Committee Transcripts: Standing Committee on Estimates - 2004-Oct-27 - Estimates Review

Estimates Review
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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES

COMITÉ PERMANENT DES BUDGETS DES DÉPENSES

Wednesday 27 October 2004 Mercredi 27 octobre 2004

MINISTRY OF CHILDREN
AND YOUTH SERVICES


The committee met at 1537 in room 151.

MINISTRY OF CHILDREN
AND YOUTH SERVICES

The Vice-Chair (Mr John O'Toole): The standing committee on estimates is now in session. At this point in time, the minister still has 10 minutes remaining on her response.

Hon Marie Bountrogianni (Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration): Thank you, Chair. I have a few minutes, and I'd like to talk about youth justice and what we've done to this date.

The youth justice sector was the last part of what I inherited to this new ministry from corrections on April 1. So I'm really pleased we did quite a bit, considering it is the newest part of this new ministry.

The government has introduced four pilot non-residential attendance centres for low-risk, high-need youth in conflict with the law. These pilots provide structured, positive rehabilitative intervention in a community setting with the ultimate goal of reducing reoffending rates.

The government also introduced eight pilot open detention sites, and they were implemented for carefully selected, low-risk youth who benefit from the structure of a custodial setting but who do not pose a significant risk to community safety.

Over the last year, the ministry has facilitated youth justice community partnerships that allow traditional sectors, such as the police, judiciary, youth justice services, and non-traditional, such as community agencies, the public etc, to be drawn together to share information, support the implementation of the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act and devise strategies to address local youth justice challenges.

Two youth units were closed in late 2003-04 as part of an ongoing effort to close all youth units located in adult facilities and move youth in conflict with the law to youth-focused facilities that are separate and apart from the adult system.

In June 2004, the Toronto Youth Assessment Centre was closed, following recommendations from the child advocate and a coroner's inquest jury.

The government has committed $81 million in funding for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art youth facility in the greater Toronto area. The facility is scheduled to be operational by fiscal year 2007-08.

A new youth service officer job classification was introduced in directly operated youth justice facilities. Youth caseloads for probation officers have been established and an accommodation plan was created to enable the establishment of youth probation offices who are separate and apart from the adult system.

The custodial transfer payment sector was stabilized through a 5% funding increase to transfer payment agencies providing open custody service to the phase 2 services delivery system and a 3% funding increase to all transfer payment agencies contracted to provide open and secure custodial services. Processes have been implemented to evaluate alignment of youth justice services programs and services with expected positive outcomes for youth in conflict with the law.

We've also ventured into some partnerships with other ministers for more prevention programs. For example, the youth employment program in Toronto this summer was done with Minister Bryant and Minister Kwinter. The analysis has not been completed yet on the outcomes, but anecdotally we can tell you it made a huge difference in those youths' lives. This was something the youths asked for. They basically said, "Keep us occupied. Get us jobs and we won't get into trouble." So I'm very proud of that. And a few other initiatives about child pornography and Internet-luring are on the go as well.

I don't really need to fill 10 minutes. I just wanted to make sure I got that on the record because it's a very important sector of this ministry that sometimes tends to get overlooked. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Minister. At this point in time I would encourage the committee -- the tradition has been to go in rotation, 20 minutes per rotation, so each party would get 20 minutes per hour. If that's agreeable to the committee, the normal rotation now would be 20 minutes to the official opposition.

Mr Cameron Jackson (Burlington): Mr Chairman, I understand Mr Adams is here today. As I indicated earlier, it's not our intention to hold him here, but it's been customary just to deal with a few questions we might have, and then, out of courtesy, check with the other two caucuses. Then we can let him get on with his day.

In that vein, I was going to allow Ms Martel to take the starting 20 minutes. She's just gone to get Ms Churley and they can deal with that right away. Then it will revert back to me and then to the governing party. If you're comfortable with that, that might be the way to begin, although we don't have Ms Churley here at the moment.

The Vice-Chair: I think Ms Martel has gone to get Ms Churley. If that's agreeable to the committee, we'll have a short recess --

Mr Jackson: I don't know that we need to recess.

The Vice-Chair: Well, you'd be using your time.

Mr Jackson: I'm sure the minister would like to provide some further clarity on youth justice, wouldn't you?

All right, I'll put a question on the record then in terms of what statistics your staff in that department of youth justice would have in terms of occupancy rates in both types of settings. If I could highlight that, that will be a question I want to resolve today.

So they're apprised, and if the Chair is comfortable with the committee's direction, we'll yield to the NDP for 20 minutes.

The Vice-Chair: The committee, Ms Churley, has recognized that you would have the lead for the first 20-minute rotation, when you're ready.

Ms Marilyn Churley (Toronto-Danforth): Thank you very much. I actually have a question related to the Child and Family Services Review Board. If I could have the chair called -- I believe he's here -- I wanted to ask him a few specific questions.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Adams, would you state your name for the record, please.

Mr Robert Adams: Robert Adams.

Ms Churley: Thank you very much, Mr Adams, for coming in. This may be an unusual occurrence for you. Look, somebody's bringing you water.

I just have a couple of questions. I don't need to keep you very long, and I appreciate this opportunity. As you may be aware, I've been working for a number of years now trying to change adoption disclosure laws. I know you and your board -- and this is why I ask you specifically -- have a unique role in that you're required by law to conduct reviews.

I noted that one of the two areas you are responsible for is the refusal of a director to approve a proposed adoption placement. But more importantly for me, I wanted to ask you about the refusal by a director to disclose information about an adoption. Of course, that's the area that I'm interested in: trying to make changes for more open disclosure. I just wanted to get a sense from you -- obviously you can't mention specific names, and I'm not asking you to -- of what kinds of cases related to adoption disclosure come before the board.

Mr Adams: Thank you for the question and thank you for having me here. I wish I could be more help, but as the statistics indicate -- and that's in the time I've been the part-time Chair, for the last three years -- we've had no requests.

Ms Churley: You've had none whatsoever?

Mr Adams: There have been no requests. At the child and family services board, really, the work is around the safe school appeals and admissions into secure facilities for children.

Ms Churley: Who makes the decisions about who should come before you? This is interesting to me. Because of the work I've done in this area, I get numbers of letters and phone calls from people who for a variety of reasons need disclosure and are turned down. I'm not sure why they don't end up in front of you in that case. What happens to those people when they're turned down?

Mr Adams: It's difficult for me to answer that because we have no contact with those people. We're at the end of the process in terms of an appeal, and they're not even coming to us for information calls. Checking even statistically with the administration staff, there are no calls even for direction or education in this area.

Ms Churley: Could that be because they're not aware that they can appeal to you? I have to be honest, I didn't know until I investigated. As people come to me, trying to find remedies for their situation, I'm looking and trying to find ways to help them. How is information provided to people about their recourse when they are turned down, that they can in fact appeal to you? Can the individual appeal to you?

Mr Adams: An individual can appeal, and most of our appeals are through an individual.

Ms Churley: So I could make the information known to them, that they could in fact appeal before your board?

Mr Adams: You could make the information known to the individual and have them call to make the appeal. That would be very good.

Ms Churley: That's one of the things I wanted to find out, because it's a remedy that I think many in the community aren't aware of. As we try to change the system -- I mean, you hear heartbreaking stories, and some of it's health-related, but that's another issue. Your job is to deal with appeals. This is something I can tell individuals who are turned down, that until the legislation is changed, they do have a recourse to go to you.

Mr Adams: They do, and I would be happy to forward to your office our protocol in terms of appeals.

Ms Churley: That would be --

Interjection.

Ms Churley: That was my next question, in fact. Ms Martel is on the ball, as always. I just wanted to get a sense of your waiting list for appeals at this time.

Mr Adams: Well, in terms of that issue, there's obviously no waiting list.

Ms Churley: None?

Mr Adams: It really depends on what type of hearing and application we have in front of us.

Ms Churley: How many people sit on the board?

Mr Adams: Legislated, up to 32. Right now there are 12 part-time members.

Ms Churley: How is it determined? Supposing some people contacted you with adoption disclosure appeals, asking for reviews, would they be put on a list to wait or would a special panel be immediately assigned to them?

Mr Adams: Well, the one thing with the mandate of our board and with our members, we have the privilege of ensuring that the rights of children in Ontario are looked after in terms of the acts that we're responsible for, and we act very quickly on all applications. In terms of an emergency secure treatment, we have within five days to react; our custody review applications, internally, we have 48 hours to react; our safe schools applications, we're reacting within three days. An application like this -- and, quite frankly, we haven't had any -- we'd have to look and, within a board, make some protocol to react quickly also.

Ms Churley: Just so I understand, you have priority emergency situations that in your view, after a review, take precedence over the less important, and those then wait for a while? How does it work?

Mr Adams: It's a juggling act. We try to accommodate everyone as quickly as possible. The mandated secure hearings have to take place because children are being locked in a secure facility and they have a right to appeal that. But we juggle very efficiently.

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Ms Churley: So, in fact, if the cases come before you at this stage, could you say they would be heard within -- what? -- a week, a month, days?

Mr Adams: I would say the pre-hearing would be heard within two weeks. That's our target for our safe schools hearings, and it would be the target for the disclosure and adoption placements. Within two weeks we'll have a pre-hearing to determine a full hearing.

We work from a place of trying to resolve the issues before they go to full hearing. We're very successful in the pre-hearing and mediation attempts.

