Committee Documents: Standing Committee on Government Agencies - 2008-Sep-30 - Intended appointments

Intended appointments
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STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX

Tuesday 30 September 2008 Mardi 30 septembre 2008

COMMITTEE BUSINESS

INTENDED APPOINTMENTS
ALISON RENTON

MICHELLE FLAHERTY

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT

INTENDED APPOINTMENTS
MAUREEN ARMSTRONG

WYNN TURNER


 
   

The committee met at 0932 in room 228, following a closed session.

COMMITTEE BUSINESS

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Good morning, and welcome to the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. I would ask members to refer to the agenda before them, but before we deal with the agenda, I would like to ask for unanimous consent to move the Ontario Securities Commission’s appearance before this committee to Tuesday, December 2. All in agreement? Thank you very much.

INTENDED APPOINTMENTS
ALISON RENTON

Review of intended appointment, selected by the official opposition party: Alison Renton, intended appointee as member and vice-chair, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): We will now look at our agenda. First will be the intended appointments. We will first consider the intended appointment of Alison Renton, intended appointee as member and vice-chair, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Concurrence in that appointment was previously moved by Ms. Sandals. Any discussion? Ms. Sandals?

Mrs. Liz Sandals: No.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Seeing none, all in favour? I should just remind you that a recorded vote has been requested.

Ayes

Gélinas, Qaadri, Sandals, Van Bommel.

Nays

MacLeod.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): The motion is carried.

MICHELLE FLAHERTY

Review of intended appointment, selected by the official opposition party: Michelle Flaherty, intended appointee as member and vice-chair, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro):We will now consider the intended appointment of Michelle Flaherty, intended appointee as member and vice-chair, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Concurrence has been previously moved by Ms. Sandals. Any discussion? If not, a recorded vote has been requested.

Ayes

Brown, Gélinas. Qaadri, Sandals, Van Bommel.

Nays

MacLeod.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): The motion is carried.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Our second order of business this morning is the report of the subcommittee on committee business dated Thursday, September 25. Mrs. Van Bommel.

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: I move the adoption of the report of the subcommittee on committee business dated Thursday, September 25, 2008.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Any discussion? If not, all in favour? The motion is carried.

INTENDED APPOINTMENTS
MAUREEN ARMSTRONG

Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Maureen Armstrong, intended appointee as member, Office for Victims of Crime.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): We will now proceed to today’s appointment reviews. The first one is Maureen Armstrong, intended appointee as member, Office for Victims of Crime. Good morning and welcome to the committee.

You have an opportunity to make any comments that you wish. Following that, we will have questions from the members of the committee. When you’re ready, you may begin.

Mme Maureen Armstrong: Good morning, Madam Chair, and members of the committee. It is a pleasure to be here again.

J’ai assisté à la réunion du comité le 20 août comme nominée prévue pour le poste de présidente de la Commission d’indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels. J’aimerais remercier les membres du comité pour leur soutien unanime de ma candidature. Cela fait cinq semaines que je m’occupe du poste. Je suis très contente et je vous suis reconnaissante pour le soutien.

Le 20 août, j’ai expliqué en détail mes qualifications et mon expérience professionnelle. Au lieu de répéter toute cette information aujourd’hui, je vais souligner juste quelques points, et par la suite je discuterai de ma nomination prévue comme membre de l’Office des affaires des victimes d’actes criminels.

Brièvement, je suis avocate. Je suis devenue membre du Barreau du Haut-Canada en 1995, la même année que j’ai rejoint la fonction publique du Canada. J’ai travaillé plusieurs années avec la Commission canadienne des droits de la personne dans plusieurs postes.

Plus récemment, j’ai travaillé avec Aide juridique Ontario comme vice-présidente dans les régions du centre et de l’est. Depuis 2001, je m’occupe de la gestion, avec une concentration sur la gestion du changement et la direction dans le secteur public. Je me suis engagée à respecter les valeurs du service public.

Turning now to my proposed appointment to the Office for Victims of Crime, the OVC is an organization with a mandate to advise the Attorney General on a variety of matters relating to the rights and needs of victims of crime. The members of the OVC have diverse backgrounds in victim issues. Each has knowledge and expertise that are very valuable to enable the OVC to provide high-quality advice to the Attorney General. With respect to my proposed appointment, I understand that there has been a practice of having the chair of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board cross-appointed as a member of the OVC. As such, the question of my appointment is related to my current position.

