today who wish to come forward and make a presentation? Seeing none, Mr Hayes, from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Mr Hayes: The Minister of Municipal Affairs, as Mr Bowman has indicated, has made it known and quite clear that the ministry does not support this bill. The ministry appreciates the development would represent a boost to the local economy, there's probably no question there, but to allow this exemption would undermine the province's prohibition against municipalities granting bonuses or financial assistance to businesses.

Such a precedent could subject the committee and the government to many more similar developments. We understand that Ontario Hydro is negotiating with respect to a number of other similar developments, as well as other industrial or commercial developments.

The ministry recognizes that the township of Atikokan bill, 1993, also dealt with a tax reduction. However, at the time the ministry was given to understand that Atikokan was to be the only one.

The Ministry of Finance has agreed to review the current methodology of assessing and taxing electrical power generating stations. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs recommends that this issue be addressed in the context of the review.

As a result of these concerns, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs cannot support this bill. As a matter of fact, just for the record, when Mr Bowman mentioned Bill 40, these projects were excluded actually from Bill 40. So that's where the ministry stands on this issue.

If there are any questions, we have staff from the Ministry of Finance, if any of the members want to direct questions to them or if they want to make a presentation.


The Chair: Perhaps you'd like to come forward at this then and introduce yourself for the purposes of Hansard.

Mr John Dennis: My name is John Dennis and I'm from the Ministry of Finance, taxation policy branch. We have a couple of basic concerns with respect to this bill. We also share the concerns with respect to the municipal bonusing issue that Municipal Affairs had raised, but we're concerned largely from the perspective that this would provide an untoward advantage to this particular company when other power producers and power dams would be paying the full amount of tax payable. We don't think that's fair. We don't think they should be given a competitive advantage in that respect.

We're also concerned with the implications that in certain other municipalities where dams already exist, they're now going to want to come forward for similar relief when they're currently paying the same amount of tax payable, and in many of these jurisdictions the power facility that is currently paying the tax constitutes a really significant part of their tax base. We don't think it's fair to the school boards in the municipality to be put in that position.

That's all we have to say.

The Chair: I have some members who wish to ask questions at this time and the first one on my list is Mr O'Neil.

Mr O'Neil: First of all, I'd like to thank the people from the power company and from the township for appearing here today. I'll try to keep my comments very short.

Just as I believe there was with Bill 38 for Atikokan a need at that time when this committee looked at that and passed it, I also feel there is a great need in this particular case. I think both Mr Brooks and Mr Bowman have touched on the number of job losses that we have had and what a spur to the economy this $13.5-million construction job would be. Although it may not touch on Bill 40, one of the intents in Bill 40 is creating jobs within the province and maintaining jobs, and certainly when we look at the construction jobs and the year man-hours that would be created through a construction project such as this, plus ongoing jobs that there would be within the power plant, it would be of great importance to the Quinte area.

I know the government members here today can carry this vote, but I also know that I am appealing to people who are dealing with different issues within their own ridings, issues where jobs are so important, and I guess I would just sort of ask them to really think about this and consider the construction project, the number of jobs that would be created, the approvals that have been received within the area, the contract that has been arrived at with Ontario Hydro to buy that power.

It has a lot of things going and sometimes I think that ministries and ministry staff have to look at the circumstances that exist at the present time. When you talk about bonusing, we bonus every day of the week. There's Chrysler or Toyota or some of these other companies that are coming into Canada. We're giving money to some of these larger companies when something like this is really needed within our area.

I know some of the other members want to talk on this. I just ask for the consideration of every member of the committee when we come to vote on this.

Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): Thank you, gentlemen, for your interesting proposal this morning. I would like to speak in favour of this project because, as has been pointed out, it isn't a case that you can move this site from one municipality to another. You have to go over the falls and the horsepower is -- by nature. That is the reason the people have assessed this fall in the river and established the horsepower to 5,000 kilowatts that could be developed there.

I'm very much opposed to the government attempting to hold up this project because the Municipal Act hasn't been amended or the new formula hasn't been finalized for coming out with a proper tax assessment.

The one question I have is, do you pay a tax on the water being used there?

Mr Bowman: On the water?

Mr Jordan: Is there a separate assessment for the water flow?

Mr Bowman: The assessment would be on the land.

Mr Jordan: I understand there's another assessment for water flow.

Mr Bowman: Not for the use of it, no, but the formula is based -- Mr Caines is here; he can tell you how the formula is based -- on the amount of installed capacity.

Mr Jordan: I understand Ontario Hydro is paying so much per cubic foot.

Mr Bowman: That's an important point, sir, because Ontario Hydro, under the Power Corporation Act, pays probably one tenth, if that, of the taxes that these types of facilities have to pay. That's one important point.

The other important point that has to be made is that this is a change. Gananoque Light and Power has a number of other facilities that it operates, albeit they're older facilities, but the taxes that it pays on these other facilities in eastern Ontario are in the $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000 range per year. Granted, there's depreciation on these facilities, but the difference between that type of tax level that existing facilities are paying, because they're older and they're depreciated, and that new facilities would have to pay because of this new formula makes it very substantial. The distinction between what these types of properties pay and what Ontario Hydro pays is very significant.

In terms of precedent, I'm not sure that should really be a concern. It's trying to address a specific problem that hopefully the ministry will address in a policy manner in the long term, and we're very supportive of the ministry looking at that and we appreciate that the ministry is looking at that.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): I find it very difficult to contain myself on this issue, but I will strive to, I assure you, Madam Chair.

Once the province of Ontario had the cheapest hydro-electric costs in the world. It became an industrial and commercial giant because of that. Where are we today? At every meeting I attend, industrials say one of our biggest problems is the very high cost of hydro-electric power. We're doing ourselves in, and I can't understand why we're such fools when it comes to our economy.

I really think we have to work together and do better. If there's one thing we need, it's cheap sources of hydro-electric power, clean of course, and water power. There's enough water power in this province to produce all the hydro power we will ever need. However, we're not working at it, and I criticize everybody for that, not just the present government. We need this investment.

I agree with Mr Bowman's presentation except on one point, where he says this will be of benefit to the area. This will be of benefit to the entire province of Ontario, indeed Canada, in my view, and we've got to look at it. It also puts it more on an equal footing with Ontario Hydro, and I'm awfully pleased that particular point came out, that Hydro pays about one tenth of the cost of what it would if it were paying full taxation; that has been mentioned, and I know it's a grant-in-lieu-of-tax system. So what if it's cheaper? Isn't that good for us all?

Anyway, on the matter of bonusing, and I know that's a concern, I would hope that the ministry, in saying this destroys bonusing and therefore can't go forward, could look at something else. I believe this is an assessment reduction. There are other systems, taxation reductions by municipalities certainly to many charitable organizations. I know this isn't the same class.

But what I really want to concentrate on, as my colleague Mr O'Neil has stressed, is the amount of bonusing that goes on. Provincial governments, and several governments in Ontario, of course, have happily bonused almost anybody who came along. Chrysler was mentioned. It wasn't a bonus; it was a forgiveness of millions of dollars of loans. They decided that for their reasons.

The CAMI plant, infrastructure: "Sure, we'll build a new interchange on 401. It doesn't matter what it costs." Roads: "Here's the money to do it." You mentioned the Toyota plant, but the other one, the Honda plant: We want it and we do the things that are necessary to get it, and we have to, because if we don't do it, we won't have those things and they'll be in the USA where everything else is going. My industries in my riding are at a disadvantage with the USA. They're being moved and I'm going to lose them, so we've got to look at changing some things.

Bonusing is a section in the Municipal Act. What about the London annexation? We go around the Municipal Boundary Negotiations Act. What about the case of basement apartments? We amend the Planning Act because the province wants it. What about housing on Toronto Islands? We exempt it from the complete planning process without any compunction, just because that's what we want. That's fine.

We want cheaper hydro power in Ontario. Great. I thank you for coming forward. You have my complete support, and I beg the ministry to look at this, the government to look at this and see how it can accommodate it, because we need you.


Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): I wish I were in opposition; I could go on the same as Mr Eddy, especially when we talk about power. Nuclear power was a big cost item and we know where that started. The cost of Darlington skyrocketed right out of the provincial --

Mr Eddy: It doesn't matter.

Mr Fletcher: Yes, it does. That's why we used to have cheap rates, until we started overspending in areas like that.

One of the things as far as the bonusing is concerned is that what I can see happening is different parts of the province starting to bid with each other: "We will give you this much on an assessment," or, "We will give you this much." The city of Guelph could start bidding. We see it in the United States. I happened to be in North Dakota a couple of years ago, and one of the biggest problems they had in that state was the bonusing, where different parts of the state were competing with each other. In a lot of instances, there were parts of the state that were disadvantaged because of the ability of some areas to offer better tax incentives or tax-free areas.

I understand that it was done once, that it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and now we see what's happening as far as the "once" is concerned. Now it's started to open the doors. As you said, more and more companies are coming and asking for the tax-free assessment or the assessment to be reduced. If we don't put a lid on it, I can see it getting out of control. I think that's why it was put into the Municipal Act and I think it was a good reason to put it in the Municipal Act.

As far as the province bonusing is concerned, that's for the benefit of the province. When you forgive Chrysler, that's the provincial government forgiving something for the province. It happens all over the province, I agree, but that's for the benefit of the province, not the assessments being lowered for the benefit of one area.

Again, I sympathize with Mr O'Neil and --

Mr O'Neil: It was also to create jobs in Windsor.

Mr Fletcher: That's what I was just getting to, Mr O'Neil. I sympathize with Mr O'Neil because I agree that there are instances where jobs are important, and I agree that this is one of those instances, but I don't believe this is the way you go about creating jobs, by lowering the assessments. It would just open the floodgates. This isn't something that's new with this as far as the Municipal Act is concerned. This has been on the books for a long time. I think it was the previous governments that had the foresight to know what would happen if this was not on the books.

On that count, I tend to agree with the ministry and I'll be voting against this.

Mr Jordan: I think we're missing the main point here. It's not what we've done with other industries because other industries per se do not compare with the construction of a power dam. This project has to take place, as I pointed out earlier, at the site where the horsepower is available. For that reason, surely, with all the environmental issues having been looked into and passed and that money spent -- and those aren't small dollars, usually, to do all the environmental studies and the impact studies and so on. Then to be able to negotiate with Hydro and get sale of the power into the system -- that's already been done; the market is there for the power to go into the system -- and here we are saying we want this property assessed the same as any other industry, when it's just not relative.

The fact that the minister has stated, Mr Parliamentary Assistant, that he appreciates the problem and that it is being looked into, surely we're not going to hold up something that's ready to go because we haven't finalized this new formula. I have several independent power plants in my riding on the rivers in eastern Ontario and they're also concerned about the way they're being used relative to the assessment and the tax base.

This is a real opportunity for the government to say: "Here we've got an industry. It's ready to go. We're going to support it. We're not going to have its hands tied because some formula has not been revised to suit the very specific and unique cases of development."

My question would be, to the ministry: What stage is the revising of the formula at, as I understand it?

The Chair: Mr Dennis, or the other member from the Ministry of Finance, if you would introduce yourself for the purposes of Hansard.

Mr Bob Caines: My name is Bob Caines. We're having committees right now. We're meeting with the Independent Power Producers' Society of Ontario and the Waterpower Association of Ontario to discuss the valuation. The formula was developed in 1991, the current formula used to attain a market value. The previous way we valued them was not market value and that market value was upheld in the courts. But we are reviewing. I will be meeting with IPPSO and the Waterpower Association within the next couple of weeks.

Mr Jordan: That's the point I was trying to make, that there is an attempt by the ministry to bring some reality to this type of assessment. Taking that into account, then, do you think it's right to hold up something that's ready to go, when we can let it develop? Maybe we could do it under the condition that when the formula is finalized, at that time it would apply to this project, the same as any other ones in the province. But in the meantime, let's go ahead with this private bill to get the job off the ground.

Mr Eddy: I just want to follow up on that particular point from the speakers. In dealing with this formula, do you give any consideration to what's done with Ontario Hydro? That's a grant-in-lieu-of-taxes system, I think, isn't it?

Mr Caines: It is grant-in-lieu, but under the Power Corporation Act their generating facilities are assessed at $8.11 a square foot.

Mr Eddy: Are you looking at using the same formula for the others?

Mr Caines: I can't respond to that at this time.

Mr Eddy: That would be my suggestion, to put them on an equal footing, considering that Ontario Hydro of course has the big stick in that only those projects can go ahead for generating hydro that Ontario Hydro agrees with. Isn't that the way it is? Ontario Hydro has the right to refuse or approve other systems.

Mr Dennis: They have the right to refuse to buy power from independent producers --

Mr Eddy: Yes, right.

Mr Dennis: -- if that's what you're getting at.

Mr Eddy: But it would seem to me that if the system is fair and equitable for the citizens of the province of Ontario, to Ontario Hydro, then like facilities producing the same product with the same generating source should be treated the same, to say the very least, recognizing that hydro-electric power is absolutely essential for our society if we're going to survive industrially.


The Chair: Mr Brooks, you had a comment to make supplementary to this?

Mr Brooks: I'd just like to reinforce here, and leave the political aspect of the parties alone here, that we're talking about an area that needs to have some employment. We need to have an injection of capital coming into the area.

There's no competition here. You only have one river. You can't entice Toyota or any other manufacturer into the area. It's only a river, and that's all we're doing. There's no competition here.

We need to have the jobs. Just thing about it in your own constituency. Would you be thinking positively if it was in your own area and you had to support this? That's the issue at hand here. Deal with the politics later, changing the bills, but look at what's going on here and now in this province. We talk about having a provincial government. We are part of the province. We have 50,000 people there who are vying for jobs, vying for some money in here. We cannot entice Toyota, we cannot entice big companies in the area. We have limited resources. But we do have a river, and the river can make some money.

It's the province of Ontario. This river goes through the province of Ontario. It's a Canadian river. We need to have that. We need to have your support. You have to look, not very close-minded, but across the area, and feel yourself and say to yourself: "If this was my area, would I in fact support it? In good faith, can I not support this project?"

Mr O'Neil: I just have to ask for the consideration of all members. It's a good project construction-wise, job-wise, continuing jobs. I think in the letter that was handed to us this morning, the minister understands and the ministry staff understand that there is a problem with the present type of assessment on it when he says, "I agree with the Fair Tax Commission's concern that the province should review the existing methodology used to assess special-purpose properties." I would ask for the consideration of all members in passing this private member's bill today. It's very important to my area and the people who are in it.

The Chair: Just a moment. I have both Mr Fletcher and Mr Hayes. Mr Hayes first and then Mr Fletcher.

Mr Hayes: On the issue of we're talking about revising a formula to deal with the taxation part, I just want to point out to all the members here that I don't think these people would be very pleased if in fact -- we don't know what the outcome of that revision would be. If it ended up being higher, then what position would you be in? You're saying, "Go ahead with this because you're going to make a revision anyhow." Well, I don't know what the final outcome would be once that formula is revised. Who knows?

Mr Jordan: It'll be in their favour. That's what they say.

Mr Hayes: It could be higher than what they're paying now. We don't know that, right? How viable would the operation be then? That's just one thing I wanted to throw out to the members.

Mr Jordan: I think it would be lower, considering the market value assessment.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Jordan. You weren't on the list right at this moment. Mr Fletcher.

Mr Fletcher: I was just wondering if the parliamentary assistant could help me, or someone from the ministry. When is this revision supposed to take place, how long are we waiting --

The Chair: Just a moment. I just want to make sure Mr Hayes hears your question.

Mr Fletcher: I'll wait for Mr Hayes to finish his conversation.

Mr Hayes: I'm sorry.

Mr Fletcher: I was just wondering, when is this revision going to take place? How long do we have? Is it in the works?

Mr Hayes: I think it was already indicated earlier that they are dealing with it now, but the time frame? I don't know if we have a time frame on it.

Mr Dennis: There is no time frame to speak of. And by the way, it's a review, not a revision. We're not necessarily committed to changing it. We're interested in talking to the groups that have their concerns and we're going to look at it, but we can't tell you what's going to happen down the road, because we haven't made those decisions yet. It may stay exactly the same as it is now.

The Chair: I would ask at this point if members are in favour of my putting a question forward to some of the technical staff.

Mr Hansen: I'll sit in the chair and you can come down here and ask it.

The Acting Chair (Mr Ron Hansen): Ms Haeck, you have a question.

Ms Christel Haeck (St Catharines-Brock): As I've been listening to this, I did have a question that came to my mind and so far no one else has raised it, so I feel it's incumbent upon me to put it forward. You list in your appendices letters of support from the school boards, and having just recently gone through some heated discussion with my own boards, I know that the issue of assessment is always uppermost in everyone's mind.

However, knowing the Quinte area reasonably well -- I have friends who live in Cherry Valley, so I've managed to get down Wooler Road to the Scoharie on many occasions -- I know what you're talking about, the economic situation and what have you. Realizing that assessment base is a major concern for everyone, what you're basically putting forward is a substantial shift in the taxation for this particular project which conceivably would go then to the local taxpayer. If the local taxpayer is not in a position, as a result of that assessment base, to pick up that tab, it's going to be the rest of the province that pays the tab. At least, that's how I see it.

I would ask if, from a technical point of view, any of the Ministry of Finance people are in a position -- I know education financing may not be your particular bailiwick and it's always a tricky discussion, on education financing. Is there someone there who could comment on the possible shift and obligation of the province to pick up any financial obligations for this project?

Mr Dennis: I missed that whole question. Can you paraphrase it? I'm sorry. I was being disturbed over here.

Ms Haeck: I can. I know how these things go. I am concerned that the province would ultimately be on the hook for picking up any shortfalls in the school taxes.

Mr Dennis: Not in my understanding.

