SELECT COMMITTEE ON
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS
COMITÉ SPÉCIAL DE LA SANTÉ
MENTALE ET DES DÉPENDANCES
Wednesday 25 March 2009 Mercredi 25 mars 2009
The committee met at 1635 in committee room 1.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Does everybody have a copy of the subcommittee report before them? Why don't we get somebody to read it into the record first and then, if there are any changes, any clarifications, perhaps we can deal with them on a point basis, just go through it with the intent of trying to get out of here by 5:30. Sound good? So would somebody like to read the–
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Do you want me to read it?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, if you would.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Your subcommittee on committee business met on Tuesday, March 10, and Wednesday, March 11, 2009, to consider a work plan and a budget and recommends the following:
(1) That the committee clerk prepare a draft budget for presentation to the committee on Wednesday, March 25, 2009;
(2) That the committee invite representatives from the following ministries to appear before the committee: aboriginal affairs, attorney general, children and youth services, citizenship and immigration, community and social services, community safety and correctional services, education, francophone affairs, health and long-term care: Minister's Advisory Group on Mental Health and Addictions, health promotion, Ontario Seniors' Secretariat;
(3) That the committee invite the following expert witnesses to appear before the committee: Mr. Michael Wilson, Mr. Michael Kirby, Mr. Glenn Thompson, Mr. Gordon Floyd, a representative of the Gerstein Centre, a representative of Parents for Children's Mental Health, a representative from the Durham Mental Health Services;
(4) That the committee schedule the ministry representatives and expert witnesses at its meetings on Wednesday, April 1, 8, 22 and 29, May 6 and 13 and that the meetings be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.;
(5) That ministry representatives and expert witnesses be given 30 minutes to make presentations (including questions from the committee);
(6) That legislative research prepare a summary of all oral submissions (ministry, expert and public);
(7) That legislative research do a literature search regarding strategies for mental health and addictions in other jurisdictions (e.g. WHO, OECD);
(8) That, after hearing from the ministries and expert witnesses, the committee determine what more the committee needs and what form those needs should take (hiring of expert research, consultants etc.);
(9) That the committee hold public hearings in Toronto, Wednesday, May 27, and Wednesday, June 3, 2009;
(10) That the committee hold public hearings the week of June 8, 2009, as follows: one day in Windsor, St. Thomas, Hamilton and Kingston;
(11) That the committee hold public hearings the week of June 15, 2009, as follows: one day in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, North Bay and Ottawa;
(12) That the committee clerk, with the authorization of the Chair, post information regarding the committee's business one day in the following area newspapers (in English and French newspapers where possible): Toronto, Windsor, St. Thomas, Hamilton, Kingston, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, North Bay and Ottawa;
(13) That the committee clerk also post information regarding the committee's business on the Ontario parliamentary channel and on the committee's website;
(14) That interested people who wish to be considered to make an oral presentation should contact the committee clerk by 12 noon on Monday, May 4, 2009;
(15) That, on Monday, May 4, 2009, the committee clerk provide the subcommittee members with an electronic list of all requests to appear;
(16) That, after the list of requests to appear has been distributed to the subcommittee, the subcommittee meet to determine certain aspects of the public hearings (presenters, times, duration of presentations etc.);
(17) That the committee visit three First Nations communities at the end of August/beginning of September;
(18) That the committee visit a treatment centre in the United States (Buffalo or Philadelphia);
(19) That the deadline for written submissions be 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 17, 2009;
(20) That the committee clerk, in consultation with the Chair, be authorized, prior to the passage of the report of the subcommittee, to commence making any preliminary arrangements necessary to facilitate the committee's proceedings.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Thank you. Speaking to it, let's start with France.
Mme France Gélinas: I think on number 17, "That the committee visit at least three First Nations communities"—
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Should we visit one in southern Ontario?
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Maybe we should just strike the "three" and put, "That the committee visit First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario, northeastern Ontario and southern Ontario." Is that what we want?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Recommendation 17 doesn't make reference to only northern, so if you just add "at least," I think that would be sufficient.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Will that cover it, and we can figure out where later?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes. Okay.
Mr. Jeff Leal: Perhaps you're right. In my riding, I have two.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. So that's the one change. France, did you have anything else?
Mme France Gélinas: No, I'm okay.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. Helena?
