Official Records for 4 November 2010

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO

ASSEMBLÉE LÉGISLATIVE DE L’ONTARIO

Thursday 4 November 2010 Jeudi 4 novembre 2010

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOOD GOVERNMENT ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA SAINE
GESTION PUBLIQUE

TIME ALLOCATION

SECURING PENSION BENEFITS NOW
AND FOR THE FUTURE ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA PÉRENNITÉ
DES PRESTATIONS DE RETRAITE

TICKET SPECULATION
AMENDMENT ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LE TRAFIC DES BILLETS
DE SPECTACLE

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

ORAL QUESTIONS

HOSPITAL SERVICES

GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS

TAXATION

TAXATION

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

ROAD SAFETY

GOVERNMENT SERVICES

POWER PLANT

WIND TURBINES

ENERGY POLICIES

VETERANS’ LICENCE PLATES

WORKPLACE SAFETY
AND INSURANCE BOARD

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

ACCESS TO PUBLIC LANDS

HUMAN RIGHTS

CORRECTION OF RECORD

MEMBER’S BIRTHDAY

DEFERRED VOTES

GOOD GOVERNMENT ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA SAINE
GESTION PUBLIQUE

TIME ALLOCATION

SECURING PENSION BENEFITS NOW
AND FOR THE FUTURE ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA PÉRENNITÉ
DES PRESTATIONS DE RETRAITE

LEGISLATIVE PAGES

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

MEMBERS’ STATEMENTS

JOSEPH SIMONATO

ASSISTIVE DEVICES PROGRAM

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

BOB REID

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

VETERANS

STEM CELL AND MARROW DONATION

POLISH INDEPENDENCE DAY

REPORTS BY COMMITTEES

STANDING COMMITTEE
ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

RESPECT FOR ONTARIO VETERANS,
SOLDIERS AND WAR DEAD ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LE RESPECT
DES ANCIENS COMBATTANTS,
DES SOLDATS ET DES MORTS
PAR FAIT DE GUERRE DE L’ONTARIO

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CREDIT
SCORING BAN ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 INTERDISANT
LE RECOURS AU POINTAGE DE CRÉDIT
POUR L’ASSURANCE
PROPRIÉTAIRE OCCUPANT

REMEMBRANCE DAY

PETITIONS

REPLACEMENT WORKERS

CEMETERIES

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

HOME WARRANTY PROGRAM

SAEED MALEKPOUR

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES

PENSION PLANS

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

HEALTH CARE FUNDING

PRIVATE MEMBERS’
PUBLIC BUSINESS

KATELYN BEDARD BONE MARROW AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2010 /
LOI KATELYN BEDARD DE 2010
SUR LE MOIS DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AU DON DE MOELLE OSSEUSE

AGGREGATE EXTRACTION

G20 PUBLIC INQUIRY ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 CONCERNANT
LA TENUE D’UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE
SUR LE SOMMET DU G20

KATELYN BEDARD BONE MARROW AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2010 /
LOI KATELYN BEDARD DE 2010
SUR LE MOIS DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AU DON DE MOELLE OSSEUSE

AGGREGATE EXTRACTION

G20 PUBLIC INQUIRY ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 CONCERNANT
LA TENUE D’UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE
SUR LE SOMMET DU G20

ORDERS OF THE DAY

KATELYN BEDARD BONE MARROW AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2010 /
LOI KATELYN BEDARD DE 2010
SUR LE MOIS DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AU DON DE MOELLE OSSEUSE

The House met at 0900.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Good morning. Please remain standing for the Lord’s Prayer, followed by the Jewish prayer.

Prayers.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOOD GOVERNMENT ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA SAINE
GESTION PUBLIQUE

Resuming the debate adjourned on October 28, 2010, on the motion for second reading of Bill 110, An Act to promote good government by amending or repealing certain Acts / Projet de loi 110, Loi visant à promouvoir une saine gestion publique en modifiant ou en abrogeant certaines lois.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Further debate?

Seeing none, Mr. Bentley has moved second reading of Bill 110. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour will say “aye.”

All those opposed will say “nay.”

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

This vote will be deferred to the conclusion of question period.

Second reading vote deferred.

TIME ALLOCATION

Resuming the debate adjourned on November 3, 2010, on the motion relating to time allocation on Bill 122, An Act to increase the financial accountability of organizations in the broader public sector / Projet de loi 122, Loi visant à accroître la responsabilisation financière des organismes du secteur parapublic.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Further debate?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Just a few words on this bill just to complete it: We’re obviously against the time allocation motion, and we just want to remind people that the bill doesn’t do what the public believes it’s going to do. Yes, it prohibits the lobbyists from being hired using public dollars, but private dollars, as it relates to the community colleges or universities, can be used to hire lobbyists. The practice will continue.

It’s not as if we’ve ended the practice of lobbyists; it will continue. That loophole remains. God bless the lobbyists. God bless all these people who make good money trying to talk to the ministers and the politicians. They’re not out of business yet. This province is open for business, any time of the day, to any lobbyist named as such or renamed in any other way. They are still open for business.

Peter Kormos should become a lobbyist, for God’s sake.

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: Why? Who would he lobby for?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Just make a couple of good bucks and donate all that money to the New Democratic Party; that would be good. It’s not about you, Peter. It’s about what you can do for the party as a lobbyist.

Mr. Peter Kormos: What about the food banks?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Any leftover money that you earn, we can give to the food banks because God knows there’s a big lineup. You know these other lobbyists are not doing the food bank folks any good, because I don’t see their money being given to the needy. No, it’s all about the pecunia for themselves.

You understand the bill still says that inside lobbyists within the firm are still—

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: We are very delighted that, finally, someone stands up in the NDP and proclaims their position.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): That’s not a point of order. The honourable member may continue.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: God bless the member from Davenport.

Mr. Peter Kormos: From Cuba, from Havana. The member from Havana.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: We need you. The world needs you.

Mr. Peter Kormos: The world has him.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: The world needs him on a daily basis in this place.

Inside lobbyists can still carry on. The bill doesn’t affect them. In fact, it says inside lobbyists can still do the good work they do. You understand, the bill simply allows those good people to continue to be open for business and to do what they’ve always done; that is, make money for so little, because that is the nature of the job.

How many of the people who used to work for ministers leave this place and become consultants and lobbyists? This happens by the dozens, by the thousands. They have the inside track; they still know staff that remains there. They can call John, Peter and Paul and say, “Hey. How you doing? Let’s have coffee.” And immediately that is a net benefit of 5,000 or 10,000 bucks, depending on what it is that he’s trying to do, because every meeting you get, every phone call you make that is received by the other side—

Mr. Peter Kormos: Billable hours.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: You just bill for them, right? Better than lawyers, because I think they get more money.

God knows, I remember when I was in government, and someone I know wanted access to the Minister of the Environment. I thought, “Okay. What’s the idea?” I needed to know that the idea was something that I could support; I needed to know that first. Then I said, “Okay. I’m going to arrange a meeting with the staff,” which I did. He tells me later that I saved him loads of money—look how naive I was—because I was doing the work of a consultant for free because I felt it was my job to link people up if they had good ideas and they couldn’t get meetings with the minister, right? But he told me that he would pay up to $20,000 to get a meeting with a minister. God bless. I said, “Holy cow! I could have been rich.” Every time I arranged such a meeting, I could have been loaded with money, with the pecunia that so many desperately want and adore.

0910

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Open up a side company, then.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: But that’s the thing. So many do. How many Conservatives do that on the side? Not to name names, because some of you are—

Mr. Peter Kormos: Mike Harris works for a law firm now, and he’s not a lawyer.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Look at Mike Harris. I think he’s earning $100,000 a year. Or is that peanuts? I’m sure he’s earning more than that.

Mr. Peter Kormos: A mere bagatelle.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: That is Mike Harris. I know not everybody can be a Premier and earn the top bucks, but the guy killed our pensions and left with a—

Interjection.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: I know, Peter Kormos. Thank you.

He leaves with 860,000 bucks and the rest of us are left holding the bag. You fine people and oh so many Tories who got elected in 1995—we’re just getting 4,000 bucks in RRSPs. Mike left with pecunia. He could barely carry them bags; that’s right. He did okay.

Not to mention all the fine Liberals who have left to become consultants, because it’s a much more positive term than “lobbyist”—such a loaded, negative word. So consultants are making good money. Liberals are open for business. The bill doesn’t eliminate that business. They can still carry on and do their fine work; not to worry.

But the public believes, based on what the Liberals are saying, “We closed that door. It’s gone; that’s it; we did it,” because the Auditor General said, “Do this and the job is done.” So the Liberals stood up and said, “We did what he said. The job is done. No more work to be done.”

That loophole that the Auditor General identified was closed, but all the other loopholes are still there so that people can carry on and do what they’ve always done. It’s still—

Mr. Dave Levac: Don’t be cynical, Rosie.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: But you need to say what needs to be said. It is so hurtful to me to know that so many non-profit organizations—4,500—who are strapped for money, and have been strapped for the last 15 years, used some their meagre resources to hire consultants to give them access to this government, hoping that in using some well-connected Liberal consultant they might get a few more dollars. But there’s nothing to give. There’s a $20-billion deficit; they should know that. Liberals are not about to give any money to anybody. Consultants and lobbyists should be out of business by now, you would think. With this deficit, no appeal can be made to any minister, because every minister is going to say, “I’d like to help you, but we’ve got a big debt here, a big deficit. Come back another time. Come back after the next election. I’m sure we can find money then.”

In the meantime, poor non-profits, desperate for money, are paying lobbyists to try to get access and to try to get a few dollars. It’s sad. In my mind, it is a sad, sad story. When I think about this bill, when I’m trying to think whether there’s something positive—you want to try to be positive from time to time, because otherwise people say, “You’re always so negative.” It is true that the Liberals did listen to the Auditor General; they did. Is that a good thing? Yeah. What else could they do? On a positive note, they said, “We told the Auditor General to go in and investigate.” Even better. So I want to thank you for appointing or telling the Auditor General to just go do the job. On the day that he released the report you had a bill ready to go, because you wanted to do something to show goodwill. You had the bill ready to go, the very same day. So you did that. That’s good. You got to say that. Otherwise, when the rump is in tears, some of us have to help out, right?

I love to see the rump because often these benches here are empty. You say, “Where are they?” And every now and then, my good friend from Scarborough–Rouge River says, “They’re in the front benches, filling in seats.” Which was a good observation, because I thought, “Gee, they’re not here.” But they are here, sitting in the front benches warming up those seats, just getting ready to become ministers of the crown, right? So they are here. Somebody else isn’t here. So when they’re not praising you, I’ve got to do the praising.

You’ve done something good. You could do a little more, but it’s not the Liberal way. The Liberal way is only to do what you can get away with. Just do a little bit so that you can say, “It’s historic.”

Mr. Peter Kormos: And then there’s Gordon Campbell.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Gordon Campbell—God bless him. It was honourable.

Mr. Peter Kormos: One down, one to go.

Mr. Rosario Marchese: It was time to go. And as my good friend from Welland says, when is the next one coming?

But as Jim Coyle of the Toronto Star said, I don’t think the Premier is going anywhere, because I think he likes the job. I think he believes he can persuade people that it’s a good thing: the GST was good, free trade was good, the harmonized sales tax is good. We have high unemployment throughout the world, we’re losing middle-class jobs and everything is good. Don’t worry; the Premier will be able to persuade people that the HST is good.

While the popularity of this government is plummeting by the day, don’t worry, fine Liberals, the Premier will save you. Seventy-six percent of respondents say they would like to see another party in power, but not you. Stick around. Be firm. Be strong. It’ll be fine.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Seeing none, Ms. Smith has moved government notice of motion number 32. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour, please say “aye.”

All those opposed, please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

We will defer this vote until after question period today.

Vote deferred.

SECURING PENSION BENEFITS NOW
AND FOR THE FUTURE ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA PÉRENNITÉ
DES PRESTATIONS DE RETRAITE

Resuming the debate adjourned on October 26, 2010, on the motion for second reading of Bill 120, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Act and the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010 / Projet de loi 120, Loi modifiant la Loi sur les régimes de retraite et la Loi de 2010 modifiant la Loi sur les régimes de retraite.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Pursuant to the order of the House dated November 3, 2010, I’m now required to put the question.

On October 25, 2010, Ms. Smith moved second reading of Bill 120, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Act and the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the motion will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

We will also vote on this matter in deferred votes after question period today.

Second reading vote deferred.

TICKET SPECULATION
AMENDMENT ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 MODIFIANT LA LOI
SUR LE TRAFIC DES BILLETS
DE SPECTACLE

Resuming the debate adjourned on November 3, 2010, on the motion for second reading of Bill 172, An Act to amend the Ticket Speculation Act / Projet de loi 172, Loi modifiant la Loi sur le trafic des billets de spectacle.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): When Bill 172 was last before the House, Mr. Kormos had completed his remarks. It’s time for questions and comments on the member for Welland’s remarks. Questions and comments?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: I know the member from Welland talked about scalping being illegal, and I was thinking to myself, “If it’s illegal, why aren’t we enforcing the law?” Why do we have so many police over on Bathurst north of St. Clair every day aiming that gun trying to catch people who are speeding? There are no residents over there, right? Some mornings, there are two policemen; some mornings, three; some mornings, four; and some mornings, one. What the heck are they doing? Maybe they saved them all up for the G20 so they could just bring them all together because they need them there, and really enforce the law during that kind of serious preoccupation—against threats to the world.

So you say to yourself, “If scalping is against the law, why isn’t the Liberal government enforcing it? Why isn’t the Liberal government telling and directing police to root out this particular problem?” To me, it’s a big wonder. So that’s one question I’ve got.

0920

The other question I have is that, when you think about this issue, the government obviously is saying, “We’re going to eliminate the potential collusion there is between Ticketmaster, which sells tickets, and the corresponding related company, because there is money to be made, and it’s in the courts to deem whether this is collusion.” Of course it’s collusion. This arm says to the other, “Yeah, you can buy and resell, and we’re going to make some of that money.” Naturally there’s collusion. But it doesn’t solve the problem because brokers are still going to be able to buy and resell. Nobody’s controlling those big brokers buying and reselling.