Ms Churley: Just one last question on that then: They could get a pre-hearing in perhaps two weeks and then after hearing the information, you would try and resolve it with the ministry first?

Mr Adams: The ministry would be party to the pre-hearing. They'd be at the table and we'd try to resolve it at the table. If we could not, then it would go to a full hearing.

Ms Churley: Another question just occurred to me. Your mandate is kind of an anomaly in the sense that your mandate is to deal with children's issues. Of course, we're talking mostly about adult adoptees or birth parents who are looking for grown children. Most of the other issues you deal with, I assume from what you said, are directly with children as opposed to adults. So this is a bit of an anomaly in terms of -- maybe that's why nobody knew they could go there.

Mr Adams: Yes, and quite frankly, we'll have to go back as a board and review this, because we've had no requests in many years.

Ms Churley: The world's best-kept secret. Not, I'm sure, due to you.

Ms Adams: Unfortunately, a lot of the acts we look after that protect children are kept secrets.

Ms Churley: What do you propose we should do about that so people are aware that you are a recourse they can use?

Mr Adams: One of the things we do as a board is, we're very proactive in ensuring, when we do hearings through all of Ontario, that the workers who represent the children and the children know very clearly what their rights are. We ensure that.

Ms Churley: I really appreciate you taking the time to give me a little bit more information about how your board works.

Mr Adams: You're welcome. I'll be happy to forward some information.

Ms Churley: That would be great. I'll make sure you have my contact information.

The Vice-Chair: At this point in time there are 11 minutes left. In the interests of this deputation, if you have questions or want to rotate it, we'd still allow you to have your 20 minutes if you give up part of it. Does anybody else have questions of this particular --

Mr Jackson: The custom is to see if anybody else has any questions, and then you can dismiss the gentleman and thank him for being here.

I had a quick question. We can just resolve it really quickly.

The Vice-Chair: Go ahead, Mr Jackson.

Mr Jackson: Mr Adams, thank you for being here. You've been there three years now. Where has the growth been in terms of your hearings? I'm interested in your mandate of expulsions from school boards. We have reports before us now that indicate that this is a compounding factor for children's aid societies and children's mental health facilities and that this tougher stance from schools is resulting in community placements. Did you come today with any statistics to confirm what we're being told by the ministry, that there is growth in the fact that these children have to be in a program if they're not in school?

Mr Adams: I have statistics that would indicate that, not only through the safe schools expulsions we see but through the emergency secure treatment admissions we see. In fact, you could correlate the two very easily, because the children we see at an emergency admission have numerous mental health difficulties, and many of those children we see at a safe schools expulsion hearing have numerous mental health difficulties.

Numbers-wise, the safe schools expulsion numbers aren't huge numbers. The first year that the legislation came out they were expecting 200 or 300 hearings. We're only going 10 to 15 hearings a year, as an estimate.

There are numerous calls to our office through the principals, the boards of education and families to try and resolve this. We can estimate that our calls in terms of education information have risen dramatically.

The admissions into emergency secure treatment hearings have risen dramatically also.

Mr Jackson: The reason I wanted to ask about the emergency secure treatment is, I also have a statistic that indicates that the youth facilities are experiencing significant vacancies at the moment. I don't think that the activities of children in the province have changed that radically, but I think the programs have. I suspected that we would see more children coming to you in higher numbers, if in fact we're not dumping them into Syl Apps and other secure and non-secure residential treatment settings or custodial settings. Other people will talk to me about that through the course of the next two days, but I'm interested in seeing how it's manifesting itself in your appeals. You might wish to even stylize what concerns you might have as someone representing the children on that panel.

Mr Adams: Just so we're clear, the Custody Review Board looks at applications for kids who have young offender charges. They're placed in a secure facility. The emergency treatment placements are kids who have mental health difficulties. So there's quite a difference there.

In terms of the kids placed in emergency treatment facilities, at the hearings we hear, through the evidence, through the children's aid workers, that there's such tremendous pressure on the children's aid workers to ensure that there are other options, because locking up a child is a last-resort option. They may have already attempted to take the child to a schedule 1 mental health unit of a hospital, which isn't a good option. But the numbers definitely indicate a rise.

What we need in the system, though, are options. The kids need concrete options that work. More and more, the kids in front of us are kids who have been on the street for a month or two, who are 12 and 13 years old. These kids don't have options, and it looks like the children's aid workers don't have options.

The one thing I would hope from children's aid offices -- they have a pressured job, but they need to ensure that their front-line workers are well trained in terms of knowing the rights of children and knowing how to resource their rights.

One of the issues that we have in terms of our review of residential placements is a little-used, little-known right that children have when they're placed outside their home, to appeal where they're placed. Quite frankly, only individuals that have worked in the social service field for many years know about that act. Newer workers would not know that. So the children won't know their rights.

Mr Jackson: It's a very good point, but one could also extrapolate the notion that if you study a CAS budget, there are actually penalties to place a child in certain custodial situations, and less penalties if they put them into secure custody. There's actually a financial incentive, under budget-pressure times, to do it that way. However, their mandate is to be advocates for the child, and assuming the child is 13, 14, 15 years of age and is performing in a truant fashion, then, in fact, those are rights that should be made known to them. But there's not the incentive. I don't think it's as much an education issue as accepted protocols.

Do you have specific statistics you could share with the committee? Are you reporting anywhere your board's activities to the public, other than directly to the ministry?

Mr Adams: No, we do an annual report that we share with the ministry. Unless the public really asks for information, there's no reported information.

Mr Jackson: So we can ask for that.

Mr Adams: I can forward that to you.

Mr Jackson: The ministry has them for the last few --

Mr Adams: Yes, the ministry's got that.

Mr Jackson: When is your reporting period?

Mr Adams: April to March.

Mr Jackson: Very good. I don't want to take too much more time, but I really do appreciate Mr Adams coming today and being forthright with the issues he's raised.

The Vice-Chair: I'll just leave it this way: Are there any questions on the government side?

Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings): No, we're fine.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today. It has been most helpful on short notice. I appreciate it very much.

At this point in time, I guess we can go back to Ms Martel. There's 11 minutes remaining on your cycle. Then we'll go back to Mr Jackson.

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Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): Then I would ask some questions on child care. I wanted to begin first with looking at the line items in the estimates. I just want confirmation: The $9.6 million that was allocated in January was from the first round of multilateral funding from last fiscal year?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Yes it was.

Ms Martel: And it was accelerated to $58 million for this fiscal year. I'm assuming that all of the $9.6 million was allocated and was spent?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Yes it was.

Ms Martel: So then my questions come to the $58 million that was announced. I'd like to get some detailed information if I can about how that money was allocated. I'm not sure if there's someone you want to bring up.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Sure.

The Vice-Chair: State your name.

Ms Trinela Cane: My name is Trinela Cane.

Ms Martel: Let me begin this way: The $58 million that was announced, has it all been allocated?

Ms Cane: The $58 million -- I would be happy to identify what the various components were for Ms Martel and the larger committee. We've been working with our municipal service providers, our community service managers at the municipal level, to develop service plans on which our 47 community municipal managers have been working with us. My understanding as of this week is that 43 out of 47 plans have been received, and those plans relate to allocations for the $58.2 million across the province.

The process is as follows: The service plans are reviewed and we identify how much of the allocation can be used by the respective municipalities. Our information from those plans received to date speaks very favourably to progress toward our target of up to 4,000 spaces. Certainly, in the 43 plans we've received, we are very optimistic in that area around expenditures.

For the residual plans, which we hope to receive by the end of the week, we do a reconciliation against the allocation. If there are additional dollars available, they can be reallocated based on identified needs across the province. So that is the process.

Ms Martel: Let me back up. Was each of the 47 given a target amount that they could potentially spend, and they would have to make a plan in relation to that?

Ms Cane: That's correct.

Ms Martel: So they've been given a target allocation but the plans are just coming in, so the money hasn't gone out the door yet, anywhere?

Ms Cane: No. The plans are being received but the money is ready for allocation based on the results in the approved plans.

Ms Martel: All right. And how long will it take the ministry to approve the plans so that money would actually go out the door?

Ms Cane: Although I can't speak to the specifics of it, my understanding is the plans are already being reviewed and are expected to be approved very shortly.

Ms Martel: OK. Do you have to wait for all of them to be reviewed before the money is going out or, as they are ready and reviewed, is the money starting to flow?

Ms Cane: I'm a little unclear, but I could clarify that information, if that would be helpful.

Ms Martel: Sure.

Ms Cane: Sorry, my colleague Cynthia Lees has confirmed that we wait for all the plans to be received and then the allocations are made. That will be by the end of this week, we hope.

Ms Martel: So could you give me a rough estimate of when we might see some actually money flowing to your partners at the municipal level?

Ms Cynthia Lees: Probably within the next month.

Ms Cane: My colleague Cynthia Lees advises that --

Mr Jackson: We need to get that on the record.

The Vice-Chair: Excuse me. If you would approach the table, please, and state your name for the record.

Ms Lees: Cynthia Lees. We're expecting that all the plans will be in by Friday. Most of the regions have reviewed the plans that have been in. We have about three as of this afternoon that are outstanding. Our intent is to quickly get those plans approved and then start looking at the flowing of the allocation.