Ms. Helena Jaczek: Recommendation 3, I guess, "the following expert witnesses." We're familiar with Michael Wilson and Michael Kirby. I'm not familiar with Glenn Thompson or Gordon Floyd, and I don't find their names in the listings that we've been provided with related to experts. I don't know what the Gerstein Centre is either, so I wonder if there could be some clarification there, or why these particular experts were chosen.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): I think we have an explanation I can probably provide you. What the research has done is provide us with a more extensive list of expert witnesses that we can take a look at. These were the ones that were sort of made available and suggested as people who seemed to have a leadership role.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: If we're going to sort of specifically mention individuals, I would think that Dr. Paul Garfinkel from CAMH, who also has written us a letter, would be a foremost person to hear from.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, that was the intent. I think as we start to move through this we're going to get more and more people who are going to come forward and offer their services. That is starting to happen. What we were faced with is that at the start, we were trying to put a budget framework around a process. Certainly this isn't an extensive list; it's a list that has got us going. If there are other suggestions, certainly—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: The problem I've got with this list is it implies that these are the expert witnesses, and we would only hear others if they fit on the two days of public hearings. It seems to me that if we really sat down and talked about it, there are probably a whole lot more people who we would like to invite.
One of the things that concerns me about the expert list is that in fact it looks like we're mainly picking up sort of Toronto-Ottawa, and that bothers me because I think the picture often looks different outside Toronto and Ottawa. We're also not picking up—well, we do have parents, but we're not picking up, for example, the association of children's mental health providers; we're not picking up the association of community mental health providers. There's a whole bunch of stakeholders. If we asked the Ministry of Children and Youth, for example, "Who are your children's mental health stakeholders?" they'll tell us who they work with. If we ask the mental health branch at the Ministry of Health, "Who are your stakeholders that you work with?" and similarly with aboriginal affairs—there are a bunch of ministries. If we say, "Could you please give us your stakeholder list on this issue?" they're going to tell us who they think we need to talk to.
I don't think we should be putting ourselves in a box as to who we're going to invite until we get a more thorough list from the ministries of who it is that actually has their expertise. We really don't want to just get research expertise. I would also be interested in talking to people who do both hospital programming and community programming. I don't know whether there's an association of psychiatric hospitals or—you know, children's psychiatric hospitals, adult psychiatric hospitals. It seems to me that we're probably just touching the surface here in terms of who we should be talking to.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, and I think that's the point. It's a Catch-22 situation. In order for us to get going, we need a budget to start doing things; in order to get a budget, we need to start to establish a framework. As we start to move through that, I'm sure there will be other people we will choose to hear from. You've brought suggestions today, and I'm sure the committee would be quite happy to talk about them.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I don't need to know all the names today, but we need to make this so it's clear that we may still be doing hearings in the fall. I don't know how we're going to get through, in the spring, everybody that we might possibly want to be talking to. This is sort of structured like we have to talk to everybody by June, and if you don't talk to us by June and if you don't send a written submission by June, then we're done. I don't think that's what we mean. This is fine for a starting point, but it needs to be more open-ended.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): I think that is the intent. With the budget that Susan will be showing you, if you don't have a copy in front of you yet, there will also be a suggestion to allow for some more funding for future travel in the fall. This gets us going. This gets us out the door. People thought we should hear from the ministries, or the representatives of the ministries that chose to, to give us an idea.
Now, I'm interpreting what the members of the subcommittee said. Maria's joined us now. The subcommittee members can speak for themselves.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: My apologies.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): No problem.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: I was carrying out my other role as PA.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): What we've done is, we didn't start until about 25 to 5. Liz has read the existing subcommittee business into the record. We were just starting to go through some of the changes that perhaps we'd like to make.
The one change that I believe there is consensus on is that the committee visit "at least three First Nations communities" instead of "three First Nations communities."
Then we were going back, and Liz had just raised the point of, how did we arrive at these expert witnesses, and is there the potential to make that list bigger? I think there's actually the expectancy that that list will grow bigger. Research has actually provided a list that you should have before you of witnesses that they—maybe you can speak to this, Carrie or Susan.
Ms. Carrie Hull: I think we were asked several weeks ago to start a list of experts in mental health and addictions in Ontario. This is actually a first attempt. Every time I make contact with someone, I am told of other people. So, as you were saying, the list could grow quite considerably.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I wonder if we could make it clear, Kevin, if we said in number 3: "That the committee invite the following preliminary list of expert witnesses."
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That works.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Then it's clear that we'll be adding to the list of experts later.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: And then people won't be upset if they're not in it.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: We should say, "invite as many as necessary expert witnesses, inclusive of" that.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: That's good. So combine those two thoughts.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: That way, if we want to add to it, we can always add.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Yes.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: And we will decide if they're necessary.
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Can you repeat that?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I said: "The committee will invite as many expert witnesses as necessary, inclusive of" the list that you have there already.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: There you go: "inclusive of and not limited to."
Mrs. Liz Sandals: This is the starter list.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's right.