I believe that having the CICB chair as a member of the OVC has potential benefits for Ontarians. It creates a formal opportunity to share information between two publicly funded entities that, in distinct capacities, are engaged in addressing the needs of victims of crime. In particular, the appointment of the CICB chair as a member could help facilitate an exchange of information and ideas relating to the financial implications of criminal victimization.

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Further, I do believe that my extensive experience in the area of equality rights and my public service management background could be useful assets to the OVC.

While my primary role as CICB chair requires me to ensure that the board fulfills its statutory mandate as an objective adjudicative body, the importance of ensuring good communication between all public organizations mandated to support victims of crime is a valuable goal that I would like to support.

The time commitment for participation on the OVC is such that it would not impede my ability to perform all of my duties as CICB chair. I would be happy to take on the role of member of the OVC and to bring to it my skills, knowledge and expertise gained as CICB chair, as a manager and as a public servant.

Thank you, Madam Chair. I’m happy to take any questions.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Thank you very much. We’ll begin this morning with the official opposition.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Welcome again, Ms. Armstrong. Welcome back to Toronto. The last time we saw you I believe was August 20, 2008. Have you left the federal public service, for leave from your previous position?

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: Yes, I have.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: The biggest issue that I did have was with respect to time commitments. You’ve indicated that it’s customary that the chair of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is also a member of this board. I’m just wondering if you can go back in time to provide us with an example of the previous chair of the criminal injuries board. Was he or she also part of the Office for Victims of Crime?

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: Yes, she was. Unfortunately, I’m not aware whether the chair prior to my predecessor was also. She was in the role from 1998 until earlier this year, but I know she definitely was a member of the OVC.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: How long was she a member of both? Do you recall?

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that. I believe it may be in the neighbourhood of about four years.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Do you know what the time commitments are for the Office for Victims of Crime?

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: I understand that it tries to meet about once a month, but it’s not much more extensive than that, is my understanding.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Okay. And in terms of your current position, how often do you meet as chair of the board?

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: That’s a full-time position.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: So you are not only working there full-time, but how many times does your board meet?

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: My board is an adjudicative board, so my members are sitting in decision-making on cases more often than they are sitting as a board to discuss specific issues.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Thank you very much.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Ms. Gélinas.

Mme France Gélinas: Bonjour, madame Armstrong.

Mme Maureen Armstrong: Bonjour.

Mme France Gélinas: Cela me fait plaisir de vous entendre parler français. J’ai deux questions. La première : avec votre expérience au niveau fédéral et au niveau provincial, j’aimerais savoir un peu vos connaissances du nord de l’Ontario.

Mme Maureen Armstrong: Je ne connais pas très, très bien tous les détails ou toute la situation au nord de l’Ontario. Ceci dit, je trouve que c’est une question très importante de savoir pour toutes les régions de l’Ontario quels sont les défis en ce qui concerne les victimes du crime.

Mme France Gélinas: Est-ce que vous avez déjà fait du travail avec les Premières Nations?

Mme Maureen Armstrong: Oui, plusieurs fois. La Commission canadienne des droits de la personne considérait une question précise concernant la juridiction de la commission et les autochtones, et j’ai travaillé fort sur cette question.

Mme France Gélinas: Je vous remercie.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Thank you. Mrs. Van Bommel.

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: We just want to say thank you very much for coming again before the subcommittee and we appreciate your taking the time.

Ms. Maureen Armstrong: Thank you. My pleasure.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): That concludes the questions, and we appreciate you very much for coming here today.

WYNN TURNER

Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Wynn Turner, intended appointee as member, South East Local Health Integration Network.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Our next review is with Wynn Turner, the intended appointee as member, South East Local Health Integration Network. Good morning and welcome to the committee. As you will have observed, you have time in which to make a statement, and then questions from the members. So if you are ready, you may begin.

Ms. Wynn Turner: It is a pleasure to be here this morning to meet with you all about my interest in becoming a member of the South East LHIN board. I thank you for this opportunity. I did prepare a few notes here, so that I did not ramble, to tell you a little bit about myself. I think through hearing a little bit about myself and my experiences, you will see it to be more than my work life but also my personal life which will influence the way in which I will conduct myself on the board.