Mr Ron Skinner: If I could answer that question. My name is Ron Skinner. I'm from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. School board grants that the province pays are inversely related to the assessment. In so far as the assessment would be less than otherwise, the school board grants are higher and, yes, the implication is then it would cost the province more in grants if the assessment was reduced.

Mr Eddy: Just following that point, and I realize what the member is saying, I still come back to the point that there's no assessment whatsoever on the property now. Secondly, there will be assessment and there will be taxation if this goes ahead, according to an agreed formula, so whatever comes forward is more than what there is now. In other words, it's a plus for the school board, a plus for the local municipality and a plus for the county and whoever else gets taxed --

Mr O'Neil: And the province.

Mr Eddy: And the province, of course, if this goes ahead, I would think, too.

Ms Haeck: Having Parks Canada in my own riding -- and obviously it's a different situation in that sense. We have Fort George and a number of, shall we say, tourist attractors there. Parks Canada frequently has a range of environmental concerns, which is one side of this equation. I don't see a letter here from Parks Canada indicating its concern with regard to this particular project. Is there any?

Mr Bowman: Parks Canada in fact gets a benefit out of this project. Parks Canada is in effect the landlord and there are a number of benefits that Parks Canada -- I didn't mention those -- also gets as a result of this project. (1) They get a tenant who's going to pay some rent to them, so they get revenue. (2) They're going to get an automatic gate on the site. That's a $250,000 investment. There's going to be some additional lighting as well, so Parks Canada does get benefits from this as well. They're the landlord; they're the only one.

Ms Haeck: You actually haven't answered my question. I realize this is a concern that happens in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is part of my riding, environmental concerns. Has there been any kind of an environmental assessment around this?

Mr Bowman: Yes, I said that at the beginning. There has been a full federal environmental assessment.

Ms Haeck: Okay, I'm sorry, I missed that in the discussion.

Mr Bowman: This is all done. We're really at --

The Acting Chair: One at a time.

Mr Bowman: I want to make that important. There was a federal environmental assessment that took place. We're at the final stages of this project. All the approvals have been issued, including a building permit from the township. Everything is there. The only thing that held this thing up was that at the last minute the client, Trent Severn, discovered what the taxes would be.


Mr Brooks: We talk about assessment. This will generate $4 million for construction wages, which means the province will reap in 35% of that $4 million in income tax; the province will reap in $1,400,000. That's from personal. We aren't even talking about the company taxes here as well. So there are gains all around. The province gains, the municipality gains, everyone gains in this scenario; $4 million in materials, concrete, steel, lumber, another injection into the area of $4 million. They're buying locally. So we talk about that. It's a very, very lucrative, very, very viable project. All are going to come out ahead on this.

Mr Jim Pine: If I might make a brief comment relative to the issue of bonusing, our council, the school boards and the county both raised that particular issue as we discussed it. We were all agreed that because of the very unique nature, and members have talked about it, of this kind of project, we were not setting a precedent for other types of business.

We cannot move the falls anywhere but where they are. We cannot build a dam anyplace but where it exists now. No one's in competition. We wouldn't be here before the standing committee if it hadn't been for a change in policy at the Ministry of Finance. Their change in the assessment procedures quadrupled the taxes that are required on these kinds of projects. Had they left it alone, we would not be here. So we are here because we have a problem with the change in policy.

Mr Hansen: I don't know whether the rest of the committee would be in agreement that we defer this until this afternoon and come back again. I'd like to --

Mr Fletcher: Get some more information.

Mr Hansen: -- get some more information from the ministry. I have an answer here from the ministry I maybe don't fully agree upon, but possibly I could vote the wrong way on an important issue. I can see that in eastern Ontario it is a very important issue. It is economic development in that particular area. I don't want to be hasty and say, "No, I'm going to turn it down," and you walk back to your people and say, "They didn't even listen."

Would the rest of the committee be in favour of our having a chance as a committee to get together with some other staff and talk about this a little bit more, and if it's possible, you can come back, say, at 3:30? We don't normally do this. This is out of the ordinary, so this is new. I don't think we've ever done this before.

Mr Fletcher: It's a long wait for these people.

Mrs MacKinnon: Ron will take them to lunch, right, Ron?

Mr Hansen: Hugh will take them for lunch.

Mr Bowman: I appreciate that suggestion, Mr Hansen. If things can be worked out somehow, that's appreciated, if the ministry can come to a reasonable conclusion on this.

The Chair: Actually, it would work. There are I think two similar issues at about the same time.

Mr Bowman: I understand that, although in that case there's a project that's already constructed. This is an investment we're looking at. This project is distinguishable because of that investment.

The only point I want to make again is that I just want to impress upon this committee and upon the Legislature that timing is important because of the rising interest rates which you've read about today. The project is so tight, you can't afford to go over, say, two construction seasons over the winter. We have no guarantees that we can hold contractors' prices that exist right now, so we do need a resolution of it.

Mr Hansen: We're looking at four and a half hours' delay.

Mr Brooks: We'll relax.

Mr Bowman: Thank you.

Mr Hansen: Can I put a motion on the floor that we defer this?

The Chair: I thought you already had.

Mr Hansen: I didn't say a motion, I don't think, but a motion to defer it till this afternoon, in that we are able, as members of this committee, to get more information from the ministry on different elements of this bill.

The Chair: A motion for deferral until 3:30 this afternoon has been put forward. All members who are in favour, please signify.

Mr Jordan: Excuse me, Madam Chair, could that be 3 o'clock instead of 3:30?

The Chair: That's a friendly amendment; 3 o'clock as opposed to 3:30?

Mr Jordan: I have another meeting at 3:30.

Mr Bowman: I'd just like to understand the procedure. You would like us to come back here at 3 o'clock?

The Chair: I should point out to all members that it is a fair comment that I believe Mr Hansen made, that if we're out of the House at 3, realizing that routine proceedings frequently take us beyond 3, sometimes 3:10, sometimes 3:15 -- shall we say after routine proceedings? That would give us -- the friendly amendment is a motion to defer until after routine proceedings in the House. All those in favour of that motion, please signify. Done.

I want to thank the applicants for their understanding. Obviously, we have an important issue before us, so we'll be able to deal with it then shortly after 3 this afternoon.

We'll give the applicants and everyone a chance to stretch their legs for one moment. Our next order of business will be relating to Bill Pr125, but we will give people a chance to clear the room and ask their questions.

The committee recessed from 1106 to 1115.


Consideration of Bill Pr125, An Act to revive The Lions Club of Kingsville.

The Chair: I'd like to call the meeting back to order. Our first order of business after the recess is to deal with Bill Pr125. Mr Crozier, welcome. I'd like you to begin and introduce your applicants and make a brief statement.

Mr Bruce Crozier (Essex South): I'm here to present Bill Pr125, An Act to revive the Lions Club of Kingsville. I have with me Tyler Puddy, who is a law clerk who has worked on this file. As well, I have with me an active member and past president of the Lions Club, Karl Melinz, who is also a solicitor.

As it says in the preamble, this is one of those cases where a very active and viable club in the community has done a lot towards community work and raising funds and has been an asset to the community, but apparently it has slipped by -- they failed, I think, back in 1958 to file their annual returns. The gentlemen with me can bring you up to date as to what they have done since that time to reach this point. I'll turn it over to Mr Puddy.

Mr Tyler Puddy: As you've read in the material before you, the Lions Club of Kingsville has made an application for private legislation to revive its letters patent. The corporation was dissolved on August 18, 1958, pursuant to the Corporations Amendment Act of 1957, for default in filing its annual returns. However, since that time, the applicant represents that activities have been carried on in the name of the corporation despite the dissolution. The corporation has operated without profit since its organization, and all funds raised have been spent on community betterment projects.

The Lions Club of Kingsville owns approximately four acres of property within the town of Kingsville upon which is situated a community centre serving club-sponsored groups and fund-raising functions.

The purpose of this bill is to revive the corporation of the Lions Club of Kingsville and would have the effect of reinstating title to the community centre and surrounding lands to it.

Mr Melinz and I would be pleased to answer any questions you have at this time.

The Chair: Mr Melinz, did you want to make any comments at this time?

Mr Karl Melinz: Only to indicate that Lions International contacted the various Lions Clubs to get their associations' paperwork in order, and the fault was discovered as part of that process. The organization was unaware and continued to operate since 1958 as if it had status and is operating a community centre on a piece of property with a value in excess of $500,000.

The Chair: At this point, I would ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward to speak on this bill. Seeing none, I would now turn to Mr Hayes, the parliamentary assistant to Municipal Affairs, to make any ministerial comments.

Mr Hayes: In our package there's a letter from the Ministry of Revenue not objecting to this bill, and due to the very strong presentation that Mr Crozier made this morning, we don't have any objections to it.

Mr Hansen: The government will support this bill, and I can tell you that the Lions Clubs in my area, I support 100%. They are a partner with the government, with the business community and with the municipality also, so they've become real partners here in Ontario. I would hate to see that this bill wasn't passed, and I know we're going to support the bill.

I think when we get into volunteer organizations, the presidents change or the secretary changes and it gets lost over a period of time, and I hope that we can discover a better way of renewing, sending out notices to maybe the municipality, to say, "Where is that Lions Club? How come we didn't get a renewal on it after so many years?" without having to come back here to Queen's Park to get special legislation. So, as I say, the government will be supporting this bill.

Mr Tony Ruprecht (Parkdale): I want to thank the parliamentary assistant for making the comment about the MPP, Mr Crozier, being here and supporting his bill, because we are going to support this as well. However, I'd like to add to Mr Hansen's comment, which I thought made sense as well, what is this committee going to do to have people appear from sometimes far away, fighting traffic as I understand was the case this morning --


Mr Ruprecht: They were in traffic or not?

Mr Crozier: They were on the train.

Mr Ruprecht: Oh, on the train.

Interjection: They were fighting Via Rail.

Mr Ruprecht: I was looking in the hallway and saw Mr Crozier walking back and forth, and I had automatically assumed, which of course is wrong, that they were stuck in traffic on the 401.

Nevertheless, I want to get back to my major point, and that was Mr Hansen's comment. The recommendation here would be that somehow, at the end of the session, whoever should be authorized to do this should look into a method whereby we can streamline or make it easier for associations of this type, voluntary associations, to be reinstated, and I make that, I guess, with the help and cooperation of the government side.

The Chair: As you know, we have had something of a discussion on this in the past with regard to making sure that the applicant is here to be able to answer questions and concerns of members. Most of these revivals do tend to be fairly straightforward. We have, however, encountered several that have been a little more, shall we say, problematic, and required some lengthy discussion, so I appreciate your comments. I know that the applicants made their best effort to get here and obviously are very amenable to answering all our questions.

Mr Hansen: We're ready to vote.

The Chair: You're ready to vote? Are all members then ready to vote?

Mr Hansen: Don't repeat yourself, Madam Chair.

The Chair: I just have to find my cheat sheet here. Shall sections 1 through 3 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.

Mr Hansen: Madam Chair, do we have a motion on the floor?

The Chair: Not that I'm aware of. If you wish to make one --

Mr Crozier: Madam Chair, if I might, with the comments you've made, I have just recently submitted to the public trustee information for the Faith United Mennonite Church in Leamington, the same set of circumstances, it would appear, and the public trustee has informed us that if we want to wait just a short time, they expect that there will be some change in the legislation that will allow the public trustee in some of these instances to make that decision. I haven't had time to look at that any further, but for your information, I just mention that this was told to us by the public trustee.

Mr Hansen: Madam Chair, my motion that I was going to give isn't in order, so I withdraw it, which I didn't say.

The Chair: Thank you. I know you started it, but you didn't finish.

Mr Ruprecht: Was this associated with the cost?

Mr Hansen: Yes.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Crozier, for your information and the good intentions of all members on another matter. I hope that the applicants make sure that Mr Crozier takes them out to lunch and shows them at least some part of this historic building. I thank you very much for your time.

Mr Melinz: I'd like to make one more comment. It wasn't a chore coming up here. We've got two briefcases full of files that we've been working on, and we've been excited about coming to Toronto to the Parliament Building to make this presentation for the last month or so that we've been actively getting it in place. We thank you very much for hearing us, but it was no chore. We enjoyed it very much.

The Chair: Thank you. They do have some very interesting tours, so I hope you avail yourselves of that opportunity.


Consideration of Bill Pr101, An Act respecting the City of Scarborough.

The Chair: At this point, after our spiel for tourism in Toronto, I'll ask you to vacate those seats and ask our next presenter or sponsor to come forward, and that's Dr Frankford, the MPP for Scarborough East, and his applicant, relating to Bill Pr101, An Act respecting the City of Scarborough.

I may also advise members that we're coming up to the half-hour, so we might end up having to move the rest of -- no? -- I have to tell you, then, someone else may have to be in the Chair because I have another meeting. Mr Frankford, perhaps you'd like to start.

Mr Robert Frankford (Scarborough East): On May 17, Scarborough city council directed staff to obtain enabling legislation to protect city workers and inhabitants from secondhand smoke, and this is the bill that I'm bringing forward.

I have with me this morning Sandra Pritchard, who's the chair of the board of health, Dr Colin D'Cunha, associate medical officer of health, Mary Ellen Eberlin, director of healthy lifestyles of the health department, Sharon Delurey, tobacco-use prevention coordinator and Steven O'Melia from the city solicitor's office. I'd like to mention that Mayor Trimmer was hoping to come here but the police funeral was a priority for her.

Mr Steven O'Melia: My name is Steven O'Melia and I'm with the city of Scarborough legal department. I will just briefly outline -- I know we're running short of time -- the history of this application and how we have come to be before you today, and then Sharon Delurey of our health department who's a public health nurse and the city's tobacco-use prevention coordinator will briefly summarize the merits of why Scarborough is seeking this legislation.

The application that is before you is for the purpose of enabling the city of Scarborough to pass a bylaw to prohibit smoking within all enclosed public places and workplaces within the city. It goes further than existing smoking legislation.

It has been a long time in the making. It was actually May 1993 that the resolution was passed, and the interim time has been preparing, going through all the provincial procedures required to get here today. In the interim period, while we were coming before you, there have been amendments made in March of this year to Bill 119, which in many ways parallel the powers that the city is seeking today. There are some differences, however, in the legislation, and the city has felt obligated to continue pursuing this application because of the uncertain status of Bill 119. I understand that status has become somewhat more certain recently, although still, as of this morning, the bill has not been passed.

I'll just briefly set out the three major exceptions between what we are asking for and Bill 119.

The powers that will be granted to municipalities under Bill 119 are that the city of Scarborough definition of "enclosed public place" specifically include transit shelters. There are a lot of bus shelters in Scarborough, and they can be either within the road allowance or on public property or private property. Bill 119, the way I read it, would exclude any part of a roadway, which would also exclude transit shelters that are within a public road allowance.


Secondly, the Scarborough act requires employers to give personal notice to employees of the passage of this bylaw so that employees are aware that these rules exist; that is, it's not contained in the amendments to Bill 119.

Finally, the Scarborough bylaw provides for stiffer potential maximum sentences for repeat and corporate offenders or people who breach the bylaw.

Basically, that is why we are here today. As I say, in many ways the recent amendments to Bill 119 are very similar to what we are seeking, and if we had that in our pocket, we would likely be able to forgo this application but for these additional items that are involved that the city feels are worth pursuing.

I will pass it over to our health department, and we'll be available for any questions after she's finished.

Ms Sharon Delurey: My name is Sharon Delurey. I'm the tobacco use prevention coordinator for the city of Scarborough health department. Tobacco use prevention is a priority for the city of Scarborough. Scarborough city council and board of health have a role to support and encourage regulatory efforts to control tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, and I'll use the short form, ETS. Scarborough is taking a leading role in protecting its citizens from the detrimental effects of ETS; as evidence, we're here today to seek enabling legislation.

I've circulated a brief that you have in front of you right now and I just want to make a couple of comments. There's a cosmetic change on the front page that you might notice. It just makes the wording more correct. Also, I know you have a copy already of the proposed draft bylaw so I haven't included it in the appendix.

On page 2, I want to refer to some of the detrimental effects of ETS. There are many detrimental effects of ETS and I haven't listed them all here, and research continues on this, but I want to highlight the third point. There are 43 cancer-causing substances known in cigarette tobacco smoke. They have been classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a class A carcinogen, and this class has been reserved for the most dangerous cancer-causing substances. Arsenic and asbestos also are in this class. There is no safe level known for these chemicals, and to date, there is no legislation that protects all citizens from these chemicals.

I want to comment on page 4, near the bottom of the page. Last week we honoured five local businesses in Scarborough when they applied for and received their environmental tobacco-free award. This is an ongoing program that we're offering at the health department. Owners of these businesses say they've had no losses or changes in revenues as a result of their tobacco-free status.

I also want to draw attention to research of smoke-free restaurants in the California area that have been smoke-free since 1987, some of them. They've had small but significant increases in restaurant sales even though they were next to municipalities with no smoking restrictions. These results are very positive and I feel that speaks to the majority of the population, approximately 75% who are non-smokers.

Despite education efforts, the public remains largely unaware of the effects of ETS. The only effective means to protect people from ETS is to prohibit smoking. We ask for this enabling legislation so we can thereby protect Scarborough citizens from ETS.

The Chair: Is there anyone of this group who wishes to make any comments? I have some other people who wish to speak, so if I could ask you to vacate those chairs, I would ask the following people to come forward: Mr David Harris, Mr Paul Oliver, Mr Tom Friedland and Ms Vicki Beardemphl. The applicant was very good about keeping the comments brief, so I would ask you likewise to state your case as briefly as possible.

Mr David Harris: Members of the committee, my name is David Harris and I'm a representative of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. Our membership represents a number of small businesses throughout the country, and these are typically small independent restaurants.

Scarborough is no different and is dominated by small restaurants. The city supports 850 restaurants which produce employment of about 10,000 people. The CFRA has a number of concerned members within the city of Scarborough, from coffee shops to restaurants which have table service. If a ban on smoking was legislated, these establishments would be at a competitive disadvantage. For this reason, the association is against the proposal.