Just to keep you updated, on (2), the invitations have gone out to the ministries, and it was clear that representatives could send people, should they choose to appear.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: On point 2, Chair, are we not missing the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, because of the housing component?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): It's not on here.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: So we can add that one, then?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes. Good call.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Thank you.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Chair, could you clarify who we're expecting to come? Because it says, "Invite representatives from the following ministries." For example, at public accounts, we explicitly invite the deputies and say, "Bring whatever other staff you need" to explain the program we're interested in.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): I don't think we got into the actual titles, but the expectation was it would be from the bureaucratic side; it would be the ADMs.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: And have we made that clear to the ministries, that we're expecting a deputy or an ADM, plus whatever directors or managers they need to—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): No, we haven't specified the level of the person they should send. Hopefully, it's understood that they would send the person who would best represent.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: We're trying to find information, so we need to have the person who is the most capable in terms of giving us the information of what each ministry is doing and what could potentially be done. There's all kinds of things we want to know from them.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Did the letter go to the deputies, then?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): The letter went to the ministers.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: So is it clear to the ministers that this isn't like estimates, where we want the minister, that this is like public accounts or something where we want the administrator with the expertise?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): It's a letter to the minister asking that they send representatives of their ministry to address the committee. It's very, very clear. So we'll add municipal affairs and housing to the list. Anything else?
Mrs. Christine Elliott: A couple of things. I certainly do agree that we will probably need to expand the list from number 3 and we may want to do some site visits too. I note from the letter from CAMH that they've invited us for a site visit. We may want to go there and perhaps other places. The Gerstein Centre is a crisis centre that has been set up. It's been in operation for, I think, about 10 years, maybe a little bit longer, named after Dr. Reva Gerstein. We were thinking that that might be perhaps another place we might want to visit.
I think Gordon Floyd is the representative for Children's Mental Health Ontario. The other gentleman—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I think you're right. I recognize the name and I can't think why.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: It's in Toronto?
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I think that's why I recognize Gordon.
Mrs. Christine Elliott: Yes, it is. So that being the case, Chair, it would seem in terms of our scheduling that we may need to push things out a little bit and that the public hearings in June, we may want to put off until August-September, because I think there are going to be a lot of people we're going to need to hear from here and in the visitations and so on. I would think that would take us past the end of June.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: And I think some of them will need more time to prepare as well.
Mrs. Christine Elliott: Yes.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: So June might be a very compressed time period. It means for some of them they may have to take staff people out specifically to do something like this. I don't think we want to take them away from their core business to just deal with this. So if we give them enough time, they can manage that a little better.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I don't disagree with you that we're going to have to change the time schedule. I'm just trying to figure out what you were suggesting, Christine.
Mrs. Christine Elliott: We may want to change (10) and (11) and just push those into the visits that we're doing as well with the First Nations communities, which will mean that August and September would be very busy, but I really think that to do justice to the experts upfront and to the site visits we want to do, we will need that time in June.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Because I was just going to say that the beauty of those two weeks in June is that we're actually free to travel. We could take the public hearings out of May 27 and June 3 and replace those with expert hearings and maybe even have some expert hearings when we come back, but should we take advantage of the ability to—I'm not hung up on 10 and 11 being this specific list. It might even be that we want to, as you said, go and visit other programs as opposed to necessarily doing hearings. But we might want to take advantage of the ability to travel at least somewhat in June, even knowing that we would need to come back in September, when the House resumes, and do more hearings.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, when the House comes back on September 14—just returning to my original point, we're going to have to do this almost in blocks. I don't think we can plan out the next 18 months of our life and where exactly we're going to go.
I think, following up on your point, Christine, you're saying that perhaps we need to take the late spring, early summer to hear from the experts instead of hearing from the experts and the public.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Which is my understanding of what we had discussed preliminarily. In our last meeting as a whole we raised the issue that we're not all at the same knowledge level, so we had hoped to do the expert witness information gathering first, before we started doing the public input and the travelling. I still very much support that, and I can see now, as we start to review some of the stuff that research has already done, that there's a lot of information out there that I'd like to gather before I start going and doing the travelling component. I would very much support expanding that expert list at the beginning, in the spring, so to speak, and doing the travelling in the late summer/fall.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. Well, if we're going to make this work, the subcommittee is going to have to work well and the members are going to have to work through the subcommittee. There's no sense in our having subcommittees and coming back and undoing everything the subcommittees have done. If we can get a position—France, you can work with yourself, right? That's easy, and whatever the feelings are need to be channelled through Maria so that when we do have the subcommittee meetings, we can actually start to make some progress.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: I think the other day when we had the subcommittee meeting, we were really biting off a whole chunk of stuff, a lot of things. We tried to create lists of people to invite. Already, there have been people pointed out to us who should have been added in the first place. I think we did a lot for a subcommittee, and I actually really appreciate the fact that we're having this discussion right now to make sure this is done properly. This is the template for what we want to do.