I was raised in Norway House, Manitoba, and lived there until the age of 13. I attended one of those legendary one-room schoolhouses and all of my classmates were Metis children. My community was a Metis community. My parents operated a tourist business in this area and, as a result, I met many people from many walks of life. I think as a result of that I am comfortable with just about anybody, including ministers, which you are, and also took, at an early age, a particular interest in how our society works. You can imagine, as a child, my reaction to residential schools, for example. We did have one in Norway House and I was quite appalled at the thought of these children being taken from their parents at that early age.

I had a mother who was Icelandic and believed in education, and so I attended the University of Manitoba, after living in Winnipeg with a family while I attended high school, and I graduated with a bachelor of arts degree at the age of 20.

I then went to Toronto and lived there for 20 years in a highly urban environment in the downtown parts of Toronto, and only moved to the southeast region when I was pleased to accept being hired to be the administrator at the Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls. Briefly, I have lived in northern, rural and urban environments and I think I understand the differences and the commonalities that those environments bring for people.

In my career I worked as a child care worker for a children’s aid society receiving centre, an insurance company doing rate adjustments for group clients, and I was a house parent for juvenile young offenders for about a year and a half. During these early job experiences, again, I took a great interest in those people who had special needs. I joined the OPS in 1966 as a probation officer, and at that time, of course, we were serving juvenile delinquents. Again, I saw the need for strong communities and families to reach out and guide these children and troubled teens. In those days, children as young as seven could be sent to training school, and I was proud to be a part of the closure of so many training schools across this great province and the introduction of community corrections for our children and young adolescents.

During this time I guess I was known as a probation officer, as a supervising probation officer, as the superintendent of Syl Apps Youth Centre, and as someone highly committed to community corrections. I also became very experienced in terms of developing teams, not just within the service itself, but also with other agencies, families and groups.

I am proud to say that I developed, with a Ministry of Education employee at Lakeview secondary school, the first life skills program for children that was actually operated in a school, and at the end of the year, the 10 children we provided care for were noted by most teachers as not the right people to put in this program. Well, I can certainly assure you that they would not have reached November 15 without that support in that high school. Many of them went on to graduate, perhaps not all, but many. That is where I get my belief in community corrections, that we need systems where people can grow and develop and get the support and assistance they need to do this.

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At the same time, let me be very clear that I do believe that people must take personal responsibility for their actions and that everything that you do with people is to encourage them to take that responsibility and to become law-abiding citizens. As a result of my participation in addressing this need, I was seconded to the position of superintendent of Syl Apps Youth Centre. Some of you may be aware of the centre—it’s in Oakville—and it had secure treatment as well as secure custody and secure detention. During that time, I worked hard within the institutional framework to find ways within a protected environment that we could help young offenders to return to the community and live crime-free lives. That was our mission and that was our vision for those children coming out of that centre.

No matter how difficult the circumstances are or the behaviour of a child is, I do believe that it is our job to mitigate against these circumstances, to the best of our abilities, to create a better and safer society.

I left Syl Apps Youth Centre after three years. I was unhappy leaving Syl Apps; it was my decision to leave Syl Apps because my husband was moving to Ottawa for a position in that great city. As a result of that, I applied for the position and was successful in winning the competition to become the administrator of Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls in 1986. I am sure that most of you are well aware of this and other institutions of its nature across this province. The mission was to downsize Rideau Regional Centre and see residents return to their home, communities and families and receive care in a community-based setting. You can begin to see some themes here for me around the importance of strong communities that support their citizens.

During that time, I think I had a reputation for being a progressive administrator, both internally and externally. Internally, we introduced personal service plans into an institutional setting, which was the first time that this had ever been attempted in an institution. Prior to that, the independent assessment plans were focusing on the disability side of people, and not their strengths and not their interests. As a result of that, we saw a tremendous change in many of the residents living there at Rideau Regional Centre through the introductions of these personal service plans and the ability of teams to provide those services and involve the community in those plans.

Additionally, of course, in a downsizing institution, we all at times face having to make difficult decisions. I’m proud to say that we worked with the union, OPSEU obviously, at the local level to try to mitigate against the psychological and, of course, the job loss that comes with the downsizing of an institution. We were the only institution in Ontario to have the Quality of Working Life Centre at that time instituted by Premier Davis to work with us as consultants in developing ways that we could provide a better work life for the staff working at Rideau Regional Centre. You can again see that it is not just about the patients you serve or the people you serve or the residents you serve; it is also about the workers and the people who carry out that work. I learned the importance of providing those supports to people, and we were very successful at Rideau during that period of time.

