ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE
COMITÉ SPÉCIAL DE LA VIOLENCE
ET DU HARCÈLEMENT
À CARACTÈRE SEXUEL
Wednesday 16 September 2015 Mercredi 16 septembre 2015
The committee met at 1600 in committee room 1.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): The Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment will now come to order. Good afternoon, committee members. It’s good to see you all back here. I trust that you all had a very lovely summer, and we’re all looking forward to getting back to work.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): I understand that our subcommittee members had a meeting. Do we have some information to report on that?
Ms. Laurie Scott: Your subcommittee met on Tuesday, September 15, to consider the method of proceeding on its order of the House dated Thursday, December 11, 2014, and recommends the following:
(1) That the following organizations be invited to appear before the committee in Toronto: the Ontario Women’s Directorate and the Ontario Roundtable on Violence Against Women.
(2) That the witnesses be scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, 2015, as the first option and on Monday, September 28, 2015, as the second option.
(3) That the witnesses be offered up to 20 minutes for their presentation, followed by 25 minutes of questioning from committee members.
(4) That the research officer provide a summary of the written submissions received over the summer recess by Monday, September 21, 2015.
(5) That the Clerk of the Committee, in consultation with the Chair, is authorized immediately to commence making any preliminary arrangements necessary to facilitate the committee’s proceedings.
That’s the report of the subcommittee.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Thank you very much. Do we have any discussion on this? Yes, MPP Malhi?
Ms. Harinder Malhi: I just was thinking: Should we not have dates? Would it be a good idea to have dates of when we start our report writing, to have a firm date so that we can set some deadlines for ourselves?
Ms. Laurie Scott: We did discuss it in committee generally, when we need to start writing. We need to be finished report writing by November 23, I believe, is what we had written down, so that there’s time for translation, because we need to table it December 10.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Committee members, should we have a date that we begin writing the report?
Mr. Han Dong: I think so.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): What are you suggesting?
Ms. Harinder Malhi: What I’m suggesting is if maybe we could add a date—
Ms. Laurie Scott: Like the middle of October or something.
Ms. Harinder Malhi: —like September 30 be our date to start report writing. We have eight meetings this year. We have eight opportunities on Wednesdays to meet, starting today. Today would be one of them. That leaves us with seven. If we wanted the report done by the 23rd, we have five days left in between to write the report. Thinking about how long it took us to get through the interim report, I think it would be a good idea—I don’t know—for us to set some deadlines so we’re all aware that we’ve got to get through it in this time. If we looked at maybe September 30 as a date to say, “This is the day we start report writing,” and, after that, we don’t see any more witnesses; maybe just take written submissions.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): I would tell the committee members, too, that we have the opportunity, if we do have additional people from whom we wish to hear, the Chair can call additional meetings, as we did in the past, meeting on Monday afternoons. Is there any discussion on beginning our report writing by September 30? Yes, MPP Sattler?
Ms. Peggy Sattler: I have never been through the process of report writing with recommendations. I’m wondering: As a starting point, would it be appropriate to ask research to put together all of the specific recommendations that were made by witnesses so we could see exactly what had been recommended through the course of the input that we received? I don’t know how these things usually work, but that, to me, seems reasonable.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): You’d like to see perhaps a point-form list, a lengthy list of all the recommendations made?
Ms. Peggy Sattler: Just when somebody said, “I recommend that,” so that we go through the testimony and then we see the specific recommendations that came forward from the witnesses through the course of the input.
Ms. Carrie Hull: The interim summary does contain primarily that. There’s a bit of material that we could remove. There are a lot of witnesses who presented background information, statistics and things like that. We could take that out. But I’ll just warn you that even with taking out the stats and stuff, it’s still going to probably be 70 pages. That might help a little bit, but it will still be a lot of material that you’ll have to go through.
