DS001 - Wed 23 Oct 2013 / Mer 23 oct 2013



Wednesday 23 October 2013 Mercredi 23 octobre 2013





The committee met at 1608 in committee room 1.


The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): Welcome, everyone. Honourable members, it is my duty to call upon you to elect a Chair. Are there any nominations?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Mr. Clerk, I am happy to nominate my colleague MPP Laura Albanese.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): Mrs. Albanese, do you accept the nomination?

Mrs. Laura Albanese: I do.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): Are there any further nominations? Seeing no further nominations, nominations are closed. Mrs. Albanese, you are duly elected as Chair.


The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Thank you. I guess the first order of business is a motion. I would ask for a motion for the nomination of a Vice-Chair. Ms. Jones?

Ms. Sylvia Jones: Madam Chair, I would like to nominate Christine Elliott as Vice-Chair.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Mrs. Elliott, do you accept?

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Yes, I do.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Any further nominations? Nominations are closed, and Mrs. Elliott is Vice-Chair of this committee. Congratulations.


The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): At this point, we need a motion to form a subcommittee. Mr. Balkissoon?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I move that a subcommittee on committee business be appointed to meet from time to time, at the call of the Chair or at the request of any member thereof, to consider and report to the committee on the business of the committee;

That the presence of all members of the subcommittee is necessary to constitute a meeting; and

That the subcommittee be composed of the following members: the Chair as chair, Ms. DiNovo, Mrs. Elliott and Ms. Hunter; and

That substitution be permitted on the subcommittee.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Any discussion on this? All in favour? Carried.


The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): So we will open it up for discussion at this point. Mrs. Elliott?

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Madam Chair, if I might, I am delighted to be a member of this committee and to serve as Vice-Chair. I’m looking forward to working with all of you on this really important issue.

We have a fairly short time frame, but I think if we perhaps use the work that was done by the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions as somewhat of a template, that would serve us well in the work that we are doing, to get it done within the time frames noted in the programming motion.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes, Ms. DiNovo?

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. The work of the Select Committee on Mental Health was good. The work was good, the recommendations were sound, and it serves as an excellent template. We don’t have to reinvent this wheel.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Any further comments? Mr. Balkissoon.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I will echo my colleagues on the other side. I think being at Queen’s Park and serving on that committee would be a lifelong experience, that it was the most productive piece of business I’ve ever done at Queen’s Park.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): We seem all to be in agreement.

Mr. Dunlop.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Yes. I’m just subbing here today for Rod Jackson. Rod couldn’t be here today, but I congratulate the committee.

One of the things I’ve just mentioned to Christine and Sylvia when we’re sitting here is that I’ve seen quite an increase in the number of people contacting my constituency offices. These are people who have kind of slid underneath the radar but, really, the people who have raised their children with intellectual disabilities and now are aging, in their late 70s, 80s, 90s, a lot with sickness, and they’re having a real problem getting placements; in fact, hardly anyone to talk to. So just to point out that if the committee can zero in on that as one of the key issues, I think it’s something that will be really appreciated by the citizens of the province.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Any further comments?

I guess at this point I would ask what are the committee’s wishes as far as next steps? Should there be a meeting of the subcommittee, or how do we wish to proceed? Ms. Jones.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: I wouldn’t want to presuppose what the subcommittee wants to do, but based on what we did with the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions, the first step that we took was to meet with the impacted ministries, which, again, is going to be quite substantial a list, but important if we’re going to get the background that we need to be able to figure out where the issues are and who we have to talk to. That would involve lining up all of the ministries and getting them to appear.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes, Ms. Wong.

Ms. Soo Wong: Thank you, Madam Chair. I’m just looking at the timeline. Given that there is a timeline, that we want to have an interim report to be done by late February, so the whole thing is in preparation for the 2014 budget, I would love to see—as my preference; I haven’t checked with my colleagues over here in the government, Madam Chair—that somehow we need to organize our schedule, because as you know, Christmas is around the corner, and I’m sure everybody needs some time off, that kind of stuff. We’re going to have witnesses and hearings etc. It would be good, when the subcommittee meets, to organize the scheduling so that we know when we need to travel, that kind of stuff.