Ms Martel: Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but if I understand some of the breakdown -- and it's the amount that I was interested in -- was there a specific commitment that $30 million of that pot of money would go to wage and fee subsidies?

Ms Cane: Perhaps I can clarify. There was $20 million intended to stabilize the licensed child care system, and that includes fee subsidies and wage subsidies as well as some resourcing for special needs.

Ms Martel: All right, and was the balance then for the new spaces?

Ms Cane: The balance is actually in two other areas: One is about $18.8 million to improve capacity for preschool-aged children from two and a half to five years. Our intention in this area is to, to the extent possible, be focused on sites that will be close to schools, in the nearby neighbourhoods of adjacent schools or even in the schools themselves. So that's $18.8 million focused on that area.

The other $19.4 million is focused on minor capital improvements. This is a one-time amount of money for capital improvements. It deals with everything from the purchase of equipment to minor capital repairs, which are a significant issue for us, as you will know, and a number of other things that both improve capacity and the quality of the child care environment.

Ms Martel: So the 4,000 new spaces are coming through the line item of the $18.8 million, essentially?

Ms Cane: Yes.

Ms Martel: You said that as you look at the plans to date, the plans that are coming in show there is that potential and that possibility.

Ms Cane: Yes, that's my understanding.

Ms Martel: How do you deal with the fee and wage subsidies, which are pretty critical in this sector, given the low pay generally, except for the municipal providers? Is that coming through the plans in terms of a set amount of money needed to increase a wage subsidy by 1%, by 2%? How is this being allocated in terms of some kind of wage enhancement for staff?

Ms Cane: Perhaps I could ask my colleague to speak to that.

Ms Lees: We'll have to get back to you on that.

Ms Martel: OK. But you understand where I'm -- I'd like to see if this going to result in somebody's pay being increased, and I take it that is --

Ms Cane: That is the intention.

Ms Martel: But that is not related to what they should be getting through proxy pay equity as well, because there is still -- what? -- another year left in the agreement that was dealt with in court?

Ms Lees: Yes.

Ms Martel: OK. So this is separate and apart and will be additional funding. Will this be added to base?

Ms Cane: Yes.

Ms Martel: OK. So the other $20 million and the $18 million are ongoing, the $19 million is one-time capital, and I don't know what your allocation is for next year, but you'll be doing something different with that $19 million.

Ms Cane: Yes, we've left ourselves that flexibility.

Ms Martel: Fee subsidies, then. I see what you're doing on wages. What is the change around fee subsidies that is being proposed through this funding? You talked about $20 million to stabilize, and you referenced both fee subsidies and wage subsidies.

Ms Cane: It's really an increase in the number of fee subsidies that are available to serve the various children and their families.

Ms Martel: How did you do that breakdown? Did you try and assign that by region or are the consolidated providers telling you what their needs will be?

Ms Cane: Yes. We've actually been in intensive discussions and consultations with our providers over quite a period of time, because they have been aware the money is coming through from the federal government. So that's based on discussions with our various municipal providers.

Ms Martel: You will be trying to increase the number of subsidized spaces that can be allocated. Do you have an estimate now of what that number will be, an estimate of the additional fee subsidies you might be able to provide as a result of this funding?

Ms Cane: We certainly hope there will be up to 4,000 new subsidized spaces, and of course there may be well more than 4,000 children who are served as part of that process because they're full- and part-time, before and after school. So the fee subsidies will actually serve a larger number of children than those specifically allocated to individual spaces?

Ms Martel: Sorry, let me make sure that I understand. The 4,000 new spaces you were talking about are 4,000 subsidized spaces.

Ms Cane: That's correct.

Ms Martel: So no change essentially in current per diems, in terms of your ability to help municipalities around per diems for parents who are paying full spaces.

Ms Cane: No change there, no.

Ms Martel: Is it possible -- I know you haven't made all the approvals -- we can get some indication, when the time is right, about what that breakdown was of fee subsidies? It would clearly be attached then to the 4,000 new spaces and we could get a breakdown of what that was.

Ms Cane: What we're anticipating in that area, yes.

Ms Martel: Sorry, you might have answered this, but was that part of the initial proposal to the managers, that you gave them a set amount of money and they were to tell you how many new spaces that would create?

Ms Cane: It's part of the overall plan at the local level, yes.

Ms Martel: So you would have that now then. Is that public? Can we have that now? If you would have already given that information to them, I'm assuming you're not disclosing anything that's --

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Ms Cane: We'd be happy to provide that.

Ms Martel: OK. That would be great.

Let me ask about aboriginal communities. Is there any potential within this money that's been allocated for new spaces in aboriginal communities?

Ms Cane: I'm sorry. I'm looking to my colleague Cynthia Lees in this area. We're a little bit of a tag team, and I apologize for that.

Ms Lees: We'll have to get back to you. I don't have that answer.

Ms Martel: OK. I'll get a copy of the letter and I'll bring it back for the next round of questions, because we've had some specific questions from one of my First Nations. It looked to me like only existing providers were going to be able to benefit from this round of funding. I want some clarification on that for them as well.

Ms Lees: I'd like to make sure I give you the right answer.

Ms Martel: I would too. Thanks.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Ms Martel.

Mr Jackson, you have 13 minutes left in your time.

Mr Jackson: Perhaps the deputy could advise me which staff member can discuss the funding breakout and on which page we can follow that in the estimates for children's mental health. Would Ms Cane be the appropriate one?

Ms Jessica Hill: Yes, Trinela Cane would be the appropriate ADM.

Mr Jackson: On which page, Ms Cane, would I be able to follow that? When I read it, I get two different locations.

Ms Cane: I understand it's page 63.

Mr Jackson: Thank you. So we're really going to be on page 65 to look at these numbers.

My first question is, what is the amount of federal funding that is going into children's mental health? Where do I find that in this spreadsheet?

While you're looking that up, for the record, I understand that there are difficulties when you amalgamate ministries. It happened to me three times as a minister. So it's awkward reading these. However, to the best of your ability in finance, you try to show year-over-year changes. That's really what I want to monitor here.

Ms Cane: In my understanding, the federal funding flows through the early childhood development funds that come through to the ministry. The dollar amount is $6.9 million.

Mr Jackson: For this year?

Ms Cane: Yes.

Mr Jackson: Why have those dollars been shrinking? Does your ministry determine the allocation federally as to where the monies are allocated?

Ms Cane: We have an annual plan that's developed for the ECD funds. The ministry works according to that plan and also, as we're proceeding through the actual fiscal year, makes decisions around allocations that we know are not going to be expended in some of these areas.

Mr Jackson: Well, in 2002 you were using those federal transfer dollars to the tune of about $12.8 million. They have now shrunk to $6.6 million. The total allocation from the feds has increased.

I guess this is a formal request: Can we get a breakdown for the last three, or I'd say four, years, because the amount of money from the federal government is growing? My interest is to determine what decisions the government is making -- your ministry is making -- with respect to where the allocations go.

Ms Martel is tracking in her questions where the federal money is going in daycare. I'd like to track where it's going in children's mental health, because I had a suspicion that the amount allocated was actually shrinking, and that wasn't the federal government's fault. They have increased the amount of money rather substantially, so could I request a breakout of those dollars, because in these estimates they're not clear?

Ms Cane: Yes, and I have some additional information that's been provided to me. Perhaps we could also give this to you in writing so that you have it before you. The information we have is part of the overall ECD plan. The children's mental health line for 2003-04 accounts for, in the range of, on average, $15 million, with actual expenditures in the range of about $13 million. Our plan going forward allows $15 million in that area.

Mr Jackson: I'm looking on page 65, and I'm seeing a 49% reduction in services under children's mental health.

Ms Cane: We'd be happy to provide the information. I don't have it with me at this moment in the format that you've requested.

Mr Jackson: You see where my concerns are now starting to get a little more focused because, as I've asked the minister, we've got concerns about the explosion in CAS budgets, however the minister wishes to articulate it in terms of where the priorities in wrestling deficits will be, and yet we have a reduction in placement in our secure and non-secure custodial facilities for children. It seems that the bottom of the funnel is always children's mental health, and yet I'm not seeing that kind of program expansion. So I have some concerns about that.

Let me ask a few more direct questions. The first one: Are there any multi-year plans being considered for sustainable funding for this sector? You've only announced this one-year funding allocation for the children's mental health sector, correct?

Ms Cane: If I could just clarify: Are you referring to the 2004 budget initiative?

Mr Jackson: Yes.

Ms Cane: Yes. That allowed for $25 million in the first year of expenditure for children's mental health. That grows in the second year to $38 million, and that's part of the annualized base for children's mental health thereafter. We do it as a base increase.

Mr Jackson: And it'll rise to $38 million in year two?

Ms Cane: That's correct, and it will --

Mr Jackson: And it will be a permanent part of their base.

Ms Cane: That is correct, and that's a permanent part of our ministry base from here on in.

Mr Jackson: OK, and that fulfills one of the promises made by the government. It's close enough to $40 million. It was supposed to be community mental health services for children. The minister would be familiar with that.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Thank you, Mr Jackson. I just want to clarify for the committee that this is not ECD money; this is provincial money, this $25 million growing to $38 million.

Mr Jackson: OK. How much were we spending on children's mental health two years ago, and how much are we spending this year?

Ms Cane: This year we're budgeted to spend $388 million. That reflects the difference between the prior-to budget announcement, the $25 million that was added to our base, and what we had spent in previous years. So $388 million is our budgeted amount for 2004-05 in the area of children's mental health.