I have a solution, member from Welland. My view is let’s boycott these events. Let’s boycott sports events and other concert events. That will teach them a lesson. That will bring down prices real quick.

Mr. Peter Kormos: That means you’re not going to the Lady Gaga concert?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: That’s right. It’s a suggestion of mine.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further questions and comments?

Mr. Michael A. Brown: I think we all need to agree that consumers need protection and they need protection for buying tickets for hockey games—

Interjection.

Mr. Michael A. Brown: Member for Simcoe, tickets to the Islanders at Little Current and tickets to the Beavers at Blind River are not a huge problem as far as this particular concern, although both have very worthy hockey teams that we should go see.

My folks even in Algoma–Manitoulin attend concerts around the province, they attend sporting events around the province, and they know that they want a fair-priced ticket. They want to know that there is not collusion amongst—we’ve heard about Ticketmaster, but others. People are concerned in a number of jurisdictions.

I think this is a key point: What this legislation actually does is harmonize our laws with those of jurisdictions around the country and around the US so that we will be able to enforce our laws so that our consumers will be protected. It is important that people know that they are getting value for money and that they are not having the price of the ticket manipulated by large powerful corporations that have the ability to buy large blocks of tickets etc. I think this is a good step forward.

I remember, and my good friends in the New Democrats can remember, the first time we dealt with this issue in my time, which would be back in about 1988 or 1989. Our good friend Gilles Pouliot came to me, and he said, “You know, I just spent an hour trying to explain free enterprise to the third party.” I thought it was entertaining, and Gilles was always on the mark.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further questions and comments?

Mr. Ted Chudleigh: Gilles understood free enterprise. I could tell: He was the only member of the NDP I ever knew who had more than one Rolex watch. They know that.

We were talking about the member for Welland’s comments, though we got a little carried away from there, and I agree with most of what the member said. This bill will do nothing. It will do nothing to create one more seat at any venue in Ontario. It will do nothing to save one purchaser of those seats one thin dime. This bill, make no mistake, will do nothing.

Where I separate from the member for Welland is on his use of the word “collusion.” He assumes that there is collusion. The Competition Bureau of Canada did an exhaustive investigation into the relationship between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow, and they found no sign of collusion. The US competition bureau did an investigation on TicketsNow and Ticketmaster after the New Jersey Bruce Springsteen concert, and they found no example of collusion.

I would suggest to the member from Welland that he uses the word “collusion” in relation to this bill outside this House at his own peril. You are protected in this House; you are not protected outside the House, and I challenge the member to use the word “collusion” in dealing with this when he exits this chamber. We’ll see how his commitment to this assertion, whether or not it’s—

Mr. Rosario Marchese: Do you have an interest in Ticketmaster?

Mr. Ted Chudleigh: Do I have an interest in Ticketmaster? I say, no, I do not. But I do have an interest in legislation that comes before this House that is a complete and total sham. That’s what this legislation is: It’s a complete and total sham on the people of Ontario.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further questions and comments?

Mr. Michael Prue: I had an opportunity to hear most of the speech the other day from my colleague from Welland, and he tells it like it is. That’s what he does. He stands in this House and he tells it like it is.

For my honourable friend who just spoke, the member from Halton, if the member from Welland uses the word “collusion” in this House, it’s because he can. It’s because we are protected inside this House from telling it like it is.

What is happening out there on the street when people try to buy tickets is that they’re getting ripped off. We all know they’re getting ripped off. We know that if you go out and try to buy a ticket for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game—given the way that they’re playing, I don’t know why anybody would—

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: They’re playing good.

Mr. Michael Prue: No, no; they lost again last night.

But you know, if you go out and try to buy one of those tickets from a scalper, you know you’re going to pay two or three times the cost of that. If you want to go and watch Lady Gaga or anything else, and if you don’t have a ticket, you’re going to pay two or three times that.

When I was a municipal councillor, I had the opportunity over many years to meet a wonderful councillor by the name of Howard Moscoe. Howard Moscoe did not shy away from things. He put himself through school, through university, his young life, by being a ticket scalper. He can tell you wonderful stories. He thought it was great free enterprise. He made thousands of dollars a week scalping tickets. To listen to his stories of how things are done and how people are willing to pay, it’s truly mind-boggling.

This bill—I don’t understand all of sudden why the Liberals have brought it back. This sat in limbo for months and months and months with nothing being done. I guess you’re running out of legislation to talk about in the House, so I guess that’s why we’re here.

I commend the member from Welland; he always tells it like it is.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): The member for Welland has two minutes for his response.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Speaker, I’ll tell you this: I’m not a shill for Ticketmaster, that’s for sure. I know that there are lobbyists on this file because they did contact my office and wanted to speak to me. I have no interest whatsoever in speaking to them because I can read the legislation. I understand the pros and cons. I can analyze it without the help of high-priced lobbyists.

As I say, I have no idea who they were lobbying for. I suspect it might be Ticketmaster; I’m not sure. But let’s understand one thing: Ticketmaster owns TicketsNow. I suppose this isn’t so much a matter of collusion. Collusion is if Mr. Zimmer and I, as independent parties, agree to do something together, as compared to a company that owns the other company; they’re one and the same.

The problem is that this legislation won’t even prevent TicketsNow from selling tickets at inflated prices. All that Ticketmaster has to do is bow out of the selling of tickets at face-value prices. It’s as simple as that.

As for TicketsNow and Ticketmaster, one should flesh it out and tell all of the components, because in New Jersey, Ticketmaster had to pay the Springsteen operation $350,000 in compensation. For an operation that is so pristine, it seems to me that they settled to the tune of over a third of a million dollars to avoid the consequences of litigation, and I understand that.

As I say, I’m not a shill for Ticketmaster. I could care less about Ticketmaster, quite frankly. I have no interest in them. I don’t know them; if I did know them, I may or may not like them. Who knows? Who cares? The fact is that this legislation is grossly ineffective. It will not serve the goal that it purports to serve.

I would like to hear Mr. Zimmer, the parliamentary assistant, and his legal analysis of the bill and the legislation that it’s amending, and why the government hasn’t enforced that legislation.

0930

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. David Zimmer: Let me offer these comments. First of all, by way of background: The first legislation governing ticket speculation in Ontario was introduced in 1960. That’s 50 years ago. For the last 50 years, Ontario has recognized the need to regulate and bring some order to this activity. So that legislation was introduced in 1960.

The first test case of the propriety and constitutionality of that piece of legislation was in 1967. That was the Fink case, which the member for Welland referred to, on which Mr. Justice Edson Haines offered his thoughts and analysis of the constitutionality and effect of that legislation.

Yesterday, the member for Welland referred to Justice Edson Haines and his reputation on the bench and so on. I can say that way, way back, many years ago when I was a very junior lawyer, I had occasion to appear before Mr. Justice Edson Haines—along with the senior lawyer of course; I carried the senior lawyer’s briefcase and handed him his talking points, if you will. But I had occasion to sit in the courtroom and listen to that very wise-looking and indeed wise judicial authority who had a deep appreciation of the technicalities of the law and also of the social purposes of the law.

With respect to the social purposes behind the Ticket Speculation Act, let me just quote from that 1967 decision. I say to my colleagues in this chamber that the philosophy or the intent that Mr. Justice Haines described the legislation as having is really the same intent, purpose and philosophy today, albeit with some changes, and I want to talk about those changes.

The world in 1960, in terms of ticket speculation, and in 1967, when Justice Edson Haines offered his remarks, was a much smaller world. We were talking about a $4 ticket that someone scalped for $25. It was typically—my friend opposite referred to Howard Moscoe working his way through college and university by ticket scalping—a small, sort of one-on-one operation. An individual would get his hands on a couple of tickets—stand out in front of typically a football stadium or hockey arena and personally buy three or four tickets—and then try to peddle them at the door for a markup as people were going in. The scalper might sell three or four tickets, make 50 or 60 bucks that night, as Howard did, put it in his pocket, pay for his tuition and away he went.

But the world has changed. Today, ticket sales for the big sports events, the big rock concerts—all the big stuff that goes on at the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre and the stadiums and so on—is big, big, mega-business. Big primary operators buy blocks of tickets. But the mischief is that usually the primary ticket buyer has a subsidiary company set up. The primary ticket company is called X and the subsidiary company is called Y, and there’s a business relationship between those two entities, between X and Y, the primary and the secondary.

The primary company, X, holds on to tickets. Big advertisement campaign—the concert is coming to downtown; the football game is on—you’ve got to have these tickets, here’s the price. People call up, and those tickets are quickly sold, because a substantial portion of the tickets have been reserved for the secondary company, Y. If there’s a business relationship between the primary and the secondary, between X and Y, that’s a manipulation of the market, if you will, and that’s the mischief that this legislation is intended to get at.

The legislation is not—I want to make it quite clear—intended to deal with the situation where my friend from Welland has tickets for a game at the Rogers Centre, because he’s a great fan of sports events at the Rogers Centre. He’s got two very expensive tickets—$200 each—and he finds that he can’t go because we’re having a midnight sitting and he wants to be here to speak. So he calls up his personal friend—it’s a relationship between the member for Welland and his friend here in town; it might be his friend from Beaches–East York—and he offers the tickets to his friend for Beaches–East York. They agree on a price and he sells it to his friend. That’s not the sort of mom-and-pop small-time operation that this legislation is intended to get at. It’s intended to get at those larger operations where there’s a business model that has been thought through and the business model is a primary and a secondary company, a block of tickets, they’ve got a lock on the market and the price in the secondary market is pumped way up.

I want to remind members what the Attorney General said on second reading of this bill on October 21 here in this chamber, and then I’m going to just expand on a couple of things that I want to make really clear. He said, “Mr. Speaker, since the first reading we have been responding to concerns brought to our attention by stakeholders to ensure that the wording of this legislation properly reflects the types of arrangements we want to deter.” Let me say that again: We want to make sure “that the wording of this legislation properly reflects the types of arrangements we want to deter.” We do not want to deter that activity where somebody holding concert tickets, symphony tickets, rock tickets or sports tickets wants to get rid of those tickets because he or she can’t use them. We are after the larger business model, primary and secondary companies, where a huge block of tickets are obtained, where there’s a relationship, an inherent and inchoate business relationship, if you think of it that way. We want to ensure that that business relationship, that business model, does not continue to create this situation where the same entity, if you will, controls the primary and the secondary markets.

As a consequence of wanting to make it very clear that we’re not after the mom-and-pop operation, somebody getting rid of some tickets that they can’t use that night, we are planning to introduce some amendments at the committee, amendments to the original bill that was introduced last year. I can tell you that those amendments are going to reflect this thought: We’re not targeting season ticket holders selling off extra tickets at face value because they find they can’t use the tickets that night. The legislation is directed to a corporate structure where there is an inherent business relationship, if you will, between a primary and a secondary operation where the tickets are sold in the secondary market at a substantially higher price than they are in the primary market. That’s the mischief that this legislation is intended to deal with.

Let me go back to Mr. Justice Haines in the Fink decision, because as I said, the original piece of legislation was from 1960, and really the first case that commented on it was in 1967. I said that Justice Haines was both a superb technical lawyer and a superb observer of the social intent behind legislation. This is what he said about the intent of the legislation, staying away from the technical aspects—this is the philosophy behind the legislation then; it continues to remain the philosophy behind the legislation today. He said: “In my opinion, this act is best classified as one of regulation. It is designed to regulate the orderly sale of tickets to places of entertainment and amusement in Ontario for the benefit of those persons connected with these industries as well as for the benefit of the entire public”—that is, the entire Ontario public.

He goes on to talk about speculators, or scalpers as they’re often called. He refers to them as persons who “operate to buy up varying quantities of tickets to various types of performances in order to place themselves in the positions of monopolists with respect to the resale of the tickets.” That’s what this legislation today is intended to get at: that inherent business-model relationship between a primary and a secondary market being effectively operated by the same entity. It places that entity in the position of a monopolist. You have no control over the price in the secondary market because the secondary market is, in effect, owned and managed by the owners of the primary market.

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Justice Haines then goes on to say: “By then reselling these tickets at highly inflated prices, they deprive many persons of modest means of attending certain performances, and they also cause great resentment in many of those to whom they do, in fact, sell.”

We almost have a class structure kind of thing here, where people want to go to these concerts, but they have to go to the secondary market. The prices are high, high, high, and it freezes out people of modest means who, in these tough economic times, have to spend their entertainment dollars wisely. Working people of modest means have every right to access, at a fair price, a Maple Leafs game, a football game or a rock concert. They ought not to be frozen out by monopolists.

Justice Haines then goes on to say, in a very wise statement, “The victims of these practices, if they were allowed, would be both those persons whose lives are associated with the entertainment and amusement industries as well as the entire public. In Ontario, we owe much of our cultural heritage to the performing arts and to the various spectator sports which provide enjoyment and pleasure to all of us, and it would seem appropriate to me for the Legislature to take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to protect these aspects of our lives from the dangers of unchecked ticket speculation.”

Those are the words of a very wise judge, spoken in 1967, 43 years ago, about a piece of legislation that was originally introduced in 1960, 50 years ago. I say to the members of this Legislature that that philosophy is the philosophy that continues to be behind this legislation.

I’ve spoken about and I’ve made reference to our intention because when the legislation was first introduced, of course, it went out to the public. We got a lot of comments back and, as the Attorney General said on October 21, it’s not our intention to go after the individual season ticket holders, for instance, who find that they can’t use their tickets that evening to prevent them from disposing of those tickets.

We want to bring order and fairness to that aspect of the market that Justice Haines referred to, which, if not properly regulated and controlled, will allow monopolists into the system to control both a large primary market and an even larger secondary market because there’s an inherent business relationship between the operators of the primary market and the operators of the secondary market. If it’s the same person, and there’s a business relationship there, of course the person operating both of those markets, given a choice, will want to sell a ticket through the secondary market and get X-plus dollars rather than sell it through the primary market and just get X dollars.

In summary, when you think about what Justice Edson Haines said, when you think about the intent behind this legislation and when you take into account the amendments that we will introduce at committee hearings, this, in its last analysis, is a piece of consumer legislation to make it fair for all Ontarians, no matter what their station in life, so that they have reasonable and fair access when they are purchasing and spending their entertainment dollars, be it on the arts and theatre and symphonies or athletic events—so that they are treated fairly in the market. That’s what this legislation is all about.