I know Susan was looking for ways to deal with budget, and that was another issue. If we're going to travel, we need to get a budget together for it. So there's a lot that went on. I'm not defending the subcommittee, but I'm really quite happy with the way this is working right now.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes. Okay, let's go through this. I think we're all starting to get on the same track. One of the committee clerks prepared a draft budget. We'll be dealing with that shortly. We've added municipal affairs and housing—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Just one another question on number 2, and this would be a question for the letter: I would think that from health and long-term care, at some point we would want to meet with the minister's advisory group and know what they're doing, but we would still want to hear from the bureaucrats at health and long-term care. That's like a double-barrelled one. It's not both; it's the bureaucrats and the group.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, we'll see what sort of response we get, then, from health and long-term care and take it from there. We've asked each of the ministers to send who they think is the best representative of their ministry, and if there's more we need, there's no harm with us going back.
We've changed number 3 now to read your wording, Bas, right? So we've moved on with that.
We've identified who Gordon Floyd is—he's from Children's Mental Health Ontario—and Glenn Thompson. I can't put the organization in Glenn Thompson's name, but I know that he came very highly recommended.
There seems to be consensus, then, that before the summer, instead of trying to do public hearings and hearing from the expert witnesses, we use all that time to hear from the ministries and expert witnesses and organizations—perhaps CAMH, who have offered us a tour, and they've offered to come as well.
So we use the time before the summer to do the preparatory work involving those three: Is that agreed? Okay.
In number 9, we'll take May 27 and June 3, and in numbers 10 and 11, June 8 and June 15, and add them to the lists in number 4.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Actually, we don't add the June ones; just the ones in number 9. May 27 and June 3 then get added to number 4.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: So two additional dates on point 4?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's right. There was another issue raised at the time, I think, when we were first trying to choose a time to meet. With the schedules quite tight, it was suggested we meet from 3 to 6. Then we realized that we had routine proceedings at 3 o'clock and we couldn't meet. So then we thought we'd meet after routine proceedings, and realized that that would make the committee start at any variety of times—it could start at 3:25; it could start at 3:45—so we tried to standardize the start time. Then it was decided that we might push it out to 7 o'clock. Now some people have suggested that the rest of the House ends at 6, so why don't we end at 6? That may be a discussion the subcommittee may want to explore: if it wants to end its meeting at 6, now that it's expanded the number of meetings it would have, or if it wants to leave it at 7, as the subcommittee was recommending. Is there any—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Do we have authority to meet past 6?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): We have authority to meet 24 hours a day, apparently, which is—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: But not during routine proceedings.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes. We can even meet—it's at the call of the Chair, basically, but we're trying—
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: So when we thought that we couldn't meet during routine proceedings, because this is a select committee, we can do that?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes. What I was going to suggest, from the Chair's perspective, is that perhaps we'll change that to say "from 4 to 6," with the full knowledge that we have the ability to meet longer, should we—okay?
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: That's right, and then if we have the occasion that we want to sit longer, we can.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Are we restricted to Mondays, Chair?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Wednesdays.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I mean Wednesdays. If we do Mondays instead, when there is a longer afternoon—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): If we can make that work—I mean, it's at the call of the Chair, so we're not restricting ourselves.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: See, Wednesdays, because the House schedule starts at 3, we're sort of restricted to 4 to 6.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I think Wednesday was the day most people were free—Wednesday afternoon.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: Yes, exactly. Some of us have other commitments in standing committees. I think that was the issue.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes. If there's a need to have a special meeting, and we can free ourselves up, that's not impossible. That can happen if someone like—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, or extend the hours. So if we can just change that to 6 o'clock instead, then, with the knowledge that we have the ability to change that as well.
We aren't having public hearings the week of June 8 or the week of June 15, but Susan now knows we are having public hearings and can put some money into the budget for those hearings to be held. They just won't take place the week of June 8 and June 15.
We could change that, perhaps, that the committee hold public hearings in the fall or in the late summer/fall of the year, something like that, and start to schedule times over the summer that suit our schedules as well.
Mme France Gélinas: There is no hope that we could do half of it in June and the other half in late summer, maybe keep the week of June 15 just to do one?
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: For public hearings?
Mme France Gélinas: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, let's discuss that. If we get through the expert hearings and the organizations that we want to hear from, is the committee comfortable with going out June 15 to do public hearings?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Just for that one week?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): One week of public hearings.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: It seems to me that if we're going to travel to these—we can do the public hearings in Toronto in the fall while the House is sitting.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Right.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: So that's not a problem. We can take the stuff that was in (9) and move that to the fall while the House is sitting. The issue is that if we're not supposed to be travelling while the House is sitting, if we're going to do public hearings in other places, I'm inclined to agree with France that we should probably choose at least one week in June to travel to other places where we might want to do public hearings.