Mr Jackson: OK. Minister, are we considering any -- maybe I should just go to children's mental health in the standing committee on public accounts report, whereupon they have asked your ministry to come forward with several responses. Have you prepared your response to the report? It's not quite 120 days, I think, from when it was tabled in June.

Ms Cane: If I could comment, our report is due in the third week of November, and we're currently preparing that document as we speak.

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Mr Jackson: OK. There were some compelling concerns raised in that report, as you are no doubt aware, and a lot of that had to do with accountability mechanisms and a concern about funding in the autism strategy. My colleague and I are both going to come back to autism, if not today, again. But I want to stay with mental health at the moment.

Can you at least share with the committee today what progress has been made with the intake assessment tool and performance measures that were deemed not to be in place and the degree to which that, as I understand it, is a preliminary step?

Ms Cane: Yes. I'd be happy to respond. With respect to the assessment tools that you made reference to, there are two assessment tools. One is called CAFAS -- you're certainly familiar with that, as I'm aware -- and BCFPI is the second tool. One of those tools relates to more of an intake tool and the other measures progress over time in individual case files. Both of those sets of tools, as promised, have been implemented on a mandatory basis across the province, so they are currently in place.

We continue to work on the area of performance measures and outcome measures with the Hospital for Sick Children and Children's Mental Health Ontario. We are not only looking at the outcome measures that need to be tabulated; we're also now in a position of beginning to have aggregate data at the provincial level from the various local systems that are tracking these various tools. Within the next couple of months we're going to be in an excellent position to have, for the first time, provincial aggregate data available.

Those have been implemented on a mandatory basis across the province. There are a couple of areas where they have not yet been implemented, and that relates largely to the lack of availability of the tool in French, which is something that's currently being worked on.

Mr Jackson: All right. The second issue was the one around waiting lists and securing. At the time that your ministry presented before the committee, you indicated that in some areas you were already keeping reliable data on waiting lists. In fact, some of it found its way into the body of the report. What progress have you made on waiting lists, and which waiting lists can you share with this committee?

Ms Cane: I will have to verify which waiting lists we can in fact share. My understanding of the situation is that waiting lists are tracked at the local community level by the various agencies themselves. As you appreciate, there are a number of concerns and problems with waiting lists which I don't think I need to go into for the committee, but I think at this point in time we do not have a provincial overview of the children on various wait lists. We have estimates that come from some of our local information that are in the range of about 7,000 children.

Mr Jackson: Fair enough.

The Vice-Chair: The time has expired. I would have interrupted -- we'll now I'll move to the government side.

Mr Phil McNeely (Ottawa-Orléans): Minister, I was just looking at the number of children in the care of children's aid societies. It's about 19,000. I read one of the reports -- I don't know which one -- but it followed up with a conversation with a young lawyer in family practice in my riding. I was quite interested in the points she made, and I'll just go through them:

"In order to permit an adoption to take place where the child has been involuntarily removed from parental custody, all contact with the birth parent(s) must be severed under current regulations.

"Under the Child and Family Services Act, adoption with access in these kinds of situations is impossible -- not an option." She feels it's all or nothing.

Susan "believes that the legislation does not reflect either the reality of what is happening in these situations, nor does it reflect the best interests of the child or the system."

She says, "Currently, many agreements are being made on the side between birth and adoptive parents to continue contact in some ... way, shape or form." She said it doesn't have to be much; it can be a few e-mails a year or the exchange of photos.

She felt that a lot of children could be put with adoptive parents if there were a little bit more leeway on that. I'd just like to know what your feelings are on that.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: One of my first round tables when I took over this ministry was on adoption, because I was appalled at the statistics as well. Just to reiterate them, there are approximately 9,000 crown wards; 75% of them have access orders, and 60% of those access orders are never accessed. We have 60% of the 75% of the 9,000 children who probably could be adopted, maybe should be -- there are always individual differences -- but they don't even have the chance of being adopted under our present laws in Ontario.

We are looking at other jurisdictions, and our intent is to introduce legislation in the spring to address this. We've looked at the research. Part of the round table were young people who were former child welfare wards, children's aid wards, who said, "Yes, we definitely needed to be away from our birth parents. It was not in our best interests to be there, but we still wanted to have contact of some sort. That would not have disturbed our upbringing or our future."

There are always individual differences in cases, so I'm not going to say, blanket -- the best interest of each individual case has to be looked at, and that is left up to the courts. But right now, our legislation doesn't allow or doesn't have the flexibility of having some contact with the birth parents immediately, so that adoption can occur. I can tell you, not only as a psychologist but as a parent, if, by the grace of God, something happened to me and I was not deemed to be a good parent and my child was taken away, still, as a parent, it would be very difficult for me to sever the ties with my child, even if it's in the best interests of the child. Every parent wants to have contact and can't stand the idea of never hearing or seeing their child again, regardless of the circumstances. That's human nature.

From the children's point of view, interestingly enough, most children, even those who don't want to be with their parents, also do not want to sever those ties. Again, as a professional before I got into politics, I have to always say that there are individual differences in every sector. There are some children who should never, ever hear from their parents and some parents who should never, ever go near their children -- for sure. But in the majority of cases, I'm not convinced that that's true, and other jurisdictions have gotten more flexible in their adoption laws to allow for this.

We're working very carefully and cautiously, though, because we don't want to do anything impulsively with intentions to help a child get adopted and then have that child be in a worse situation then he or she is in now. It's a very sensitive issue, and we have to proceed carefully.

This is part of Mr Rivers' terms of reference. He is the gentleman we seconded from Toronto Children's Aid to look at all of the child welfare sector, including adoption. We will be bringing forward options in the future on the government side and then to the people of Ontario. But I hear those stories every day, too. It's not black and white. If it was black and white, we would have already done it. We have to proceed carefully in the best interests of children.

Mr McNeely: I think you made most of the points that she made, but she said:

"(1) It is often in the ... interests of children to maintain contact with their birth parents;

"(2) Older children cannot simply `forget' that they had another family before;

"(3) Zero access to birth parents may lead older children to idealize the absentee parents, creating behavioural issues and problems within the adoptive family;

"(4) Access to the parents means that the children grow up with greater knowledge of their parents and situations, giving them the opportunity to adjust to their new situation while not denying their family heritage."

She's been practising, and these are the things she says. She feels that there can be more successful adoptions and that they are occurring through agreements that are not approved under the legislation.

I think you've covered most of the issues. The agreements are being made, and she feels they're being successful.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Actually, if this lawyer would like to contact Bruce, who is still receiving consultations and advice, that would be very much appreciated.

Mr Kuldip Kular (Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale): Minister, thank you very much for taking some time out for us today. First of all, I commend your efforts as Minister of Children and Youth Services. As you know, I am a family doctor and, prior to moving to Brampton, I used to be a physician working in a youth and adult addiction centre. I used to see a lot of youth who were having some conflict with the law, and now in my own riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale and in Brampton.

Last year, you closed a youth assessment centre in Toronto. When you announced a greater Toronto area centre for Brampton, there was a lot of controversy about it. I know there were coroner's jury recommendations on this one. I am wondering why you didn't follow the jury's recommendations and make some small centres for youth. Can you comment on that?

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Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I'm happy to comment on that. First of all, we did follow the jury's recommendations. The one that we did compromise on was having fewer smaller areas and having one centre. Consultations were held with the municipality and the former government three years ago, so this wasn't something that was new or a surprise to the community, and it was accepted by the community three years ago.

Initially, it was for 300 youth. We've reduced the number of youth to 247. If you look at the architectural drawings of what we are going to be developing, they actually capture the recommendations of the coroner's jury. They're small units so that there will be more communication and contact with the youth workers. As well, there will be more visibility, because it will be a state-of-the-art centre, so we can avoid some of the tragedies of the past where children and youth were not seen and therefore were able to do damage to themselves and others, and of course we know the tragedies of suicide.

As well, we need to attract a critical mass of professionals, and it's a lot easier to do it when you have a centre like the one we are developing in Brampton.

The males and females will be separated. We also took that into account. With respect to the programming that will occur there, we have taken the jury's recommendations into account as well.

With respect to the centre that we closed at the end of June -- and there is some inconvenience to youth and their families until this new one is built, but we felt we had to close it. I did a visit there and I was actually ashamed, not even as a politician but as a Canadian, that this facility existed for youth. It was shameful that we put youth there. We had to close it, not only because the coroner recommended it, but because there were more accidents and more suicides waiting to happen. I'm convinced of that. It was just not conducive to appropriate programming. It wasn't conducive to any kind of relationship between the youth and the corrections officers. I would say there was no programming. The classroom was in a washroom. I'm assuming the workers did their best with what they had, but that was not good enough.

It was an atmosphere that, quite seriously, no human being should be in, never mind children and youth who, by the law of the land -- and I happen to believe in the law of the land in this case -- deserve a second chance, deserve the chance to be rehabilitated. Therefore, the onus is on us to ensure that they have every chance they can possibly have to be rehabilitated, because they will be out again. They are not there for life. They are there for a few years, and we have to program for them and rehabilitate them. Indeed, that's what the research shows and that's what common sense tells us as well.