The other thing I wanted to put on the table was that last year, SCOFEA, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, at every hearing that we did across the province—we did quite a bit of hearings, Madam Chair—there were witnesses talking about this topic. So, given that the research staff is here, I would love to see those notes, because I think it’s really important for us that when there’s an already existing committee that has talked about this topic—and these families that Mr. Dunlop talked about have come before another standing committee—let’s not discount those wordings, that messaging. I would love to make sure those witnesses’ suggestions and opinions get forwarded to this committee, because I think it’s a really important thing. Just because of the timeline, I don’t want their concerns not heard and not be captured in our deliberations, in our final report, Madam Chair.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): In other words, we’re asking for the witness summaries of the mental health and addiction committee.

Ms. Soo Wong: No, no, no. The finance committee last year, SCOFEA.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Oh, the finance—

Ms. Soo Wong: SCOFEA, at hearings, the families and individuals with developmentally—so I want to make sure their concerns and issues are captured here.

Interjection: Pre-budget.

Ms. Soo Wong: Yes, pre-budget hearings across the province earlier this year.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: So if we could get a synopsis of those, that would be great. I also agree with your idea of having a work plan, developing a work plan, to make sure we can back it up to have an interim report prepared in time, as well as a budget. I think we need to establish a budget and make a determination about what kind of travel we want to do.

I think, as with the mental health and addictions committee, it will be important for us to travel—north, east, west—because many of the families in this situation can’t travel too far because of the needs of their children or siblings. I think that’s a really important consideration. Perhaps we could take a look at the budget that was established for the last select committee. I think it would be very similar, and then I guess we’ll have to seek permission to expend those funds.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Thank you. Ms. DiNovo.

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: I’m just wondering if this is a suggestion we can work with. We’re talking about having the subcommittee meet. Perhaps the subcommittee can come up, then, with a work plan that we bring back to this group, that we then vote on or amend or change. It’s a little difficult to invent all of this around the table with a group this large.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Agreed. Mr. Balkissoon.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Madam Chair, I just want to echo what my colleague Ms. Jones has said, what we did in mental health. I think the starting point for this committee would be to actually listen to the ministries that deliver any kind of service to this particular sector. Rather than send that to a subcommittee and then it comes back and next week Wednesday gets wasted, maybe we can agree here that the internal ministries can appear before us next Wednesday, and the subcommittee can meet between now and next Wednesday. I think we could have general agreement, which should not be very difficult, that we give the ministries—I think we did half an hour for them to present and then the committee just went around and asked questions for the next half-hour. So we give every ministry an hour to appear before us, starting next week. We could probably agree today on what those ministries are because it’s really education, health, children and youth services, community and social services, and probably correctional services; I’m not sure.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: Would it also be municipal affairs and housing because of the housing component?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Yes.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ms. DiNovo.

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: I’d be amenable to that. Absolutely, we need to hear from housing and municipal affairs. That would need to be one of them.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ms. Wong.

Ms. Soo Wong: Having worked with this group in my professional life before I came to Queen’s Park, with adults with developmental disabilities and support, you need to deal with the legal aspect of it as well. Okay? The Attorney General, through the public trustee’s office, because I can tell you that this is a very challenging file.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I completely agree. I was just going to suggest that. So AG definitely and correctional services.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): So we’re trying to compile a complete list.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: MOH, the Ministry of Education—

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ministry of Education.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: —Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, correctional services, community and social services—

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Slowly—slow down. Okay. Ministry of Health—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: And the Attorney General.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ministry of Health.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Yes.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Community and social services.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Community safety and correctional services, the Attorney General, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the housing section.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: And I believe, because of the children side, you need children and youth—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Children and youth services, which I mentioned before, too, yes.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Seven ministries

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: So if we just go back through all of them and let’s make sure we didn’t miss any.

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: But before we do that, training, colleges and universities as well, TCU.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Okay. Could you please repeat the list or do you want to hand me the list?

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): I don’t think I have them all.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Oh, you don’t have the whole list?