Mme France Gélinas: We're going to run out of time in August. We all sit on other committees; we all have other commitments.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. By the time June 8 rolls around, the House presumably will not be sitting, so we have the ability to go out in those two weeks. We have the ability to go out for one of those weeks, or we don't have to go out at all.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: Would it make sense, though, as an example, if we're going to be going to Thunder Bay, if it be in the fall, that we then go to northwestern aboriginal communities? There might be some logic in combining some of the travel.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I was just actually thinking the same thing. You might do Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and aboriginal communities in the fall.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. Yes, now—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: And North Bay.
Mme France Gélinas: Windsor, Hamilton, Kingston the week of June 15?
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, so we'll do southern Ontario the week of June 15.
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Which one is southern Ontario?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Southern Ontario is Windsor, St. Thomas, Hamilton and Kingston.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: That's June 15 that we're putting that?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's the week of June 15, yes.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: So we're confident that we'll be through the experts by the end of June 3? Basically, we've only added two dates for expert input, which is eight people. I'm just not sure you're—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That would be eight meetings, 16 hours.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Yes, but you've got 30 minutes—it's somewhere—"expert witnesses be given 30 minutes."
Mme France Gélinas: We're at 30 experts.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Thirty experts.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Okay.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): This is brand new ground for us all. Thirty could be nowhere near enough; it could be way too many, you know?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: If one of those days ends up being a site visit to CAMH? I'm just trying to figure the math.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: But you know what? As we get closer to June, we can always have another subcommittee meeting.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's true.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Yes, but you don't want to be in a position, as Maria pointed out, on May 30, of saying to people—
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: We'll know that, because we have to advertise for June 15, so at least the Chair will say to us, "Should I advertise, or are we going to go with it?" This is tentative, I would say.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): As we start to go through it, if we appear to be running into some problem with the schedule, we'll notice it. I'll certainly keep an eye out for it. I'm sure the staff will be right on top of it.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Plus you've got the whole week of June 8, when the House is not sitting, to meet every day for witnesses in Toronto, if you need to.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, so in very general terms again, just to go over this: Spring and early summer, hear from the expert witnesses and organizations; the week of June 15, do the public hearings in southern Ontario; and then late summer and early fall, do the public hearings in northern Ontario and perhaps, if possible, combine that with the travel to the First Nations.
There may not be a huge advantage to combining them. When we're travelling to do the public hearing, the whole crew comes along; Hansard and everybody else come along. When we're going to the First Nations, it will be site visits. There may be some synergies; there may not be.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Just those folks can stay back.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's right. But the idea, in very general terms so we can start to plan our own schedules, is that around the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall, we'll be doing public hearings and First Nations visits. Is that—
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Should we pick the week before we're about to resume, so at least we know it's that week?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: That's a short week. That's a four-day week.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: There are four cities.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: But weren't we talking about adding First Nations?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: He was saying he may not be able to tie the two together. If you want to tie the two together, then you've got to go the week before.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: If we're going to go into northwestern and northeastern Ontario, we need to do that late August, early September, because we already had the discussion about not doing that in the spring because of blackflies, and you don't want to do it once the snow starts to fly, or we might be there longer than we'd planned. I think we pretty much, if we're going to visit northern First Nations communities, need to be doing that late August, early September. So somehow we need to schedule those visits end of August, early September.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: So let's schedule it August 31 for the whole five days.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: And that might be two different trips if we're going both to northeast and northwest.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Now's the time to speak up. This is where we're planning our next 18 months, so if there's an issue with that, then let's hear about it.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: So you have to go to three different ones?
Mrs. Christine Elliott: Could mid-August be considered, to just move it up a little bit earlier, that travel?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Mid-August?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): No? That would be tough? Okay. Well, we can't do mid-August; we can't do late August. So we're into—
Mrs. Christine Elliott: Early August.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Early August isn't out of the question for me; it's just in the middle of the summer.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's tough for you?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: That's tough, and you probably wouldn't get people coming.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): So that's putting us into September now.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Unless you just want to do the First Nations trip and delay the other thing until January.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Last week of August, the kids are going back to school. Early? Late?
Interjection: That depends.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That depends, yes.
Mme France Gélinas: What happened to August 24? Does that not work for everybody?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Jeff, and then we'll come back to you, France.