A local trade paper in Ontario, the Ontario Restaurant News, reported in its May 1994 edition that restaurants in Los Angeles have asked the city council to restudy a bylaw banning all cigarette smoking in the jurisdiction. A recent poll by 300 restaurants showed that 55% had lost income since the ban went into effect on August 2, 1993. The negative backlash from consumers has come in the form of fewer customers, fewer reservations and more complaints. City hall down there is investigating larger smoke-free sections as one alternative to a complete ban.

Approximately 29% of Canadians smoke. A poll by Market Facts of Canada found that 65% of smokers feel that smoking sections in restaurants are essential, and this means that a significant portion of the population is likely to reduce their patronage in restaurants which do not have smoking sections, as evidenced by the situation in LA. A smoking ban would create a competitive disadvantage for Scarborough residents, as smoking patrons gravitate to different municipalities. This would distort competition in the marketplace and limit the restaurateurs' freedom to offer a choice of dining experiences.

Restaurant patrons will choose, through their purchasing power, which type of restaurants they will frequent. The industry's profit margins are razor thin, typically 3% to 5%, and few restaurant operators can afford to ignore their customers' wishes. Customers' preferences should drive the market, not government regulation.

Are Scarborough restaurateurs worried about a smoking ban? Their concerns were documented in a study by our association. The survey occurred last summer and the sample size was 8% of all establishments within the city. It provides compelling evidence of the economic impact expected by this legislation: 64% of those polled said the existing smoking bylaw was effective, a majority said a smoking ban would reduce their sales by up to 50%, the overwhelming majority said it would reduce employees by up to 50%, and 86% said they would reconsider expansion in the city if the smoking ban was passed.

In summary, restaurateurs believe that they will be punished by a city-wide ban on smoking. It will cost them valuable sales and layoffs in their establishments. The legislation would create a patchwork quilt of regulations throughout the province, with some jurisdictions banning smoking while others allowed it, with no consistency in the application of smoking regulations. It would create an absurd situation with restaurants allowing smoking on one side of the street where it would be banned on the other side of the street by a municipal bylaw.

Restaurants in Scarborough need a level playing field with their competition in other jurisdictions. A ban on smoking would instantly eliminate a huge customer base for restaurants located in the city. For this reason, I would ask you to oppose the act that would allow a smoking ban.

The answer could be more generous smoke-free areas, better ventilation or more public information about smoking. But inconsistent and arbitrary bans hurt small business and attempts to legislate social behaviour are doomed to failure.


Mr Paul Oliver: My name is Paul Oliver and I'm president of the Ontario Restaurant Association. I'm pleased to appear before you today to discuss Bill Pr101.

The Ontario Restaurant Association, like the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, is very concerned about the content and intention of Bill Pr101. The purpose of Bill Pr101 would allow the corporation of the city of Scarborough to ban smoking in all public places, including restaurants.

The ORA believes that the powers being requested by the city of Scarborough are already being considered later this afternoon in Bill 119 and that the government's views on the regulation of smoking in public places are clearly defined in Bill 119.

I want to point out that the draft bylaw from Scarborough is only a draft bylaw. It has yet to be reviewed by full city council in its current form, has not been debated by the city of Scarborough council, and has not had public input or consultations.

The ORA believes that allowing municipalities to ban smoking in public places will create a patchwork of legislation which will diminish the effectiveness of the message and also will create an administrative burden on operators and an unlevel playing field. Therefore, the ORA strongly recommends and requests that any consideration regarding Bill Pr101 be deferred until the Legislature makes its decision on Bill 119, which we anticipate later today.

In addition to the fact that Bill Pr101 is in effect an overlapping on Bill 119, the ORA believes that any consideration to allow a municipality the power to prohibit smoking in public places such as restaurants would create a situation in which the restaurant industry in Scarborough would find itself at a distinct disadvantage compared to other municipalities in Metro Toronto. It would distort competition and would punish restaurant operators in Scarborough, as well as people working within the Scarborough restaurant industry.

During Bill 119 hearings, the ORA recommended to the committee the establishment of a provincial standard to regulate restaurant smoking guidelines in Ontario and to develop a provincial standard to avoid the patchwork disadvantage which is being created with Bill Pr101. Once again, we would encourage this committee to recommend that the government of Ontario examine provincial legislation which would avoid the patchwork legislative burden which is being created with Pr101.

Banning smoking in restaurants would create even further economic hardship for Scarborough restaurants which are facing severe economic difficulties. The foodservice sector is a major employer across Ontario and currently employs 235,000 Ontarians, jobs that will be at risk if Pr101 proceeds forward.

The foodservice and hospitality industry already strives to respect and to ensure the rights of non-smokers will be respected in our establishments. As pointed out by a previous presenter, many operators have already adopted smoke-free restaurants, but these initiatives are done as a result of their consumer concern or the composition of their unique customers, and not as a result of government legislation. However, banning smoking in restaurants is not applicable to all types of establishments and all types of consumer compositions. Therefore, we would encourage that a ban not be enabled under Bill Pr101.

The ORA hopes the members of the standing committee will take into consideration the serious needs of the restaurant and foodservice industry in Scarborough and set Bill Pr101 aside until such time as Bill 119 is dealt with by the Legislature.

Mr Tom Friedland: My name is Tom Friedland. I'm a lawyer at Goodman and Goodman, and we represent Bryan Robinson Agency Ltd. Bryan Robinson Agency Ltd carries on business as Club Bingo in the city of Scarborough. We're here speaking in opposition to private member's bill 101.

Our position is very straightforward; it's even clearer than with respect to the restaurants. This bill will put Club Bingo out of business. I'd like to tell you why this is so.

The basic fact is that, for a variety of reasons, people at bingo halls smoke. Our surveys have shown that 85%-plus of people at bingo halls sit in the smoking section. The non-smoking section at Club Bingo is always empty, always has lots of capacity.

The reality is that if this legislation is introduced, the people who now play bingo and sit there in their smoky environment at Club Bingo in Scarborough will go to other municipalities where the restrictions are much less severe. The consequence is that not only will Club Bingo close and not only will the employees lose their jobs, but also, if you understand the way bingos work, Club Bingo rents the hall to charities. Charities are the ones that actually run the bingos, and the charities earn between $50,000 and $200,000 each. Each of 25 to 30 charities earn that money from operating bingos at Club Bingo in Scarborough, and they will not have that opportunity to earn that money.

Club Bingo is not necessarily opposed to a provincewide ban on smoking in bingo halls; what it is concerned about is the ad hoc municipality-by-municipality basis that this legislation suggests. We understand that Bill 119 is going to have third reading this afternoon, and there's been a conscious decision in there not to have smoking banned at those places of public assembly. To allow this one piece of legislation to go forward would be completely contrary to what the Legislature is looking at in Bill 119.

Whether you smoke or you don't smoke, you have to look at this as a matter of fairness. What's going to happen here is that Club Bingo and other places of public assembly in the first municipalities to ban smoking are going to be prejudiced entirely. So we'd ask that you not support this legislation.

Ms Vicki Beardemphl: My name is Vicki Beardemphl. I'm a general manager of a hotel in Scarborough. I'm here representing the hotel association for all the hotels in Scarborough.

I am sure the members are aware that the accommodation industry has been dealt serious economic losses by the recession. This bill would effectively prohibit the hotels from providing service to customers who wish to smoke. They would simply go to another municipality for lodging, a meeting or to eat and drink.

We are certainly understanding of the problems related to smoking and go out of our way to ensure that nonsmokers' rights are fully respected. However, we must ensure that regulatory framework does not put us in a non-competitive position, and this bill would certainly do that.

We are a consumer-sensitive industry and we cannot afford to lose even one customer today. This bill would give Scarborough a competitive disadvantage with other municipalities, and we strongly feel it would have an overall negative impact on the tourism business.

Mr Friedland: If I may, I just want to make sure that members of the committee have a two-page letter that was circulated hopefully earlier this morning. It summarizes our position.

The Chair: Yes. We have several letters from different organizations and one of them is definitely from your firm on behalf of Club Bingo.

At this point, I would ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward to speak to this bill. Seeing none, I would remind members that we have some people from the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Transportation here who can answer more technical questions should they arise. I would turn to Mr Hayes and ask for any ministry input.

Mr Hayes: Actually, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not have any objections to this bill. It should be noted, though, and I think some of the people have mentioned it, that Bill 119, which is expected to receive third reading, actually will give all municipalities essentially the same powers as what they're asking for here, I believe. I just wanted to point that out.

There are some questions as to whether there would be any confusion with two pieces of legislation, but outside of that, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not have any objections. There are representatives here, as you mentioned, from MTO and Health if the members have any questions.

Mr O'Melia: Is it possible for us to retake a seat so we can address any concerns?

The Chair: Yes. We'll see how the questions go, if you could just hang on for a second. I have two questioners here. I know there's a letter from the Ministry of Transportation. Did you want to make a comment about that, Mr Ferguson?

Mr David Ferguson: I'm David Ferguson, staff member with the Ministry of Transportation. I believe you have before you a letter from our minister to the Honourable Ed Philip. Our concern relates to the inclusion of public transit vehicles in the legislation and primarily to the concern that the control over public transit vehicles is currently included in other legislation.

With respect to the Toronto Transit Commission and its vehicles, exclusive authority is granted to the TTC under the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, and in fact that act specifically precludes both the Metropolitan corporation and any area municipality from exercising authority over the TTC in its operations. In fact, the TTC, which is designated as a "street railway" under the street railway act, has adopted a bylaw, their bylaw 1, which precludes or prohibits smoking in all their facilities, both stations and vehicles.


Secondly, the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority Act provides GO Transit with the authority to enact regulations which prohibit smoking in their facilities, and in fact GO has enacted regulation 1036 under its act prohibiting smoking on its vehicles.

Our final concern is that the definition of "public transit" in this draft legislation is inconsistent with the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act, the Public Vehicles Act and possibly with the Municipal Act. As I read this, it could includes taxis as well, and the regulation of taxis is granted exclusively to both the Metropolitan corporation and the Metropolitan Licensing Commission under the Metro act.

In short, our concern is that there may be some uncertainty, some confusion, some inconsistency, and we would respectfully request that references to public transit vehicles in this legislation be deleted.

I should add as well that with respect to transit shelters, which are under area municipal control, we would support the prohibition as proposed.

Mr O'Melia: Madam Chair, can I just respond to that last comment? If I'd had a mike I think I could have saved us some time, because the reference to public transit vehicles has been taken out of the bill. That was at the suggestion of the legislative clerk when the draft bill was submitted, and that should be out of the copy; it is in my copy.

The Chair: No, in fact it isn't.

Mr O'Melia: Okay. That should be taken out. It was removed in consultation. We're still seeking to cover public transit shelters, which are entirely different entities, but public transit vehicles are as the representative of the Ministry of Transportation has stated.

The Chair: I think legislative counsel has a comment to make with regard to your comments.

Ms Lucinda Mifsud: I didn't get any instructions to take out these definitions, so we'll have to do it by motion now.

Mr O'Melia: I certainly have no problem with that. I inherited this file from a woman who's now on maternity leave. Certainly her instructions were that this had been discussed and removed, but I guess it was printed at the provincial end, not at our end. My copy has that reference taken out.

The Chair: Our copies all have them in.

Mr O'Melia: That should be taken out by motion, but that's no problem at all.

The Chair: Okay. We'll have to see what we can draft in the meantime while other people ask their questions. I would first turn to Mrs Mathyssen.

Mrs Irene Mathyssen (Middlesex): I was interested in your reference to research where you indicated that people who couldn't smoke in establishments were not availing themselves of those places. I wondered if you'd done similar research regarding non-smokers, because I know I myself have simply turned around and left a restaurant or an area where there is smoking because I simply couldn't tolerate or enjoy a meal or an evening in that place.

In light of the fact that airlines and many businesses are offering non-smoking for the convenience of passengers who prefer smoke-free environments, have you done research to see whether or not you're losing business because there are smokers in there causing discomfort?

Mr David Harris: I believe the research would have taken that into account. Whereas patronage went down because of the lack of smoking there, patronage also might have gone up somewhat because they didn't allow any smoking. The end result was that 55% had lost income. So there would have been that within the research that has occurred. As restaurant patronage went down, and as it went up because it was totally non-smoking, it would have counterbalanced that; 55% said they were losing money at that stage.

Mr Oliver: It's important to note, though, that some establishments have adopted non-smoking policies as a result of concerns from consumers like yourself. Legislation would not prevent them from doing so. What we have suggested is that for some types of establishments non-smoking environments are appropriate; for others, in particular nightclubs, things like that, it's not appropriate, and it's the consumer's choice. Because you have the choice of going into the establishment or going to one that is non-smoking, you will dictate the policy and the establishment will respond to that. As we are seeing, it's major chains doing that already. Trying to move it with government legislation, however, distorts that power of the consumer.

The Chair: Mr Hansen, place your question.

Mr Hansen: The interested parties who are sitting there now can remain there because I'm going to be voting against this bill. I respect the Ministry of Health's concerns here, but I can tell you that I was health and safety rep in 1988 when smoking in the workplace came in in the designated area. At General Motors there was to be no smoking in lunchrooms, but negotiated with other members of the bargaining unit, what we did was to have lunch time from 11:30 to 12 for the non-smokers and from 12 to 12:30 for the smokers. So there can be some accommodation here.

My wife will cook at home before going out to a restaurant where she can't have a cigarette with her coffee after she's finished her meal. I've seen Mr Oliver here, for I guess about the last three weeks, there's been some issue knocking at the restaurant association or the tourism area. I can tell you that if you want to call it another nail in the coffin for the person who smokes, this is another nail in the coffin for the restaurant association. So I think we're pounding two nails at once.

I believe it should be customer-driven. There are signs in the restaurants as it is now where it says, "This is a smoking area," or, "This is a non-smoking area." What upsets me as a smoker is that I go in and sit in the smoking area and 10 people come in who are non-smokers and complain that I'm smoking in a smoking area, but they say they'll sit in the smoking area. Sorry, the sign's there: That's the way I look at it. I can't support this. I'm going in for a drink and I can't have a cigarette with my beer? I've got some bad habits, but don't take them all away from me.

The Chair: We don't want to get into that, all right? We are definitely starting as the non-smokers and we're going to end up tilting against the smokers. I appreciate Mr Hansen's remarks.

Mr Hansen: I have no problem supporting Bill 119. Maybe there are some issues in there I don't fully agree with, but I take a look at my children and I hope they don't grow up like me.

The Chair: Now we've got everybody on the list. Anybody else want to get in while we've got the list up here?

Mr O'Neil: I don't smoke or drink, but I don't think I'd mind my children growing up like Ron a bit. How's that?

I don't propose to support this bill. We're dealing with Bill 119, and as Mr Eddy just mentioned to me, we've had hearings right across the province on this and input from everyone. I think there are segments of the tourism industry that have been very hard hit and this would be another pressure put on them. Mind you, I feel that the people in the tourism industry are also obligated to set aside certain areas within establishments to give that protection to people who don't want to be bothered by smoke. I'm hoping that Bill 119 will solve a lot of the problems we have, and I can just hope that people like Mr Hansen will repent on the lifestyle they have on smoking and drinking.

The Chair: There are some roads rockier than others. But in any case, all of that aside, I want to note for members that the wonderful hour of noon has arrived, and I know at least three of us have a briefing that we are supposed to be attending.

Mrs MacKinnon: We do?

The Chair: Not you, Ellen, but several of us do. I am open to suggestion from the members how best to continue, as in a motion to sit for another 15 minutes, or how to proceed, or if someone wants to move for a vote, that's --


Mrs MacKinnon: Madam Chair, I move that we sit until this bill is finished and then rise.

The Chair: We have actually a motion from Mr Jordan, who says that he would like to have the question put. That started before you put your motion forward. I will deal with Mr Jordan's first and ask, are members prepared to vote at this time? Agreed.

Mr O'Melia: Madam Chair, do we not get an opportunity to respond?

The Chair: Not at this point. We're going to start a vote. There was a majority in favour of putting the question.

Mr Hansen: Could I have a recorded vote on this one?

The Chair: Just in time for the clerk to have left. I'll give her a second to return. We have a recorded vote, if members would signify. Those in favour of Bill Pr101, please signify.


Fletcher, Hayes, Mathyssen.

The Chair: All those opposed to Bill Pr101, please signify.


Eddy, Hansen, Hodgson, Jordan, MacKinnon, O'Neil (Quinte).

The Chair: The bill is defeated. I am sorry for the applicants. Obviously, those who oppose it have another feeling. We are recessing until after routine proceedings.

The committee recessed from 1202 to 1524.

Mrs Mathyssen: Excuse me, Madam Chair, I wonder if I could ask the indulgence of the committee to grant unanimous consent to have a substitution for Mr Mills. He's the parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General, and he's currently in the standing committee on administration of justice carrying information before that committee. Since it would be helpful to expedite a very busy agenda, I wonder if I could have that unanimous consent.

The Chair: Is there unanimous consent for that?

Mr Ruprecht: It depends on how many we are.

The Chair: Take your pulse and take your numbers. What can I say?

Mr Eddy: It's a courtesy that I would hope could be extended to any party on occasion.

The Chair: This committee doesn't tend to be terribly contentious on most occasions, so thank you. I believe we have unanimous consent.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you, Madam Chair. We appreciate that very much.


Continuing consideration of Bill Pr123, An Act respecting the Township of Sidney.

The Chair: Back to the business at hand. Our first order of business relates to Bill Pr123, An Act respecting the Township of Sidney. Mr O'Neil, did you want to stay there and have the deputants come forward again?

Mr O'Neil: I think that would likely be quite suitable.