I’m very pleased and very happy that our government has brought this in. I have heard from many, many people on this issue. I hear from my daughter. I hear from my daughter’s friends. I hear from my nephew. I hear from constituents in Willowdale. I get emails on this. The gist of all of the comments is, “I saw an event advertised”—a big sports event, a big arts or cultural event, a big concert—“and tickets were going on sale at X day at X time. I called right away and they were out of tickets. I got referred to another operation. I called there, and yes, they’ve got tickets, but the tickets are substantially pricier than the first company that I called.” Reasonable-thinking people know and feel in their gut that that’s unfair.

So here we are, 50 years after the original legislation was introduced. When the legislation was introduced, in 1960, it was a very different world. I’m repeating myself, but I want to make it very clear that in those days the typical, if you will, speculator or so-called scalper was a small operation: Get a couple of tickets and sell them—stand outside the event—to somebody going in the door. Sell them for a little extra money. Make $50 or $60; maybe make $100 if you’ve got three or four or five tickets. But the world has changed 50 years later, and we have these big, mega-business models where the potential is that an operator can operate the primary market, advertise, put a limited number of tickets on sale through the primary market. That quickly sells out; refer the potential purchasers to the secondary market. We’re talking about events at the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre where 25,000 or 30,000 people attend—the big sports events, the big rock concerts. This is a big big-money operation; and we want to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and reasonable access.

This is a very good piece of consumer legislation.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Questions and comments?

Mr. Ted Chudleigh: I was of the opinion that the first scalping legislation was brought into Ontario around 1910—that was some research that was given to me—not 1960, as the member pointed out. I was surprised his research didn’t show that legislation went back that far in our history. I would appreciate the member’s comments on that. Perhaps his research on the rest of this bill is as wanting as the research on that, on the longevity of the legislation in Ontario.

What he’s talking about—he’s not talking about a huge number of companies; he’s not talking about even a handful of companies—is one company. The only company in Ontario that has a relationship with a reseller is Ticketmaster. They have a relationship with TicketsNow. The collusion that they talk about, the block of tickets that Ticketmaster supposedly sold to TicketsNow, is a figment of someone’s imagination because the Competition Bureau of Canada did an exhaustive examination of the relationship between those companies and found no examples whatsoever of collusion. They gave both those companies a clean stamp of approval.

Therefore, what this bill is designed to protect it is not going to do, because it doesn’t exist in Ontario in the first place. And secondly, it is going to make TicketsNow impossible to operate in Ontario, thereby reducing competition in the secondary market. Even this government must recognize that with reduced competition you increase prices. So this legislation could very well increase prices of tickets in the province of Ontario.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Questions and comments?

Mr. Peter Kormos: Somebody here has been lobbied, extensively, I believe.

Mr. Ted Chudleigh: Say that outside of the House.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Oh, I will. The member for Halton should perhaps correct his record. I just had the legislative library obtain my Hansard from yesterday and scan it for the word “collusion.” The word did not appear in the Hansard search. The word “collusion” was not used by me yesterday. It was used by Mr. Chudleigh. That’s obviously the spin that some lobbyist wants him to use here in the chamber.

The reality is that I’m not a shill for Ticketmaster. At the same time, I have no interest whatsoever in accepting this government’s pathetic rationale or lack of rationale for this legislation because it won’t address the problem. It will tune up Ticketmaster all right, but the existing legislation could do that as well because of the offence of attempting to purchase or purchasing for the purpose of reselling. In fact, that also addresses—the existing legislation—the matter of arm’s-length resellers. This amendment does not address arm’s-length resellers who will continue to make millions of dollars at the expense of consumers.

The other reality is that people are paying these prices. The market sustains this. These concerts, even with scalped tickets by the computer scalping process, the big corporate scalpers—people are still buying the tickets, and as I read the newspapers these concerts are sold out. What more can I say? Perhaps the performers and their corporate operations should tune in to that.

Will the member for Halton correct his record when he alleged earlier today—stated, in fact—that I used the word “collusion,” but in fact it does not appear in the Hansard of yesterday’s comments by me. Shame on him.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further questions and comments?

Mr. Bob Delaney: I have a good friend who is a journalist in the state of Illinois, and he was talking to me about a story that they did a number of years ago about tickets and ticket reselling. They found one guy who had arranged to line up, and he was number one in line when tickets for a concert went on sale. He had camped out for nearly two or three days, and when he got there, anticipating that he’d be able to buy his favourite seats—front row, dead centre—he found out that all that was available were a bunch of tickets way out in the bleachers somewhere up in the nosebleed section. All the prime seats had gone. Shameful. This legislation is here to protect against that very kind of practice in which the ticket vendor just flips a whole bunch of tickets to a wholly owned subsidiary.

I think this legislation is about people like him who lined up, and not merely the ticket purchasers. What about the people who do the set-up and the takedown? Don’t they deserve a share of the value in a concert? Right at the moment, if you can flip a big block of tickets, they don’t get a dime. What about the people who sell the refreshments? What about the people who act as ushers? If all you’re doing is flipping your tickets to a wholly owned reseller, they don’t get a dime, and that’s the kind of person that this legislation needs to protect. How much money does TicketsNow pay them? Nothing; absolutely nothing.

This is 50-year-old legislation that could not anticipate the computer-driven, high-tech, high-volume, wholesale appropriation of value that basically takes from performers, promoters, exhibitors, staff and the people who attend, and just puts the money in their pocket and runs. It’s time for this legislation. This is good legislation. Let’s pass it now.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further questions and comments?

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: Just a quick comment on what we’ve been hearing this morning. As I sit here I’m getting somewhat concerned that the proposers of this legislation have absolutely no idea what problem it is they’re trying to correct. We’re all talking about different things. The last comment made was about how the people in the venue of the presentation are not getting the same money they would get if every ticket had been sold by the venue itself. Of course, the money going into the venue and to the people who are performing stays the same regardless of how those tickets are sold beyond that.

The other thing I have a little problem understanding is how we have a system that allows people to take tickets and sell them for different prices. Why are the people who are providing the entertainment not selling them at the higher prices so that they could use that money to pay the people who work in the venue a little bit more money? Why are the prices set that way? Obviously there must be a reason—the scalpers who stand outside the stadium as I’m going to the ball game and buy the ticket—why they’re doing that: because they weren’t being sold any other way. I think we want to make sure that the legislation has to protect the consumer, that we don’t turn around and make it impossible for those excess tickets to be sold at a later time so that they can at least fill the seats in the stadium and get a return for the tickets that are there.

With that, I will have an opportunity to speak to this bill a little later.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): The honourable member for Willowdale has two minutes for his response.

Mr. David Zimmer: In answer to the member from Halton, who has been grinding on now for a couple of days about why he thinks this legislation is not needed, let me refer once again to the Attorney General’s remarks of October 21, when he spoke on second reading.

The member from Halton said: “There are some across the floor who would argue that stronger enforcement of existing laws should be enough, that the Ontario consumer is already adequately protected.” That’s the position of the member from Halton. In answer to that, the Attorney General said:

“But while ticket scalping has been illegal in Ontario for a long time”—that’s obvious—“the advent of Internet ticket sales in 1996 and the development of software to defeat attempts by ticket agencies to limit Internet sales to a certain number per customer makes enforcing the existing laws extremely difficult. In addition, the maximum fines to deter scalpers have not been enough. We need to do more.”

We need to do more because, as I said in my longer remarks a few minutes ago, it’s a different world today than it was in 1960 and 1967, when we were dealing with mom and pop selling extra tickets outside a local event.

As the Attorney General said in his remarks, since the advent of Internet ticket sales in 1996, and the whole computer revolution and the development of software and going into your computer and buying blocks and blocks of tickets, it’s a whole different order of magnitude.

The world changes, and it’s incumbent upon the government to deal with the circumstances of the day. This legislation does that.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I’m pleased to rise today to speak to Bill 172, An Act to amend the Ticket Speculation Act. As I start, I have here a printout from the National Post, May 5, 2009. It would have been about the time this bill was introduced, and I find it interesting. It states: “Too little attention was paid last week as Ontario’s Attorney General did what governments do best: pander to public perception. Seems like no issue is too small and no public misconception so stupid or wrong that it cannot be answered with legislation or regulation.” He’s talking about the day that this is introduced.

I can take from that, then, that the author of that in the National Post had read the legislation and come up with—I wouldn’t say “identical,” but somewhat the conclusion I came up with as I was reading the legislation. I wanted to refer to it, if I could. The explanatory note, of course, is always the first place I look when I receive a new piece of legislation, to explain what it is that needs doing and how this bill proposes to do that. I read from the explanatory note:

“The bill amends the Ticket Speculation Act to provide that it is an offence for related primary and secondary sellers to make available for sale in Ontario tickets for admission to the same event. An individual who is convicted of this offence is liable to a maximum fine of $5,000; a corporation is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000. The Attorney General”—and I think this is the interesting part; this is in the explanation—“is given the power to make regulations exempting any person or class of persons from the act and prescribing conditions attaching to an exemption.”

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We already have the rules against the reselling of tickets, the scalping outside the venue, and yet it’s not working well enough. Well, I expect that that may have something to do with the fact that it’s not being enforced at all, so we wouldn’t expect it to work really well. We are now, it would appear, applying a piece of legislation to certain groups or types of people that are different from the rest, because it appears the rest is already looked after and, in case we aren’t hitting just the target we want to, we want to give the Attorney General the ability to, by regulation, readjust it to get just the right people we want.

I think the other thing that’s rather interesting and that I have some problems with is the actual wording of the act and how we define what the seller is. From my colleague from Halton, there’s been some discussion about that: how this act is really written to apply to only one individual company and a subsidiary of that company and how that works with the rest of the secondary sellers they work with.

Section 2.1 of the act states, “No primary seller shall make a ticket available for sale for admission to an event in Ontario if a ticket for admission to that same event is or has been made available for sale by a secondary seller who is related to the primary seller.” I’m not sure how that works. How does the secondary seller get to sell the ticket before the primary seller? I think there was a case where that had happened because of a computer glitch, but the truth of the matter is I don’t know why you would have a bill that says the primary seller can’t sell any tickets to a secondary seller. I guess that would mean that, upon someone who was related to anyone who owned a primary seller’s establishment scalping a ticket to the event, the primary seller could no longer sell all the tickets to that event.

The second one is the prohibition on the secondary seller: “No secondary seller shall make a ticket available for sale for admission to an event in Ontario if a ticket for admission to the same event is or has been made available for sale by a primary seller who is related to the secondary seller.” Again, we run into the same problem, as we know.

We haven’t seen enforcement of the present law. We can have a debate about whether it was from 1910 or 1960 or whenever it was, but I can assure you that the amount of enforcement of that has been somewhat limited. So we have here a new law that, it would appear, isn’t going to be enforced either.

As I was coming here to speak to this bill this morning, I found it rather interesting that just prior to us speaking to this bill, we had two closure motions on two other pieces of legislation. When you cut off debate on a piece of legislation, the assumption is that the government feels that the legislative time that is required to debate it further is going to be too great, based on the importance of the bill and the importance of further discussion. They believe that they’ve heard enough. They’re going to move forward with the bill, get it done and not use more of the House’s time.

Having done that for two bills, one of them being, I believe, a government accountability bill, it would seem to me that it’s hard to understand how the government decided that this bill is the one that requires all this debate, even to the point where I kind of wonder. When this is a two-paragraph bill that seems to direct its enforcement or its discussion towards one individual company, it would seem to me that that could have been put in a bill with something else that would then not require the House to be debating just this bill that, in the end, as the National Post says, is going to do very little in solving a problem that, it appears, the government doesn’t understand.

Yet there have been other bills that have gone before it and that were very large issues that didn’t seem to warrant having a bill of their own. They were snuck into another bill, or put into another bill for debate, along with numerous others, an omnibus bill which, of course, some would call housecleaning. But if they’re major issues, then obviously that’s not housecleaning; it’s a way of quickly getting it through with little debate.

One that I want to just touch on and I want to put on the record: Just a few weeks ago, the government forced through an omnibus bill that included changes to the livestock compensation for farmers. It’s a very important issue to our rural community and to our farmers, but apparently not important enough to have a bill, as we have this bill, and have some fulsome debate on whether they’re doing the right thing.

In that bill, in that part of that one omnibus bill, they took out the compensation for livestock; they took it out of legislation and put it in regulation. They also added it and took it out of a direct payment to the damage, and they put it in—it would be part of the AgriStability program, which of course would then, at the end of the year—if they had got a payout, they’d have to put it in, and that would be deducted from their AgriStability payments. They were also going to pay—they’ve changed the rules so that they don’t pay for the full loss of the value of the animal, only for the market value of the animal if it had been sold as it was the day it was killed.

Another thing, I think, that was very important, as I mentioned, about independent bills and putting in an omnibus bill—five years ago, this government decided that they were going to change the—and the reason this comes up, of course, is that just last week, we had a municipal election. I want to commend and congratulate all the people in Oxford county who put their name forward and also all those who were elected to represent the local municipalities for the next four years.

But I want to point out that the change from three to four years to municipal government elections was not a bill. It was part of an omnibus budget bill, in fact. When we discussed the budget—and the Speaker will be aware that there are a lot of things that warrant a lot of discussion—of course, we didn’t get the opportunity to have any extensive debate on the term of office, and that made a great difference to a lot of people in Ontario. Yet, we didn’t get to discuss that—yet again, too, on the other bills that they put forward that don’t require bills of their own.

I want to point out that in large part, this bill is actually unnecessary. Today, in the province of Ontario, it’s illegal already—and again, I go back to that—to sell tickets above their face value as a reseller. The problem here is not that we don’t have the law; it’s that the province doesn’t enforce it.

Mr. Ted Chudleigh: Just like cigarettes.

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: It’s a similar problem that we’re having with the illegal cigarettes, just as you mentioned, my colleague from Halton. Fifty per cent of the cigarettes sold in this province today, according to the information I have, are being sold illegally. We know that and we know there’s a problem, but the government refuses to address it. The Auditor General in his report said that there is at least half a billion dollars a year of taxes lost because of these illegal sales.