Mr. Jeff Leal: Just to give a little perspective from MAA, I think what we need on the First Nations thing—we can easily set up a sub-tour, almost. We'll pick the appropriate time, whether it's late August, early September or before we come back, and visit those communities, because I don't think we need the full committee to descend on many of these communities, as long as there are representatives from each of the three parties and the appropriate staff, and we could set up that sub-tour to go into those areas. If need be, the other half of the committee could continue doing their other visits.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. So when were you thinking of that happening? Because it sounds like August doesn't work for anybody.
Mr. Jeff Leal: Well, late August or the first part of September, bearing in mind the blackflies and everything else that may impact.
Mme France Gélinas: We're into horseflies by then.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): We don't have a calendar in front of us either, unfortunately, or do we? Okay, there we go; we do.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: When's the first constit break after the House resumes?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: The middle of September.
Mme France Gélinas: No, this is the week—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. We're back on the 14th, and October would be the—
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: The middle of October.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): The middle of October. Was that too late to go to the First Nations?
Mme France Gélinas: No, that's not.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): It's not. How does that work?
Mr. Jeff Leal: You probably wouldn't want to be much later than that.
Mme France Gélinas: No.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Or could that be the southwestern Ontario component? I don't know. Whatever works, but is that week an option for people?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): What I'm thinking of is using—
Mme France Gélinas: August 24 is better.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): But August 24 ties into—let me check my calendar.
I already have it in my calendar as visiting First Nations communities; I'm way ahead of you guys. Apparently, I'm going and you guys aren't.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: I'm good with that week.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's August 24?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): That's for the First Nations.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That's for the First Nations visit. Jeff, France—is that good?
Mme France Gélinas: Can it be arranged? August 24th?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Thunder Bay, Sudbury, North Bay—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): So now we need the northern Ontario public hearings. When is a good week for everybody for that?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I thought you were trying to do both together to save travel costs?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): It really doesn't—
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: It doesn't work.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): No, it's not going to—
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: And the four days in September, a short week, is ideal for the public hearing: four cities, four days.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Which four days is it that you're talking about?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: After the long weekend in September.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): September 8 to the—whatever? You're thinking of doing Ottawa, North Bay—
Ms. Sylvia Jones: The 7th is Labour Day. The 8th to the 11th is Tuesday to Friday.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): That would be starting in Thunder Bay and going across Sudbury, North Bay and ending up in Ottawa. Are we all on track here? Ladies, are we all agreed on that date?
Mrs. Liz Sandals: So we'll do First Nations the week of August 24 and we'll do public hearings in the north on September 8 to September 11.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Does that work for everybody?
Mrs. Liz Sandals: We could conceivably, that constituency week, either in October or November, use one or two days to do southern Ontario visits. We don't need the whole week then, because if they're constituency weeks, it's nice to have some of the days to have constituency week stuff, but you could take one day in October to go south to your neck of the woods, and one day to go to Maria's neck of the woods, that sort of thing.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, but that's not something we have to decide today.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: We don't need to decide that today. We could work those ones in.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): And then we can plan our own personal schedules out around what we have decided today for anybody planning holidays, schools and whatever.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: So we've booked the week of June 15, the week of August 24 and the week of September 8. And everybody's cool with that? Okay.
Mme France Gélinas: Were you there this morning when they were saying public accounts—
Mrs. Liz Sandals: No, I wasn't, but that's what Maria was just saying to me, that I can get started here because of the way everything conflicts. I think CCPAC—the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees—should be the same day that the House resumes, which means we can just all go to Edmonton instead of coming back when the House resumes.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): We're going through these now. Are there any other changes that we're going to have to make? What the clerk is suggesting is that she take this back and redo it.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: And mail it out to us.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, rather than try to vote on it today.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Because we'll have to put it in our calendar.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, I think we're all in.
Now, point 19: The deadline for written submissions.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Just change it to coincide with the dates we've picked. We leave that up to you, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Whatever makes sense.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: Do we want to set a deadline at this point?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: No, let the Chair just pick it.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Whatever makes the meetings work, the Chair will do.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: But if we're going to still be doing expert hearings, we may even be okay with written submissions coming in the fall.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Yes, I think we're going to get submissions whether we ask for them or not. I think setting a deadline is just limiting ourselves. At some point, we're going to want to prepare a draft report and we're going to have to set some sort of a deadline, so we'll just leave that out and we'll do what needs to be done.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: My sense is that if we make it that early, we'll just annoy people.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: They'll think we're trying to cut them off from the discussion.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Now, I'm starting to get a fair amount of correspondence from groups like CAMH that I want to share with the committee, and I want to bring that forward to the committee. I'm assuming there's interest in doing a tour of CAMH, so we can even start to set that up. We can even start to think about that. We have an expert list now. We said we could do 32 with the time that we've set aside, 30 minutes each. That's including ministries. I'm not sure if all the ministries will come forward. Some of them will, some of them won't, I think. All we can do is get started.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Yes, and you can always add to it.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): All we can do is start inviting people. We'll start with 30 minutes, we'll find out if 30 minutes is too long or too short and we'll just make changes as we go along. We're going to be spending the next 18 months together, and this is going to be a dynamic process rather than one we establish today.