The Chair: Okay. Mr Bowman, Mr Brooks, Mr Pine and, I believe, Mr Campbell. We had deferred decisions and we had interrupted discussions on this earlier this morning and, at this point, Mr Hayes, we were trying to get some more information from different ministries. Would you be able to add some more detail at this point? You have a couple of ministry people here. Could you enlighten us?

Mr Hayes: Madam Chair, I really can't enlighten you any more. We thought maybe we may have been able to work something out, but we found that we could not and we are still taking the same stand. The ministry is taking the same stand as we did this morning, that we do not support this bill.

Mr Fletcher: To the parliamentary assistant, what is the difference or are there differences between this and the Atikokan project that was approved? Are there any differences?

Mr Hayes: Yes, there are. Just one moment, so you'll have it right.

The Chair: Please make sure that you introduce yourself for Hansard.

Mr Skinner: I'm Ron Skinner with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

On the Atikokan bill, the ministry did not object to or support the bill. We were under the understanding that it was a one-time only, the only time that the situation would come up. Since that time, we've understood that Ontario Hydro is negotiating with several other organizations with respect to similar sites, the Sidney situation being one of them, I suppose. Had we known that in the beginning, I guess we wouldn't have lapsed into the position where we were and we would have perhaps objected to it, but at that point we thought it was only one situation.

Mr O'Neil: I have the transcript from the meetings when we met and we passed the Atikokan thing. The speaker at the time for the ministry was Mr Robson, who I believe was with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Of course, there was quite a discussion at that time, and I'd like to quote from some of the different things.

"To try to respond to that question, the first thing is, we had a number of interministry meetings with a number of ministries such as Municipal Affairs, Revenue, and Education to some extent. I think we would have not supported the exemption, but we have recognized that in the sense of assessing hydro-electric projects, there is quite a distinction." One comment.

Another one is: "We are establishing an interministry task force to look at assessing hydro facilities and the gas utilities and even private ones like this. We'll probably, in the future, come up with a completely different system to assess them, but in the intermediate period, we have this problem that this particular one is going to go forward. So although we would have been normally reluctant to support this at all, we are being supportive because of the difference in the treatment of the different type of systems," this being hydraulic rather than gas-fired.


Mr David Johnson: "But you're saying that because this is involved with the generation of electricity, that's a little hook that allows it to meet your approval."

Mr Robson: "Well, as Tom indicated earlier, we'd have to look at each situation, but I think the important thing here is that we do recognize quite an inconsistency in the net result, so we are going to work towards trying to address that. But for the short term, the view was that we should try to see if we could make this situation more comparable to the other ones, the other ones being Ontario Hydro" -- in other words, other hydro-electric plants throughout the province that are assessed on a different basis than other commercial or other projects.

Mr Melville: "Again, just to respond quickly, I think the point that Bill Robson is making, in perhaps simpler terms, is that the hydro generation facility is a special case because of the existing assessment arrangements for Hydro facilities of that nature." I understand Hydro facilities are a separate identity and have a separate nature and a separate basis. "In respect of other matters, we look at them on a case-by-case basis, but we do have ministry criteria and, as you say...."

Mr Robson: "...hydraulic water situation that this one is in. The other ones are more of a gas type. Hopefully before even those...this problem will be resolved long before the next project moves to completion."

We have another project, as was discussed this morning. We have a project, as I say, that in the vicinity of $13.5 million would come into the Quinte area. A riding has been mentioned where close to 3,000 jobs have been lost. That means quite a bit to our people. The parliamentary assistant said that the ministry staff had reviewed it and at the present time they stand by the decision that they wouldn't support the bill.

I also understand that there have been some discussions between ministry staff and the people involved in the project. I wonder if there isn't some type of resolution that can be arrived at to allow this project to go ahead. We likely wouldn't have this problem if everything was settled on the assessment basis, and I do believe that when the ministry staff look at this, in their fairness, and the minister, they're going to see that there has to be some sort of a different equation that's used here that would assess these plants a little differently.

We're going to end up with this plant is built, and besides that, $13.5 million coming in and the creation of many jobs and money coming into the economy. We're going to have ongoing money that's going to be generated within the community that will help us out in the situation we have. Again, especially right now, where we're drawing $130-a-year taxes, we're going to end up with getting a large amount of taxes that will be going in to the government and to the province through this job creation tax, income tax and all these others.

So I just ask: Is there not some way that this group can work with our committee and the ministry to get something approved here that would be suitable for everyone and allow the project to go ahead?

Mr Hayes: I'd like to refer it to staff.

Mr Skinner: If I can answer that, over the lunch hour we had an opportunity to meet with the proponents of the bill and discuss their perspective as well as the ministry's policy perspective. We exchanged views but, as we discussed at that time, this is not the position of staff alone in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs but rather is the opinion of the minister, as exemplified by the letter which he sent to committee.

In addition, it's not the Ministry of Municipal Affairs alone that has concerns but also the Ministry of Finance, and at this point we don't see that we can get back to those two respective entities and resolve any sort of compromise around this. I know that from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs' perspective, the ministry sees this as a serious issue.

You mentioned the issue of Atikokan, and our concern was that that sent the wrong message. We thought that the message was fine as a one-only situation, but it sent the wrong message and unfortunately it confuses the situation. Our minister's position is that to pass this particular private bill would further confuse the situation in terms of setting the precedent even more firmly.

Mr O'Neil: When we have a project like this and create jobs in an area -- I just don't know. We've made it an exception, and I realize what you're telling me, but I realize maybe another exception might help us out at this time. I don't know whether any of the other members have anything to add to it.

Sorry, Madam Chair, I know you were trying to reach me or say something.

The Chair: I passed a note to the parliamentary assistant. Possibly the two of you can confer while I recognize Mrs MacKinnon, and I believe Mr Eddy's on the list after that. Mrs MacKinnon, you have a question.

Mrs MacKinnon: Bills like this, to me in any case, seem a bit more than a committee should be dealing with. It would appear to me that this type of bill almost belongs in the parliamentary procedure where it would be presented, it would be debated on and it would go through the parliamentary process. It seems to me that we're being asked to make a decision here more than a committee should be involved in. Be I right or be I wrong, I question why.

The Chair: Mrs MacKinnon, did you want this to Mr Hayes?

Mrs MacKinnon: Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, through you to Mr Hayes, or to any of the other ministry staff, or whoever feels --

The Chair: They've been somewhat preoccupied trying to deal --

Mr Hayes: Make it a really brief question. What is it?

Mrs MacKinnon: I tried to be brief.

The Chair: Mrs MacKinnon is raising the point of whether either one of the ministries is trying to work to a more comprehensive, general policy on dealing with these matters because she feels that it's dealing ad hoc as projects come forward.

Have I translated that well enough for you, Mrs MacKinnon?

Mrs MacKinnon: Yes. I just wonder why something of this nature is before a committee. Why isn't it before the Legislature?

Mr Hayes: It's the proper procedure that's being followed here. You come to this committee and then, if it does get accepted, it does go into the Legislature. But I think what's happening here, and I think it was indicated this morning, is that there are people in the ministries who are working together to try to set the criteria for these types of requests. There are people who are working on that now.

I have to refer back to the letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I'm going to read part of this, two paragraphs. One is actually dealing with the Atikokan act. He states that:

"I appreciate that the proponents of the private bill consider the Township of Atikokan Act in 1993 as a precedent for their bill since it also dealt with a tax reduction for a power-generating facility. I also appreciate that the township of Sidney as well as the county of Northumberland and the public and separate school boards each support this private bill, because development could stimulate the local economy through the sale of materials and supplies and the creation of jobs, directly and indirectly.

"However, I feel very strongly that enactment of this private bill would further erode the bonusing prohibition. We understood the Township of Atikokan Act was intended to accommodate the only instance where a new water-powered electric-generating facility was to be built. We now understand that Ontario Hydro," and I think this is an important point, "has been negotiating with respect to other potential similar developments. In addition, such a precedent could also have implications with respect to other types of potential industrial-commercial development."

I know it was stated in here earlier about the government giving grants or loans or what have you to other corporations, and you also have to realize that you're talking about the provincial government doing it and not the local municipalities or the school boards.


Mr Eddy: I agree with Mrs MacKinnon's point because it's a matter that we are dealing with piecemeal, and it's a private bill, as it should be. But it seems to me that it's part of a much bigger picture. It really is a matter for the government to come to grips with overall government policy.

Do we want the best alternative for producing hydro-electric power, and what is that? Hydraulic, of course it is; the cleanest, most environmentally sound. It's perfect in many respects, so it is the best alternative.

It's interesting that we're dealing with this. We've been assured that the assessment of hydro-electric generating plants is being reviewed, the policy re taxation. I would go so far as to say that when that formula is decided upon and a policy is established, I would think indeed that it will bring tax relief. We're a bit ahead of our time because of that, because of the review and not knowing when it's going to be complete, but it should be given top priority; a policy should be established. I think the government and indeed the assembly should know what it really wants in this field. It's awfully important.

It's also interesting to note that it seemed to me the Minister of Municipal Affairs, in a paper some time ago, assured the municipalities that the bonusing provisions in the Municipal Act would be reviewed, with a paper to be prepared and circulated. I've forgotten; it was some time ago and I don't know where it stands now.

I really don't see, even though it's relieving municipal taxation on a certain plant, that it's really in fact bonusing, because bonusing is where you give forgiveness of taxation for a given period in order to get an industry located there. Here, the offer is to build it here, and as has been mentioned many times, it can be on this site. The river is there and it can't be moved, so you're not really stealing it from anybody.

I would think that if a new formula comes forward, taking into consideration that Ontario Hydro generating sites are taxed at a much, much lower percentage, then it should apply to this, because I think it's got two tremendous pluses: It's hydraulic power to generate the hydro and it's in a local municipality, with the hydro generated to be used there. So it's not going to need tremendous, cross-province power lines, tower lines. It has so many good things. Maybe some people would say, "Best of all, it's going to be established and operated by the private sector," and boy, do we need to get back to that.

I'm disappointed that something can't be done that we can't give the same advantage to this particular application as we did in the case of Atikokan to get on with it and get it under way, knowing that there is a review that will probably give relief when it comes forward.

Mr Jordan: I really would like to extend Mr Eddy's description of this project. I think it's important enough that the committee should approve it and let it go on to the Legislature if it requires further debate by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, because this statement in there that Ontario Hydro is negotiating further with other private enterprises doesn't affect this at all. Those negotiations are way out there.

These negotiations have been completed, the agreement has been made. Ontario Hydro has made the commitment to receive power into the loop from this generating station. So this would be, what you might say, the second and last one that would have to be approved by this committee under a private member's bill, because I'm sure by the time the other ones are negotiated and Ontario Hydro is -- mind you, they're not accepting any private generation at the present time unless it's five megawatts or under, I believe. So I don't think we're setting any precedent here by approving another one.

I know the parliamentary assistant has concern that this may go on and on and there'll be another one tomorrow. I really don't believe that's going to happen. I think in all fairness to the county and the regions and the province, we should as a committee approve this and approve it now without further delay.

Mr Hansen: Would the Ministry of Energy happen to be here yet? I had asked them to come for some explanation. Also, the last time, when we had the corporation of the township of Atikokan, we had the Ministry of Education and Training come forward also. I'm just going to read out of Hansard from June 23:

Mr Michael Riley: "I'm counsel with the Ministry of Education and Training, and I just wanted to make a couple of more or less general points about the proposed bill.

"I think from the perspective of our ministry, just to remind the committee, a tax exemption does of course shift the burden somewhere and generally it'll shift the burden to other municipalities within the same school board jurisdiction and also to some extent to the province generally, because with respect to an assessment loss below the grant ceilings for education purposes, this loss will be compensated for by provincial grants."

That's just reading out of context, not going any farther.

Also, I have the letter here from Hastings-Prince Edward county. It doesn't make all that much sense to me in a sense, reading it here. It says:

"The board of trustees have directed me to write and advise that the Hastings-Prince Edward County Roman Catholic Separate School Board is in complete support of the private member's bill which will be presented in the House of Commons on behalf of the Trent Severn Power Corporation."

It's not the House of Commons here, but it says here, "This school board supports the request that this authority for the next ten (10) years...." They've got 10 years in there. I thought it was for 20 years in the bill.


Mr Hansen: Is it 20 or 25? It's 20. Okay. The letter here doesn't state the support for the 20 years. I'm just questioning --

Mr Brooks: I would suggest that is just an error on the part of the people writing it.

The Chair: Mr Brooks, you may have to move the microphone a little closer to you as well.

Mr Brooks: I would just suggest that because of the haste in the writing, if you will, there may have been some time where a person just put "10." I notice that the minister also suggested that this municipality's within the county of Northumberland, and it's not; it's in the county of Hastings. So these things do happen in graphics.

Mr Bowman: I just want to respond, Mr Hansen, to your last comment about shifting the burden to other school boards or to the Ministry of Education.

Mr Hansen: Other municipalities.

Mr Bowman: To other municipalities. I think the way we have to look at this, again, is not what we're not getting; what we have right now is a situation where you have a piece of land that is not generating any tax. The way to look at this is that if the bill goes through, the project goes through and you generate more tax. That's what's going to happen here. If the bill doesn't go through and the project doesn't go through, that's where the burden comes in, because you're not going to generate any tax from this property.

Again, we'll show you pictures of it. It's an exempt property. It has no other highest and best use. It's a long, narrow street. It's beside Highway 33. It's beside the river. It's a long, narrow piece of property. It's got no other potential. If the bill is allowed and the project goes through, I think it's a win-win situation, because you get something where there would otherwise be nothing.

Mr Hansen: No, these are just questions that --

Mr Bowman: I think that's the way you have to look at it from the financing point of view: $35,000 or $40,000 a year is better than $130 a year.

Mr Hansen: The thing is that what I wanted the Ministry of Energy here for was to find out, are we going to wind up building this plant here and eliminating more of Ontario Hydro -- we shut down so it costs someplace else -- or is the electricity in that particular area needed and it can be sold, no problem? I know there's a contract with Hydro, but does that mean shutting down more Hydro installations?

Mr Jordan: Madam Chair, I'd just like to interject here that this being a hydraulic station --

The Chair: Mr Jordan, we do have a list, and your interjection right now --

Mr Hansen: At least let him give me an answer.

Mr Ruprecht: Yes. Let him go ahead.


The Chair: He's not a ministry staff person, so I would say that the other two people who are ahead of him probably have as much right to place their question or comment as he does.

Mr Hansen: I'd like that question answered as soon as the ministry staff get here.

Mr Ruprecht: I understand that we're trying to come to some kind of accommodation here and I understand that you, of course, see what takes place in terms of trying to work out some compromise. I'd like at this stage, before I speak, to move to my colleague Mr O'Neil to make a motion, if that is acceptable to you.

Mr O'Neil: Before I make the motion -- and I know that one of our members has to leave. Let's put it this way, being very blunt: If I thought we were to put it to a vote shortly and it would carry, we could carry on with the discussion. So the first thing is, that's the process that could happen.

The second one is maybe a little bit of discussion around the table that if it's not going to pass, if the government members did not support it and we were going to lose it, I would hate to see the project lost, so should we talk about a deferring of it so that the company can have some discussions with the ministry? Or, if you wanted to go ahead with the vote, I guess I'd ask --

Mr Bowman: We're happy to have discussions with the ministry, but I've got to be very blunt with this committee: We've had discussions. We've had discussions on the phone and the ministry's been very good to meet with us, but the ministry is not changing its mind. The ministry is simply telling us the basis of its position. I think, as we've said to the ministry and I'm going to say to this committee, this is a political decision at this point. If you think this is a good project, if you think this is a project worth having, then you're going to have the political will to do it.

I think you're going to come to the conclusion, as I'm trying to suggest to you, that this is not really bonusing in the sense of what the anti-bonusing provisions of the Municipal Act are designed to prevent from happening. This is not that situation, and you heard my comments this morning.

I'm happy to talk to the ministry, and I'll say here that I think we need to really speak to the political people in the ministry at this point. The staff have been very courteous; they've been very helpful in terms of explaining their position. We acknowledge that and we appreciate it, but the staff have indicated to us that they're not in a position to change their views on this matter.

Interjection: Which ministry?

Mr Bowman: With the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and with the Ministry of Finance.

In terms of deferral, again, this is a difficult position for us to take, but as we speak, as we wait during today, interest rates have risen. As I've indicated to you before, the interest rates are another factor that we have to contend with here. The costs are going up with this project. If interest rates continue to rise and we can't come to an accommodation with respect to the taxes, that also puts the project at risk. In the months since January, since we started this process with the municipality, interest rates have risen, and that's been to our detriment in terms of getting this thing going.

We'd like to talk, but there's no point in talking if all we're going to get, if I may put it, is the line that, "We can't do anything about it."

The Chair: At this point I'd like to turn to Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes: The time in years I think should be clarified. Mr Hansen raised that question.

Mr Tom Melville: Tom Melville, Ministry of Municipal Affairs. I just wanted a clarification on the time that's allowed in the bill. It says that the bill expires in the year 2024, which would make it 30 years. There's a 20-year provision for the bylaw and the one right of renewal, presumably, for the 10-year difference.

Mr Bowman: Excuse me, Madam Chair. I need clarification. Are we talking about the original bill that we've put before you or the modification, right now? What's before the committee?

The Chair: My package looks like this.

Mr Melville: This is the printed version of the bill that I have.

Mr Bowman: I'm sorry. Is this the bill that was originally put before the committee, that legislative counsel prepared?

The Chair: Mine doesn't have a date, so I can't give you --

Mr Bowman: Because we've received a modification. We've been told that the ministry had prepared a revised bill that would just --

Mr Melville: I'm sorry, this is not the revised version. This is your bill as is.

Mr Bowman: This is the bill that we've put before us.

The Chair: Does that answer your concern?

Mr O'Neil: Madam Chair, then I really believe what we have to do is, if the rest of the members are in agreement, I would move that we put it to a vote.