Another thing we’ve done in the past, and we certainly can still do that, is to present, to help start, a list of the main themes that the committee has heard testimony about. You can then decide whether you want to develop recommendations around those themes. If there are themes that we haven’t covered that you still would like to cover, we can do something to that effect as well.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Jones.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Carrie actually just covered what I was going to ask. I know she has been involved in other select committees, so I was just going to say, give us an overview of how we’ve done it in the past. You’ve done that, so I’m done.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): So you’re able to provide that for us?
Ms. Carrie Hull: Certainly. We could do the list of recommendations, but I’ll just let you know that there are still hundreds of them, so I don’t know how much more that will help you along than the summary did already. There are just a lot of recommendations.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Jones.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: I guess I’m not done. My suggestion would be that we look at the general themes and see which ones we want to focus on—recommendations: remove, expand upon. So stick with the themes as opposed to getting 70 more pages of what really is encapsulated in the interim report.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Would it be at all helpful if it were done in point form versus a lengthier version?
Ms. Carrie Hull: Yes. I think we could do the themes as, basically, a seven-word sentence for each theme, something short that everybody can process.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): How soon can you provide that for us?
Ms. Carrie Hull: That can be done for the next meeting, if not sooner.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Are we prepared, then, to move forward and begin our report writing on September 30? Are we in agreement with that?
Ms. Harinder Malhi: Sorry, I have another point to add to that.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Malhi.
Ms. Harinder Malhi: The other thing I think we should consider is, after we start report writing, how long are we going to take written submissions? Maybe we should try to cut it off at the 7th so that they’re not having to go back every time, if we continue to take written submissions.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Do you have a suggestion on when you would like to see us end those?
Ms. Harinder Malhi: Possibly a week later, the 7th of October, so that they have that working time with what they have.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Are we in agreement with that, too?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Chair, are we still getting many written submissions? If we’re going to start report writing on the 30th, I’d rather cut the written submissions off at the 30th as well.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Are we in agreement with that? Yes?
Ms. Laurie Scott: Over the summer, there have been how many submissions?
Ms. Carrie Hull: We’ll have the summary of what’s happened since we last met—I think we could probably have it for you tomorrow.
There were five submissions since the committee last met. In between the time when we started drafting the report and you had your last meeting, there were five additional submissions. There’s really not that much material.
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Katch Koch): If I may add, Chair, the current ad on the parliamentary channel does not have a deadline for written submissions. We left it open-ended. If you like, I can correct that, tweak it and put in the September 30th deadline.
Ms. Laurie Scott: I think so.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): It would appear that we’re going to amend our subcommittee report to include that we’re going to be beginning our report writing on September 30 and that we will end our acceptance of submissions on the same date.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: Can I make a friendly amendment and suggest, if you’re going to post this, that the written submissions actually finish on Monday the 28th if the report writing is going to begin on Wednesday the 30th?
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Scott.
Ms. Laurie Scott: That’s fine. I was just going to say we should end it before we start report writing.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP McGarry.
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry: One quick question: While we’re report writing—and I’m looking into the fall—would we be able to circle back with witnesses or with experts to check on recommendations or check wording or meaning with anything, either through written or by a quick call?
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Perhaps I’ll get you to explain that, Clerk.
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Katch Koch): Normally, we do not go back to check with the witnesses because the report will be the finding of the committee members, not the witnesses. You may have a committee report that the witnesses do not agree with, but at the end of the day, it is a committee report from the members of the committee to the Legislature.
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry: I fully understand that. What I meant was, are we able to check back with witnesses just to have them clarify a point while we’re looking at recommendations? It wouldn’t be checking with them to see if we should put their recommendation forward; it’s more to clarify—because some of the witnesses came forward at the beginning of the committee. In order to refresh our memory, to look at wording or to make sure we had their meaning right, is it feasible to check back?
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Our Clerk will address that.
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Katch Koch): It’s a bit of a slippery slope if we start making the committee report available to the public before members of the Legislature see it. We could have a question of privilege if you start sharing information on what’s in the report. I don’t know how the consultation—
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry: That’s not what I meant, actually.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Yes, MPP Jones and then MPP Sattler.