I think, to be honest about it—not that I don’t think we shouldn’t make sure that people are protected in the sale of tickets to special events, but I think it’s also important that we go after the problem of illegal cigarettes. First of all, we have people smoking. The government keeps telling us that a way to reduce smoking is to increase taxes on cigarettes so that people find it more difficult to buy them. That way, we will see a reduction in smoking. But in fact, if they are buying them illegally, which 50% of them now are, then we’re going to see great increases and no monitoring of government. We’ll see figures coming out of how well we’re doing in smoking cessation, and yet at the same time, smoking is increasing.

I can understand the frustration that people feel when they decide to buy a ticket and they’re told that they can’t buy the ticket for the event at the rate they thought they could, and then they have to go out and pay more money. They can still get a ticket but they have to pay more for it. I can imagine that it’s a little like voting for a government, when they promise they aren’t going to raise your taxes and then turn around right after the election and do exactly that. They told you what they were going to do, and then when they turn around, they don’t.

I imagine it’s like believing the same man when four years later, he says he isn’t going to raise your taxes, and this time, “I really mean it.” That’s what he said. But we all know what happened. We’re being hit with the HST, the tax that increases the cost of hundreds of items for people every day.

I think it’s nice that the members from the other side finally realized that the people of Ontario are not an endless source of money and that they are trying to do something to protect their wallets. But I think they’re looking in the wrong place. I think the people of Ontario are going to be smart enough to realize that the money they’re losing—the money they’re paying for the extra HST, the money they’re paying from the health tax, the money they’re paying for other taxes that the province keeps putting on them—is a far greater problem, in my community, than the fact that when they want to buy tickets to an event at the Air Canada Centre, they have to pay more for the tickets than they had originally envisioned.

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I just want to point out that when Minister Bentley introduced this bill, he said, “Ontarians work hard. They work to support their families and support our economy.” And this is a quote from Hansard. “As we all work our way through these lean economic times, we must be able to count on principles that have carried us through challenging times in the past, and one of those principles is the importance of fair business practices.

“Recently, Ontario consumers have joined the chorus of voices expressing concern and frustration over unfair ticket resale practices in Ontario. Their frustration stems from the concern that companies may make tickets available for sale to popular Ontario events on the primary market, and then, on the secondary market at much higher prices.

“The McGuinty government wants to do something about this, and so today we’re moving forward on our commitment to protect Ontario consumers.”

But just yesterday in this House, we learned about many local electricity distributor companies that have had to attend fundraisers given by the Liberal Party just to be heard by the McGuinty government. I believe that’s wrong. But the reason I put those two together is that I think there is a direct connection. When it was found that the utility companies were putting a lot of money into the government coffers—I shouldn’t say the government coffers; the Liberal Party coffers—and when they were asked about it, they said, “We didn’t know we donated to the Liberal Party. We were just paying so we could meet with the government members.” If that is what has happened and if that’s what they were led to believe, to me that is far worse than someone who intends to go to an event with the thought that they’re going to pay a certain price and who then finds out, once they’ve decided they want to go to the event, that they have to pay more because the primary tickets that were allotted are gone so they have to buy it from someone else who already owns the ticket. To me, they still have the choice to decide not to go to the event. But these people here that paid money to go to meet with the government, hopefully to get the ear of the minister as to what they’re going to do to their sector, are now told, “No, no. That money you spent wasn’t for that. In fact, to be truthful, we weren’t even listening when you were there. It was really just a fundraising thing.”

We heard yesterday in the House, in fact, that the leader of the third party had a number of letters from people who had bought those tickets and who said that they had no idea that they were going to a fundraising event and actually contributing—particularly contributing to by-elections that were nowhere near their sphere of governance for that utility. To me, we need legislation to keep that from happening much more than we need this piece of legislation that is not going to have an impact on the industry at all.

Another couple of places where I think we need some control on what government can do is when they introduced the eco fees. Not only was that wrong—and they realized that shortly afterwards, when one of the major chains, Canadian Tire, refused to collect them any more. Then the government changed their mind. But what I find troubling about that is that no one seems to want to talk about those fees that were collected from July 1 to whatever date it was that the government decided not to implement the eco fees. We seem to have forgotten about that.

It seems to me that when I go somewhere and buy something, and then if I don’t get the product, I have a right to my money back. And if I gave more money than I was supposed to pay for that, then I think that I have a right, and consumers have a right, and the people in Oxford county have a right, to get their change back. But nobody seems to talk about that.

I just want to point out, too, that one of the things that I think is important—you may know that I do try and go back to my riding on a regular basis, something like every evening, and I come back here every morning. One of the reasons I do that and the thing I like about that is it gives the person an opportunity to talk to the people in their riding as we’re having these discussions here today.

I can tell you that in the last week or two, or since May, as I go to Tim Hortons to have my coffee—and I’m not sure I want to be that commercial about it; as I go to the coffee shop to have my coffee, when I talk to people, the number one issue that they want this government to deal with is not the issue that is in this bill before us today. There are a lot of things that they think are far more important to deal with than the issue of overpaying for their tickets.

I just want to list a few of them: the ever-increasing cost of hydro; they can’t understand how the government can allow that to happen and, furthermore, they don’t even understand why it’s going up. They want to know why all these extra charges are appearing on their bill to cover the cost of government policies that had been added. Whether they’re the right policies or not is questionable, but the cost of them is added to the hydro bill.

They want to know about the HST and why, all of a sudden, they have to pay HST on the debt retirement charge that the provincial government said years ago shouldn’t have any tax on it. Now, all of a sudden, we have 18% provincial tax on it through the HST.

There’s also the challenge of the fundraising in our schools that they have to worry about, where they have to raise money for things that used to be part of the education system.

The list goes on and on of things the people of Ontario, the people in Oxford county think that we should be debating rather than what we’re doing right here.

I will not be voting for the bill, because I really believe that the bill does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. One of the challenges that you face if you vote for the bill, even if it does nothing, is that the government goes away and the people of Ontario believe that they have solved the problem. The truth of the matter is, if it takes as long for the next review as it has taken for this one, the people of Ontario, by that time, will realize that this bill has done nothing more than the previous legislation for the problem that they’re trying to address.

Thank you very much for allowing me to speak.

Second reading debate deemed adjourned.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): It being 10:15 of the clock, this House stands in recess until 10:30, at which time we will have question period.

The House recessed from 1017 to 1030.

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

Mr. Steve Clark: It gives me great pleasure to introduce two people from my riding who represent Community and Primary Health Care. I’d like to introduce Tracey Lirette and Jean Perry.

Ms. Helena Jaczek: In the west members’ gallery, we have from the York Region Children’s Aid Society president Rev. M.J. Perry and executive director Patrick Lake.

In the east members’ gallery, from the College of Chiropodists of Ontario: Bob Goldberg, president; Colin McQuistan; Donna Coyne; Esrick Quintyn—all members of council; Felecia Smith, CEO and registrar. From the Ontario Society of Chiropodists: John Infanti, president. From the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association: Bruce Ramsden, president of that organization. Welcome to Queen’s Park.

Mr. Bruce Crozier: It’s my pleasure today to introduce visitors from the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association. Bryan Bedard and Joanne Bedard were parents of young Katelyn. Carolyn Mayea, Annette Martin, Melba Bedard, Rene Bedard, Jackie Leardi, Sadie Carnochan and Andrea Sulyok are here today in support of Bill 80 and for the event that the member for Oakville and I are hosting in room 163, starting at 11 o’clock, to show you how easy it is to donate to bone marrow and stem cell research.

Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn: I would like to introduce Mike and Kim Smyth from Oakville. They’re in the west members’ gallery. Unfortunately, their son, David, recently passed away from leukemia while awaiting a stem cell match. They’re here today to spread awareness about the need to grow our bone marrow registry.

The donor clinic is being held in room 163 today. I’d urge all members and staff under the age of 50 to attend the clinic.

Applause.

Mr. Norman W. Sterling: I thought that standing ovation was for me, Mr. Speaker. I joke, of course.

I rise today to introduce Colleen Hochgeschurz, mother of page Carina. Today is Carina’s last day as a page, and I want everyone to know that I’m considering hiring her on full time here at Queen’s Park to help me in the future. She has done such a great job.

I also want to introduce my friend Paul Virgin from Almonte, who is here today from my riding to participate in Advocis Day here at Queen’s Park.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Today we have here students from the public affairs and policy management program at Carleton University, which we know is located in Ottawa Centre. Please welcome Asietu Numekevor, Sheliza Esmail, Kira McClenaghan, Lauren Tarasuk, Garima Talwar and Blair Newbold to Queen’s Park. Welcome.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: Today my page, Nicholas Waltenbury, is the lead page. Here to celebrate on his last day are his mom, Dawn, who’s up in the public gallery; his dad, Al, who’s in the members’ gallery; and his brother Spencer, who we seem to have lost but is somewhere in the Legislature.

Mr. Reza Moridi: It’s my pleasure to introduce Ms. Viji Antony, the mother of page Jonathan Antony, in the public gallery. Please welcome Viji.

Hon. John Wilkinson: Today is Advocis Day, and we want to welcome all the members from Advocis.

I do want to pay special tribute to Kris Birchard, who’s here—he’s the immediate past chair of the national board of directors—and also Greg Pollock, who’s the president and CEO of Advocis. I hope that all members will meet with members from Advocis today and, in particular, go to the reception here at Queen’s Park this evening.

Hon. Brad Duguid: I just want to introduce my son Kennedy. We’re a day late for the bring-your-kid-to-work day, but that’s a Duguid thing, I guess.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I want to introduce a very good friend of mine, Kirk Wrinn, who is visiting from Ottawa today for Advocis Day. Kirk, welcome to Queen’s Park again.

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: I am really delighted to welcome the president of the Canadian Polish Congress, Mr. Jan Cytowski. He’s inviting all the members to the Polish Independence Day celebrations. Welcome.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): On behalf of the member from Pickering–Scarborough East and page Sanjay Pavone, I’d like to welcome his mother, Dr. Rosemarie Lall, to the public galleries today. Welcome to Queen’s Park.

On behalf of the member from Brampton West and page Harnameh Dhawan, we’d like to welcome his class visiting Queen’s Park today from Robert H. Lagerquist Senior Public School in Brampton. Welcome to Queen’s Park.

Seated in the Speaker’s gallery, from my riding of Elgin–Middlesex–London, I’d like to welcome the parents of page Bridget Heeman, Florence and Rudy Heeman. As well, if you ever need strawberries and you’re in the London area, make sure you visit Heeman’s—great strawberries. Welcome to Queen’s Park.

We have with us in the Speaker’s gallery today a parliamentary delegation from the assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, led by Assembly President His Excellency Trajko Veljanovski. The delegation is accompanied by Ljubica Damjanovska, consul general of the Republic of Macedonia, Toronto. Please join me in welcoming our guests to the Legislature today. Welcome.

ORAL QUESTIONS

HOSPITAL SERVICES

Mr. Tim Hudak: A question to the Acting Premier: Acting Premier, why are emergency patients at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga being treated in the hospital’s garage?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: My understanding is that is simply not the case.

Our government has made a number of investments in health care to help reduce wait times in emergency rooms. We have had the opportunity to make investments to reduce wait times, not just in emergency rooms but across a range of surgical procedures as well as across a range of other services that are available to Ontarians.

Two days ago, the Minister of Health informed the province that more than five million Ontarians have electronic health records, which will help with the efficiency of our system.

No doubt more needs to be done, but these investments, these choices, are the right choices for a better health care system for all Ontarians.

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The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: With all due respect to the Acting Premier, it’s obviously not the right choice to be using a garage to treat patients at Credit Valley Hospital. If the minister denies this, I’d suggest that either he or the health minister make a field trip there at once.

We have found out that the Credit Valley Hospital is using its garage as a so-called treatment centre. How do we know this? We were informed by Mississauga families and then we asked. In an email confirming this, the hospital’s chief communication officer tries to boast that they’ve renovated the garage “to include heating and other necessary utilities for patient care,” but photographs show that leaves on the floor of what patients locally will now call the McGuinty Wing hardly show that this is an appropriate place to treat patients.

Minister, I ask you: What makes you think it acceptable to treat Mississauga and local families in a dirty garage?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: As we are redeveloping that hospital, a hospital that needed redevelopment, a number of interim steps have been taken which, as I understand it, have been approved by the board of the hospital and are seen as temporary solutions to overcrowding in the emergency room. The funding that we have approved will help redevelop that hospital and assure those patients who use that hospital that they have the best opportunity and continue to have the best access to care in Ontario.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary.

Mr. Tim Hudak: Hold on a second here, Acting Premier. A few moments ago, you said this wasn’t true; now you’re saying it is a temporary solution. Quite frankly, Mississauga families aren’t going to be impressed to see the Deputy Premier speaking out of both sides of his mouth within two minutes when it comes to patient care in Mississauga.

Yesterday, we demonstrated that about $3.7 billion in McGuinty government waste, like eHealth and the LHINs, could have gone into front-line patient care. Today, we find out that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is back up to their old tricks, hiring an untendered consultant for $12,000 a week to be something called a senior financial adviser: yet another scandal and waste at the OLG while Mississauga and area families are being treated in a garage at Credit Valley Hospital.

What happened to your priorities? How can you defend—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Acting Premier?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: The only one speaking out of both sides of his mouth is the Leader of the Opposition, who wants to cut $3 billion out of health care. He would attempt—

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Member from Nepean. The member from Simcoe North. The member from Halton. The member from Renfrew. The member from Halton and the member from Simcoe North again.

Please continue.

Hon. Dwight Duncan: Talk about speaking out of both sides of his mouth: This member was part of a government that closed hospitals in Ontario. We’ve opened them. That government didn’t make provision for enough doctors for Ontarians; today, more than one million more Ontarians have access to a doctor. He was part of a government that fired nurses—6,200; we’ve hired 10,000.

There are enormous choices to be made in the provision of health care in this province. We’ve made the investments to build a better system and a stronger system for all Ontarians and undo the damage that that party—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS

Mr. Tim Hudak: My next question is to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Earlier this week, the Ontario Electrical League attended consultations held by the College of Trades appointment council in Ottawa. Shortly after that, in the media, Pat Dillon, the chair of the appointment council, attacked the OEL for its position on apprenticeship ratios. The Ontario Electrical League has responded by saying, “It is completely unacceptable for a public appointee”—Mr. Dillon—“to smear stakeholder organizations that appear before them.... [He] cannot continue in this position, and we ... call for his resignation.”