The Chair: Motion for a vote?

Mr Hansen: Mr Johnson would like to ask a question, if you don't mind.

The Chair: The motion was put forward, Mr Hansen.

Mr Hansen: Can you withdraw the motion until we've got a few more questions?

Mr O'Neil: I will withdraw. I know that Mr Johnson is from the area. Hopefully, he'd have some considerations.

Mr Paul R. Johnson (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings): Thank you, Mr O'Neil, for withdrawing that and allowing me to speak.

As all members of the committee know, from time to time we are substituted for other members on committees from all caucuses. Today, I am being substituted for Gord Mills. I find myself, at least within my own brain, embroiled by two compelling arguments, one from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and one from Sidney township. I might say that I'm torn, because as one who would normally substitute for a government committee member, there's an expectation that you will support the government's intentions. However, on the other hand, I want to say that I know how difficult it's been for Trenton, for Sidney township and indeed for all of Hastings county and Belleville and the Quinte area with regard to job losses, unemployment figures, people who are on social assistance -- just the fact that the recession has particularly hit this area very hard. I think any opportunity to see construction or the production of some kind of growth in the economy in the region or in the area is eminently important.

I want to make it clear that at this point in time I really haven't come to a conclusion. I've been in the room for what now, 10 or 15 minutes? It makes it very difficult for me, having no foreknowledge of the undertaking of the committee today, to come to some responsible conclusion. I wouldn't want to make a mistake. Indeed, I may be the vote that decides, one way or the other, how this goes.

You can see the seriousness of my decision. Therefore, I would like to just walk out and not be a party to the undertaking, to be frank. But, again, I recognize the concerns as I've read the minister's letter and I also recognize the very serious economic implications of allowing this bill to pass so the project can go ahead etc. If anyone would like to help me make a decision with regard to this, I'd appreciate it.

Mrs MacKinnon: Madam Chair, could we caucus for five minutes?

The Chair: You'd like to call for a recess of five minutes? You may do that, Mrs MacKinnon.

The committee recessed from 1558 to 1605.

The Chair: Ladies and gentlemen, I 'd like to call the meeting back to order. I believe we had --

Mr O'Neil: Madam Chair, I may have to ask for another five-minute deferment on this, and I don't really want to do this. Mr Jordan has a meeting with Mr Harris -- I guess you can't go any higher than that -- and he said he would be back within a couple of minutes.

The Chair: Another five minutes; we are adjourned for five more minutes.

The committee recessed from 1606 to 1612.

The Chair: I would like to call the meeting back to order after our brief recess. I would like to thank members for their timeliness in that regard. Our order of business again is relating to Bill Pr123, relating to the township of Sidney. Mr Fletcher, did you want to make a comment?

Mr Fletcher: No, to ask a question of the deputants. I was just wondering, with this project, did you apply to Jobs Ontario Capital or any of the government -- how come?

Mr Bowman: It's entirely privately financed.

Mr Fletcher: And you didn't apply to Jobs Ontario Capital to help?

Mr Bowman: No.

Mr Fletcher: Why not?

Mr Bowman: I don't understand the question. Should we be taking government money when we can do this privately?

Mr Fletcher: But you're asking for government money through the assessment reduction.

Mr Bowman: We're not asking for government money, sir. We're not asking for any money. What we're saying is we would like ultimately, in the early years of this project, to pay less taxes than the assessment formula would require us to pay. It's not a handout.

Mr Fletcher: Which is, indirectly, a way of the government subsidizing your program: indirectly.

Mr Bowman: We're not asking a municipality for any subsidy. What we're asking them for is to agree to taxes that would make this project sustainable in its early years, and the municipalities have agreed and the local school boards have agreed and the county has agreed. We're not asking the province for anything.

Again, as I said earlier, it strikes me that this is really a local issue, and again, it's not a bonusing situation. This is not a situation where we're competing with other municipalities. Those are good policies, those bonusing policies, that make sense. You don't want municipalities to compete with each other for car companies or what not. But you can't compete for this kind of project. It either goes on this site or it doesn't go. It's just not a competition.

Mr Fletcher: Thank you.

Mr O'Neil: Madam Chair, I think I've made the motion to put it to a vote.

Mr Fletcher: Could we have a five-minute recess again? I just want to discuss a few more things.

The Chair: Recess for another five minutes, please.

The committee recessed from 1615 to 1616.

The Chair: Mr O'Neil, we did need a bit of clarification. I understand that you and the clerk have spoken about your motion during that brief recess. Would you put your motion on the record, please?

Mr O'Neil: Madam Chair, the discussion with the clerk was that there are amendments, but since the ministry staff have said these amendments have not been checked with the different ministers, in other words we can't deal with the amendments. Is that not the case?

Mr Skinner: The amendments related to the technical concerns which were mentioned in the minister's letter and which were referred to by counsel this morning, that if the bill were to proceed, then we would want an opportunity to address some of the technical concerns.

Mr O'Neil: I guess then I would have to call upon the proponents of the bill, whether you want to deal with the bill as it is, or whether you want to enter into these amendments, or just have the committee vote on the bill as it is.

The Chair: Mr Bowman, do you want a five-minute recess?

Mr Bowman: I'm happy to have the amendments go forward. I'm not supporting all of the amendments, but if you want to deal with the amendments on a clause-by-clause basis and if you'll hear our concerns with respect to -- if we can speak to them as well.

The Chair: No, I'm sorry. Procedurally, once we start the vote there will be no further discussion. We basically just move them through. If you have concerns about the amendments, and I believe you've seen the amendments --

Mr Bowman: Yes. I can tell you now what the concerns are.

The Chair: I think in that sense what Mr O'Neil is proposing is that, as the amendments have been submitted to you, they're either accepted or there's the other option, which is to vote on the bill as it is.

Mr Bowman: There's one fundamental problem that we have with the amendments. First of all, I want the committee to appreciate that we only saw the amendments at a few minutes to 3 before we reconvened this afternoon, but having had the opportunity to go through them, albeit very briefly, the major problem we have, I must be candid, is we have some concerns about some of the provisions dealing with the school boards in terms of getting their approval; not that we object to that in principle, only that we feel we've done that and it will just add to the timing, add to further delay.

But the primary concern that we have with the amendment is the last clause which repeals the act as of December 31, 1998. That's not realistic from a financing point of view. We're not convinced we could work on that time frame. We would have to have the time frame as set out in the original bill.

The Chair: Which clause are you referring to?

Mr O'Neil: We don't have that in ours.

The Chair: I don't have that, either.

Mr Bowman: It's section 6.

The Chair: I have 20, 24 and I don't have an amendment for section 6.

Mr Bowman: Again, I guess that's where we're talking at cross purposes. We've been distributed a revised bill from the ministry that changed that date to December 31, 1998.

The Chair: I know we have in the next bill that relates to a similar topic -- it's not exactly the same -- but Seymour, I know that it has a provision in its document relating to tax reduction to December 31, 1998, but from the material that has been handed out relating to your bill, that is not there. We'll give the clerk a minute to sort through this. I beg everyone's indulgence here. A five-minute recess because we have to get it copied.

The committee recessed from 1620 to 1622.

The Chair: I'd like to call the committee back to order and I appreciate everyone's indulgence. I believe, Mr Bowman, you have one or two comments that you wish to make.

Mr Bowman: I've just had an opportunity to confer with a principal from Trent Severn, Mr Campbell, and our position is that we would like the committee to consider the original bill that is before it; not the amendments, but just the bill that we had brought before you originally.

The Chair: All members understand that the original bill without amendments is what is open for consideration at this time. Okay? I will ask the question at this point.

Mr O'Neil: A recorded vote too on all these, please.

The Chair: Are members then prepared to vote? Agreed. Mr O'Neil has asked for a recorded vote.

All members who are in favour of Bill Pr123, the Township of Sidney Act, please signify and the clerk will call out your name.


Eddy, Hodgson, Jordan, O'Neil (Quinte), Ruprecht.

The Chair: All those opposed, please signify.


Fletcher, Hansen, Hayes, Johnson (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings), MacKinnon, Mathyssen.

The Chair: To all, thank you for your indulgence. This is not always how we conduct our business. Usually it is much more organized and expeditious. My apologies for any inconvenience to you.

The result of the vote was that the bill was defeated, so that's on the record.

I would now call forward our next order of business, Bill Pr127, An Act respecting the Town of Dresden. Mr Hope is the sponsor. May I ask where the applicant is?

Mr Randy R. Hope (Chatham-Kent): Good question.

The Chair: Is Ronald Robinson in the room? Mr Hope, if you at this moment would move to the side we'll call our next order of business.

Mr Hope: There's no problem with me handling it?

The Chair: We have to have the applicant. I'm sorry. Not that you can't handle a lot of business, but we do need the applicant.


Consideration of Bill Pr124, An Act respecting the Township of Seymour.

The Chair: I would ask Bill Pr124, An Act respecting the Township of Seymour, come on down. Welcome, Mrs Fawcett. Sorry that it's taken us a little longer to get to your order of business.

Mrs Joan M. Fawcett (Northumberland): It's been very entertaining.

The Chair: I'm quite sure you're aware of how we proceed. If you would like to at this point introduce the applicants and make a few opening remarks, then we'll turn it over to the applicants.

Mrs Fawcett: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I'm here on behalf of Seymour township. With me are the reeve of Seymour township at the far end, Bill Petherick; the mayor of Campbellford, Cathy Reddon; and counsel, Raymond Mikkola.

A week ago we were here and had our bill deferred until this week. The Algonquin Power Corp is asking for assistance concerning the exorbitant increase in reassessment, which really could put their almost-completed project in jeopardy. They are up and running. The committee, as you are well aware, did approve the member for Cochrane North's -- Atikokan -- similar bill, and so we are here, and I am here on behalf of the township of Seymour, to ask for the same consideration of its very important and worthy project.

I'll turn it over now to the principals.

The Chair: Mr Mikkola, you're going to make the presentation on behalf of the applicant?

Mr Raymond Mikkola: Yes, Madam Chair.

The Chair: If you would proceed.

Mr Mikkola: Thank you. I'd also like to thank the committee for the week's deferral. It was a very intensive seven days of discussions and we've arrived at a compromise which, although it doesn't achieve all that the proponent and the applicant were looking for, is one that we are prepared to accept.

Algonquin Power is a privately owned small hydro developer and employs 13 people in Ontario. Algonquin has constructed a new four-megawatt small hydro project on the Trent River adjacent to the town of Campbellford's two-megawatt hydro-electric plant located within the township of Seymour.

Algonquin arranged project financing which included construction financing and long-term debt financing. During the economic feasibility analysis for the project in 1991, Algonquin requested and received an estimate of municipal taxes from the regional assessment office at Trenton. This estimate provided for municipal taxes of $21,772 for the project when completed. For the purpose of its internal analysis, Algonquin assumed the rate of $25,000 on the completion of the plant. This estimate, in conjunction with all other analyses that Algonquin completed, provided sufficient comfort to proceed with the project and undertake binding legal obligations. The construction phase took 18 months to complete.

In the fall of 1993, Algonquin requested an update estimate from the same regional office based on the same information that had been provided to the regional office for the purpose of the 1991 estimate. The updated estimate provided for municipal taxes of $157,241, representing an increase of well over 700%. Because of the dramatic increase in taxes, the project no longer qualified for long-term debt. In the event that the tax level of liability is not reduced, Algonquin will become insolvent and the construction lender will be free to realize on its full recourse security.

I want to emphasize that this is a project which is substantially, almost completely, completed at this stage.


Based on a precedent of a similar small hydro project near Atikokan, Ontario, the township agreed to sponsor a private bill permitting the municipality to reduce the taxes to $50,000 per year. At this level of taxation, Algonquin is capable of providing some additional equity to meet the debt coverage ratio required by the long-term lender. Even at this reduced level of taxation, Algonquin will be by far the largest taxpayer in the township of Seymour.

The town of Campbellford currently operates a small two-megawatt power generation facility adjacent to the site on which Algonquin has constructed its project. The existing Campbellford plant, however, was not utilizing all the available water of the Trent River and there was an opportunity to increase the site's overall generating capacity. But the town did not have the financial ability to undertake the expansion of the site.

An agreement was reached between Algonquin and the township of Campbellford which requires Algonquin to pay to the town of Campbellford a percentage of the gross revenues received by Algonquin from Ontario Hydro in consideration for the use of the location. Also, the lease held by Algonquin from the town of Campbellford for the site will expire in 25 years, at which time the new plant will be transferred to Campbellford for no consideration, leaving Campbellford with a benefit of the remaining life of the plant, which would be approximately 80 years. The new plant also generates water lease payments to the federal government as a result of the use of the Trent-Severn waterway.

In determining to resolve to make the application for the private bill, the council for the township of Seymour was cognizant of the following matters which should be brought to the committee's attention.

The application of the current method of assessment created a financial liability that rendered the project unfeasible. The proposed assessment represents an increase of 722% of the tax estimate on which Algonquin relied in electing to proceed with the project in the first place.

The township was cognizant of the effect of the purchase of local goods and services occasioned by the project.

The residents of the town of Campbellford will benefit as the ownership of the project will be turned over to the town after 25 years.

The Algonquin project is a small, non-utility generation project which, in addition to providing benefits to the town of Campbellford, is a type of energy project which has been encouraged by the government of Ontario and Ontario Hydro in so far as it produces clean power.

The project will contribute $50,000 to the local tax base.

The Algonquin project will generate payments to the federal government by way of water-lease payments.

Significant public support exists for the Algonquin project, as reflected in a public referendum in which 87% of the voters in the town of Campbellford were in favour of the project.

Presently, all project contracts, regulatory approvals and financing have been executed, secured and arranged, respectively, and the project is constructed.

Neither the township of Seymour nor Algonquin are here today to debate the bonusing provisions of the Municipal Act or the assessment policies of the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. I think we've had a full discussion of those issues. I might say that with me I have Bruce Craig, the general manager of the Campbellford Public Utilities Commission; Mr Cy Johnson, the commissioner of the Campbellford Public Utilities Commission; Ron Peters, a commissioner of the Campbellford PUC, and the reeve of the township and the mayor of Campbellford.

I don't propose to have them make presentation to the committee, in the interests of time and given the full discussion of all these issues that took place immediately prior to my presentation. We are here because of the peculiar circumstances of our case and, to put it bluntly, we find ourselves in terrible trouble as a result of the increase in the level of tax following the completion of our project. If the bill is not approved, the result will be insolvency.

We've seen how difficult it is to deal with the issue of bonusing. For the past several days, we've been dealing with that issue with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and we have arrived at a compromise. That compromise is reflected in a letter dated June 21, 1994, addressed to the clerk of the committee under hand of the minister, Mr Ed Philip. I won't read the entire letter, given that I understand you have a copy of it, but I will read from the second page, which I think is the relevant portion:

"I appreciate that after this project was undertaken the methodology for assessing such facilities was revised. This resulted in a much higher tax responsibility which jeopardizes the financial viability of this project. Given the particular circumstances in this instance and the fact that a review of the assessment methodology will take some time, I would be prepared to support the private bill if the sponsor was willing to limit the period for the tax reduction to December 31, 1998."

I'm pleased to say that the sponsor of the bill has agreed to so limit the time of the bill.

The amendments to the bill, I think it's fair to say, address the concerns of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, so accordingly, I would ask that the committee support the bill. The bill has the support of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and I think, in view of the circumstances of the development and the project, that it's equitable and right and just that you should do so.

The members who are present from the Campbellford PUC, the town of Campbellford and the township of Seymour are here, as well as Mr Dave Kerr from Algonquin Power, to answer any questions which the committee might have.

The Chair: At this point, following the procedures that we normally follow on the committee, I would ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward to speak to this bill at this time. Seeing none, I would ask Mr Hayes to make any additional comments on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs or highlight any concerns by any other ministries.

Mr Hayes: First, I'd like to say that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs objects to the principle of exemptions as proposed in the bill, because it undermines the province's prohibition against municipalities granting bonuses or financial assistance to businesses.

However, the ministry recognizes that Algonquin Power Corp undertook this project based on certain assumptions. After the project started, the method of assessing hydro-electric generating facilities was revised, resulting in a much higher tax responsibility than anticipated on these facilities. The Ministry of Finance has agreed to review the existing methodology of assessing and taxing such facilities. In light of this review, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs recommends that a tax reduction of up to 75% be granted to the corporation and that it be limited to about four years, allowing the completion of the review.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs also has some technical concerns with the bill regarding the provisions which permit only the township to decide on the reduction. The upper tier and school board should also be allowed to participate in the decision to reduce the taxes for their purposes on the facility. A letter from the minister has been sent, and it was mentioned earlier, to the Algonquin Power Corp and township concerning the bill, informing them of the ministry's concerns. I've also distributed copies of the letter to members of the committee. The ministry therefore supports this bill, provided that the amendments are agreeable and they pass with the bill.

Mr O'Neil: I guess in one way I'm very pleased to see that there has been an agreement signed between the proponents and the ministry, but I'm also upset with what's just previously gone on, but I'm also upset because I understand that your project is now completed. Is that right?

Ms Cathy Reddon: That's right.

Mr O'Neil: From the time of your completion to now, you're agreeing to these amendments, and you're likely agreeing because you've been sort of put under the gun. Your taxes have increased on that particular project by over 700% -- a project that has been increased in taxes from what they anticipated by over 700%. The previous proponents, as they say, with what would be asked for, couldn't make their project go. I'm surprised you could make yours go. How much have you got invested in this project?

Mr Dave Kerr: A million and a half dollars.

Mr O'Neil: A million and a half dollars already. The other project was $13.5 million, so they are, in scale, being --

Mr Kerr: The project itself is $7.5 million.