Mr Parsons: First of all, I want to commend the children's aid societies for their work. In 18 years of fostering, our family has never fostered a child who didn't belong in care. I think their standards are excellent. But I watch with concern the media reports of ever-increasing deficits across the province and I wonder what your plans are to deal with CAS deficits.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: As I've said publicly, this is a growing budget without the outcomes to show us and to show the taxpayer that indeed this huge increase in costs is actually resulting in better outcomes for children. We have a few hints at perhaps better outcomes for children in that the majority of cases do not lead to taking the child away. They actually lead to mediation and counselling with families so that the child is not taken away.

Again, this is on the public record. We have reviewed a specific children's aid society -- I don't think it's important which one it is -- and we did have some concerns with that particular children's aid society. We made recommendations to streamline the efforts of that particular society, and they're acting on those recommendations. We keep monitoring that.

If that society is representative of all of the societies, or of most of the societies, then we do have a problem in how we are running our children's aid societies. This is not a secret; the children's aid societies themselves have talked to me about this and have said that the funding formula is conducive to increased deficits because it's funded on the number of children you take away. Therefore, you know that if you want to hire more staff or do different things, you've got to take away more kids. It's not as blatant as that; no one has actually admitted or said, "We're taking kids away to increase our budgets," but they have said that the funding formula is not conducive to other results. We are definitely looking at that. That's why we have a child welfare secretariat. Again, Bruce from the Children's Aid Society of Toronto is seconded to give me recommendations. My understanding is that I will receive his report at the end of December, and the intent is to present the report in the new year to the people of Ontario and to act on it immediately.

Mr Parsons: I think you said, but just to confirm, that you're in fact, then, looking at a different funding formula?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Absolutely.

The Vice-Chair: There's still about six minutes.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Could I just add something to that, then, if there is time?

The Vice-Chair: Certainly. You have six minutes.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Again, this isn't a black-and-white one, where you can just say we're going to cap everything and we're going to -- it's about the lives of children and protection of children. So again, we don't want to do anything impulsive that may lead to tragedy. I think it's worth the time we're taking to review this and to do it properly. Yes, the taxpayers have rights, but we don't want to do anything to increase child protection disasters.

Mr Parsons: A second question, then: There are increasing numbers of children in care, and for some, adoption would be very difficult, to locate an ideal adoptive couple. So there are significant numbers that will spend, potentially, their ages under 18 within CAS care, and yet I think, for them, they want some stability in their life. It's not that they're potentially moved from foster home to foster home, and that doesn't happen all that often, is my sense, but they're looking for stability. I guess the phrase that would capture it is "permanency planning." There is adoption, but there's another area which is just saying we can provide some stability, perhaps in a long-term foster home, perhaps whatever. Is your ministry looking at that to address the needs of these --

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: That's exactly one of the terms of reference, exactly something I'm asking the head of the secretariat to look at, is permanency planning; absolutely, yes. I'm looking forward to presenting that report to you in the new year.

Mr Parsons: Good.

The Vice-Chair: Any further questions? You still have a couple of minutes left -- five minutes.

Mr Kular: Minister, I just want to ask you one question about the federal funding. How much money is the federal government going to give to the province to deal with children's services?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Children's services or child care?

Mr Kular: Child care.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Child care. The new monies?

Mr Kular: Yes.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I will have a better handle on that, I hope, after Monday or Tuesday of next week, which is the federal-provincial-territorial meeting. At present, it's $58 million and growing, with the multilateral framework, but, as you know, in the election and since the election, the federal government has said $5 billion over five years to Canada. If you pro-rate that to what Ontario would ordinarily get under similar formulas for other sectors, I'm hoping for -- but nothing's been said or written to me -- up to $400 million a year. I'm there on Monday and Tuesday asking that we get the money sooner rather than later. We have a huge need in this province, and the OECD report shows that Canada is indeed lagging behind -- not just Ontario, but Canada is lagging behind -- in child care with respect to accessibility, universality and so forth. I think we have to get on with this; we're behind.

Mr Kular: In your statement yesterday, you said there will be some new child care spaces created. Is it the 4,000 new child care spaces, or is it including the previous ones as well?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: No. The $58 million, Dr Kular, is going to go toward -- the goal is 4,000 new spaces.

Mr Kular: Thank you, Minister.

Mr Parsons: How are we doing for time?

The Vice-Chair: We still have two minutes -- four minutes, actually.

Mr Parsons: It's a six-minute question, though.

Representing a rural community, there is great difficulty -- an issue is child care spaces: access to them and transportation for them. It is such a profoundly different environment than in an urban area. I'm wondering if your ministry has given any consideration to improving accessibility for parents who live in a remote or a rural area.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Absolutely. I've travelled to the north, actually, five times and to rural areas as well. They have unique needs, so a top-down approach is not going to work for those areas. We're working very closely in the development of our Best Start plan with those areas, with our regional offices and with the municipal boards that administer child care, both in the north, in the rural areas, and in the south.

Again, something that makes a lot of sense to me in, say, Hamilton Mountain or downtown Hamilton does not make sense in many parts of the province. We will definitely have flexibility built into our Best Start plan.

The Vice-Chair: Great. With that, this committee will stand recessed till after the vote.

The committee recessed from 1640 to 1655.

The Vice-Chair: The standing committee on estimates will reconvene. At this point in time, I'd like to recognize Mr Jackson, the official opposition.

Mr Jackson: Perhaps I could ask for Trinela Cane to come back.

I wasn't going to make you interfere with that call, Minister.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Sorry. I told my son I'd call him, because I'll be late, that's all -- again.

Mr Jackson: I recognize the activity, all too frequently, I'm afraid.

Minister, I asked earlier if you were considering any child protection legislation that would further entrench access to children's mental health services. When one looks at the mandate for citizens under various health acts, their rights to access are enshrined. But it would seem not to be able to do that for children unless they're narrowly defined in terms of abuse. But we're not doing anything, as I understand it, for children's mental health in terms of enshrining it in legislation.

Just a simple question: Are you planning or anticipating anything that would amend the CFSA in order to enshrine children's mental health services as a protected service for them?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: We, as you know, will be reviewing the act next year as part of the mandate that it be reviewed every few years. To date, we have not had discussions in that vein, but under the review of the act -- obviously, we want to strengthen the act. We also want to strengthen the rights of children. As you know, the Canada Health Act now doesn't have children's mental health as a mandated act, and that has been brought to my attention by constituents as well. We will be looking at a great number of things when we're reviewing that act. So I will take that under advisement.

Mr Jackson: It's a concern to many of us that your government has committed $185 million in new funding for adult mental health services. There are some protections for adults, but there aren't for children. The funding that's going into children's mental health is essentially bump funding to support salaries to stop staff leakages, and I understand that. However, there's growing evidence that pressure in the system is mounting in the mental health sector and that it can no longer sustain changes in the children in secure custody -- which are in decline, and I'll want to come to that in a moment -- children's aid societies, which are carrying much larger caseloads and requiring community supports in increasing numbers, and the strain that that's putting on the residential centres in our province for children in need of treatment.

I'm concerned that, even in the report that I referenced earlier, the children's mental health services review talked extensively about inappropriate placement for children, not only in terms of expense but in terms of appropriate care.

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Given the fact that our children's mental health services are probably the best value and they are reaching the largest number of children over, arguably, numbers that are significantly larger than what CASs are actually even dealing with, those costs can be an average of about $3,000 a year, whereas a CAS residential care setting is about $100,000 a year on average. The sector I'm concerned about is that a hospital placement for these children is $1,200 a day.

I am concerned that these limited beds are shrinking in the province. They're shrinking because they're the first programs that seem to be cut in hospitals. They did that in Burlington so long ago. I think it was about 17 years ago they cut those beds and now we just have them at Oakville-Trafalgar. But 10 beds, $1,200 a day -- you'd be hard pressed to find any more than three and a half or four staff in there. It's extremely expensive, and yet these programs are not protected services.

My question to you is, what are you doing to protect your sector from the practice, which has occurred in the past and is continuing to occur, of putting these limited beds at risk? The Health Services Restructuring Commission actually brought into focus the fact that we needed more of them and recommended additional beds. We are now starting to see hospitals cancelling them -- and I don't want to embarrass hospitals that are making these decisions.

I'm anxious to hear from you what your strategies are because I don't think the children's mental health sector can take another hit. When I refer to that, I'm referring to, in effect, squeezing a balloon, and there's just so many places that can take the pressure that's being built up when CASs are consuming so much money, when the custodial system is, I'm told, as high as 60% vacancy in some facilities. These kids are somewhere in the system.

Perhaps you might give us some assurances that you (a) have a handle on this, (b) may be formulating some strategies to protect these children and (c) have had conversations with the Minister of Health to underscore the importance of this because, I don't need an expert to come into my hospital regionally or into your community of Hamilton and say, "You know what? You should do what we did. We're a peer group. We cancelled ours. There are all sorts of programs in the community. They'll find them; don't worry. It's children's mental health. It's not a protected service." I don't want that to be the benchmark of how we're going to balance our budgets. I'm not making this political; this is a very serious concern of mine in terms of where we're placing our children.

I can tell you, I've got 15 to 18 cases right now in my riding. I know where every one of those children is, I know why they're there and where they should have been. Please help me to understand how we're going to protect them.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Actually, thank you. You really have summarized very well what I've been hearing, but also what I lived through in my profession before I came here in 1999, and still do as a constituency MPP. There are still challenges.