I left the Ontario public service on an early retirement package about 11 years ago and since that time I started my own little company. During the last number of years, I have worked as an interim executive director of an agency for adults and children with autism, so I’m highly familiar with some of the challenges we face with children and people with autism.

I also did an interim directorship of an agency in Kingston which was suffering from some management problems and saw, with the introduction of a new management team, the successful conclusion of a rather difficult collective bargaining process. That was a four-month appointment, but I can tell you it was intense.

After that, I went on to become the administrator of Lanark Lodge in Perth, Ontario. I have an in-depth knowledge of the long-term-care system and was introduced, to some extent, to the role of the community care access centres, so I have a good understanding of what they do.

In closing, I think that I’m a hard-working individual, and I will give my heart and soul if I am appointed to the South East LHIN.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Thank you very much. We’ll begin with Mme Gélinas.

Mme France Gélinas: Welcome to Queen’s Park. I was interested in your resumé. It is very varied. With most of your background being in corrections and not in health care, I want to make sure you understand the immensity of the responsibilities that are on the South East LHIN that you’re about to join.

Ms. Wynn Turner: I do. I would point out to you that I left corrections in 1986. That was 20 years ago. I would say that in terms of people with disabilities who lived in institutions, I learned a tremendous amount about the importance of good clinical practice as well as environmental concerns.

Mme France Gélinas: LHINs are embarking right now on a number of different tasks, depending on the specific LHIN, but they’re looking at integration. They have the power to issue integration orders, which means that some services may be displaced, offered differently. I will give you an example: A hospital in your community has had a physiotherapy department for a long time. They have a difficult time managing within their budget, so they’ve decided to divest themselves of the physiotherapy because there is a private physio in their community who can provide the service. This is being presented to your LHIN. What do you see as decision points?

Ms. Wynn Turner: First of all, to move outside that particular question related to the provision of physiotherapy services, there are other examples where profit-making organizations deliver services, such as long-term care. We have many long-term-care homes which are in fact run by profit-making organizations. However, there are strict regulations and expectations of those groups. I think the important thing is that people receive the physiotherapy that they need and that qualified people provide that with the appropriate regulation.

Mme France Gélinas: Do you figure that everybody in Ontario can afford private physiotherapy treatment?

Ms. Wynn Turner: It’s my understanding that it should be provided by OHIP. I might be wrong there.

Mme France Gélinas: You are wrong. Once it is private, then people have to pay for the service. When it was offered in the hospital, it would have been paid for by the Ministry of Health. But if the hospital doesn’t provide the service anymore, then in the private physiotherapy clinic in your community, people have to pay for it.

Ms. Wynn Turner: I strongly believe that physiotherapy, having just gone through some after breaking a leg two years ago, is very, very important to people recovering and that people should not have to pay for that service, regardless of where it is delivered.

Mme France Gélinas: How do you reconcile this position, where you’re in support of for-profit nursing homes but you’re not in support of for-profit physiotherapy?

Ms. Wynn Turner: I didn’t say I was in support. It’s not my role to be in support or not in support of profit-making organizations; it is simply to say that they do exist. This is a decision made by the Legislature and not at the LHIN level. It is our job to carry out, within those expectations, decisions that will create the best health care environment and best health care services in that area.

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Mme France Gélinas: It will be your job if new long-term-care beds are put out for tender in your community. They may very well be not-for-profit groups and for-profit groups that bid for those beds. So it is not some mysterious decision made by people unknown; it will be your decision to make, with your sets of values.

Ms. Wynn Turner: Yes, and those sets of values would rest on whether those bids in fact were acceptable in terms of providing care. It is not a question of for-profit or not-for-profit. To me, it is a question of, can that organization deliver the very best services? I would tend, having worked in a municipal home, to believe that a not-for-profit agency system is superior simply because their mission is to provide care and not create profit. But we do in fact have a system in Ontario which has been around for a long time where, everybody at this table knows, we have for-profit organizations that are interested in those bids and have a right to bid.