Mr O'Neil: It's half the size of the project, so I guess there's some scaling, but you've got some people here who are going to agree with what you want because there's nothing else they can do. I'm just sorry that we can't help them further in the project.


Mr Hayes: Excuse me, Madam Chair. That's really not entirely factual, what Mr O'Neil is saying, because -- and I think proponents of the bill here would agree -- actually there was information, when it was given to these people, that their taxes would be a certain amount. It wasn't a case of the government just saying, "We're raising the taxes." There was actually an error. Am I correct in saying that? That is really what has happened. It's a lot different than the other case you're talking about.

Mr Kerr: That's not quite right. What happened at the beginning of the project is that we asked for an assessment of taxes --

Mr Hayes: You thought it was going to be a certain amount.

Mr Kerr: -- and they gave us an estimate, but they changed the methodology between start of construction and --

Mr Hayes: That's right. Okay.

Mr Kerr: It wasn't an error; it was a change.

Mr O'Neil: The change came after they'd started construction.

The Chair: That's right.

Mr Hayes: The methodology, all right.

Mr O'Neil: I don't want to get into it. If there's been an agreement between the ministry and the proponents, let's get on with it and let's pass it, so they can get out of there and know it's approved.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr O'Neil, for your vote of support.

Mr O'Neil: You're welcome.

Mr Hansen: I was just going to comment that there are amendments that are going into this bill. I've got six of them here. I think that if the other party that was before us had listened to some of the amendments, possibly their bill would have passed.

The Chair: I would ask at this point, in light of some of the previous discussion --

Mr O'Neil: I can't let that pass. This project is completed. You're talking about people who were starting a $13.5-million project. You can't go out and get financing for that size of a project, with costs likely escalating, when you don't know what your outbound costs are going to be. These projects have to be very carefully thought out. There are other considerations. Mind you, let's get on and help these people out if we can.

The Chair: I'm just asking the clerk to make sure we all have the amendments -- I know I didn't up until just now -- relating to Bill Pr124. Please, everyone, check your package. Do you have yours?

Mr O'Neil: I have them now.

The Chair: At this point I would ask if members are prepared to vote. Is it agreed?

Mr Hansen: Madam Chair, I have a motion to be moved on the preamble, just before we get started.

The Chair: Actually, the preamble would be at the end, so I would be --

Mr Hansen: They put it on the front page here.

The Chair: All right, we'll go for that. It's that kind of day; let's go with the flow.

Mr Hansen: I move that the preamble to the bill be amended by striking out "assessment" in the fourth line and in the seventh line and substituting "taxes" in each case.

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour? Any opposed? Seeing none, that's carried, as amended.

Shall the preamble, as amended, carry? Carried.

Mr Paul Johnson: I move that section 1 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Reduction of taxes

"1(1) Despite sections 111 and 362 of the Municipal Act, the council of the corporation may by bylaw provide for a reduction of up to 75 per cent of the property taxes and business taxes that relate to local municipal purposes, other than local improvement rates, that would otherwise apply to the land described in the schedule and the occupants of that land so long as the land is occupied by Algonquin Power (Campbellford) Limited Partnership or its successors, assigns or tenants and used solely for the purpose of hydro-electric power generation.


"(2) A tax reduction under subsection (1) may be subject to such conditions as may be set out in the bylaw.

"Further reduction

"(3) If a tax reduction is granted under subsection (1), despite sections 111 and 362 of the Municipal Act, the corporation of the county of Northumberland or a school board in the township of Seymour may by resolution direct the corporation to reduce up to 75 per cent of the property taxes and business taxes that relate to county or school board purposes that would otherwise apply to the land described in the schedule and the occupants of that land.


"(4) If the council of the county of Northumberland or a school board passes a resolution under subsection (3), it shall forward a copy of the resolution to the corporation.

"Additional tax reduction

"(5) When the corporation receives a copy of a resolution passed under subsection (3), it shall by bylaw reduce the property taxes and business taxes for county or school board purposes, as the case may be, up to the percentage prescribed in the resolution."

The Chair: All in favour of the amendment, please signify. Opposed? Seeing none, the amendment carries.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry? Carried.

Mr Hansen: I have a motion to be moved. I move that section 2 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Duties of clerk

"2(1) Upon the passing of a bylaw under section 1, the clerk of the corporation shall notify the assessment commissioner of the contents of the bylaw.

"Effect of reduction

"(2) The treasurer of the corporation shall strike from the roll each year that portion of the taxes that is no longer due and payable by reason of a bylaw having been passed under section 1."

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? Seeing none, the amendment carries.

Shall section 2, as amended, carry? Carried.

Mrs MacKinnon: I have an amendment for section 3. I move that section 3 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"3. Section 421 of the Municipal Act applies, with necessary modifications, to that portion of the tax amount struck from the roll as a result of a resolution passed under subsection 1(3)."

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? Seeing none, the amendment carries.

Shall section 3, as amended, carry? Any opposed? Seeing none, section 3 carries.

Mr Fletcher: I move that section 4 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"4. A bylaw or resolution passed under section 1 may be retroactive to January 1, 1994, and applies in respect of property taxes and business taxes due and payable after that date."

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? Seeing none, the amendment carries.

Shall section 4, as amended, carry? Any opposed? Seeing none, section 4, as amended, carries.

Shall section 5 carry? Agreed.

Mrs Mathyssen: I move that section 6 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"6. This act is repealed on December 31, 1998."

The Chair: All members have heard that motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? Seeing none, that amendment carries.

Shall section 6, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall section 7 carry? Carried.

We've handled the preamble.

Shall the schedule carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Agreed.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Agreed.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Agreed.

Thank you to all.

Mr O'Neil: I don't want to belabour the fact and I don't want to appear I'm a sore loser, but maybe I am. I would just say, while we have some of the ministry staff here, that I've lost a $13.5-million project in my riding. I know that on the Atikokan bill, we discussed it back on, I think it was, June 23, 1993, and I would say to the minister through you people and the ministry staff of the different ministries, for God's sake, get working on this bloody committee that you've set up so that we can establish and people are aware, if people are going to develop projects like this, what the tax structure is going to be in some of these generating plants so they can either postpone them or go ahead with these projects.

Hopefully maybe we can even revive this particular project, but the people have got to have guidelines before they can get going to borrow the money and do everything else. If I want to leave this committee with anything, and with the ministry staff, why not get at it? See if you can't do something within the next month and go back and see if we can't get this thing revived in my riding and create some jobs there.



Consideration of Bill Pr122, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

The Chair: Mr Dadamo and your applicant, please. Thank you for your patience. Since you've been through this process before, if you would please begin.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): I'm sitting till midnight, so I have a lot of time.


The Chair: Order, please. We are trying to carry on some more business. I think we've got that over. Mr Dadamo, please continue.

Mr Dadamo: This is private bill 122, as you mentioned. The short title is the City of Windsor Act, 1994. I wanted to give you a brief overview. It's only a paragraph and I'll read it verbatim.

The City of Windsor Act, 1994, aims to regulate activities on public highways, including sidewalks and boulevards. Bylaws passed under this bill will allow the City of Windsor to regulate parking, merchandise sale and display, operation of retail stores and also permit systems.

I'm joined, from the corporation of the city of Windsor, by city solicitor Al Kellerman. Our city clerk, Thomas Lynd, is to my right.

As parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Transportation, I can clearly say to you this afternoon that these provisions contained in the bill do not impact the Ministry of Transportation, since the provisions seek to govern municipal powers which fall within the jurisdiction of the city of Windsor. These provisions do not appear to contravene either the policies or the procedures of the Ministry of Transportation.

With that, I'd like to introduce to you Al Kellerman and Tom Lynd, who will give you a brief explanation.

The Chair: Of the two gentlemen, who will be making the presentation?

Mr Al Kellerman: I think firstly, as solicitor, I would like to point out that the reason we are before you is because the existing legislation in the Municipal Act is deficient in allowing a municipality to regulate and control what goes on on the public highway.

What the city of Windsor has done is to incorporate in its own private bill legislation which was granted previously to the city of Toronto in 1993, and also which are in essence sections 1 to 5 of the bill. The enforcement of the bill is based on a City of Ottawa Act that was granted in 1992.

Mr Dadamo has set out briefly the purpose of why we're here. The city clerk, who is also the licensing commissioner, would like to express his concern, in his capacity both as the city clerk and licensing commissioner, in regulating and governing the activities which are proposed to be governed and regulated.

The Chair: Mr Lynd, your comments, please.

Mr Thomas Lynd: Very briefly, we found over the past few years an increased number of people who wished to use the public right of way to operate businesses to make their livelihood.

The city of Windsor, as you're all aware, was granted authority for the first casino in Windsor. It's brought in about 17,000 people a day. With that much traffic -- and we like them to be on the street and patronizing businesses -- there becomes a competitive situation with existing businesses. What this legislation does is allow the municipality to enact local regulations to really protect the public interest and the public right of way and at the same time balance those private interests of both vendors who wish to use the right of way to make a living and also those permanent tax-paying businesses.

In summary, the act, I think, is something that will give us effective control and it will more precisely define what areas we may legislate in and clear up any uncertainties so that there will be no likelihood of challenge. We ask that you do favourably consider the bill.

The Chair: One can't ever guarantee how that's going to go. At this point I would ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward to speak to this bill. Seeing none come forward at this time, I would turn to Mr Hayes, on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, to make the appropriate comments.

Mr Hayes: The ministry is not objecting to this bill because we did pass one, as already mentioned, in Ottawa, but there was a very short time frame for the ministry to really follow up. I guess the one question, though, I do have is that, as you're probably aware, when we did the Toronto bill, there were a lot of vendors who came forward. This has been circulated. They have circulated this in the Windsor Star, I guess. It has been --

Mr Kellerman: Yes, the statutory requirements have been followed.

Mr Hayes: So they were well aware that the city was doing this.

Mr Kellerman: And also, there was an article which appeared in the Windsor paper Tuesday night again, pointing out this matter would be considered by this committee today.

The Chair: Are there any questions at this point?

Mrs MacKinnon: I'm just wondering, is this bill something like what somebody requested me to do, but they wanted it done all across the province, in that various and sundry things are offered for sale on the streets and sidewalks around Toronto here, and I understand they have no licence, they have no vendor's permit. So people buy stuff from them and they're not paying any taxes. Is this what you're faced with in Windsor?

Mr Lynd: That's correct. So far, we've been very fortunate in that there hasn't been a tremendous proliferation of these types of activities recently, but there are a number who are operating and we have achieved their cooperation, but that's not to say that this will last for ever. I think if we get a lot of other competitors coming in, then we will have to have some type of clear-cut controls on their operations.

Mrs MacKinnon: I don't have a problem with this bill; I think I understand what Windsor's trying to do. What I have a problem with is, we're opening the floodgates. Windsor gets it, and then, whoosh, all the municipalities will be in, and little wonder.

It just seems to me it's just too bad I couldn't have had the private member's bill that they were asking for -- but there's only so much time to do things -- in order to cover the province. Because I can understand where the retailers are coming from when you see the various -- florists, vendors, whatever. I remember as a kid, we used to buy our peanuts at the corner of Christina Street. The man became quite wealthy.

As I said, I don't have a problem with the bill, and I don't blame you for doing it. I just wonder if we couldn't be doing this provincially.

The Chair: Any additional questions at this time? Seeing none, I would ask then if members are prepared to vote.

Mrs MacKinnon: No amendments?

Mr Hayes: Do you want some amendments?

Mrs MacKinnon: No.

The Chair: Mr Hayes is quite prepared to accommodate us on that front, but I would ask again -- I hadn't heard someone assent to that -- are members prepared to vote at this time? Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 8 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.

Thank you, Mr Dadamo, and the city of Windsor.



Consideration of Bill Pr127, An Act respecting the Town of Dresden.

The Chair: Now, I would point out to members we have a somewhat unusual situation here. The applicant was unaware that he should be here and as a result has not come here to answer our questions. However, what is before us on behalf of the town of Dresden is a letter written and signed by Mr Robertson which says the following:

"This will authorize MPP Randy Hope to represent the council of the town of Dresden and its counsel at any committee hearings with reference to this bill" -- and that's relating to Bill Pr127 -- "or any amendment of it."

I would ask, in light of the somewhat unusual nature of this, if there is agreement that we proceed.

Mr O'Neil: Have we heard from the parliamentary assistant? Are there any objections to the bill at all?

The Chair: I believe there's one amendment.

Mr Hayes: I want to hear what the MPP says and then I want to hear what the counsel says on this.

Mr O'Neil: I do too.

Mr Hope: Let me then answer Mr Hayes's questions. Mr Hayes says --

The Chair: Just one moment, please. Mr Hansen.

Mr Hansen: Before we proceed, I understood that the one time when a delegation wasn't here and one of the MPPs wanted to sit in for them, because of a snowstorm, the bill was deferred.

The Chair: This takes a slightly different tack, Mr Hansen, in that we do have a letter authorizing Mr Hope to act on behalf of the applicant. I had just read it.

Mr O'Neil: As far as the Liberal Party is concerned, we want Mr Hope to proceed.

The Chair: Now we just have to wait for Mr Hope's colleagues to respond.

Mr Hope: Say okay, Fletch.

Mr Fletcher: Sounds good to me.

The Chair: Would you like to make your opening remarks, Mr Hope.

Mr Hope: Before you is Bill Pr127, An Act respecting the Town of Dresden. What the act does is allow council to reduce the number of councillors from six to four. Why? The reason is because for past elections they have not been able to adequately fill the delegates to run in those elected, official positions and have had to find individuals to fill those spaces. The town feels it's time it makes amendments to its structure to be more effective, and what they're doing is reducing the size of council, which will allow them to continue to be effective and efficient. I know, through the conversations I've had, that they are looking for support from this committee to move forward so they can be ready for the municipal election.

The Chair: Are there any other interested parties who wish to come forward at this time? Seeing none, Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes: Actually, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is not objecting to this, as long as we have one amendment that we have passed. So we don't object.

Mrs MacKinnon: Mr Hope, can you tell me what the population is of Dresden?


Mrs MacKinnon: I didn't ask it as a joke.

Mr Hansen: Put your other hat on, the mayor's hat.

Mr Hope: I'll put the mayor's hat on. I'm trying to remember the last time I saw the sign and how much it's changed.

Mr Hayes: Randy, it's 2,646.

Mr Hope: It's 2,646.

Mrs MacKinnon: Is that all?

Mr Hope: It's not a very big community. I walked it during the election in one night and ran the main street during the parade.

Mrs MacKinnon: Okay. The next question I have in my mind is, do you think it's going to be an appropriate thing to do this without having talked with the ratepayers?

Mr Hope: What do you mean by "appropriate thing to do"? The ratepayers are well aware of --

Mrs MacKinnon: Something here says, "without having received the assent of the electors."

Mr Hope: The electors are well aware of what's going on with the reduction of council. There was a motion put forward at the council meeting which was adopted. The people of Dresden -- you're talking about a small community. If you've got the hiccups at one end of town, at the end of the other side of town they know what's going on, that you've got the hiccups.

The community is well aware of the reduction of council. They are very supportive of this.

Mrs MacKinnon: They'll have to live with it, I guess. I thought Dresden was bigger than that. I really did.

Mr Fletcher: You're thinking of Dryden.

Mrs MacKinnon: Oh, baloney.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs MacKinnon. I think everybody's getting slap-happy after this interesting day that we've had. Are there no further questions relating to this particular bill? All right. Are the members ready to vote? Agreed? Thank you.

Mr Hansen: I have an amendment to section 1.

I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:


"(2) A bylaw passed under this section and a bylaw repealing it shall be passed not later than 30 days before the last day for posting notice of the offices for which persons may be nominated in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act."

The Chair: All members have heard the amendment. All those in favour? Agreed.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall sections 2 and 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Agreed.

Mr Hope: Madam Chair, just for the public record, asking me about the amendment, who is here representing the community: I believe the legal counsel for Dresden has no problem with the amendment and the amendment is fairly standard. We just did that with the town of Bothwell, a similar amendment that was brought forward. So, for the public record dealing with the amendment, on behalf of counsel they wouldn't see it as a problem.

The Chair: You'll be happy to know, Mr Hope, we've just passed the bill.

Mr Hope: I know. I just want it for the public record.


Consideration of Bill Pr113, An Act respecting the County of Lambton.

The Chair: At this point I'd like to call the county of Lambton, Bill Pr113, An Act respecting the County of Lambton.

Mr O'Neil: Madam Chairman, could I ask if the next bill then coming forward is the city of Ottawa?

The Chair: After the county of Lambton bill we will be dealing with the city of Ottawa bill.

Mr O'Neil: It's just that Mr McGuinty wanted to be here for the Ottawa bill.

The Chair: You might want to just give him a quick call, because I'm not sure --

Mr O'Neil: This one will be fast, will it?

The Chair: I suspect that this one will not be as contentious as some other matters that we've dealt with today.

Mr O'Neil: Is that why you want me to leave?

The Chair: No. I'm quite happy to have you here, Mr O'Neil.

Mrs MacKinnon, if you would please introduce your applicants and make a few opening remarks if you wish.

Mrs MacKinnon: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm happy to be here today and to represent the county of Lambton in respect to Bill Pr113. I have on my immediate right Mr Ronald Van Horne, solicitor for the county of Lambton. If the name sounds familiar it's because his father was an MPP. To Ron's immediate right is Mr Robert Krieg. What is your position?

Mr Robert Krieg: Director of Libraries.

Mrs MacKinnon: Director of Libraries for Lambton county. They're here as a result of Bill 35, that wonderful amalgamation bill for Sarnia-Clearwater. Without further ado, I'll ask Bob to go ahead.

The Chair: Mr Van Horne, please.

Mr Ronald Van Horne: Thank you, Madam Chair. You can slow me down or speed me up if you wish. I won't be very long, I hope.