Just let me recap what we've done and then what we're going to do. This $25 million isn't going to solve all the problems, but it was the first major increase in base funding in a long time. You mentioned yesterday, Mr Jackson, that you did give an increase in 2000 of 1% and then 1.5% in 2001. That was $2.2 million and $3.3 million respectively. Any money is great. I acknowledge that $25 million isn't going to solve all the problems, but it is a significant increase from the base funding of the past, and this $25 million will grow to $38 million.

You are correct that $13 million of that money goes to wage increases. You gave the greatest arguments yourselves yesterday that we're losing really good people from that sector because of wages to go to school boards etc. So we felt we had to do that. But the other $12 million is used at community planning tables across the province for better integration and increase of services. So almost half that money is going to services.

Mr Jackson: I'm sorry to interrupt you --

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: If I finish, it might be --

Mr Jackson: You can finish, but the point I made yesterday was, and you concurred with that on the record -- if you're changing the record today, fine, but those are planning cycles. This is not added care. It may lead to added care.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: No, I didn't confirm that yesterday. If I misinterpreted what you asked, I'm sorry. This is planning and increase in services -- both.

Mr Jackson: So how much is planning and how much is increased service?

The Vice-Chair: Let's let the minister respond, please.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: The plans are with us now. We will be happy to let you know once we know all of the plans.

There's a reason behind this, Mr Jackson. It's not just to increase services. It's to better coordinate services as well. We feel we can add more and better services to children if there's more coordination. We have a lot of best practices across the province where, when the school board, the children's aid society, children's mental health, family physicians and parents and families work together, the same amount of resources goes further and you increase services to kids when there isn't overlap or duplication.

I can tell you from my experience that even though we have screening processes at the board of education in Hamilton, a number of times per year my staff would come to me and say, "Well, as soon as I started seeing this child -- I've seen these items before, a couple of weeks ago." Parents are on different waiting lists. There are efficiencies that can be found with better planning, which will lead to increased services.

I lived it; I know it. I was part of the problem, I suppose, because I was having my staff out there testing kids who were already tested. So we have to find those efficiencies.

I'm going to ask my deputy now to go into a little more detail to clarify what I said yesterday and today.

Ms Hill: To clarify how the money was allocated, we gave an allocation for each region to do their planning. The planning dollars were only to be a very small amount to hire a facilitator for a short period of time. The community was brought together and asked to submit a proposal in essentially a six-week time frame, so the planning cycle we're talking about is very short.

The reason we identified a small amount of money for that was so that -- the members of the community in the tables have been very large. It includes membership from school boards, hospitals, youth justice organizations and the community mental health sector who are coming together to identify gaps to invest the additional $12 million plus make plans for how that will grow, into next year, to $25 million.

So the planning amount is very small. We can certainly provide that to you but it is really to hire a facilitator for a one-month period.

Mr Jackson: Fair enough. But in the two areas that I've talked to where this is occurring, the concern is that certain treatment organizations who were sitting around that table have an equal vote to the one vote for children's mental health, so they're getting outvoted, from what I'm hearing anecdotally.

It's unfair to prejudge the process. I get that. I'm simply saying that the vulnerable piece of this puzzle is still vulnerable under that process. We're not prioritizing this system. We're not triaging the system. We are simply saying we've got a problem with CASs that has to be wrestled under control. We've got our youth justice system undercapacitied, which means the kids are overcapacitied somewhere else, because I don't think a whole cohort of young people in this province all of a sudden has become that much better in our youth justice system. They're out there; they're somewhere. That's my concern here. This is a lot of dollars. If you compare it year over year, it's not a lot of dollars to address the problem I'm trying to isolate and get to.

Anyway, the short answer, Minister: You haven't talked to the Minister of Health about the concern of protecting these beds, or have you advocated to put them on the protected list?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Specifically, that point has not been made by me to the Minister of Health. But I can tell you I have had conversations about children's mental health in general with him, because the hospitals are still his responsibility, including the children in the hospitals. He's a minister who is completely devoted to the mental health sector of his ministry. I think he has shown that.

Mr Jackson: I'm not challenging where the minister stands. He has a protected list and they're not on it at the moment. I'm not questioning his empathy. I'm asking if you have formally asked that these be protected services. That's all I'm asking you. There are not a lot of in-hospital services who -- you have carriage of your children in this province -- that receiving those services directly. This is one, in my view, that's going to be called upon increasingly.

I had to move to a question with respect to the numbers of children who may be in secure and non-secure custody. Who can speak to that -- I think it's on page 71 in the estimates book -- in terms of the dollar expenditure? But I'm really looking at your occupancy rates. If we look at page 70, we will see a trend line from 2002-03, 2003-04, and you would have six months' statistics in which to share with this committee, in terms of your quarterly reporting. You have two quarters already in the possession of your ministry. I am told that there are reductions in some parts of the province as high as 60%.

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Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I will introduce Deb Newman, my ADM in that sector.

Ms Deborah Newman: Thank you, Minister. Mr Jackson, you're right that we've seen a significant decrease in the use of secure and open custody in this province, as in every province of Canada, since the implementation of the new Youth Criminal Justice Act on April 1, 2003.

In this province we have our secure custody beds still divided, by age, into phase one and phase two. In the phase one system in secure custody for 12- to 15-year-old youth, there's a utilization rate currently of 46%. So we have seen probably the most significant decline in secure custody in that sector.

In the 16- and 17-year-old group of youth in secure custody, our utilization rate is 71%. So overall there has been a significant decline in the use of secure custody beds, which of course is consistent with the intent of the legislation with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

In the open custody sector, the reduction has been even more dramatic in the sense that overall we're running at about a 40% utilization of the open custody beds in the system. That actually has led us, in the open custody sector -- in July we closed 17 open custody residences as a result of the utilization rates.

Your observation that these kids haven't just disappeared is quite right. What we're trying to do is reposition our service delivery system now from one that has been very much a custody-focused system in this province to one that is much more community-based and provides the judiciary with some alternatives to custody and a range of evidence-based programs that we know will lead to more positive outcomes for kids.

Mr Jackson: Thank you, Ms Newman. I wonder if I can request that the spreadsheet statistics on page 70 be updated in all aspects for, say, the last three or four years so we could look at the trend line.

I'm very pleased that you've underscored the notion of custodial versus activation programming and so on, but I think you've just made the point I've been trying to make here, that these kids are somewhere in this system. There are still many not allowed in school because of their conduct and behaviour and they are being picked up. In your opinion, which sector is picking these children up? I don't think it's the CAS; I think it's children's mental health services with some uncustodial supervision.

Ms Newman: We really don't have any data with respect to what's happening with these kids or where they're ending up, frankly. A number of them are being diverted, again, consistent with the intention of the legislation, so the police, rather than charging young persons, may be diverting them, from as simple a means of bringing them home to face the music with their parents to having them write a letter of apology to someone they wronged, depending on the seriousness, obviously, of their offending behaviour. In more serious cases, this is where we really have to make an investment in community-based programs so that there are meaningful alternatives to custody available for these youth.

Mr Jackson: I couldn't agree with you more. I'm just trying to see where we're finding the investment in meaningful community-based programs when our pre-eminent investment is bump funding for salaries. That is OK, but we have packaged off addressing these pressures and we seem to not have this on the radar screen in terms of where the new pressures are.

I don't need to go through the list. I've four-cornered it for this committee in terms of where the pressures are, and the receptacle of all of this is children's mental health services. They are under immense -- it's not the school boards; the school boards can fire a kid out of the school. Early school leave programs are dumping thousands and thousands of children out of school every year in this province. I use to chair one of the committees.

My concern is, how are we getting this on the radar screen? In fact, what we're doing is bumping back on prioritizing waiting lists. We're bumping back kids who have mild problems because there is no receptacle for kids with severe problems, other than to take them into a children's mental health treatment and beg to have an assessment done and have a program directed for them.

If we could get the update on those statistics, that would be very helpful.

Perhaps I could ask a policy question to the minister.

The Vice-Chair: Allow them to respond, because your time is up. Very briefly, Ms Newman, Minister or one of the --

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I just don't want the committee to think we're not working on community plans for these kids, so I'd like Deb Newman to talk about them.

Ms Newman: I'd be happy to. We have in fact made some early investments in programs for these young people who are in conflict with the law.

We have introduced five attendance programs across the province where youth can be sent in their communities and ordered to attend by the judiciary or referred by their probation officers, for example, where they will take part in a supervised program that really deals with those risk factors that cause each kid to get into trouble with the law. Those factors are different for every youth, of course, whether it's an issue around alcohol or drug abuse, anger management or criminal thinking. So these programs are now active in five locations across the province, and we have done an evaluation of one of those programs to date, which is very promising in terms of having positive outcomes and being very well aligned with what we know works to reduce reoffending for youth.

We also have eight additional programs that we've instituted across the province to place kids in open detention; again, carefully selected youth who have been diverted from secure detention. They're being housed in an open detention setting and are receiving appropriate clinical programming and support.

We have in fact made a number of investments to date.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Jackson has asked for copies of the reports you're making reference to with respect to these five pilots.

Ms Newman: There is one report. There is one evaluation. We'd certainly be happy to --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. This committee will stand recessed until after the vote.

The committee recessed from 1718 to 1731.

The Chair (Mr Cameron Jackson): This committee is reconvened. The Chair recognizes Ms Martel for her rotation.