Minister, has Mr. Dillon now offered to resign? If not, are you going to hold him accountable?

Hon. John Milloy: I find it interesting that the members across the way can’t take yes for an answer when it comes to the issue of apprenticeship ratios. We have had discussion and debate in this chamber for a number of years about apprenticeship ratios. The government has put together the College of Trades so that they can go out and undertake a wide range of consultations on the issue of apprenticeship ratios. We welcome input from all sides so that they can move forward with a solution that is fair, a solution that makes sense and a solution that is going to help build the apprenticeship system here in the province of Ontario.

I’m proud of the work that’s being undertaken by the College of Trades. They are reaching far and wide. There have been ongoing consultations across the province and we look forward to them coming forward with a fair and reasoned approach.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: No wonder the minister avoided my question—this isn’t about the consultations. It’s about the person you have appointed to head up these consultations, and it certainly appears that the game is fixed.

We know who Pat Dillon is: He’s the head of the so-called Working Families Coalition, an American-style group that colluded with the McGuinty Liberals on $7 million of attack ads against PC candidates in the last two elections. It has become so clear that Mr. Dillon is so much a Liberal partisan and that he wears so many hats that he is not capable of representing the interests of Ontario families at large. His job is to listen to stakeholders like the Ontario Electrical League, to listen to their issues on the apprenticeship ratio. Just because they have views like us—that you need to modernize—Pat Dillon shut them down.

He is not capable of doing his job. He is a Liberal partisan—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Minister?

Hon. John Milloy: Of course we’re aware of Pat Dillon. He was appointed to the WSIB by the Conservative Party when they were in power.

Pat Dillon is part of a group representative of the apprenticeship system and the skilled trades system across this province that has been asked to look at a series of complex issues related to apprenticeships. Let me share with the member who some of the other individuals are. The chair of the group—it’s not Mr. Dillon; the member was wrong when he said that—is Rod Cameron, who’s a retired former dean of technology at Fanshawe College and a motor vehicle mechanic. We also have Mr. Hugh Laird, the executive director of the Interior Systems Contractors Association. We have Gail Smyth, the executive director of Skills Canada–Ontario, who was recently in this Legislature—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Final supplementary.

Mr. Tim Hudak: Let’s be clear: Pat Dillon chaired the Ottawa session and then was shortly in the media thereafter, attacking one of the very stakeholders appearing before the committee.

What has become clear is that the minister has no intention of firing Mr. Dillon, because you dispatch Mr. Dillon to attack your critics in a partisan manner while you pretend to take the high road. Senior McGuinty Liberals like Don Guy and the member for Vaughan have orchestrated the Working Families Coalition to campaign on your behalf. Quite frankly, Mr. Dillon is so focused on being the Liberal attack dog, he is not capable of doing the job that you’ve given to him. He is clearly in a conflict of interest.

Minister, are you so deep in the pockets of the special interest—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d ask the honourable member to withdraw the comment, please.

Mr. Tim Hudak: Withdraw.

Minister, will you do the right thing? There is a clear conflict of interest. Will you show Mr. Dillon the door today?

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Hon. John Milloy: I would point out that Mr. Dillon comes from an organization that represents 150,000 apprentices in the province of Ontario. I have been very proud of our government’s record in terms of building apprenticeship in this province. We want to make sure that we have voices around the table that represent important sectors, and I consider 150,000 apprentices an important sector of this economy.

Let me tell you who else is sitting around the table. I mentioned Gail Smyth, who heads up an organization that reaches out every year to tens of thousands of young people in this province to convince them of the value of skilled trades. I can talk about Al West, vice-president of K.J. Beamish Construction. Al West represents the small business community in this province. I can talk about Norm Wolfson, a partner in—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

TAXATION

Ms. Andrea Horwath: This is to the Acting Premier. Last year, when British Columbia announced plans to harmonize their sales tax, this government predicted big success for Premier Gordon Campbell and claimed that other provinces would also be following Ontario’s lead. Does the McGuinty government still stand by this assessment?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: This government is committed to creating jobs in Ontario and fostering a climate of growth as we move forward. The leader of the third party may want to ignore the fact that most of the country now is harmonized. There are obviously challenges with this in the sense that we have to help people understand the long-term benefits that have been pointed out by a range of groups.

We’re moving forward with a plan to create jobs. It’s about jobs. It’s about jobs for unemployed auto workers and unemployed steelworkers. It’s about a better future for their children and their grandchildren. Governments take tough and important decisions. These are the right choices for a better future for all Ontarians.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: At this time last year, the McGuinty government predicted Manitoba and PEI would soon follow BC and slap the HST on their residents, but those governments rejected the scheme. This government also predicted that residents in BC and here in Ontario would learn to love the HST. Instead, people are rejecting an unfair scheme that makes their lives much more difficult, tougher and tougher at times when things are very difficult already.

I ask the government one more time: Since they got this so very, very wrong, why are they still so certain that they’re right?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: Our government has taken a stand to create jobs. That is the most important thing we can do. The leader of the third party may say what she wants. She may not be prepared to take difficult decisions to help Ontario families get through this. We recognize the importance of ensuring that Ontarians have a more competitive economy. We will continue to work with all Ontarians to build that better economy for a brighter future. It’s about a more competitive tax system. It’s about more investments in our education system. It’s about more spaces in post-secondary education. It’s about a better and more competitive health care system.

All in all, difficult decisions have to be made by governments. We take those decisions and we look forward to having the opportunity to have the people of Ontario have a say in this, as they have up until now, as we build that better future.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: The soon-to-be-former Premier Campbell got in trouble because he didn’t listen to the families in his province who were struggling through tough times. Here in Ontario, this government continues to tell struggling families that the HST is somehow going to create 600,000 jobs, but more and more Ontarians continue to get layoff notices right here. They’re told that the HST will save money, but the average family in Ontario is short $800 a year because of the HST. When will this government finally acknowledge that all their HST predictions amount to nothing more than a hill of beans?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: As that member is determined to not be fully candid, as she was earlier this week, in all of these issues, this government is committed to building a stronger economy with more jobs for all Ontarians. We won’t shrink from that responsibility.

I invite her to listen to some of her own supporters and hear what they have to say. Hugh Mackenzie supports the plan. He said, “Ontario’s 2009-10 budget establishes the right direction for the next few years. It provides substantial economic stimulus. It is consistent with the new orthodoxy that relies heavily on governments to help rebuild damaged economies.... It increases support for low-income families and individuals. It modernizes Ontario’s consumption tax.”

These are difficult choices. Premier McGuinty makes difficult choices to build a better future, whether it’s fixing the health care system or building a better education system. That’s what the next election is about. We look forward to that election and the opportunity to take our case to the—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

TAXATION

Ms. Andrea Horwath: My next question is also to the Acting Premier. People across Canada are tired of out-of-touch governments. They are tired of them—tired of arrogant governments as well. They’ve seen friends and family members lose jobs all too often. They see that they’re one paycheque away from losing the house or losing the car or having their hydro cut off.

When they look to their government, they see yet another consultant earning $12,000 a week. They see public money flowing to the Liberal Party and empty promises about half a million jobs that are somehow expected to be created.

We’ve been putting forward a very simple proposal to actually make life easier for the people of this province. Why does this government stubbornly refuse to take the HST off of hydro?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: This government has cut taxes for all Ontarians. This government has provided the most generous sales tax credit in the country. This government has taken the funds of $4 billion from the federal government, and it is giving it back to the people of Ontario to help us readjust to this.

This government is about creating jobs. It’s about making sure that we have a brighter future for our children. We provided the northern Ontario credit and for industry an industrial energy policy. We provided a property tax credit, an energy credit for seniors, which that member and her party voted against.

We’ve brought forward the right package of changes to help build a stronger economy and a brighter future for Ontarians as we come out of this very, very difficult economic period.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Well, Michelle Snow from Thornton says it better than I ever could. She writes: “Dalton McGuinty needs to know”—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I just remind the honourable member that, even though she’s quoting, she should use a title.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: —“that Ontario families are still struggling....

“With skyrocketing hydro, it is making it tough for families to live with the basic necessities of life—slap the unnecessary HST on to that, and surviving has become that much tougher.”

Instead of telling women like Michelle that they’re wrong and that Premier McGuinty knows better, why doesn’t the government simply listen and take the HST off of Michelle’s hydro bills and everyone else’s?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: Let me just tell the member opposite what Richard Koroscil says; he’s from Hamilton: “At the end of the day, it’s big-time savings for businesses and ultimately the consumer. We recognize this is a big challenge and a big step forward in how we do business, but it’s an important step and probably one of the most important steps we’ve made over the last 10 to 15 years.”

Here’s what John Voortman, an entrepreneur in the Leader of the Opposition’s riding, says: “The HST will benefit us in the building of our plant and in buying our equipment. The money we’ll be saving will enable us to do more business and hire more employees.”

This is all about making decisions; it’s all about leadership. It’s not about pandering. It’s about a brighter future. It’s about more jobs. It’s about better jobs for all Ontarians as we move forward in the 21st century.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Final supplementary.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Well, Ontario’s Premier McGuinty seems to be the only Premier left who hasn’t got the message yet. People are struggling and they’re tired of being ignored.

Maureen Ross writes this: “I just don’t think anyone is listening. I would be really happy to think someone cared about the working person.”

What will it take to get the McGuinty Liberals to care?

Hon. Dwight Duncan: Well, I would rely on a fellow named Michael Oliphant, from the Daily Bread Food Bank, who says, “The sales tax credit is a sensible, forward-looking way to deal with (single sales tax) and could become an important long-term piece of the economic security puzzle for poor people in the future.”

You know, there is another government in the land that has an HST. That’s the government of Nova Scotia, an NDP government. Not only did they not get rid of it, not only did they not keep their commitment to take it off of energy; they raised the tax by two percentage points.

Governments have difficult choices to make. This government, this party and our leader are prepared to take our case to the people of Ontario: a case for building jobs, better education, better schools, cleaner air and a healthier future for all Ontarians.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Mr. Jim Wilson: My question is to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Minister, yesterday in Hong Kong, the Premier announced a new $30-million program to award full academic scholarships worth as much as $40,000 each per year to international students. My question is simple: Why is the Premier using tuition dollars from Ontario students and tax dollars from Ontario families to put people who don’t even live in this province through university?

Hon. John Milloy: I think all of us should welcome the news yesterday that the Premier announced 75 scholarships—I think the honourable member’s math is a little wrong—at $40,000 a year to attract the best and the brightest Ph.D. students from around the world to Ontario. As part of our Open Ontario plan—

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Order. Members from Oxford, Halton, Nepean–Carleton.

Interjection.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): And Halton again and Renfrew.

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock.

Please continue.

Hon. John Milloy: I cannot believe the gall of the party over there. I heard a member shout, “When are you going to stand up for Ontario?” We have one of the best post-secondary education systems in the world. We want to strengthen that system by attracting the best and the brightest. We want to open our province to Ph.D. students from across the world, so that they can come to Ontario, they can enhance our system and they can serve as a magnet to draw more international students here and make sure that we continue to have the best—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Jim Wilson: I say to the minister, it’s clear that Premier McGuinty’s priorities are not the priorities of Ontario families. Ontario families are worried about the cost of tuition. They’re worried about whether their children can get into university, whether there are enough spaces, and they’re worried about where they’re going to find the money to get their children through university.

Premier McGuinty’s priorities are to give $40,000 a year for scholarships to foreign students while Ontario students are leaving school with tens of thousands of dollars of debt to pay back. Will the minister commit to scrapping this program and redirect the money to Ontario students who are having to find the money to pay their own way through school?

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock. I just say to the honourable members, perhaps they had a little too much sugar on their Heeman’s berries this morning.

Minister?

Hon. John Milloy: The nerve of that member. We are a government which has introduced changes to bring about the most generous—

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Members will please come to order.

Minister?

Hon. John Milloy: We’ve put in place the most generous student assistance program in the country. That member was part of a government which cut student aid, which saw tuition go through the roof and which cut funding to our colleges and universities.

Do you know what the Council of Ontario Universities is saying about today’s announcement? They are saying, “Ontario’s productivity and competitiveness in the 21st century depend on a highly skilled and culturally diverse workforce, to which these scholarships for graduate students will contribute.”

We will be attracting the best and the brightest to our province. All they want to do is take this province backward.

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

Mr. Peter Tabuns: My question is to the Minister of Energy. The cost of nuclear power is skyrocketing, putting more pressure on struggling ratepayers. The refurbishment of the Bruce A nuclear reactor is $2 billion over budget. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance says that the cost of building Darlington could be as high as $35 billion. The anticipated cost of building a new reactor at Darlington was so high that the government delayed the project.

Why won’t the government consider allowing more affordable green energy to replace the Pickering nuclear station when it closes in 2020, instead of building expensive new nuclear reactors?

Hon. Brad Duguid: We’re the government that’s leading the world in attracting renewable energy to Ontario. On top of that, we’re doing it over the daily objections of his leader, who stands in her place every single day opposing the investments we’re making in renewable energy, opposing the investments we’re making in conservation and, yes, opposing the investments we’re making in adding 8,000 new megawatts of power to our system. That’s helping us as we adjust to some of the challenges when it comes to renewing our energy infrastructure, giving us more time to make those adjustments.

There’s a very serious wedge developing between that leader and her critic. That leader stands up day after day opposing renewable energy; that critic stands up in his place saying we should do more.

We’re leading the world when it comes to attracting new renewable energy to this province, and we’re very proud of that.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Peter Tabuns: This minister has missed a career in stand-up and really has to go do it.

What the NDP wants is a discussion of the cost of nuclear power and the alternatives. This fall, the minister launched what he called a public consultation about the future mix of electricity in Ontario, but immediately said that nuclear power was not negotiable.

Why won’t the government at least permit an independent review of the nuclear cost estimates and the green power alternatives?

Hon. Brad Duguid: I appreciate the member’s comments about my sense of humour, but at the same time, I really have to let the member opposite and his party know: There is no such thing as an energy fairy in the province of Ontario. I think they still believe that there is. I think they still believe that somehow an energy fairy is going to come down and provide us with the baseload capacity that we need to provide the backbone of our energy system that nuclear is.