Basically, as our MPP has stated, we're here as a result of Bill 35. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Sarnia-Lambton area, the county of Lambton in its current form was put together on January 1, 1991. What it enabled us to do was to bring the town of Clearwater and the city of Sarnia together, and it brought that new urban community back into the county system of government.

That was done, as was mentioned, by something called Bill 35 or the Sarnia-Lambton Act. The Sarnia-Lambton Act, in part XI, created something that we call the county library system. We had a county library system before Bill 35, but the city of Sarnia was not part of it. The village of Point Edward was not part of it. They operated their own library systems. What Bill 35 did, again, was to bring their library systems into the county and amalgamate the two systems.

The Sarnia-Lambton Act, in effect, set the broad parameters for the county and, in particular, the library system. The finer details as to how the library system was to operate were left for a joint committee to work out. A joint committee was struck under section 23 of the Sarnia-Lambton Act. It was composed of city officials and county officials, and they created something called an implementation committee report.

The implementation committee report had a series of recommendations; 10 recommendations in particular. The one which is of note for us today was that the county council become a library board for the purposes of the Public Libraries Act. At the time of amalgamation we had a committee structure at the county council level. The county council really ran the library system through a committee of council.

The city of Sarnia, on the other hand, had the autonomous board setup under the Public Libraries Act. We had equal politician representation, I should say, from both the municipality and the county and they together agreed to recommend that the county adopt the county council system; that is, that we adopt a committee structure for the governance of the libraries.

That's, in effect, what the bill is attempting to do. It's attempting to bring us into formal compliance with their legislation, because we have operated since at least 1967 at the county level as a committee of council. That's in effect what the bill is doing.

The Chair: I just want to make sure we can at least get this order of business taken care of, so I will quickly ask if there are any other interested parties present who might wish to speak to this bill. Seeing none, Mr Hayes, if you could make your ministry's comments.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation is certainly not opposed to this bill and also the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is not opposed to this bill. As a matter of fact, we certainly support the actions that are being taken by Lambton county. You're seeking to consolidate services under one decision-making body, an elected body, and we support that.

The Chair: Are there any questions on behalf of the members at this point? Seeing none, I'm going to ask if members are prepared to vote. Agreed.

Do sections 1 through 3 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.

Mr Fletcher: Madam Chair, I suggest we take a recess until after the vote. They're cutting this one short.

Mr O'Neil: Oh, they are cutting it short.

The Chair: At this point, I would like to recess until the vote is completed and then, time allowing, we'll go to the city of Ottawa bill.

Mrs MacKinnon: Thank you, Madam Chair, for accommodating Lambton county for me.

Mr Van Horne: Thank you very much.

The Chair: We'll do as much as we can for Mr McGuinty and his bill too, time allowing.

The committee recessed from 1714 to 1738.


Consideration of Bill Pr28, An Act respecting the City of Ottawa.

The Chair: I'd like to call the regular meeting of the standing committee on regulations and private bills back to order. Our next order of business relates to Bill Pr28, An Act respecting the City of Ottawa. I believe Mr Grandmaître is here as the sponsor, if you would please make your opening remarks and introduce the applicant.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): Thank you, Madam Chair. On my far right is Brian Smith. Brian is the coordinator of parks and trees and maintenance for the city of Ottawa. On my immediate right is Jerry Bellomo, deputy city solicitor.

Pr28 is a very simple bill, if I can use the words "simple bill." What it does is, the city of Ottawa is asking for special legislation in respect to protecting certain trees.

Section 1 of the bill refers to "woodlots designated under the official plan of the city of Ottawa" would remain untouched "except with the consent of the corporation," and under subsection 1(b), again, the bylaw would have to identify the variety of trees and size, and it would have to be specified in the bylaw.

As I pointed out, the bylaw would be very specific. Variety and size would be included in the bill. Also, this bylaw would not interfere with any rights or powers of Ontario Hydro, the Ontario government or the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.

We're ready and willing to answer all of your questions.

Mr Eddy: Madam Chair, on a point of order: Could I, as was asked earlier today, ask for unanimous consent to sub Mr McGuinty in the committee in place of Mr Ruprecht? I did have a sheet but I didn't get it delivered in time.

Interjections: Agreed.

Mr Eddy: Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Eddy, and welcome, Mr McGuinty.

Sorry for the quick pause. Now we'll turn over to the applicant. I'm shuffling paper here; I'm sorry.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Bellomo and Mr Smith.

The Chair: Mr Bellomo, are you going to be making the presentation?

Mr Jerald Bellomo: Yes, I'll make a brief presentation.

The purpose of the bill is to give the city of Ottawa greater control over the wanton destruction of woodlots and specified trees, part of what we consider to be the urban forest.

A very brief history: We made this application in November 1990. We agreed at that time to hold the matter in abeyance while the Ministry of Natural Resources and AMO entered into a committee that could study this general problem. They did study the problem and they came out with a report in 1991 that essentially recommended the same type of bill that is before you that would give municipalities this power to regulate the destruction of trees and woodlots. As you may be aware, the matter went so far as, in December 1992, MNR at that time indicating an intent to introduce legislation in the provincial Legislature.

What happened then, I guess, is that there were some concerns expressed, mainly from rural constituents, about the impact of this type of legislation, and the matter was held in abeyance. We have now reactivated it.

In our opinion, the Trees Act is clearly inadequate. There have been many examples, not only in Ottawa but in the Toronto area, of developers coming in and destroying trees prior to obtaining site plan approval. There was one about three or four years ago, an incident at St Clair and Bathurst; there was a major incident in Ottawa near Pinecrest and the Queensway in Ottawa; and there's been a recent one near Steeles and Bayview in the city of North York, I guess it would be.

Ottawa would not be the first municipality to obtain this type of legislation. In so far as it relates to ravines, the city of Toronto and York already have similar legislation, and Oakville has had this type of legislation since 1974.

There may be a concern, and I understand that Mr McGuinty is going to make some comments along these lines, about the infringement on private property rights, if I could address that issue very briefly.

Firstly, municipalities often are involved in matters that affect property rights, specifically zoning, so this is not a precedent in that regard. Zoning is clearly an infringement on property rights.

Secondly, the legislation is very limited in scope. It's anticipated at this time there are only 10 to 15 woodlots that the city of Ottawa would want to protect, and we would protect them by designating them in the official plan.

Thirdly, in so far as it relates to specified trees, the city of Ottawa is only concerned with what we consider to be endangered trees. We have neither the will nor the resources to attempt to control the taking down of every maple, ash or juniper tree. At this point in time, Mr Smith, who is an arborist, has indicated that it would be his recommendation that there only be five specified types of trees that the city would want to protect. These are endangered trees, so to speak, in our municipality.

The fourth response that I would have to the concern about property rights is the fact that property owners will have the right of appeal. This is enshrined in the legislation.

My final comment is simply that, through negotiation and in discussions with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, there will be three amendments put forward. The city of Ottawa is in concurrence with all three amendments.

Those are my submissions. If there are questions, either to Mr Smith or myself, we'd be happy to deal with them.

The Chair: Very good. I would ask at this point for comments from the parliamentary assistant, Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes: Is there anybody else here objecting to this?

The Chair: I'm sorry, you're right. He's reminding me of my duties; he's very appropriately reminding me I should ask if there are any other interested parties here who wish to speak to the bill. Seeing none, I would now turn to Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is neutral on this bill. Of course we don't object to it, but at the same time provided that the amendments deal with the conflict between regional and city bylaws, between the private act and the Ontario Building Code, and to establish a set time limit for Ontario Municipal Board appeals to be agreed to.

The Chair: I have two questioners on the list and the first one is Mr Fletcher.

Mr Fletcher: I share some of the concerns about property rights also, but if I had a poplar or a garbage tree in my backyard and I wanted to cut it down, would I have to get the permission of the corporation?

Mr Bellomo: No. Clearly a poplar tree would not be the type of tree that the city of Ottawa would want to protect under this legislation.

Mr Fletcher: If I had a diseased tree that was under the corporation's species, a diseased white pine, which is hard to find anywhere, I would have to apply to --

Mr Bellomo: Yes.

Mr Fletcher: How long would that take?

Mr Bellomo: The intent is that it would be designated to an official of the municipality, probably Mr Smith. He would go out and inspect, and if he's satisfied that it is in fact diseased, presumably the permit would be issued within a day or two.

Mr Fletcher: Within a day or two? So I wouldn't have to worry once I find a disease? I know how diseases spread through trees.

Mr Bellomo: No, it's certainly not intended that this be a lengthy process.

Mr Hansen: I was just looking in the bill. What happens a lot of times with some citizens is they wind up putting copper nails or drilling holes in it, then all of a sudden come back to say, "The tree is dying." Just coming in here, I haven't had a chance to read everything; it's quite thick. Is there anything in the bill that would cover that, malicious damage done to a tree, one of the trees that are designated? Can you give me an idea? I haven't read the bill yet. I'm looking for it here.

Mr Bellomo: For the type of trees that would be designated? At this point in time we intend to designate these five types of trees: ginkgo or ginkgo biloba trees, catalpa trees, American elm trees, black walnut and hackberry trees. Those are the five species that we at this point consider to be endangered. If we can establish that the intent was clearly malicious, then I think the person would be subject to prosecution under this piece of legislation.

Mr Hansen: Okay, fine. There was just one thing that the Chair was talking about, whether there were any objectors. Mr McGuinty has a letter that we have in front of us. There is an objector who was unable to come so I guess I'll wait for Mr McGuinty to read it out or whatever the case may be.


Mr Dalton McGuinty (Ottawa South): I appreciate the opportunity to be able to raise some concerns on this proposed bill. I have heard from a number of constituents. One of them has passed along a letter to the clerk of the committee. The bill, to my understanding, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, Mr Bellomo, is unprecedented in the sense that its scope extends to the individual home owner and there is no other precedent for that kind of legislation governing whether or not I could cut a tree down that's in my backyard.

Mr Bellomo: If I could respond to that, that's not correct, with respect. The city of Toronto and the city of York have legislation dealing with ravines, and that applies to private property as well as public property. The city of Oakville has legislation very similar to ours that applies to private property as well.

Mr McGuinty: Okay, so the Toronto legislation is confined to ravines.

Mr Bellomo: Designated ravines.

Mr McGuinty: You've got to live in a ravine to be covered.

Mr Bellomo: Yes, you have to have property that includes a designated ravine.

Mr McGuinty: In Oakville, and you correct me if I'm wrong here, there has never been a single prosecution under the Oakville bylaw for a tree on a private home owner's lot. Is that correct?

Mr Bellomo: That's my understanding, right.

Mr McGuinty: They don't feel they have the authority, essentially, under their bylaw to proceed with that.

Mr Bellomo: I can't respond to that. I don't know.

Mr McGuinty: All right. So this covers everybody in the city of Ottawa, though.

Mr Bellomo: Correct.

Mr McGuinty: I don't have any problems with this covering developers or woodlots, and I think we ought to be doing everything we can to ensure that we afford protection to trees, for all the right reasons.

My concern is that this would cover, for example, if I buy a home and I buy a tree, I put it in my backyard and I tend that tree and I prune it and I nurse it and do whatever is required, and then 20 years later I decide it's too big or I want to put in a pool or whatever, I've got to go to the city and get a permit to remove it, to take my tree down, which I paid for and tended, if it's on the protected list. Is that correct?

Mr Bellomo: If it's one of the narrow, protected list, yes.

Mr McGuinty: The question I would have is, what about a home owner who -- just to come back to that one, I personally think that goes too far in terms of infringing on a private home owner's rights with respect to their property. After all, that tree is their property. How are we going to ensure that a home owner knows whether or not his or her tree is on that protected list? You gave me five names, and I don't think I know any of those trees.

Mrs MacKinnon: You don't?

Mr McGuinty: I'd love to see a black walnut.

Mr Grandmaître: There are none on Rideau Street, I'll tell you.

Mr Bellomo: The intent would be that we would advertise that if you have one of these endangered trees, a permit would be required if it is intended to take down that tree, and if the tree is not only one of these endangered trees but is of a certain calliper or size as well.

Mr McGuinty: So if I phone Mr Smith and say, "Listen, I've got a tree in the backyard; I'm not sure if it's on the protected list or not," will he come over for free and tell me whether or not it's a protected tree?

Mr Bellomo: There is no provision in the legislation, nor would there be provision in the bylaw, for any inspection fee. Other than the permit fee, which hasn't been established but we're talking in the range of $20 to $30, there would be no other costs to the home owner.

Mr McGuinty: Will there be an inspection service available?

Mr Bellomo: Yes, but there would be no inspection fee.

Mr McGuinty: So the city would provide an inspection service for free.

Mr Bellomo: Right. Mr Smith indicates that we already do that type of service now.

Mr McGuinty: If a tree is damaged in a storm and it's got to come down and it's causing problems in the interim, is there going to be an expedited procedure available for me to get a permit ASAP?

Mr Bellomo: I don't even think you would require a permit in that case. That question has come up before, and it's our intent to put a provision in the bylaw that would say that this bylaw does not apply to a situation where a tree has been destroyed by lightning or some natural element.

Mr McGuinty: Who decides whether or not it's destroyed or whether it will come back?

Mr Bellomo: Sorry? Who determines --

Mr McGuinty: Who decides whether it's really had it or whether there's a good possibility it will come back?

Mr Bellomo: Again, we have trained arborists who would go out and make that assessment.

Mr McGuinty: How many of these trees do you think we're talking about in the city of Ottawa?

Mr Brian Smith: We don't have an inventory on private property, so I would have no idea exactly how many trees there are. As far as city property is concerned, it's about 10% of our urban forest. I would think it would be about the same on private.

Mr Bellomo: Of these specified trees?

Mr Smith: Of those specified trees.

Mr McGuinty: So we don't have a number then on how many it is?

Mr Smith: Not on private property, no.

Mr McGuinty: Right. How would we enforce this? How would you know if somebody took a tree down?

Mr Bellomo: Like many municipal bylaws, hopefully there's voluntary compliance, and that's clearly one of the main purposes of this type of legislation. People would comply since it is a municipal bylaw. Enforcement, like many other municipal bylaws, would often only be on a complaint basis.

Mr McGuinty: Can we not consider an amendment here which would say that the private home owner is exempted from this so that it only applies to developers and woodlots, so that it allows me to do what I want in my own backyard with my own tree?

Mr Bellomo: I really would not have the authority to concur in that type of amendment. I know in our discussions at planning committee and at council the intention was that our council wanted some control over the destruction of trees on private property as well as on public lands.

Mr McGuinty: I'm repeating myself here, but again, this goes, from what I can gather, far beyond any other legislation anywhere in the province in that it applies right across the board. You don't have to live in a ravine or own property in a ravine. Wherever you happen to live, it doesn't matter whether you bought the tree and put it up, you're covered.

Mr Bellomo: We are on the leading edge. Ottawa has always been on the leading edge.

Mr McGuinty: That's an interesting way of putting it.


Mr McGuinty: Some people might categorize it as being off the edge.

I have no objections to this covering developers and I think that's quite appropriate, and woodlots, but I have some serious difficulties with this impacting on a private home owner's property.


The Vice-Chair (Mrs Ellen MacKinnon): Thank you, Mr McGuinty. Ms Haeck.

Ms Haeck: I wanted to say that actually I concur with this piece of legislation, and to say on behalf of a number of constituents in my riding, St Catharines-Brock, particularly those living in Niagara-on-the-Lake, that they were very anxious to see the trees act come forward, but I understand there is a range of concerns there that obviously did not see it come forward.

On behalf of them, I would take this opportunity to say that you are leading the edge and I think it is a very good idea. The urban forest is essential to our community's wellbeing. In dealing with the range of pollutants and what is in the air, the trees obviously are extremely beneficial to us, not only to give shade on such hot days as we've had recently.

I know a ginkgo is not a terribly common tree in southern Ontario. It's an import from China, if I recall. I can only think of about two or three in the entire peninsula, and I would suspect that Ottawa, Mr Smith, probably doesn't have a whole lot of gingkos.

Mr Smith: They don't now.

Ms Haeck: Certain varieties of the catalpa reproduce rather easily, but not all of them. Are you zone-wise a little bit beyond where most of them reach? I would say they're more from the sort of Appalachian area rather than typically from southern Ontario. If you work with the horticultural society or some other groups to do a survey, you probably wouldn't find an awful lot of these trees in the Ottawa backyard, because they are a little bit in the northern clime.

Mr Smith: We have an inventory at the present time of about 120,000 trees on city property that we know. From that inventory, approximately 50% to 60% of those are maple trees that we would not basically be interested in having in this particular bill.

What we're looking at are significant trees, trees that will have a significant impact on the neighbourhood, on a specific species of tree, that type of thing. There may be one tree within four or five blocks that stands 200 feet tall, maybe an American elm, of which we have very few left. We would want to ensure that particular species of tree would remain, not only the fact that it's worth probably anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000, using the ISA evaluation, but the fact that it would require 200 to 300 2.5- to 3-inch diameter trees to replace the environmental impact that tree has on the neighbourhood.

Ms Haeck: A tree of the size you're referring to -- I have a very large maple tree, and the diameter is almost the size of one of those desks, in my own backyard and it is of some age. I think the house I'm living in was built in the 1870s, so we're talking 120 years for that maple tree, probably, and the kind of trees you're talking about would take probably somewhere around 150 years to reach that maturity.

Mr Smith: Depending on the species, yes. We're looking at that type and size of tree, yes.

Ms Haeck: I agree with you that is of major value to any community. We had the situation in Niagara not too long ago where a major developer -- in fact there was a lot of outrage expressed; Mrs Coppen is sitting here as an observer and it happened in her riding -- came in and literally, with chainsaw in hand, in about a day or a day and a half wiped out a woodlot on his property, over 12 hectares of trees, without any consideration of anyone else in the community and asking no permission.