Ms Martel: Let me return to some questions on child care. The last question I had was concerning what funding might be available from the $58 million for new capacity, specifically related to First Nations. I wonder if I can get an answer as to whether or not any of the $58 million will be for new spaces that might be on-reserve.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Trinela?

Ms Cane: My understanding is that none of the $58.2 million is dedicated to child care services on-reserve. It will, however, serve native children in the broader communities off-reserve. Our understanding, also, is that the federal government has allocated $35 million in new child care funding as of last year and, subsequently in the throne speech this year, it also identified an additional $10 million that will flow to the various reserves. My understanding is that this money has not yet been flowed, but that planning is underway.

Ms Martel: It looks like our dilemma is that the target seems to be existing centres on-reserve. So those First Nations who are trying to establish a new child care centre for the first time are not having much luck accessing funding anywhere. That is certainly the particular proposal I was trying to deal with.

When I met with one of my First Nations, Whitefish Lake First Nation, in mid-September, they had had a meeting with Mr MacKinnon, a ministry staff person out of the Sault Ste Marie office, and had asked him the question about the $58 million and whether that included new spaces on-reserve. He was not able to answer them at that time, at that meeting. So I did a letter to the minister on September 30. The chief and council have asked specifically for a meeting with you, Minister, to outline their proposal. I am prepared to tell them that, in this round of $58 million, their application would not, of course, be considered. But in the near future, if you can have a meeting with them, I think it would be important. If there are going to be some other rounds of funding, at some point there will have to be an allocation of new money for new spaces if this proposal and other First Nations like them, who are trying to establish a child care centre for the first time, are ever going to be able to get consideration. They're very frustrated by the federal process right now as well.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Ms Martel, I'd be happy to meet with them. As well, I'd be happy to bring up that item on Monday and Tuesday in Ottawa.

Ms Martel: That would be great, because this seems to be the problem that they are facing.

I did want to ask, then, some specific questions about the Best Start program, particularly the funding commitments that were made, that were attached to it. As I read the information on the Best Start program, it says, "Second, we will reprioritize spending of the early childhood development accord. We will spend the majority of that money supporting and expanding Ontario's current system of regulated child care."

However, I look at the funding allocation for 2004-05 for the ECDI money in Ontario, and I don't see any allocation for child care for the fiscal year April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005. So it appears that, of the $194.2 million that we received from the federal government April 1, 2004, none of that money is going to be spent on child care this fiscal year. Is that correct?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Yes, it is, but can I expand on that at all?

In my consultations across the province, I saw that this federal funding also funds many legitimate and very good programs for children. So what we're doing now under the development of the Best Start plan is looking at how to invest that money. I'm not in a position today to talk about the future plans, but I do understand your concern.

It wasn't as easy as I thought. Some of these programs are excellent. Communities depend on them. However, in some sectors of the province, this money could be spent in better ways. So this is all being considered under our Best Start plan, and you will hear about that, if not before the new year, definitely early in the new year.

Ms Martel: Let me go further to the Best Start program, because there were two funding commitments that were made.

The first was a majority of the money from the ECDI, and I'm going to return to that because I want to know if that was a majority of money in the last fiscal year or if that's a majority of the overall money that we are due to receive, which is over $800 million over the term of the five-year agreement.

The second commitment was also, "We are committing $300 million in new provincial money for Best Start." Now, is that a commitment that the government still plans to meet? Will you have a majority of the ECDI money -- and I'll get to what I think that might be -- and an additional $300 million in new provincial money for the Best Start program?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Certainly I was hoping, right off, to spend a lot more money provincially for child care. Unfortunately, the fiscal situation that we found ourselves in had us modify our plans and I couldn't, in this first year, do that.

Under our Best Start plan, we're looking at all of the monies in my ministry and how much of it can go into child care, how much of it can go into other areas. Again, I'm not in a position today to say how much we will put into child care, but I will be in the new year, if not before.

Ms Martel: So in the new year, we will get a sense of how much of the $300 million in new money will actually be committed to child care?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: You'll get the full program of Best Start in the new year, if not sooner.

Ms Martel: Then can I ask, set aside the $300 million of new provincial money that was promised, what do you consider to be a majority of the ECDI money that should be allocated to child care?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I think if you can, with respect, wait for the Best Start plan to be announced or unveiled, you will see that --

Ms Martel: No, it's not being spent now. There's been no allocation this year.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: No, not for this year. That's right, and I explained that it was because of the fiscal situation we found ourselves in with the nearly $6-billion deficit.

Ms Martel: OK. Well, I'm not going to quote, as I would normally want to quote when I hear about the deficit, what Mr Phillips and others had to say about knowing about the deficit. But what I'm trying to get a bit of a better handle on is, to date, we would have had $114 million in the first year under ECDI, about $152 million in the second year -- someone's going to correct me if I'm wrong -- $195.5 million last fiscal year, $194.2 this fiscal year that just started April 1, and we should have one more allocation, which I'm going to assume is going to be in the range of about $100 million for the last year of the five-year plan. Would those figures be correct? Can someone give me the actual figures if I'm out?

1740

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I'm going to ask the ADM for corporate affairs to answer your question.

Mr Bohodar Rubashewsky: I don't have the figures in front of me, but I believe those figures are correct. Those are figures that relate to the total amount of funding that is being provided to the government of Ontario across all ministries by the federal government. I think you said $114 million in the first year, $152 million and $194 million is the ongoing base.

Ms Martel: Am I correct that by the end of the fifth year of this agreement we should get an additional $844 million for early childhood development?

Mr Rubashewsky: There will be an additional base amount of $194 million. This isn't a cumulative investment, it's an increase in the base. So as you build programs to a level of $114 million to $152 million to $192 million, you'll have, effectively, $194 million worth of new programs. You're quoting a cumulative amount?

Ms Martel: Yes. So you're telling me that at the end of the day all we will see is an investment of 194 million additional, new dollars and new programs, at the end of this five-year cycle?

Mr Rubashewsky: Well, base programs amounting to $194 million will be in place, and those programs will carry out into the future.

Ms Martel: Did the rest of the money go to one-time-only programs? Is that the balance of it?

Mr Rubashewsky: No, the total amount, the cumulative amount is, as you said --

Ms Martel: Eight hundred and forty-four million.

Mr Rubashewsky: -- but the programs and services that are put in place and continue on an ongoing basis amount to $194 million. That is programs that will carry on into the future and will be funded on a base amount.

Ms Martel: Mr Chair, could we get a copy of this? Because I clearly don't understand this. I'm not trying to be obtuse. I certainly got through the ministry, finally last week, both the allocation and the programs that are being supported, and I have that from the $114-million allocation and $152-million allocation. But what I don't have is what you just talked about, which is, what does that actually mean in terms of those programs that will continue on and what is the base funding increase for those programs? Do you have a copy of that through the four years that we have received funding that you can share with this committee?

Ms Hill: I could just clarify. If you take one of the lines and you look at the early years centres, where it says --

Mr Jackson: On a point of order, Mr Chair: It's custom and courtesy if we could circulate a document that's being discussed in front of the whole committee. I'm surprised --

The Vice-Chair: Is that document available? Are there copies?

Ms Hill: Certainly.

The Vice-Chair: It will just take a couple of minutes to get copies, Mr Jackson.

Ms Hill: It's the same document that Ms Martel is referring to.

Mr Jackson: I wasn't referring to Ms Martel; I was referring to the rest of the committee. You're referring to lines in it and it would just be a courtesy.

Ms Hill: Certainly.

Ms Martel: Can I set that aside, then, until everybody has a chance to look at it?

The Vice-Chair: Absolutely.

Ms Martel: All right. Let me set that particular matter aside, because I would like to get a sense of, are we talking about a majority of money based on $194 million or a majority of money based on $844 million? I need to understand that distinction, because what I understood was that we were getting 844 million additional dollars by the end of this program and that some majority of it, $600 million, might go to child care at some point in time. That's what I'm trying to get at.

Ms Hill: What I was trying to illustrate by taking one line is to simply say that at the beginning of the investment, where it began with $114 million, they were invested in programs that continue. The money then grows to $152 million. You can add the money up year over year and you get to your $844 million, but the actual continual base investment is $194 million. That's what I think we're trying to illustrate. So if you take any one allocation, such as -- any of them, in fact -- you follow it. It stays as a base investment.

Yes, in total over four years, $844 million will be spent in investing in services, but it's not that $844 million remains to be invested year over year. Do you see what I'm saying? It's the difference between cumulative and a year-over-year investment. That's really what I was trying to distinguish.

Ms Martel: So can I ask, then, what would be the monetary amount that the ministry would be looking at to shift into child care? What is the figure that you would use as a legitimate figure, the majority of which could then be transferred to child care?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I'm not in a position to answer that today.

Ms Martel: Do you know where I'm heading with this? I would appreciate an answer because --

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Well, I can't give you an answer before Christmas.

Ms Martel: No, and I'm not saying today. If you can, you know --

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I will do my best to quicken the process, but the way I work, the way I worked in my other ministry and the way I work here, is that I consult with a lot of the stakeholders when I have a draft of what I'm planning to do. This is a significant amount of money.

At the same time, I don't see this money in isolation with the provincial moneys in child care presently, with the other federal moneys which we may get. I would prefer to do it in a more comprehensive, organized fashion than in a piecemeal approach.

