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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES

COMITÉ PERMANENT DES BUDGETS DES DÉPENSES

Tuesday 12 September 2017 Mardi 12 septembre 2017

Committee business

 

The committee met at 0900 in committee room 1.

Committee business

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Hello. Good morning. I think, as our Clerk just mentioned, this is the first time we’ve had a full committee, so everybody, welcome back. Good on you.

As you know, the Administrator of the province of Ontario transmitted the estimates of certain sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 2018, to the Legislative Assembly. Pursuant to standing order 59, these printed estimates, upon tabling, are deemed to be referred to the Standing Committee on Estimates. All members of the House should have received a copy of the 2017-18 printed estimates when they were tabled on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

The objectives of today’s meeting are:

(1) To select the estimates of certain ministries or offices for review by the committee; and

(2) To determine the date on which the committee will begin the consideration of the selected estimates.

Standing order 60 sets out the process by which the committee makes its selections. Essentially, each of the recognized parties on the committee shall select the estimates of either one or two ministries or offices in each of the two rounds of selection. The official opposition selects first, followed by the third party, then by the government. After two rounds of selection, the committee will have selected anywhere from a minimum of six to a maximum of 12 ministries or offices for review.

In making its selection, each party also determines how much time is to be allocated to the consideration of each ministry or office selected. A maximum of 15 hours is permitted per selection. For example, if only one selection is made in a round, that single selection could be reviewed for a maximum of 15 hours. If two selections are made in a round, both of them could be reviewed for a combined maximum of 15 hours. How the division of those 15 hours takes place is up to the party making the selection.

At the conclusion of the two rounds of review, the committee could spend up to a maximum of 90 hours in scrutinizing the estimates of all the selected ministries or offices. Pursuant to standing order 60(c), these selections are to be reviewed in the order that they were chosen, and this can only be changed by an order of the House.

The estimates of those ministries or offices not selected for consideration will be deemed to have been passed by the committee. As Chair, I will report those estimates back to the House and they will be deemed to be adopted and concurred in by the House. Any supplementary estimates of selected ministries and offices shall be considered by the committee within the time allocated during this selection process.

In accordance with standing order 63(a), the committee must present a report to the House with respect to the estimates it selected and considered by the third Thursday of November this year: November 16, 2017. If the committee fails to report by the third Thursday in November, the estimates and supplementary estimates before the committee will be deemed to be passed by the committee and deemed to be reported to and received by the House.

I would also like to add a note: If members could please look at the list of ministries provided by the Clerk, and give the correct names of the ministries when they select them.

Do the members have any questions before we begin? Good. We will start with the official opposition.

Mr. Michael Harris: All right. The official opposition would like to select, for 7.5 hours, the Treasury Board Secretariat.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Thank you. The third party?

Interjection.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Sorry. The official opposition still. Mr. Smith.

Mr. Todd Smith: Thank you. With our second pick, the official opposition would like to select the Ministry of Energy for seven and a half hours.

Mr. Michael Mantha: With our first selection, for 15 hours, we want to select health and long-term care.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Okay, the government side?

Ms. Sophie Kiwala: For our first selection we would like to select the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): For how long?

Ms. Sophie Kiwala: For 15 hours.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): For 15 hours? Okay.

Mr. Michael Harris: For 15 hours?

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Yes. Back to the official opposition.

Mr. Michael Harris: For our third pick, the official opposition would like to select, for 7.5 hours, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Mr. Smith?

Mr. Todd Smith: With our fourth pick, we’re going to take the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for seven and a half hours.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Mr. Mantha?

Mr. Michael Mantha: Our second selection would be seven and a half hours for infrastructure, and our third selection would be transportation for seven and a half hours.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): The government side.

Ms. Sophie Kiwala: Our second choice will be the Office of Francophone Affairs for 15 hours.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Any clarification of the order? We’re all good?

We’ll be reporting this in the House this—sorry. Mr. Harris?

Mr. Michael Harris: I do have one request. It’s just a request that, if possible, as per scheduling, this committee reside in 151.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Is that the will of the committee? Is everybody good with that? Of course, we’ll have to ask the committee that normally has the room if they’re willing to cede that, so we’ll get back to you on that.

Now to start, when we’re—

Mr. Arthur Potts: Chair, the member will have to wear his jacket, though. It’ll be televised.

Mr. Michael Harris: Duly noted.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): As a start date—we’ll report this back to the House this afternoon, but the start date for when we’d like to see the ministries?

Mr. Michael Harris: Next Wednesday.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Next Wednesday. Is that all right for everyone?

Ms. Sophie Kiwala: In light of the fact that when this committee met the last time, on May 30, 2017, the PCs and the NDP chose to delay the process of selecting ministries for hearings, which prevented the ministries from preparing during the summer, as well as the fact that the committee is only scheduled to meet once during the week of September 18 due to the International Plowing Match, therefore, I move that this committee meet to consider the first ministries’ estimates at 9 a.m. on September 26, 2017.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Ms. Kiwala has made a motion. All those in favour of the motion?

Interjection.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Is there any debate?

Mr. Michael Harris: Yes. I think literally we could start this afternoon or tomorrow, frankly, with estimates. We know that the estimates have now been tabled; the ministries are all here this morning witnessing our pick. We think we’re giving sufficient time by bringing the committee back the following Wednesday and we anticipate, due to their resources, that they’ll have sufficient time to do that.

We have to report estimates, as you are aware, by a certain timeline. This will ensure that many of the picks that the three parties have given today—that they will have their opportunity to duly question those ministries with regards to those estimates. So I would entertain and welcome that we move forward with sitting next Wednesday, which will give ample time for preparation.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Further debate? Mr. Potts.

Mr. Arthur Potts: A half day or a few hours on Wednesday afternoon is hardly worth it, just coming back from the plowing match, so I’ll be voting against that suggestion.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Further debate? Mr. Harris.

Mr. Michael Harris: You’re suggesting that we come back Wednesday the 26th, or the Tuesday?

Ms. Sophie Kiwala: The 26th at 9 a.m.

Mr. Michael Harris: Which is a Tuesday.

Ms. Sophie Kiwala: Tuesday.

The Chair (Ms. Cheri DiNovo): Further debate? Are we ready to take a vote on this? Hearing nothing, we’ll take the vote. All in favour of Ms. Kiwala’s motion? All opposed? It’s carried. Duly noted.

Any further business? I declare that this committee is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 0909.

STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES

Chair / Présidente

Ms. Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale–High Park ND)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Michael Mantha (Algoma–Manitoulin ND)

Mr. Mike Colle (Eglinton–Lawrence L)

Mme Nathalie Des Rosiers (Ottawa–Vanier L)

Ms. Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale–High Park ND)

Mr. Michael Harris (Kitchener–Conestoga PC)

Ms. Ann Hoggarth (Barrie L)

Ms. Sophie Kiwala (Kingston and the Islands / Kingston et les Îles L)

Mr. Michael Mantha (Algoma–Manitoulin ND)

Mr. Arthur Potts (Beaches–East York L)

Mr. Todd Smith (Prince Edward–Hastings PC)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr. Eric Rennie

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Carrie Hull, research officer,
Research Services

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