Ms. Sylvia Jones: I think I know what you want and I think that there is a way to do it without impacting our ability to actually write the report as committee members, and that is these two researchers. If there is further clarification, if we ask the researchers to get that detail, then it protects us so that the individual witnesses don’t get the impression that we’re leaning one way or the other. It still allows us that additional detail that we might be looking for. Is that fair?
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry: That’s exactly what I was asking. Thank you for clarifying my brain.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Sattler, did you want to wade in?
Ms. Peggy Sattler: I just want to reinforce that point. Laurie brought up the issue around the judicial process. If we’re developing recommendations about the judicial process and we have questions like, “Hey, how does that work?”, I think that it’s important that we have the ability to get some knowledge to contextualize the recommendations.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): For the sake of expediency, rather than rewriting the subcommittee report with amendments, are we prepared to vote on this based on what you see in front of you and, additionally, that we are going to be cutting off our acceptance of new submissions by September 28, and beginning our report writing on September 30? Are we all in agreement with that? May I ask how many are in favour?
Ms. Harinder Malhi: Sorry, can I just cut in one more time? Can we clarify that we’re going to be inviting the chairs of the round tables out—not members of the round table, but chairs? Because it’s not in there. We’ll send the invitation out to the chairs?
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): We are sending invitations out to the round table and it is being addressed to the chairs.
Ms. Harinder Malhi: Okay. That’s fine.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Resuming our vote, are we all in favour of the subcommittee report and the amendments? All in favour of the amendments? Carried.
All those in favour of the subcommittee report, as amended? Carried.
Our next meeting is going to take place a week from now: next Wednesday at 4 p.m. As soon as our Clerk departs, he is going to be scheduling the two people who are on our list here.
Any further comments from anyone? Yes, MPP Scott.
Ms. Laurie Scott: Just to follow up, we had agreed to two invitees; they’re coming from the women’s directorate and the round table. Were we going to discuss any more, or is that kind of later on, about getting anyone else to appear before committee?
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Why don’t we leave that to our subcommittee members?
Ms. Laurie Scott: Okay. So you’ll leave it back to us, with what you want to decide?
Ms. Sylvia Jones: We’re running out of runway. If we’re starting report writing on the 30th—
Ms. Laurie Scott: I know. That’s why it’s kind of like—
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): If our subcommittee members do have suggestions, I would suggest that you reach out, and perhaps we can have a telephone conference.
Ms. Peggy Sattler: I think that, given that we’re going to be looking at the summary of themes and then choosing the areas that we think merit recommendations, those are the areas that we would potentially want some more witnesses on. Shouldn’t the decisions about more witnesses be linked to—
Ms. Laurie Scott: The summary of this?
Ms. Peggy Sattler: Yes.
Ms. Laurie Scott: Yes. So we can decide at a later date, right? We’re not closing the door to having somebody else come appear, but they have to do it before the 28th, if possible.
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde: The 30th.
Ms. Laurie Scott: The 30th.
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): We’re not going to have much time after that.
Ms. Laurie Scott: Yes, that’s why it’s just like—
The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): This is why we’re looking forward to, as quickly as possible, that summary of recommendations.
We will see you all next week: same time, same place. This meeting stands adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 1616.
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Subcommittee report SV-555
SELECT COMMITTEE ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT
Chair / Présidente
Ms. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock PC)
Mr. Han Dong (Trinity–Spadina L)
Ms. Sylvia Jones (Dufferin–Caledon PC)
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde (Ottawa–Orléans L)
Ms. Harinder Malhi (Brampton–Springdale L)
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge L)
Ms. Eleanor McMahon (Burlington L)
Mr. Taras Natyshak (Essex ND)
Ms. Peggy Sattler (London West ND)
Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock PC)
Ms. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mr. Yvan Baker (Etobicoke Centre / Etobicoke-Centre L)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Katch Koch
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Carrie Hull, research officer,
Ms. Erin Fowler, research officer,