Monday and Tuesday will, hopefully, give me more information so that I can quicken my planning of this whole pot of money that we get from the federal government.

Ms Martel: But what I should know, and what the stakeholder groups should know, is that we're not looking at a base of $600 million, by any stretch of the imagination, as a potential pot of money that could be diverted from ECDI -- nowhere near that -- because, given what you've just said about what the base funding is, the pot of money we're actually looking at is far, far less for purposes of rediversion.

Ms Hill: Yes. Essentially, you can't undo where the money has already been spent. You can't back up five years and say, "Well, we'll undo those expenditures." The base expenditure that we will have in the ECD is $194 million.

Ms Martel: So I should be clear that what we're really looking at is about $194 million and how it gets diverted, if it gets diverted. All right.

Let me ask about the negotiations next week, then. I would be interested in what position you are taking in to these negotiations in terms of child care in Ontario. You will know that I am an advocate of not-for-profit, and I would be hoping that any money that comes into the system that's new would be targeted for not-for-profit centres and not-for-profit child care, and in the same way that we had a conversion for for-profit centres in order to get them to do that, you might consider that as well. I'd be interested in some of the initiatives, ideas, concerns or issues that you are going to take there on behalf of Ontario.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: First, as my Premier did in Ottawa just yesterday, we will be looking for Ontario's fair share, looking for the money sooner rather than later, because there is talk of perhaps legislation occurring first in Ottawa and then the money flowing. I don't think we can wait for that.

I've actually had three conversations with Minister Dryden so far -- I've met with him once, and two were on the phone -- about this money. I'm quite optimistic that we will get the money sooner rather than later, and our fair share, but that remains to be seen. I'll fight very hard and negotiate very hard. I don't know, Ms Martel, at this point what firm decisions will be made by the end of Tuesday.

With respect your question on non-profit versus profit, I don't share that view with you. We leave it up to the municipalities and the DSSBs to allocate the money. I know very well of what I speak because I was in the process of converting one of my child care centres to non-profit when the NDP lost the election, so we'd have one profit and one not-for-profit. That was fine. That suited those communities, because the two day cares were in totally different communities.

That's what we're hearing, quite frankly, across the province: that we can't be that prescriptive, that some areas would actually lose spaces if we just gave to not-for-profit, and that there would be children who wouldn't be able to take advantage of spaces.

I don't share that opinion with you, but with respect to getting our fair share and getting the money sooner rather than later -- in other words, advocating for us to get the money before legislation is set at the federal level. That's what I'll be advocating for, as well as for it to be for child care and for there to be accountability to the provinces so that it is spent for child care and early year programs.

Ms Martel: Let me just go back to the issue of profit and not-for-profit. Correct me if I'm wrong: My understanding is that the $9.7 million that was allocated to do health and safety and capital adjustments was targeted for not-for-profits. There is a specific provision for that.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Absolutely.

Ms Martel: So it's not as if you haven't focused on not-for-profits' interests before.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: But that's for capital expenses, because businesses can deduct it from their businesses, whereas not-for-profits can't. I didn't think it was fair and I didn't think it was right. There was limited money, and I knew that the not-for-profit centres really needed those repairs. Licences were on the brink of being lost and children would lose their spaces. I still have that opinion about the not-for-profit centres and capital expenditures and the profit centres.

But for spaces themselves, our history in this province has shown that when you go to one extreme or the other, you lose spaces, and we can't afford to lose spaces right now.

The Vice-Chair: One minute left, Ms Martel.

Ms Martel: I'm not sure, if you took a look back at our thing. I think we created 20,000 new spaces, so I wouldn't make that argument at all.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: In my briefings, I was told that we actually lost spaces during that time period.

Ms Martel: I think your ministry wants to go back and check that, because we had the conversion program, and facilities did convert. With the additional funding that we provided through that period of time, there were additional spaces created in the province. We had net new spaces at the end of our government in 1995, not a net loss of spaces.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I will certainly check that again, except that my opinion remains the same: that we let the municipalities decide where the child care spaces are set.

Ms Martel: Let me ask about targeted funding for wage enhancements.

The Vice-Chair: Very briefly.

Ms Martel: I'm hoping that you're taking a position that some of this money is actually going to be targeted to wage enhancements for child care workers, because the problem we are having in this province and in a number of others is that they are some of the lowest-paid workers in the public sector. Is it your position, and will you be taking this position into the negotiations, that some of that money has to be targeted -- there has to be a condition -- that it's actually going to go into wage enhancements for ECE and child care workers in the sector?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: I'll take that under advisement. I have not reached an opinion on that yet.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Minister. That ends this round. We have about nine minutes, until 6 o'clock, if the Liberals would like to take this time.

Mr Parsons: We would prefer a 20-minute block.

The Vice-Chair: In that case, if it's the will of the committee, we'll adjourn for the day and reconvene after --

Mr Jackson: Mr Chair, since you haven't struck the gavel --

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Actually, I do have one point of clarification that I want to make. Do I have a minute?

The Vice-Chair: Could we deal with Mr Jackson's point?

Mr Jackson: I was just going to ask if we could put any additional requests for information. I'm quite content to do that with ministry staff. We don't have to do it on the record. I sense there is a high degree of co-operation here.

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Sure.

The Vice-Chair: Minister?

Hon Mrs Bountrogianni: Yes, a point of clarification on mental health funding and spending for children. I'd like my deputy or Bohodar Rubashewsky to address that.

Ms Hill: Mr Jackson, you referred to page 65 in the estimates book. We just wanted to clarify a statement you made regarding the reduction in funding to services, the 49%.

This really captures the services in Thistletown and CPRI, which are two directly operated facilities. What you'll notice in the estimates in 2003-04 is that there are two zeros: one is transportation and communications, and the other is supplies and equipment. The amount is $6 million. Do you see that?

Mr Jackson: Yes.

Ms Hill: Then what you'll see is that the changes from the estimates really show that that line, the $6 million, was distributed among the three lines in the 2004-05 estimates. There was actually not a reduction to those institutions; it was an alignment that more accurately reflected the costs of running those services across the three lines. The services line would be covering the clinical services. The transportation and communications would be for staff to transport clients. Supplies and equipment would include everything from medical supplies to equipment to caring for the kids.

If you add up those three numbers, you will see it reflects the $6.228 million. I just wanted to clarify that there wasn't a 49.5% reduction.

Mr Jackson: Are you comparing the interim actuals against the estimate, or are you comparing the estimates against both estimates?

Mr Rubashewsky: The negative 49.5% compares estimates to estimates.

Mr Jackson: Correct.

Mr Rubashewsky: When you look at interim actuals for 2003-04 against 2004-05 estimates, you'll see that the way we've allocated the funding, the $6.2 million, in fact more accurately reflects where we expect actual expenditures will occur.

Mr Jackson: But is that a reduced amount?

Mr Rubashewsky: No, it's not. This all adds up to $6,228,500.

Mr Jackson: Actuals to estimate, or estimate to estimate?

Mr Rubashewsky: In both cases. Sorry, if you look at estimates to estimates --

Mr Jackson: No, I didn't ask that. I'm asking for the 2004-05 estimate. The combination of lines 3, 4 and 5 is an amount less than the accrued actuals in the interim actuals for 2003-04 in lines 3, 4 and 5. It is a lesser amount.

Mr Rubashewsky: That is correct, yes.

Mr Jackson: That's what I'm saying. It's almost a million dollars. You indicated that you've isolated that these are programs for -- it was Thistletown? Where was the other?

Interjection.

Mr Jackson: CPI.

Ms Hill: CPRI.

Mr Jackson: CPRI, and --

Mr Rubashewsky: Primarily those two programs.

Mr Jackson: OK. So we'll revisit this next week in terms of why their program is being reduced that dramatically. We'll revisit that next week.

Ms Hill: That's fine. We can provide more detail. The other document I think Ms Martel requested was the allocations of the child care dollars by municipalities, and we can table that planning framework. It's not the approved amounts, but it was the planning framework that was distributed that we used for the purposes of allocations.

The Vice-Chair: That clears it up.

This committee will stand adjourned until Wednesday, November 3.

The committee adjourned at 1756.

CONTENTS

Wednesday 27 October 2004

Ministry of Children and Youth Services E-295

Hon Marie Bountrogianni, Minister of Children and Youth Services
Ms Jessica Hill, Deputy Minister
Mr Robert Adams, Chair, Child and Family Services Review Board
Ms Trinela Cane, assistant deputy minister, policy development and program design
Ms Cynthia Lees, assistant deputy minister, program management
Ms Deborah Newman, assistant deputy minister, youth justice services
Mr Bohodar Rubashewsky, assistant deputy minister, business planning
and corporate services

STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES

Chair / Président

Mr Cameron Jackson (Burlington PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr John O'Toole (Durham PC)

Mr Wayne Arthurs (Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge L)

Ms Caroline Di Cocco (Sarnia-Lambton L)

Ms Andrea Horwath (Hamilton East / Hamilton-Est ND)

Mr Cameron Jackson (Burlington PC)

Mr Kuldip Kular (Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale L)

Mr Phil McNeely (Ottawa-Orléans L)

Mr John Milloy (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)

Mr John O'Toole (Durham PC)

Mr Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt ND)

Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings L)

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes

Ms Marilyn Churley (Toronto-Danforth ND)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr Trevor Day

Staff / Personnel

Mr David McIver, research officer

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