Mme France Gélinas: I would caution you to be careful. Medicare is a fundamental value to the people of Canada and, I would say, to Ontarians, and medicare means that care is accessible based on need, not on ability to pay. In your position at the LHIN, you will be confronted with privatization of the margin of the health care system moving closer and closer in to the core of the health care system.

The present government certainly talks about protecting medicare, but it has devolved those responsibilities to people like you, to people at the LHIN level, and it is a very important responsibility. How do you balance fiscal responsibility? Your agencies have to live within their budget, yet make sure that medicare remains accessible for people who need it, no matter their ability to pay.

So when you take on this job, make sure—sure, long-term care is an area where we have allowed for-profit, but in hospital services, in community care, in primary care, in a lot of our health care system, medicare has stayed true to itself, where it is not-for-profit and it is based on need—as the government devolves those powers to you, that you are a steward of this and that you protect medicare. It is now on your shoulders to do that.

Ms. Wynn Turner: I will take your comments under advisement. Thank you.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): We have time for one statement.

Mrs. Liz Sandals: I’m actually quite delighted with the experience that you’ve had working with community support for children who are at risk in one way or another or adults with special challenges and looking at the supports we put in place. I think that’s a wonderful background, in addition to your long-term-care background, to be bringing to the LHIN, so that as we expand community service for health, you’ve got that perspective.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Ms. MacLeod.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Welcome. My colleague Randy Hillier, who is your MPP, wishes he could be here. He’s actually speaking to Bill 77 on developmental services this morning, and he felt that was very important. He did ask me to wish you good luck.

There are unique challenges in your community, in that particular LHIN, and I know we could have a long discussion about the Rideau Regional Centre, which impacts my community.

I know that you’re doing work with autistic children, which is very important to us in eastern Ontario, and I do appreciate the work that you’re doing with long-term-care facilities, because we have a critical shortage in the city of Ottawa, which impacts the rest of eastern Ontario.

With that said, I just want to congratulate you. The official opposition will be supporting your candidacy. Again, my colleague Randy Hillier wishes you good luck.

Ms. Wynn Turner: Thank you very much.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): That concludes the questions from the committee. We appreciate your participation here today.

Members, I’d ask you now to proceed with concurrences.

We will now consider the intended appointment of Maureen Armstrong, intended appointee as member, Office for Victims of Crime.

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: I would move the concurrence of the appointment of Maureen Armstrong.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Concurrence in the appointment has been moved by Mrs. Van Bommel. Any discussion?

Mr. Michael A. Brown: Recorded vote.

Ayes

Brown, Gélinas, MacLeod, Qaadri, Ramsay, Sandals, Van Bommel.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): The motion is carried.

We will now consider the intended appointment of Wynn Turner, intended appointee as member, South East Local Health Integration Network.

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel: I would move the concurrence of the appointment of Wynn Turner.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Concurrence in the appointment has been moved by Mrs. Van Bommel. Any discussion?

Mrs. Liz Sandals: Recorded vote, please.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): Thank you. Any other discussion? If not, all in favour?

Ayes

Brown, Gélinas, MacLeod, Qaadri, Ramsay, Sandals, Van Bommel.

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): The motion is carried.

That concludes our business on intended appointments. At this time, then, no other business?

I would just remind you that next week—the next meeting will be at the call of the Chair. We are adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1005.

CONTENTS

Tuesday 30 September 2008

Committee business A-339

Intended appointments A-339

Ms. Alison Renton A-339

Ms. Michelle Flaherty A-339

Subcommittee report A-339

Intended appointments A-339

Ms. Maureen Armstrong A-339

Ms. Wynn Turner A-341

STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Chair / Présidente

Mrs. Julia Munro (York–Simcoe PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente

Ms. Lisa MacLeod (Nepean–Carleton PC)

Mr. Michael A. Brown (Algoma–Manitoulin L)

Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn (Oakville L)

Mme France Gélinas (Nickel Belt ND)

Mr. Randy Hillier (Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington PC)

Ms. Lisa MacLeod (Nepean–Carleton PC)

Mrs. Julia Munro (York–Simcoe PC)

Mr. David Ramsay (Timiskaming–Cochrane L)

Mrs. Liz Sandals (Guelph L)

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel (Lambton–Kent–Middlesex L)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Shafiq Qaadri (Etobicoke North / Etobicoke-Nord L)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr. Douglas Arnott

Staff / Personnel

Andrew McNaught, research officer

Research and Information Services

Committee Documents