How do you want to decide as we start to move forward? The ministries have been invited. What process do you want to use to decide on the experts? You can leave it to the subcommittee members to decide, to go through this list and channel your suggestions through Maria, Christine and France. Is that good?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: That's fine.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. We can use this list. If somebody else has another list going or somebody else has other suggestions, other people they know, other correspondence they're getting, then we could do that through the subcommittee. So the subcommittee needs to meet again fairly soon to develop that list, bring it back to the full committee for approval and then do the invitations.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: Could we get the PAs for MCYS and for health to check with their ministries about who those specific ministries would consider to be their mental health stakeholders? Because we don't want to insult major mental health stakeholders by not—
Ms. Helena Jaczek: For health promotion, I can tell you, it's really only CAMH. I can certainly look as well, but from my understanding, that is the only stakeholder they deal with.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Susan had drawn up a budget based on the old schedule, and my sense was that we should at least make a financial allowance for more travel or for more consultation, either in the fall or the winter of 2010, before the report is drafted. Susan, do we have the budget now in people's hands?
I'm thinking we might want to do the budget today if we can. The budget is a budget; Susan has applied numbers to what we've asked her to do. She has applied the best numbers she can. We can have a discussion on it, but I just can't imagine that somebody knows where we can get cheap catering or where we can get a bus for less money. Susan has the experience on this.
Now, this also talks about $150,000 for consulting and professional research services, which is something we haven't landed on yet, we haven't agreed on yet, and we're not even sure if it's something that we're going to need. But in order to present a budget, we're going to have to come forward with some amount of money. Does this include the extra travel as well, Susan? The one we had before?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Yes. So that's not in the subcommittee report—
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. So the budget you have before you also has an allowance for extra travel, should we decide that that's necessary, toward the end of 2009-10, but that travel is not scheduled yet, and unfortunately there's very little to compare this with. The other select committees have all been fairly different from ours.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: If we're going to visit First Nations—we're going to northwestern Ontario and northeastern Ontario and doing potentially more than three, plus doing some site visits in southern Ontario—is there enough in that northern Ontario budget, where the travel will be very expensive?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): The northern Ontario budget was based on visiting three First Nations communities. That's all it is. And it's not full committee—it's not Hansard and broadcast and recording. It's just the committee members, a chartered plane, hotel and meals. I didn't work in additional communities, if we were going to go elsewhere.
Mme France Gélinas: So the trip to Thunder Bay, Sudbury—I forgot—Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, is not in?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): I considered that central.
Mme France Gélinas: I feel special. I've never lived in central Ontario before.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): You're moving either up or down in the world.
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): So I budgeted for two trips to central and two trips to southern, if we added in another two weeks of travel in addition to what we're doing.
Mme France Gélinas: The one number that jumped out at me is, $60,000 worth of advertising?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): One ad in one paper in the six communities or eight communities we're going to is $30,000, and if we're going to travel a second time, that's a second set of advertising. Advertising is incredibly expensive.
Mme France Gélinas: To me, we have to look at this. Sixty thousand dollars is the budget for a mental health agency in my constituency, and I'm going to spend this on advertising? I don't think so.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Well, if the committee agrees—I wonder about the effectiveness, now, of newspaper advertising—we could do it ourselves, online, through groups, that type of thing. There seems to be an expectation that an ad gets run in the newspaper, but I don't think it's legislated. I don't think we have to do it. It's not mandated. You're right, it is a lot of money.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Can't we use the media to say we're coming and they'll print it for free?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): We can send out a news wire, but there's no guarantee that any paper will pick it up.
Mrs. Liz Sandals: And if you send out a news wire, they're not going to use it three weeks in advance, when we're trying to collect speakers. You're advertising the hearing, but the purpose of the ad is to let people in the local community know that you're coming to town and invite submissions.
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Another option, possibly, is to get MPPs in the communities that we're going to to promote it through word of mouth.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: My concern with that is we would get criticized for aiming for certain groups and certain organizations.
I'm looking at this budget and saying, boy, I really hope we do something with this report after we're done, because I don't want to have to stand there and say, yeah, I spent half a million dollars and we didn't do squat. I would hope that after this kind of investment—and it is an investment—to figure out where the opportunities are for improvement, we actually do something with it, because it would be a terrible shame.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Well, if there isn't anything—the advertising obviously jumps off the page, but it sounds like it's necessary.