That's what occasioned a lot of outrage, including some activities on behalf of the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the cemetery there, removing some major oak trees, which definitely got people very upset. Are you asking that any effort on behalf of a developer who would wish to undertake such a major desecration -- what kind of mechanism would you have in hand to basically fine or deal with the problem?

The Vice-Chair: If I may interrupt for a moment, please, the clerk has asked me to draw to your attention that it is past 6 o'clock. Do you wish to sit beyond 6 o'clock?

Mr Eddy: I would move that the committee meet for an additional 15 minutes.

The Vice-Chair: Agreed? Agreed.

Mr Bellomo: If the developer is taking down a designated woodlot or if he's taking down trees that are in the specified list, then he would require a permit, and if he failed to get a permit, he'd be subject to prosecution under the legislation.

Mr Hansen: I can't see a difference between a land owner and a developer, because if he's going to be cutting the trees down, he's developing something on his land. I don't think you can say, "Well, it's a developer, and the land owner is totally different," because both own the land.

I can see what happened in that experience in Niagara Falls, but also here in Toronto the bulldozers came in, and they were gone in a short period of time. I think there has to be some mechanism there to protect trees.

I read in this letter that I was referring to that Mr McGuinty was to present here -- you know, it's a shame that we talk about the buses in Ottawa killing the trees. Now, can you imagine if we get rid of more trees, we're going to have -- well, not more buses -- it's been a long day. But the air is going to be dirtier. I know the woman went on to say that we should have cleaner buses, and we could have electric buses up there, but I would say that every tree that's cut down in the neighbourhood, as was already stated, makes an environmental impact. The environmental impact that we can see in the Golden Horseshoe here is we've still got the trees on our side in Niagara. They cut them all down in Mississauga, all the way to Toronto, which makes a difference in the climate. People won't have to spend money on air-conditioning if they've got a nice tree in the backyard.

I'm going to support this bill and I've got no problem the way it is right now. Sometimes I take a look at it and it hasn't gone far enough, but I'll agree that you've started anyhow.

Mr McGuinty: The approach taken by the bill is one I have problems with. Essentially it says: "We know better than you. It may be your property, it may be sitting on your property and you may have your own reasons for dealing with it, but we don't feel that you understand the environmental implications. We don't feel you understand the energy implications. We don't feel that you know the things you need to know in order to make an informed decision about cutting down a tree." I just don't think that's appropriate in 1994 in Ontario. I think we can educate our constituents and Ontarians and people living in the city of Ottawa as to the implications associated with taking a tree down.

I want to read something into the record here that I got. It's another letter, from a Mr Cecil Morris. I'll just read a paragraph. He lives at 2143 Audrey Avenue in Ottawa, and he says:

"Consider this. A tree on my property develops a disease and I request permission to remove it. My request is denied. The tree or part of it falls and damages my home or my neighbour's home or outbuilding or fence. I would expect the city, not my insurer, to make all necessary repairs and/or replacements at no cost to me. It's my opinion that if the city assumes responsibility for all trees in the city, they should ensure that it is full responsibility."

Now, I'm going to anticipate your response, if you'll permit me to do that, and say that, well, if it was a diseased tree, the permit would be issued. I don't know about arborists, but if they are anything like economists or accountants or lawyers or doctors or teachers --

Mr O'Neil: Or politicians.

Mr McGuinty: -- or politicians, they've all got their own opinion. I bet you for every opinion you give me, Mr Smith, I can get another arborist who gives me a different opinion. He'll say: "You know what? If the tree is seriously damaged, then it ought to come down." You may say, "No, I think we can revive that tree." In other words, it's not clear-cut and you're not affording the kind of comfort that's needed to pass this kind of legislation. How do you respond?

Mr Bellomo: To respond to the comment made in Mr Morris's letter, I believe it was, as a solicitor I would say that if the city permitted a diseased tree to survive and it caused damage, then there would probably be a good cause of action against the municipality. He's probably correct there, and that's why it would be in the city's professional interest and the city's best interests to ensure that a permit be issued immediately for a diseased tree.

Mr McGuinty: We talked about species but we didn't talk about size. What are the sizes we're talking about, and does that apply to all trees or just the protected trees?

Mr Bellomo: Just the protected trees. We're talking about mature trees.

Mr Smith: That's probably the best description, a mature tree. Depending on the species, it could be varying sizes. You would never find a ginkgo or a catalpa that would be the same width as this desk, like a maple tree would grow to. So it depends on the species of tree as to what size we'd be looking at, but we'd be looking at mature trees.

Mr McGuinty: Mature, protected trees.

Mr Smith: That's correct.

Mr McGuinty: I guess I'm frustrated by the fact that we don't have a handle on how many of these trees exist or where they are and how we're going to enforce it.

Mr Bellomo: No, we don't have a complete inventory on private property, but as I indicated previously, I think initially it may have to be enforced simply on a complaint basis.


Mr McGuinty: I want to make this point again. Maybe I've led a sheltered life, but I don't think I'd recognize those trees you named, and if my neighbour cut his down, if he had one, I wouldn't know if it's on the hit list or not.

Mr Bellomo: But there are certain types of trees that clearly stand up. You may not know a ginkgo biloba by name, but people would know it as being a different type of tree. We give notice of the intention to pass a bylaw and hopefully, through advertisement, people would become aware of the legislation and of the responsibilities they're under.

Mr Fletcher: This is something that Shirley Coppen was just discussing with me. I've got a tree in my backyard and it's on the list or something, I don't know. You don't have a registry of how many trees there are. One day I go out and I just knock the thing down. I chop it down and firewood it and everything. You never knew it was there. How are you going to prove it was there?

Mr Hansen: The neighbours.

Mr Fletcher: Yes, that's right. Then the neighbours say, "Hey, this guy cut down" -- and I get rid of the stump and everything else. Perhaps I'm building a swimming pool. So it's gone. How do you retroactively -- there's nothing you can do. You can't prove I had a tree there.

Mr Bellomo: We have that same problem in many bylaws, that there is a breach and we never become aware of it. There are all sorts of zoning irregularities that go on in the city of Ottawa and in the city of Toronto and in every other municipality. So yes, enforcement will be a problem, but hopefully a key role of any municipal bylaw is to ensure that people know what --

Interjection: To educate them.

Mr Bellomo: To educate them, and hopefully this will help educate people as to the value of trees.

Mr Fletcher: If this passes and it becomes a city bylaw you will ensure, or at least attempt to ensure, that everyone in the city knows there is a bylaw which states -- as far as the protection of trees is concerned. I know it's hard to reach every person. I know that.

Mr Bellomo: We haven't developed a public participation process specifically for this legislation, but I can anticipate that we would put a flyer in with the tax bills.

Mr Fletcher: I love those tax bill flyers.

Mr Eddy: I was thinking either a flyer, or most newspapers have a civic news section with all the important things to do and not do and the times in which to do them or not do them.

I can't help but mention the ginkgo. The ginkgo is a very special tree, as has been mentioned, discovered in a valley in China, with a fern-like leaf that has not evolved during the millennia of time. In other words, there are fossils millions of years old that show the leaf exactly the same as it is now.

You've restricted it to certain trees, which I appreciate. I note that my colleague Mr McGuinty is not opposed in any way, and I commend the city of Ottawa coming forward in an effort to save bush lots and forests etc as the city grows. We know that there are many of them, and it always upsets me that counties have very strict bylaws in some regions preventing the destruction of forest land, and I remember the Strathroy situation, yet cities can annex tremendous amounts of land and the next day they can go in because the bylaw is no longer enforceable, and that's unfortunate. So I do commend you.

On the matter of the individual trees and individual property owners, I seek the guidance of the members who are elected there, and we do have two members from the area. I kind of go by what they feel about that because I think that's an Ottawa matter, more or less, but I do strongly agree with controlling developers from going in and wholesale reducing and destroying forest lands.

The Chair: I would then ask members if they are prepared to vote.

Mr McGuinty: Is it appropriate for me to move an amendment at this point?

The Chair: Move it when we get to the section. If I might ask, Mr McGuinty, it would help if you have something in writing so it can go to the clerk.

This is a vote for Bill Pr28, section 1.

Mr Fletcher: I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by

(a) striking out "consent" in the last line of clause (a) and of clause (b) and substituting "permission" in each case; and

(b) striking out "consents" in the second line of clause (c) and substituting "permits."

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour of the amendment? Any opposed? Seeing none, the amendment carries.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry?

Mr McGuinty: No.

Mr Eddy: No, he's got another amendment.

The Chair: You have another amendment? Would you please read your motion?

Mr McGuinty: I'm just doing this off the top of my head here. What I'd like to add is another clause (d) to section 1 which would read essentially as follows:

"Despite the foregoing, a bylaw passed pursuant hereto shall not apply to lots on which are located a place or places of residence."

The Chair: "Despite the foregoing" --

Mr McGuinty: -- "a bylaw passed pursuant hereto" --

Mr Grandmaître: Is that in order, Madam Chair?

Mr Fletcher: Yes, isn't that breaching a tenet of the --

The Chair: You can always vote it down.

Mr Eddy: No, it's just a further restriction.

Mr McGuinty: It's just a further restriction. My intent is to ensure that it applies to developers and woodlots. I don't want to put this to the single-family home, in particular.

The Chair: Okay, I've got to "pursuant." There will be a very brief recess here. Oh, I guess we can't do that in the midst of a vote.

Do we have a newly polished amendment, Mr McGuinty?

Mr McGuinty: Yes, I do, Madam Chair. With the advice of learned counsel here, I will be amending section 2.

The Chair: Section 2? I will then put the question relating to section 1.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry? Carried.

Mr McGuinty: With respect to section 2, I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(2) This act does not apply in respect of trees or woodlots located on land used for a private residence."

Mr Fletcher: I have a point of order, and it's procedure: I'm wondering, this is not a new section 2, this is a part of section 2, and I also have an amendment on section 2, which is this section being struck out and substituted. I think this should come first.

The Chair: Yes, very good. If everyone can keep in mind Mr McGuinty's amendment.

Mr Fletcher: I move that section 2 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"2. An owner of land on which a woodlot or tree is situated who has been refused a permit under this act may appeal the refusal to the Ontario Municipal Board within 30 days after the refusal."

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? The amendment carries. I will now turn to Mr McGuinty's motion.

Mr Eddy: The tree will be dead before the OMB --

The Chair: No facetious comments, okay? We've now heard Mr McGuinty's proposed amendment several times. I would ask at this point if we could then --

Mr Fletcher: On a point of order again, Madam Chair: This would be --

The Chair: A new section.

Mr Fletcher: -- section 2(a), am I correct?

The Chair: Or 2.1, whatever.

Mr Fletcher: Or 2.1?

The Chair: I think in this case it would probably be --

Mr Fletcher: Section 2.1?

Mr McGuinty: Section 2.1.


Mr Fletcher: I just want to make sure we have that correct.

The Chair: It would be a new section, 2.1, and you have heard the proposed amendment. All those in favour --


The Chair: We don't typically have a lot of debate on these. Just let me confer here for a moment.

All right. It's been that kind of day. Bear with me. We have a new section, so that will be, shall section 2, as amended, carry? Carried.

We want to be precise. So Mr McGuinty's motion will be a new section, and at this point, Mr Johnson.

Mr Paul Johnson: I heard Mr McGuinty's motion, and I'm concerned. Maybe he could help me, and he may need to further amend his amendment.

People have lots of various sizes. People have lots of 15 and 20 acres that they build a house on and they call it their lot; a substantial amount of property, I might say. Some people live on a quarter of an acre, an eighth of an acre, depending if they're in the city.

Interjection: Hectare.

Mr Paul Johnson: I'm still speaking in the old jargon that I'm familiar with. Hectares is something new.

I'm concerned, because it's not specific and because lot size is not referred to. It's vague and could be open to a lot of misinterpretations and therefore, I think, not probably in the best interest of really fulfilling the intention of this legislation.

Mr McGuinty: I'd like to ask Mr Bellomo. Maybe he's more familiar with this than I am. Do we have large lots in the city of Ottawa?

Mr Bellomo: There are some large lots, yes. I obviously don't --

Mr McGuinty: Do we have acreage?

Mr Bellomo: Probably no more than Toronto or any other municipality of the size of Ottawa. The number of large lots is probably limited, but there are some large lots. They'd be limited, admittedly.

Mr McGuinty: Yes, in my own experience, there just aren't a lot of --

Interjection: It's not like the suburban municipalities.

Mr McGuinty: Yes, there aren't a lot of large lots in the city.

The Chair: Does that answer your question, Mr Johnson?

Mr Paul Johnson: Somewhat.

The Chair: Can we proceed with the vote, then?

Shall Mr McGuinty's amendment carry?

All those in favour?

All those opposed?

I'm sorry, Mr McGuinty, but your amendment is defeated.

Interjection: You don't have to apologize.

Mr McGuinty: I shall remember that.

The Chair: Those are the breaks.

Shall section 3 carry? Any opposed? Seeing none, section 3 is carried.

Mr Fletcher: I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:


"3.1 If there is a conflict between a provision in a bylaw passed under this act and a bylaw passed by the council of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton under the Trees Act, the provision that is the most restrictive of the destruction of woodlots or trees prevails."

The Chair: All members having heard the motion, those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? The motion carries.

Shall sections 4 through 6 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Agreed.

The bill is carried. Thank you for your good work.


Consideration of Bill Pr117, An Act respecting The J.G. Taylor Community Centre Inc.

The Chair: I would ask at this point if Mr Hope would come forward. We have a situation, ladies and gentlemen, where I'm not even sure that we all have copies --


The Chair: Order, please. At this point, because there was an effort to get this taken care of quickly, we also are in a situation of not having the applicant with Mr Hope, who is the sponsor. Along with the bill, we have two letters from the solicitor, one dated June 17, the other one June 22, again authorizing Mr Hope to act on behalf of the applicant. I am in your hands as to how to proceed, ladies and gentlemen.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs would have strongly preferred that the bill be deferred till the fall. There has not been adequate time since the introduction date of this bill, on June 20, to review and to comment on the bill or to consult with other interested ministries or to obtain approvals.

The Ministry of Education and Training has expressed the view that the school board should have the right to consent to the tax exemption, as it affects school taxes enshrined in the bill, and the staff at Municipal Affairs support this position. However, the bill appears to meet Ministry of Municipal Affairs criteria re the tax exemptions and MMA does not object formally to the bill at this time. However, the only problem that we have is hearing from other people on the bill.

Mrs Mathyssen: I'd like to say, in support of this bill, that there is a charitable organization in my riding, the Special Ability Riding Institute, that applied for a similar exemption some years ago, and has that exemption. Very clearly, the good work that they do is important and needs to be supported in every way possible.

I understand that Mr Hayes is concerned and would have preferred that the school boards be contacted and able to provide letters supporting this particular tax exemption, but I would like to say that charitable institutions such as SARI and the J.G. Taylor Community Centre are important in our communities and certainly are deserving of any support we can give them.


Mr Hansen: I would like to defer the bill. In here we have "retroactive to January 1, 1994." So if the bill does come up in November 1994, it's still covered in the bill. Maybe if possibly, with the Hansard here, the bill will be coming forward, maybe there can be some tax break until that point. If moneys are due on taxes, then after the bill is passed they could be paid, and you don't have to make the instalments until that period of time, leaving it up to them how they want to collect the taxes, or there wouldn't be any penalty if they had to pay them after the bill came forward before the committee.

I'd rather see that people have the opportunity. We're in a democratic society. People should have the opportunity to object to it; not just put it through this quickly.

Mr Hope: As you indicate in the preamble of the bill, the role and responsibility of the J.G. Taylor Community Centre, the objective, is to operate a community-based, social, educational, recreational centre. As indicated by MMA in the introduction of this bill, they have no problem with the bill and it meets their guidelines, which is very clear because it was just two years ago approximately that I was before this committee with a similar bill on the older adults centre.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to be -- and I don't believe it's a directive from my local school boards -- that the directive is coming from the Ministry of Education, which says it should have but it's not necessarily been formally put forward. Why I try to expedite this process is that there is a substantial amount of provincial dollars involved in this facility. We're trying to get things going, get things in place, meet the objectives which are set out in Yours, Mine and Ours, the Premier's Council report on children at risk. We're dealing with children's services. There are a number of objectives.

What this does, if I look at it, and knowing possibly of the House not returning till November, it just sets things in the back window for a bit and doesn't allow the group now to focus and move. That's why I approached the House leaders for unanimous consent if there was time applicable in the committee to deal with it in an expeditious way so that during the summer period it does set the clear guidelines.

I apologize to the members, but this is not precedent-setting; there have been similar pieces of legislation passed like this. I ask for your support to move it. If you feel that your support is not warranted, then I would understand the deferral.

The Chair: I have no further speakers on the list.

Mr Hansen: Then I have to make a motion to defer it to see whether it goes on. I'll make a motion to defer the bill until the House meets again. That'll be voted on.

The Chair: We should clarify very quickly. There is some likelihood we might be here next week.

Mr Hansen: Fall sitting, let's say.

The Chair: Mr Hansen, your motion is to defer until the fall sitting. You've heard the motion.

Mr Fletcher: Can I get it clear how long we're deferring this.

The Chair: It would probably be the fall sitting.

Mr Fletcher: But if we are meeting next week, if we are sitting next week and this committee sits next week, could it not come back then with the representatives?

Mr Hansen: I'll make an amendment to my motion, "till next meeting of committee."

The Chair: "Of this committee." You've all heard the motion. All those in favour of the motion, please signify. All those opposed to the motion, please signify. The motion carries.

I'm sorry, you're going to have to vote. I will place the question again. All those in favour of the motion, please signify.

Do they all have to vote or not? Those two didn't.

Interjection: If you're in the room, you have to vote.

The Chair: I'm sorry, you're going to have to vote. I will place the question again. All those in favour of the motion, please signify. All those opposed to the motion, please signify. The motion carries.

Our meeting is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1836.