Nuclear power is an important part of the backbone of our energy system. It’s part of our baseload capacity. It’s clean. It’s affordable. It’s reliable. Any system of energy in this province, other than in the make-believe world of the NDP, would require further investments in nuclear to ensure that we’re renewing our aging infrastructure, to ensure that we move forward with the purchase of two new renewables, as part of a very vibrant mix that includes renewables, that includes other sources of clean power, that includes a—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

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ROAD SAFETY

Ms. Helena Jaczek: My question is for the Minister of Transportation. My constituents in Oak Ridges–Markham remain very concerned about road safety, especially as we get closer to the holiday season. We all know that drinking and driving is a deadly combination.

I attended the 2010 provincial launch of Operation Red Nose, held at Queen’s Park yesterday, like many of my colleagues. This event was launched in partnership with the Ontario Safety League and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Operation Red Nose is a free, confidential designated-driver service where a team of dedicated volunteers drive an individual home if that person thinks they cannot drive themselves. This initiative is certainly an important one, but it is not universally available. Could the minister tell us what else we are doing in Ontario to combat drunk driving?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I thank the member for Oak Ridges–Markham for the question, and I especially want to thank the Ontario Safety League, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the thousands of volunteers who make Operation Red Nose work. I see this campaign as part of a whole strategy to fight drinking and driving. We all know that drinking and driving is unacceptable.

In August, we brought into effect the rule that all drivers 21 years of age and under cannot have any blood alcohol in their systems. All novice drivers in the graduated licensing system will face escalating sanctions for repeat violations under their graduated licence conditions. We also introduced the ignition interlock program for drivers convicted of an impaired driving offence for the first time, and we know that that ignition interlock system will help change behaviour. That’s all in the aid of fighting drinking and driving.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Ms. Helena Jaczek: You and I both know that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a crime. It is an irresponsible and dangerous act that can result in fatalities. Each holiday season there are preventable deaths. We must do everything we can to reduce deaths and injuries on Ontario’s roads. I know road safety is an important mission for this government and, in fact, Ontario has among the safest roads in North America.

At the Operation Red Nose launch, their message was that we cannot accept the status quo. We must continue to improve road safety in Ontario through public education and safety awareness all year long, but especially during the holiday season. Could the minister explain what this government is doing to stop and prevent drinking and driving during the holiday season?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: To the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Hon. James J. Bradley: Thank you very much; it’s a great question.

I was there yesterday with some colleagues from the Legislature, at their press conference, and I want to commend the Ontario Safety League and the Insurance Bureau of Canada for the launch of what they call the Operation Red Nose campaign. These organizations deserve commendation. Thousands of volunteers have dedicated countless hours to make this program a success.

Operation Red Nose is a volunteer driving service provided during the holiday season to any partygoer who has been drinking or who does not feel fit to drive their own vehicle. Donations the volunteers receive go to support youth and amateur sports programs across Ontario. Last year, more than 5,340 Ontarians relied on this program.

Our government continues to fight against drinking and driving. Since 2008, Ontario has doubled its support for local police officers who perform RIDE checks. There’s really no—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

GOVERNMENT SERVICES

Mr. Frank Klees: To the Minister for Government Services: In the coming constituency week, members will be taking part in Remembrance Day ceremonies honouring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy here. Thanks to a resolution by the member for Simcoe North, military families receive a portion of the sale for each “support our troops” licence plate that is purchased. Since these plates were introduced, the price of the regular plates has increased by $5 and personalized plates by $22. Can the minister tell us why all of that increase in what Ontarians pay for these designated plates is now being pocketed by the government of Ontario and is not being passed on to the military families?

Hon. Harinder S. Takhar: Let me say this: We are very proud of the work that our Canadian Forces do, and anything that we can do to recognize their work we are always prepared to do.

I want to tell you that when I became the Minister of Transportation—there was some work done by the members on the other side, but we were the first government to actually introduce the veterans’ plates. We also introduced the yellow licence plate sticker. Then, this summer, I actually went to Petawawa and we opened a ServiceOntario centre there as well, so we have done a lot.

The work that we have done with regard to the yellow ribbon licence plates is very well recognized by the Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund. When I was in Petawawa actually, people came to me, unsolicited, and they told me they very well appreciate the contribution that we are making towards these licence plates.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Frank Klees: Not my question, and certainly not the answer to my question.

Ontario families are willing to pay the additional fee for these plates because they believe that the additional contribution will go to veterans and military families. In fact, the government’s take for the HST grab on these plates is twice what military families receive on the regular plates and five times more than what they receive on personalized plates.

The finance minister recently committed to refund the HST on poppies. That was the right thing to do. My question now is: Will the Minister of Finance turn over the HST Ontarians pay for “support our troops” plates so that those funds can be passed on to veterans and military families?

Hon. Harinder S. Takhar: I will pass this question to the Minister of Finance.

Hon. Dwight Duncan: Those funds go to invest in hospitals and long-term-care facilities. Those funds are important to the future of Ontario and for our veterans and their families.

We were pleased to be able to remove the HST from poppies and to persuade the federal government of the importance of that. That was the right and appropriate thing to do in the circumstances.

As when we created the Highway of Heroes, this government will continue to work with veterans, with our troops in Afghanistan and with all Canadians. We join all Canadians in saluting the heroism and valour of our troops, both present and past.

POWER PLANT

Mr. Peter Tabuns: For the Minister of Energy: When the Liberals proposed the Oakville gas-fired power plant, the NDP said that this plant wasn’t necessary. At that time, the Minister of Energy made an argument along the lines of, “The energy fairy says we don’t need a plant here.” The energy fairy has landed. The energy fairy is bringing a big bill.

TransCanada announced that they have “commenced negotiations with the OPA on a settlement which would terminate the contract and compensate TransCanada for the economic consequences associated....”

Will the minister reveal to Ontario families how big a bill they’re stuck with?

Hon. Brad Duguid: I’m very pleased that this government was able to announce, not long ago, to the people of Oakville that we would no longer need to move forward with this gas plant. A lot of that came about as a result of the work of our good friend the member from Oakville, who worked very hard on that file.

But it also came about because of the hard work done by this government over the last seven years that has created 8,000 new megawatts of power, a 20% increase in the power capacity of this province. That is what enabled us to have some more flexibility. That is what enabled us to move towards a transmission solution for the Oakville area and the southwest GTA rather than have to pursue a 950-megawatt gas plant.

I’ll speak more in the supplementary about the discussions going on with TransCanada, but this is a good-news story for the people of—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Peter Tabuns: You know, when you bungle something, when you don’t listen to advice and you incur a liability for the people of Ontario, that’s not a good-news story.

Right at the beginning, the NDP said this plant was not needed. You didn’t have to be a genius to figure that out. The reality is that they went ahead with a mistake. They have incurred a liability. The ratepayers of this province are going to pay for it. What is this bungle going to cost us?

Hon. Brad Duguid: The NDP clearly don’t think anything is needed when it comes to power. They don’t support nuclear. They clearly no longer support renewable energy. Although I know the critic supports it, it’s his leader who stands up day after day and opposes it. They don’t support our investments in conservation. They don’t support the efforts we’re making to rebuild the energy generation in this province.

We’re building a stronger, more reliable and cleaner system of energy. There was a time when the NDP may have supported that, but they apparently have lost their principles. Instead of being in favour of cleaner air and a brighter future for our kids and grandkids, they’re standing clearly in the way of that. Man, they’ve moved a long way from their previous positions.

The leader and the critic—I can see that wedge growing wider and wider every time each one of them stands up in this House and takes an opposite tack on where we should be going with—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

1120

WIND TURBINES

Mr. Phil McNeely: My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Climate change is something every government must deal with. Ontario is a world leader. The McGuinty government has made great progress by shutting down dirty coal-fired plants, investing in transit and protecting green space.

Green energy is becoming a larger and larger share of our energy mix, and while my constituents know that harnessing the power of the wind is a key renewable, they are also concerned by misinformation and half-truths being spread about the approval process.

Ontarians want to know if it’s true that once an energy company announces a new project, the public has no say?

Hon. John Wilkinson: I want to thank my colleague for the question, because nothing could be further from the truth. Our renewable energy approvals process at our ministry mandates a transparent, open and predictable process for people, municipalities and proponents.

I know that some municipalities have concerns about proposed projects, and I want to be very clear: My ministry views municipal consultation as essential to this entire process. That’s why it’s built right into the process. That’s why it is the law under the Green Energy Act.

Any company that wants to build a wind project must sit down with the municipality to hear any legitimate concerns. They must hold public meetings and they must attempt to address any outstanding issues in order for them to have a complete application. If they don’t put a complete application in front of my ministry, they will not receive an approval, and if they don’t receive an approval from my ministry, it cannot be built.

When it comes down to this, we have final say, but we will say no unless the public and municipalities are given their say. That’s the law.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Phil McNeely: I know my constituents and Ontarians will be pleased to hear you correct that misconception. I’m also glad to hear you confirm there are clear setbacks and a clear process for municipal consultation, but, Minister, I am also hearing concerns that you are changing the process. Are you giving more power to companies or taking away the power of landowners to make decisions about their property? Are you making changes to the way the process works?

Hon. John Wilkinson: I want to be very clear. We are currently consulting with the public by getting feedback through the environmental registry on some amendments to the regulations that would clarify our intentions and our rules. We are the first in North America to have this process.

These rules were put in place to protect human health. We established a tough setback of at least 550 metres from what is known as a receptor. So we’re not changing policy direction and we’re not changing the way the approvals process works. We based our rules around the distance to a receptor, which means—and I want to be clear—a place where people live, sleep or go to school. The amendments make it clear that we do not consider a tool shed or a hunting cabin a receptor. It is where people live, sleep and go to school. That’s why we’re proposing even greater clarity through these amendments.

I know what Ontarians want. They want clean air to breathe. Science is clear that dirty coal—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

ENERGY POLICIES

Mr. John Yakabuski: My question is for the Minister of Energy. It’s just a very straightforward question. When will your long-term energy plan be going before cabinet for approval?

Hon. Brad Duguid: Whenever a member gets up and says, “This is a very straightforward question,” you can rest assured that it really is never that way.

I’m looking very, very forward to moving forward with our long-term energy plan. As I said to this Legislature and as I said outside of this Legislature, this long-term energy plan will be out before the end of the year. We’re hoping it’ll be sooner rather than later.

We’ve been working very, very hard. We’ve been talking to Ontarians. We’ve been talking to industry. We’ve been talking to the environmentalists. We’ve been talking to people right across this province, because Ontario needs the certainty that our long-term energy plan is going to provide.

Seven years ago, we didn’t have that. Seven years ago, there was no such thing as energy planning in this province. Seven years ago, energy planning consisted of day-to-day—

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The members from Halton and Simcoe North.

Supplementary?

Mr. John Yakabuski: I heard a lot of words; I didn’t get an answer there.

I have another very straightforward question for the minister. He did so well on the first one, you know? How much more do you plan to spend on advertising to promote Premier McGuinty and George Smitherman’s Green Energy Act?

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Why didn’t it tie into your first question?

Mr. John Yakabuski: We asked them about the plan. How much they’re going to spend on advertising the plan as it moves forward would be very pertinent as part of the supplementary.

Hon. Brad Duguid: I can tell you one thing: I know why the Conservatives would not want the public to know a lot about what’s going on with green energy in this province. They would not want the public to know that they stand steadfast against the 50,000 clean energy jobs we’re creating. They don’t want the people of Ontario to know that. They don’t want the people of Ontario to know—

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock. Take this as a warning, to the member for Simcoe North.

Please continue, Minister.

Hon. Brad Duguid: The member asks where they are. I know that some of the members know because they join us when we cut the ribbons. I remember when I was in Sarnia–Lambton not long ago. The member from Sarnia joined me. In fact, I’ve got a picture. I’m not going to show it because that would be a prop, but I’ll certainly send it over to the leader of the third party. While we’re working hard to create jobs in this province and their leader gets up steadfastly opposing it, his members are spreading out all over this province celebrating the jobs that we’re creating in those very communities that many of his members represent.

These are important—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Stop the clock. I appreciate the efforts of the armchair Speaker from Renfrew.

New question.

VETERANS’ LICENCE PLATES

Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Minister of Transportation. We will mark Remembrance Day a week from today. One way that Ontario remembers and honours our veterans each and every year is through the issuance of poppy-adorned licence plates. But the Ontario government does not make poppy plates for motorcycles. In British Columbia, they’ve been able to do that; they’ve been available since 2004. In Quebec, they’ve been available since about last year.

My question is: Will the McGuinty government make the motorcycle poppy plates available here in Ontario?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I thank the member opposite for the timely question. I have heard about this issue from other people in the province. I want to put this in context, because we’re the government that introduced the poppy licence plates in Ontario; we’re the government that designated the Highway of Heroes. I think it’s pretty clear that we understand it’s important that we honour our veterans.

I want to say to the member opposite that I am working with the Minister of Government Services. We think this is a good idea and we would like to move forward with it. We’ve asked both of our staffs to come forward and tell us not whether we do it but how we do it. We’re going to be working with them and hope to announce soon.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: The follow-up to the question is in the words of Ken Blanchard, a veteran and sergeant-at-arms for the Royal Canadian Legion, branch 4, in Welland, who is one of many veterans asking this government to act soon to make the poppy plates available for motorcycles. He says, “There have been lots of lives lost and we don’t want people forgetting why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

I thank the minister for her initial response. Will the minister now tell Mr. Blanchard and other veterans how soon they will be able to have access to poppy plates for their motorcycles?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I think I made it clear that we will move as quickly as we can. There is a series of approvals that we have to go through, but I think we agree that it’s an important thing to do.

I can’t promise that we’ll be able to do this for this November 11, but it would be my sincere hope that before next November 11 these licence plates would be available.

1130

WORKPLACE SAFETY
AND INSURANCE BOARD

Mr. Charles Sousa: My question is to the Minister of Labour. My constituents and local businesses have asked me about recent changes to the WSIB. They know that the WSIB has a plan to reduce their unfunded liability, which is similar to six other jurisdictions in Canada. But can you tell the House how this will improve services for employers and workers? Workers, their families and businesses need to know that they will be protected.