The consulting and professional research services: We still haven't landed on that. We need to make an allowance for it, but that money may not be spent. The preparation of the report will probably be spent; that would be a portion of the $150,000.
Once we've heard from the experts, we'll get a much better idea as to how much of that $150,000 needs to be spent, but not to have it in the budget and to go back and ask for it—unless there's some huge disagreement here or something that people just can't live with, I'd suggest that we allow it to go forward. But if there are concerns, let's hear about them.
Mrs. Christine Elliott: I would say we absolutely have to spend the money on the advertising, although I think it's an egregious amount of money. But if we want to have this as an open and transparent process and give particularly consumers and family members the opportunity to come and speak to us, I think we have no other choice but to do it.
As for the money that's budgeted for the assistance with human resources, $150,000, we may well choose not to spend that. That's an upper limit. We may find that we only need somebody part-time to help us with report writing, but I think we have to allow for it because it's better we do that than to find out we're really under budget and have to go back.
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): One thing I need to clarify as well is this budget is until March 31, 2010. We then have to go back to the board for April 1, 2010, to whenever the committee finishes, whether it's June or spring. So I did not put the translation and the printing of the report in this budget. It will be in another budget.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): And unless we've missed something on this, unless we've made a gross error, which I'm pretty sure we haven't, you're right, Christine, this would be an up set limit. I just can't imagine that we could possibly spend any more than this. We've included two rounds of travel; we've included the researcher; we've included consulting professional services, advertising—really, everything is in here. So I can't imagine we'd be going back and asking for more; in fact, at the end of the day, I'd suspect we'll be taking money back to them.
Ms. Susan Swift: I just wanted to mention something about research service. Elaine Campbell was speaking to you last week, and she asked me to come this week in the event that you had any questions generally about the kinds of research services that we could provide to the committee.
Susan Sourial and I met in advance of this meeting to talk about the budget, and what we put in the budget included various options for the committee in terms of the kinds of research services they may need in addition to what we can provide to the committee. So, Susan, I think that we put into this budget an estimate on something along the lines of commissioning a study that the committee might want to have. We did that on the basis of the experience with the alternative fuels committee, where they commissioned a study from an expert consulting group on specific issues that the committee determined it needed expert advice on.
We also included an amount in the event that the research demands of the committee were so great that we couldn't meet those demands within our office itself. So an amount is in there if we had to hire another researcher for six months or eight months—something like that. So that amount is in there as well. Susan, what else is included in that $150,000?
The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Just those two.
Ms. Susan Swift: Just those two. So the committee may not need all of those services—
Ms. Helena Jaczek: What about the writing of that final report?
Ms. Susan Swift: If I can just speak to that. Typically, our researchers would write that report for the committee. They do it for every other standing committee, and we have been the primary support for every other select committee that has operated in the House.
We are not experts, certainly, by any means, and you will need to consult experts. There are various ways to consult experts, certainly, inviting expert panels to come. They have done that with the emergency management committee. They had an expert panel of lawyers and also labour experts come to speak to them.
But the writing of the report, the answering of the research questions as it goes on during the proceedings, we can do all of that. We can identify issues for you. We can do background papers. We won't lead the committee, obviously. You folks know where you want to go, but we'll follow closely behind, and we'll dedicate the resources that we can to serve the committee—absolutely.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. Now is someone prepared to move this?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: So moved.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): So moved. Any speakers? You need to read it into the record.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: You mean I've got to read the detail sheet line by line?
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): No, just this—just the motion.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I move that the budget of $479,270 for the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions be approved, and that the Chair be authorized to present it to the Board of Internal Economy.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Any speakers? Seeing none, all those in favour? Those opposed? That motion is carried.
We have a letter from CAMH. Do you want the subcommittee to deal with that, maybe start to set up a tour?
Mme France Gélinas: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, so that's agreed. We don't need a motion on that, just direction—that's fine. Of course, representatives from CAMH will be part of the experts.
Unless there's any other business, we are adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 1736.
Wednesday 25 March 2009
Subcommittee report MH-9
Committee business MH-16
SELECT COMMITTEE ON MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS
Chair / Président
Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn (Oakville L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Mrs. Christine Elliott (Whitby—Oshawa PC)
Mr. Bas Balkissoon (Scarborough—Rouge River L)
Mrs. Christine Elliott (Whitby—Oshawa PC)
Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn (Oakville L)
Mme France Gélinas (Nickel Belt ND)
Ms. Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridges—Markham L)
Ms. Sylvia Jones (Dufferin—Caledon PC)
Mr. Jeff Leal (Peterborough L)
Mrs. Liz Sandals (Guelph L)
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex L)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Susan Sourial
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Carrie Hull, research officer
Ms. Susan Swift, research officer
Research and Information Services