Ms. Sylvia Jones: I do.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Okay.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: So education, health, community and social services, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, corrections, Attorney General, children and youth, and training, colleges and universities.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Yes.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Do we agree? Any other ministry that we want to—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Well, we could start with that list. We have to give each one of them at least an hour.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: Yes. But if I may, Chair, one of the things we learned very quickly was we asked that they don’t come with an hour’s worth of presentation.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Right

Ms. Sylvia Jones: So they have a 20-minute or a half-hour presentation, which allows us a half-hour to have some discussion and questions.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Ten minutes for each.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): So to verify, just to make sure, is the proposal 30 minutes for the presentation, 10, 10 and 10 for the questions?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Yes.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Would that suffice, the 10, 10 and 10 for questions, in your experience with the previous—

Ms. Sylvia Jones: We can always call them back.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: We can always call them back.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Okay.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: So we can start programming it too for next Wednesday. The first hour is the first ministry, the second hour and third hour. So we can have a schedule today that the committee can adopt and then the subcommittee can do the rest of the planning.


Mrs. Christine Elliott: Maybe we should start with Comsoc because it’s the primary ministry.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes, the most direct ministry.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Okay, so we’ll do Comsoc first, children and youth second. Or do you want to do heath second?

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I don’t really care after that. I just think Comsoc can give us the framework.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Okay, so let’s do children and youth second.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: Based on availability, right? Let’s just fill a spot.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): I would say we can try with children and youth and health—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: But that’s the order we will try for.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): We will try for that order and—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Yes.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): Two hours next week.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: We have two hours in total?

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): That’s all we have next week?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Okay, so we’ll go with those three to start with: Ministry of Education, children and youth, and—

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): You’ve got two—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: No, no, if one can’t come, you have a backup. You don’t have to call us.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): Okay. So which three were they?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Comsoc first, children and youth second, and education third.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): Okay.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): I would say if one or two of those ministries are not available, just go down the list.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Yes.

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Keep going.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Keep going until we got somebody.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: In the letter to them, just to clarify what Ms. Jones said, don’t come here with an hour’s presentation.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: We learned that the hard way.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: We had one of them come and fill the whole hour, and we had five minutes of questions.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ms. DiNovo.

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: Again, I would cede this conversation to those who’ve had experience on the Select Committee on Mental Health, because that was such a good experience, but I would also like to see us spend as much time—more time, really—with those who are living with this than government agencies, and also those who are working with those who are living with children and young adults with disabilities. I would hate to see us get so bogged down with just talking to each other around Queen’s Park that we don’t actually talk to the people affected. So my concern would be, you know, if they’re not available, we keep moving on, because I could see us just chasing around ministries for a while and we don’t have the time to do that.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): I believe that the expectation is that we first learn about what’s available, the programs, the challenges, and then we move on. But point taken.

Any other further discussion? Yes, Mr. Dunlop.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Yes, just a suggestion—and I like this committee already, though I’m not on it.


Mr. Garfield Dunlop: With the closure of the three regional centres, Chatham, Smiths Falls and Orillia, you might consider visiting those communities, and I’ll tell you why. There’s a high concentration of the former residents still living in those regions and you might see some of the more severe problems and some of the challenges they face.

The second thing I wanted to point out is, don’t be afraid to look at this thing around policing. There have been some severely challenged people shot by the police. It looks like there hasn’t been a real strategy around policing, around how to handle some of these folks. That’s something to look at as well—and maybe bring in community safety as well.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: They’re on the list.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes, and it’s one of the ministries.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: They’re on the list? Oh, you’ve got them on the list.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ms. Jones.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: I’m not trying to throw issues at the subcommittee, but there are a few things. The way the motion is written, on the Wednesdays that the House is not sitting, we are set for 9 to 5, or we have the ability to meet 9 to 5. My request would be, if we’re going to do that at the first break week, please let us know as quickly as possible.

The second thing—there, it was gone.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): I guess that would be determined by the wishes of the committee, whether we meet or not.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I’ll tell you what the second thing is.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): He’s reading your mind.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: In December and January, we’re all off. Instead of coming here every Wednesday, we should go back to the House leaders and look at if we could combine them.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: Oh, I like how you think.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I’ll be honest: I don’t want to ruin my whole January in that I have to stay in town just to be here every Wednesday. But we know we have four opportunities to meet, and we can agree as a group that we want to meet three consecutive days and get it over with. I think we should make that request of the House leaders, that they at least give us that consideration.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Especially for travelling.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I can see the one week in between sessions is okay, but when we have that long January, the long December and part of February, I don’t want to be stuck in town just because the committee is travelling or meeting.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes, Ms. DiNovo.