Hon. Peter Fonseca: I want to thank the member. The member is quite right that the WSIB does have a prudent plan to retire the unfunded liability. This is about protecting workers, making sure that we’re building and bringing security and sustainability to their insurance system. This is something that no other government has done in the past.

We appointed David Marshall, a former Auditor General, as the new president and CEO of the WSIB this past January. Mr. Marshall has been working on a plan to ensure that the WSIB is on a firm financial footing. Also, there is a funding review with stakeholders and a consultation that’s being led by Professor Harry Arthurs. This consultation is meeting with labour groups and employers; and I know that leaders of both opposition parties have been contacted through a letter to participate in this consultation. These consultations will be valuable toward the full funding of the system.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Charles Sousa: The WSIB has served our workers and employers and employees for over 100 years, and the extent of their unfunded liability has been severely impacted by the recent economic downturn. The WSIB requires long-term sustainability. Can you elaborate on the funding review and what this government is going to do to ensure that employers and workers are covered by a secure and stable insurance system?

Hon. Peter Fonseca: Again, I thank the member. The funding review, as the member mentioned, is going to allow the stakeholders to assist the WSIB in putting together this strategic plan to address its financial sustainability. We’ve asked Professor Arthurs specifically to engage on what should be replaced. One thing is that the model is the Friedland formula; it’s called the F-word by injured workers. It was brought in by the NDP; it became more regressive under the Conservatives. This government needs to get rid of that. The government is also intending to introduce legislation to support the outcomes of the funding review and further strengthen the independence of the WSIB as an arm’s-length agency.

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

Mr. John Yakabuski: My question is for the Minister of Energy, and it’s very straightforward. Is the minister refusing to make the Samsung deal public because he does not want Ontarians to know its price?

Hon. Brad Duguid: Under freedom of information, that contract has already been released to other parties, so it has indeed been made public.

But let me talk a little bit about what the Samsung agreement achieves. It is a huge, $7-billion investment, creating 7,000 jobs. Ironically, it wasn’t long ago that I was out in the Haldimand–Norfolk area, where we were all celebrating together with Six Nations and the community at large the creation of a green energy hub. And guess who joined us in celebrating these 12,000 jobs that the Samsung agreement is going to bring? The member from Haldimand-Norfolk. I won’t show it but I do have with me here—I’d ask you to pass it over—a newspaper picture of all of us together, arm in arm, celebrating what our Green Energy Act is doing in the Haldimand–Norfolk area. We’re creating jobs and we’re proud of it.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. John Yakabuski: The McGuinty Liberals have alleged that the Samsung deal will create 16,000 jobs and that the Green Energy Act will create 50,000 jobs. Despite the big talk, you have little more than announcements; and your track record on creating these jobs has been, to say the least, underwhelming. Are you refusing to back up your claims because so few jobs were actually created in the year and a half since the Green Energy Act came into force?

Hon. Brad Duguid: I invite the member to come out with me to Windsor and talk to the 600 families who are getting jobs out in Windsor. I invite the member to join me in Guelph, where 800 jobs are being created. I ask the member to join me in Kingston, where 1,200 jobs are being created. How about Oakville, 200 jobs; how about Welland, 1,000 jobs; how about London, 300 jobs? Or why don’t we all go together to Simcoe, Lanark, Middlesex, Oxford and the united counties of Leeds and Grenville, 2,500 jobs?

We are creating jobs right across this province, in ridings that they represent, in ridings that we represent, in ridings that the third party represents. We’re building a strong, clean energy economy here in Ontario. We’re leading the world when it comes to attracting investment, we’re leading the world when it comes to creating jobs and we’re leading the world when it comes to cleaning our environment and cleaning the air that we and our children have to breathe, something all Ontarians—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

ACCESS TO PUBLIC LANDS

Mr. Gilles Bisson: My question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. Minister, in northern Ontario, the MNR is setting aside vast areas of crown land for tourist outfitters. The greater issue is the limited access traditional users have to our natural resources. Cottagers, anglers and hunters are all being kept off public land so that a sense of remoteness can be maintained for tourist outfitters.

The Public Lands Act, section 3, under the shoreline reservations for recreation and access section, outlines that 25% or more of crown land that borders a lake must be reserved for public use, yet this statute is frequently violated by the MNR.

My question to you is, what right do you have to violate the law and to restrict the access of traditional users to those lands?

Hon. Linda Jeffrey: I’m pleased to answer the question. Our government certainly recognizes the contribution the resource-based tourism sector provides to the economic prosperity of Ontario. We have been working with Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario. We have a long history and partnership of working together to sustainably manage our fish and our wildlife resources. Our government is committed to improving the business climate and encouraging investments in those remote tourism areas in northern Ontario.

We understand the economic challenges that they face, and it’s certainly something that they’ve communicated to me. We work with our northern outfitters. We want to make sure that they have the resources, and we want to brag about what we do in northern Ontario. It’s a wonderful place to visit. We will work with them, and I’m pleased to make sure that we communicate on a regular basis.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Well, I had a really smart supplementary written out, but I’m saying there lies the problem: The minister doesn’t understand that you need to strike a balance between, yes, the need of the outfitter to make a living, but also people having traditional access to those lakes and areas that they’ve had for generations within their families in northern Ontario.

People are fed up. They’re not able to access lakes that their fathers and their forefathers have hunted and fished and camped and picked blueberries at for years and years. The minister stands up, doesn’t answer the question and says, “I’m working with outfitters.” Great, but what about all of the citizens in northern Ontario? What are you prepared to do for them?

Hon. Linda Jeffrey: As I said, we’ve been working with Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario as well as many other stakeholders. They came to meet me very early on, when I became minister in January. They have reflected to me what kinds of constraints they had on their business and how we could work together. In fact, in Rainy River, we gave $150,000 to help winterize the Harris Hill Resort. We offer year-round tourist opportunities.

We’re extraordinarily proud of the relationship we have with a lot of our outfitters in northern Ontario, something we strive to improve. We can always do better, and it is about finding a balance. It’s about protecting the north and providing business and economic development.

We will continue to work with them. We appreciate the participation that they give us, and we appreciate the business that they provide in northern Ontario. It’s something we want to strive to improve and grow, and I’m pleased to work with them in the future.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Mr. David Zimmer: My question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. This week, Ontario’s Jewish community is reaching out to their local communities during Holocaust Education Week. It is an opportunity for Jews to tell their story and to remember those who perished and those who survived.

In the Willowdale Jewish community, there are many survivors and descendants of this terrible tragedy of the Holocaust. In Ontario, we live in a society where diversity does not divide us, but unites us. In Ontario, we work to promote these values and fight intolerance.

Minister, what is our government doing to combat intolerance and hatred on an ongoing basis?

Hon. Eric Hoskins: I want to thank the member from Willowdale for this question.

First of all, I commend the Jewish community for hosting their 30th annual Holocaust Education Week. The Holocaust represents to all of us a dark chapter in the history of humanity, a chapter that we must ensure is never, ever repeated.

This past spring, I was in Israel with Premier McGuinty and the members from Willowdale, Eglinton–Lawrence and York Centre, where we toured Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial that bears witness to the holocaust. We must never allow hatred and intolerance to flourish in our province. It is completely unacceptable. As Ontarians, we must always stand up against all forms of bigotry.

The McGuinty government is committed to creating an Ontario where all Ontarians, newcomers and members of our diverse communities feel welcomed and respected.

Mr. David Zimmer: Intolerance and hatred do not have any place in Ontario. As Remembrance Day approaches, we reflect on the rights and freedoms that our brave soldiers fought and died for: the right of freedom of religion, the right of freedom of expression.

Tragedies like the Holocaust and World War II have touched the lives of many Ontarians. It’s important that the lessons of the past are not lost on the current and future generations. My constituents want to know what our government is doing to help ensure that our young people grow up to be informed citizens, citizens who honour our history and embrace our multicultural values.

Minister, in particular, what is our government doing to educate our youth about intolerance?

Hon. Eric Hoskins: Again, I appreciate the question from the member for Willowdale.

It’s our duty to impart to our youth stories of our past that have shaped the society in which we all live today. That is why, in grade 10 in our schools, our youth learn about World War II, about the Holocaust and the impact that these events had and have on Canada and the world. They also learn about human rights, about genocide and war crimes and about the values of democracy, citizenship and civic participation. We are fortunate that Ontario is one of the few places in the world where children from all backgrounds, all ethnicities and all religions come together, learn together and grow together in a tolerant and inclusive society.

Our government will continue to support education and awareness initiatives that teach our youth about our past so that they can grow up to be outstanding citizens of strong character.

CORRECTION OF RECORD

Hon. Linda Jeffrey: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I would just like to correct a statement I made in the Legislature on November 3. In responding to the member from Ottawa–Orléans about the total number of trees planted to date by Trees Ontario, I stated that approximately 6,000 trees have been planted. What I meant to say is that approximately six million trees have been planted to date.

MEMBER’S BIRTHDAY

Mr. Charles Sousa: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: On behalf of my colleagues, especially those of us in the rump, I would like to acknowledge that the member for Oak Ridges–Markham, Dr. Helena Jaczek, celebrates her birthday tomorrow.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): It’s not a point of order, but happy birthday.

DEFERRED VOTES

GOOD GOVERNMENT ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA SAINE
GESTION PUBLIQUE

Deferred vote on the motion for second reading of Bill 110, An Act to promote good government by amending or repealing certain Acts / Projet de loi 110, Loi visant à promouvoir une saine gestion publique en modifiant ou en abrogeant certaines lois.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1143 to 1148.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): All those in favour will rise one at a time and be recorded by the Clerk.

Ayes

  • Aggelonitis, Sophia
  • Albanese, Laura
  • Balkissoon, Bas
  • Bartolucci, Rick
  • Bentley, Christopher
  • Best, Margarett
  • Bisson, Gilles
  • Broten, Laurel C.
  • Brown, Michael A.
  • Cansfield, Donna H.
  • Caplan, David
  • Chiarelli, Bob
  • Colle, Mike
  • Crozier, Bruce
  • Delaney, Bob
  • Dickson, Joe
  • DiNovo, Cheri
  • Dombrowsky, Leona
  • Duguid, Brad
  • Duncan, Dwight
  • Flynn, Kevin Daniel
  • Fonseca, Peter
  • Gélinas, France
  • Hoskins, Eric
  • Hoy, Pat
  • Jaczek, Helena
  • Jeffrey, Linda
  • Kormos, Peter
  • Kular, Kuldip
  • Kwinter, Monte
  • Leal, Jeff
  • Levac, Dave
  • Mangat, Amrit
  • Marchese, Rosario
  • McNeely, Phil
  • Meilleur, Madeleine
  • Milloy, John
  • Mitchell, Carol
  • Moridi, Reza
  • Murray, Glen R.
  • Pendergast, Leeanna
  • Prue, Michael
  • Qaadri, Shafiq
  • Ramsay, David
  • Rinaldi, Lou
  • Ruprecht, Tony
  • Sandals, Liz
  • Sergio, Mario
  • Smith, Monique
  • Sousa, Charles
  • Tabuns, Peter
  • Takhar, Harinder S.
  • Van Bommel, Maria
  • Wilkinson, John
  • Wynne, Kathleen O.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Those opposed?

Nays

  • Arnott, Ted
  • Bailey, Robert
  • Barrett, Toby
  • Chudleigh, Ted
  • Dunlop, Garfield
  • Elliott, Christine
  • Hardeman, Ernie
  • Hudak, Tim
  • Jones, Sylvia
  • Klees, Frank
  • MacLeod, Lisa
  • Miller, Norm
  • Munro, Julia
  • Ouellette, Jerry J.
  • Savoline, Joyce
  • Wilson, Jim
  • Yakabuski, John

The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 55; the nays are 17.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I declare the motion carried.

Second reading agreed to.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Shall the bill be ordered for third reading?

Hon. Christopher Bentley: I would ask that this be referred to the standing committee on good government—on general government.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): So ordered.

TIME ALLOCATION

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): We have a deferred vote on the motion by Ms. Smith moved on November 3 as government notice of motion number 32, providing for allocation of time on Bill 122, An Act to increase the financial accountability of organizations in the broader public sector.

Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1151 to 1152.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): All those in favour will rise one at a time and be recorded by the Clerk.

Ayes

  • Aggelonitis, Sophia
  • Albanese, Laura
  • Balkissoon, Bas
  • Bartolucci, Rick
  • Bentley, Christopher
  • Best, Margarett
  • Broten, Laurel C.
  • Brown, Michael A.
  • Cansfield, Donna H.
  • Caplan, David
  • Chiarelli, Bob
  • Colle, Mike
  • Crozier, Bruce
  • Delaney, Bob
  • Dickson, Joe
  • Dombrowsky, Leona
  • Duguid, Brad
  • Duncan, Dwight
  • Flynn, Kevin Daniel
  • Fonseca, Peter
  • Hoskins, Eric
  • Hoy, Pat
  • Jeffrey, Linda
  • Johnson, Rick
  • Kular, Kuldip
  • Kwinter, Monte
  • Leal, Jeff
  • Levac, Dave
  • Mangat, Amrit
  • McNeely, Phil
  • Meilleur, Madeleine
  • Milloy, John
  • Mitchell, Carol
  • Moridi, Reza
  • Murray, Glen R.
  • Pendergast, Leeanna
  • Qaadri, Shafiq
  • Ramsay, David
  • Rinaldi, Lou
  • Ruprecht, Tony
  • Sandals, Liz
  • Sergio, Mario
  • Smith, Monique
  • Sousa, Charles
  • Takhar, Harinder S.
  • Van Bommel, Maria
  • Wilkinson, John
  • Wynne, Kathleen O.
  • Zimmer, David

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Those opposed?

Nays

  • Arnott, Ted
  • Bailey, Robert
  • Barrett, Toby
  • Bisson, Gilles
  • Chudleigh, Ted
  • DiNovo, Cheri
  • Dunlop, Garfield
  • Elliott, Christine
  • Gélinas, France
  • Hardeman, Ernie
  • Hudak, Tim
  • Jones, Sylvia
  • Klees, Frank
  • Kormos, Peter
  • MacLeod, Lisa
  • Marchese, Rosario
  • Miller, Norm
  • Munro, Julia
  • Ouellette, Jerry J.
  • Prue, Michael
  • Savoline, Joyce
  • Tabuns, Peter
  • Wilson, Jim
  • Yakabuski, John

The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 49; the nays are 24.