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: Yes, I think it’s a good suggestion. I think we need to take that back to the subcommittee and talk about it and make a recommendation, because again, if we start getting into all these nitty-gritty issues, it’s going to complicate things rather than simplify them. But noted, I would say.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): So did we establish—yes?

Ms. Karen Hindle: Just getting back to Ms. Wong’s request, we’d be happy to take on the work and to look at the witness testimony from the committee from earlier this year. One of the things, though, that we will need is a deadline. What would be most helpful for the committee? How quickly would you like us to prepare the summaries and what kind of format would you like? How long would you like the summaries to be?

Ms. Soo Wong: Thank you very much for that question and clarification. For me—I can’t speak for others—I think that the research staff at SCOFEA actually did a very nice summary already.

Ms. Karen Hindle: Oh, all right.

Ms. Soo Wong: I think it would be very helpful. Through SCOFEA, notes were taken and information with regard to the hearings across the province; and at every hearing that I attended this year on pre-budget consultations, witnesses came forward with suggestions for improvement in delivery and the concerns that were raised. Given that our task as a committee is to address that stuff, I do not want those issues and suggestions identified at one committee, a standing committee of the Legislature, not being shared with this one here. I think it’s really important for us to continue that dialogue that every standing committee has already had, especially when it’s so current.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes; and having sat on SCOFEA for a couple of years, I know that the summaries that they provide to the members when the committee finishes travelling are quite comprehensive and concise. It should already be done.

Ms. Karen Hindle: All right.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Perhaps just speaking to the Clerk of that committee would suffice.

Ms. Karen Hindle: In that case, we will provide it to the members as quickly as possible.

Ms. Soo Wong: I don’t think it needs more work; I just think we need to pull them out so we have a reference point that will also help the subcommittee to plan in terms of the activity plan that Ms. Elliott just talked about.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ms. Jones.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: But, to be clear, we don’t want what SCOFEA already has been provided. We just want the ones dealing specifically with—

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Yes.

Ms. Soo Wong: That’s right.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): They would be extracted from those summaries.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: Yes. And electronic is fine, I think.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Ms. Elliott?

Mrs. Christine Elliott: The only other suggestion I would make is for those committee members who might not have familiarized themselves with the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions. It would be a good idea to take a look at it, because I think some of the recommendations from that committee will continue to be relevant to this committee as well.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): So do we want to forward copies of the report to all of the members?

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: Are there still copies? It was kind of a bound version. Are they still floating around? I think I may have some, somewhere in one of my offices, but it would be handy to have them available, for sure.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I think I have some in my office. I can bring them.

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: Do you? Okay.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Okay. So they will be provided. The Clerk is advising me that they will be provided. Do we want to establish when the subcommittee should meet?

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: At the call of the Chair.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Okay. Each of the offices will be contacted and we’ll find a mutual time.

The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): For next week, we are looking to have Comsoc and children and youth come here for an hour each—30 minutes on presentation, 30 minutes on questioning—with a subcommittee meeting to take place between now and then, if possible. We will look, in conjunction with the subcommittee, at taking the budget from the last select committee and seeing how much is applicable here that we can use. I believe that’s everything. Copies of the select committee report will be distributed to each member of the committee.

The Chair (Mrs. Laura Albanese): Anything else? Okay. We’re adjourned until next week at 4.

The committee adjourned at 1631.


Wednesday 23 October 2013

Election of Chair DS-1

Election of Vice-Chair DS-1

Appointment of subcommittee DS-1

Developmental services strategy DS-1


Chair / Présidente

Mrs. Laura Albanese (York South–Weston / York-Sud–Weston L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente

Mrs. Christine Elliott (Whitby–Oshawa PC)

Mrs. Laura Albanese (York South–Weston / York-Sud–Weston L)

Mr. Bas Balkissoon (Scarborough–Rouge River L)

Ms. Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale–High Park ND)

Mrs. Christine Elliott (Whitby–Oshawa PC)

Ms. Mitzie Hunter (Scarborough–Guildwood L)

Mr. Rod Jackson (Barrie PC)

Ms. Sylvia Jones (Dufferin–Caledon PC)

Miss Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain ND)

Ms. Soo Wong (Scarborough–Agincourt L)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North / Simcoe-Nord PC)

Clerk / Greffière

Mr. Trevor Day

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Karen Hindle, research officer,
Research Services

Ms. Erica Simmons, research officer,
Research Services