Motion agreed to.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I declare the motion carried.

SECURING PENSION BENEFITS NOW
AND FOR THE FUTURE ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LA PÉRENNITÉ
DES PRESTATIONS DE RETRAITE

Deferred vote on the motion for second reading of Bill 120, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Act and the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010 / Projet de loi 120, Loi modifiant la Loi sur les régimes de retraite et la Loi de 2010 modifiant la Loi sur les régimes de retraite.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

Interjection: Same vote.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Agreed?

Interjections: No.

The division bells rang from 1155 to 1156.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): All those in favour will rise one at a time and be recorded by the Clerk.

Ayes

  • Aggelonitis, Sophia
  • Albanese, Laura
  • Arnott, Ted
  • Bailey, Robert
  • Balkissoon, Bas
  • Barrett, Toby
  • Bartolucci, Rick
  • Bentley, Christopher
  • Best, Margarett
  • Bisson, Gilles
  • Broten, Laurel C.
  • Brown, Michael A.
  • Cansfield, Donna H.
  • Caplan, David
  • Chiarelli, Bob
  • Chudleigh, Ted
  • Colle, Mike
  • Crozier, Bruce
  • Delaney, Bob
  • Dickson, Joe
  • DiNovo, Cheri
  • Dombrowsky, Leona
  • Duguid, Brad
  • Duncan, Dwight
  • Dunlop, Garfield
  • Elliott, Christine
  • Flynn, Kevin Daniel
  • Fonseca, Peter
  • Gélinas, France
  • Hardeman, Ernie
  • Hoskins, Eric
  • Hoy, Pat
  • Hudak, Tim
  • Jaczek, Helena
  • Jeffrey, Linda
  • Johnson, Rick
  • Jones, Sylvia
  • Klees, Frank
  • Kormos, Peter
  • Kular, Kuldip
  • Kwinter, Monte
  • Leal, Jeff
  • Levac, Dave
  • MacLeod, Lisa
  • Mangat, Amrit
  • Marchese, Rosario
  • McNeely, Phil
  • Meilleur, Madeleine
  • Miller, Norm
  • Milloy, John
  • Mitchell, Carol
  • Moridi, Reza
  • Munro, Julia
  • Murray, Glen R.
  • Ouellette, Jerry J.
  • Pendergast, Leeanna
  • Prue, Michael
  • Qaadri, Shafiq
  • Ramsay, David
  • Rinaldi, Lou
  • Ruprecht, Tony
  • Sandals, Liz
  • Savoline, Joyce
  • Sergio, Mario
  • Smith, Monique
  • Sousa, Charles
  • Tabuns, Peter
  • Takhar, Harinder S.
  • Van Bommel, Maria
  • Wilkinson, John
  • Wilson, Jim
  • Wynne, Kathleen O.
  • Yakabuski, John
  • Zimmer, David

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Those opposed?

The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 74; the nays are zero.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I declare the motion carried.

Second reading agreed to.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Pursuant to the order of the House dated November 3, 2010, the bill is ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

LEGISLATIVE PAGES

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’d just like to ask all members to join me as we take this opportunity to thank this great group of pages. We wish each one of them all the best in their future endeavours. Thank you.

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I’m sure there are many on the opposition side who would love to vote for unanimous consent for the House to meet next week.

This House stands recessed until 1 p.m.

The House recessed from 1159 to 1300.

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: The president of the Canadian Polish Congress is on the way up to the chamber. I’d like to inform the House that the military parade is ending at city hall on Sunday at 1 o’clock. Consequently, the colours of the Polish nation are being raised there and not at Queen’s Park.

Mr. Reza Moridi: It’s my pleasure to introduce Dr. Fatemeh Eftekhari of Richmond Hill, who’s visiting the House today.

MEMBERS’ STATEMENTS

JOSEPH SIMONATO

Mr. Jim Wilson: I rise today to recognize the late Joseph (Chic) Simonato, a genuine gentleman and an incredible man whom I had the honour of knowing.

A veteran in his own right, fighting for our country in the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day in World War II, Chic believed strongly in the remembrance of our local veterans and worked tirelessly to preserve a historical record so no veteran would be forgotten.

He published two larges volumes documenting the history of our local veterans’ service in the Canadian Armed Forces over the past 150 years, as well as a historical book on the Collingwood Shipyards, where he worked since the late 1940s before retiring. As a mutual friend, Pat Miscampbell, put it best, he was “quite likely very annoyed to have died as he most likely still had at least one more book in him.”

Chic was the catalyst in the development of many initiatives and projects in and around the Collingwood area: the Veterans’ Wall of Honour, the restoration of the Collingwood Cenotaph and the development of the new lawn bowling facility. He was involved in his church and was a lifelong member of the Canadian Legion, serving at one point as its president. He was a board member of the Collingwood Museum and a recipient of both the Order of Collingwood and a Companion of the Order of Collingwood.

In 2010, he was recognized by the Minister of Veterans Affairs with a commendation award given only once a year to someone who provided exemplary service to their community and the remembrance of their fellow veterans.

Chic was an unbelievable individual, and he is very much missed. I send my deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, Mary Lou, and to his wonderful family.

ASSISTIVE DEVICES PROGRAM

Mr. Peter Kormos: Anna King of Thorold is a victim, not of her infirmity, which requires her to use a motorized wheelchair, but she’s a victim of the McGuinty government and its failure to respond to people with needs in this province like Ms. King—in Ms. King’s instance, her need for a motorized wheelchair to be provided under the assistive devices program.

It took five months for approval to be obtained from the ADP, and during that five months, she was a victim and a prisoner in her own home. I’ve learned from one of the larger local providers of mobility devices, Niagara Mobility Home Health Care, who has $650,000 worth of applications outstanding and has already put $250,000 worth of equipment into people’s homes, that they haven’t been paid for, and they, I should tell you, are at risk of bankruptcy because of these huge backlogs and delays in payment for mobility devices that they’ve already provided.

I’ve learned that this is not unique to Niagara Mobility, nor is it unique to the Niagara region; it’s prevalent across the province. The ADP, the assistive devices program, already the subject matter of a scathing indictment by the Auditor General, has failed to get its act together and is a mess, coming second only to the Family Responsibility Office here in the province of Ontario in terms of issues being raised by constituents. It’s time for this minister and this government to step up to the plate and fix ADP once and for all.

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

Mr. Monte Kwinter: In Ontario, our government has made important and necessary investments in hydro that will ensure that Ontarians will continue to have the dependable power they’ve come to rely on. Previous to these investments, brownouts and blackouts were common in our province. The previous government let electricity supply diminish while demand soared. Our government understands that important investments in 5,000 kilometres of new transmission lines and 2,500 megawatts of new renewable wind and solar generation will keep the lights on in a sustainable way.

These investments give Ontarians the energy security they didn’t have under previous governments. However, these important investments also come with a cost. We recognize that on this side of the House, and that’s why we’ve created tax credits for low-income families and seniors.

The Ontario energy and property tax credit would allow 740,000 seniors to receive up to $1,025 per year while Ontario families will receive up to $900. In total, 2.8 million Ontarians will be entitled to receive, on average, $455 a year. For northern families, we’ve put in place the northern Ontario energy credit, worth up to $200, to help with higher energy costs in the north. Over 50% of all northerners will benefit from this assistance.

The opposition has opposed these investments. They refused to make the investments necessary to ensure the security and dependability of Ontario’s energy system. Time and again—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you.

BOB REID

Mrs. Julia Munro: I rise today to pay tribute to Bob Reid, brother of my constituent Gary Reid, who passed away on October 12.

Bob Reid had a varied career. He worked in the Alberta oil industry with Page-Hersey Tubes; the publishing industry at Maclean-Hunter; and established his own advertising agency, Reidcorp.

Bob Reid served as head of staff for Bob Nixon when he first became Leader of the Opposition in the 1970s. Here is what Bob Nixon had to say about Bob Reid as his chief of staff:

“He was much respected and successful in organization and motivation.... Although we were somewhat disappointed in our efforts to gain the confidence of the Ontario electorate, we offered a sensible political alternative, developed a good organization and had some fun along the way. Bob had many ideas for strengthening our efforts and worked hard in the cause of Liberalism and community service.”

I spoke yesterday with Gerry Phillips. He remembers Bob Reid well and shared many amusing stories of Bob’s involvement in Scarborough politics.

I am pleased to recognize Bob Reid for his services to the community and to good governance in Ontario.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: This week, Premier Dalton McGuinty is in China strengthening economic ties and promoting Ontario as a strong and competitive global financial centre. The Premier’s week-long mission is allowing him to meet with key Canadian and Chinese business leaders, potential investors, government officials and Canadian partners.

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The Premier spent several days discussing the many benefits of the province’s Open Ontario plan, while also highlighting Ontario tourism and the province’s clean technology and green energy expertise. He travelled to Nanjing, where he celebrated 25 years of good relations between Ontario and Jiangsu province and signed additional agreements that will help move Ontario forward. Premier McGuinty and Governor Luo signed another five-year friendship agreement that will ensure economic opportunities such as international education, energy conservation, clean water technology, financial services and tourism.

While visiting Hong Kong, the Premier also highlighted Ontario’s colleges and universities as a prime destination for Chinese students and announced the launch of a new Ontario Trillium scholarship for international Ph.D. students.

The McGuinty government understands that Ontario families want good jobs and opportunities for their children. One of the best ways to do this is to build on the progress that we’ve made and continue to establish strong, lasting relationships with countries—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

Mr. John Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, I was honoured to join with other members of this assembly, and yourself as well, for the 35th anniversary of the Office of the Ombudsman here in Ontario.

The Office of the Ombudsman was established, as Arthur Maloney put it, to allow average citizens access to the corridors of power. Sometimes people who are supposedly protected by government find that government itself is the problem, and that’s why the Office of the Ombudsman was established. In fact, the first Ombudsman, Arthur Maloney, I’m honoured to say, came from my riding of Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke—it was then Renfrew South—from the village of Eganville. I remember how proud my father was in 1975 when Mr. Maloney was appointed to that office. He left a very successful law career to take the job.

Since that time, we’ve been served by Donald Morand, Daniel Hill, Roberta Jamieson, Clare Lewis, and our Ombudsman today, André Marin.

It is important in the days today, when the government has gotten bigger and bigger, to have an office established to assist average citizens to have somewhere to go to when they are unhappy or dissatisfied with the response of that government. We are thankful we have the Ombudsman. Congratulations on 35 years.

VETERANS

Mr. Dave Levac: As Remembrance Day approaches, people across Ontario will take time to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought for our country for justice and freedom during the many conflicts throughout history. We also remember those serving and those who have sacrificed their lives during the current mission in Afghanistan, including Captain Steve Leary and Trooper Larry Rudd of Brantford, who gave their lives while serving their country, their province and their community.

We signal our gratitude and respect to our veterans and troops in many ways. In the riding of Brant, I have had the honour of chairing the Thank-A-Vet Luncheon—I’ve been involved for over 15 years—which takes place this Saturday, November 6. This luncheon is a small token of appreciation we hold to thank the veterans from Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and New Credit. It is the largest event of its kind in Canada and sees attendance of over 700 veterans, spouses and widows who come for a complimentary lunch and an opportunity to share memories.

The event continues to be a huge success every year due to the many volunteers who give their time and energy, and especially our sponsors, who provide the funds needed to put this event on. We thank them all. A special thank you to the Thank-A-Vet committee co-chairs Heather Gaukel and Grant Philpott, and members Tracy Vanderwyk; Liz Ferracioli; Scott and Dianna Clare; Derek Pite, a veteran himself; Pat Eyzenga; Ross and Chris Enslev; Matt Bradley; Mike Rafferty; Bill Chopp; Paul Elliott; Don Spiece; Debbie Smith; Tina Draycott; Chris Chaban; and Ed Chrzanowski.

We will remember them.

STEM CELL AND MARROW DONATION

Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn: I was pleased to stand in the Legislature this morning to welcome Mike and Kim Smyth to the Ontario Legislature. Their son David passed away this summer while he was waiting to find a bone marrow donor. It was David’s wish to publicize the need for bone marrow donors within Ontario and throughout Canada.

Right now, there are over 800 Canadian patients who are in desperate need of a stem cell transplant to treat potentially life-threatening illnesses. Currently, there are more than a quarter of a million Canadians who are registered on the Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. OneMatch is a program dedicated to recruiting healthy, committed volunteer donors for patients in need of stem cell transplants, but they need more, and we can do more.

A few minutes ago, it was my pleasure to announce the MPP challenge in honour of David Smyth. I’m asking each and every member of the Legislature from all parties to host a clinic like the one that is taking place right now in room 163 in their own riding and to encourage their constituents to get registered with the OneMatch program. I’m also urging all those at Queen’s Park today between the ages of 17 and 50, who may be viewing this on TV, to go down right now to room 163 and register as a donor and perhaps save a life like David’s.

POLISH INDEPENDENCE DAY

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: On November 11, we will pay tribute to those brave men and women who gave their lives in the defence of our own country. For Canadians of Polish heritage, that day has added significance since November 11 is Polish Independence Day. After the occupation forces were expelled from Poland in 1918, a free, reunited and independent Poland was established on November 11.

For Polish Canadians, November 11 means freedom from the yoke of oppression. We’re reminded by the anniversary of Polish Independence Day that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and that true peace must be built on the principles of freedom and democracy for all peoples and for all nations.

The Polish Canadian Congress and many friends, Canadians and Poles alike, will raise the colours of a free and democratic Poland this Sunday at about 1 o’clock after a military parade from the St. Stanislaw church. Of course, all of us are invited.

Finally, let me simply say this: Today we take great pride in the accomplishments of Polish Canadians here in Canada, and we wish them well as they celebrate Polish Independence Day.

REPORTS BY COMMITTEES

STANDING COMMITTEE
ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

Mr. Norman W. Sterling: I beg leave to present a report on Ontario’s electronic health records initiative from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and move the adoption of its recommendations.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member for a brief statement.

Mr. Norman W. Sterling: This report emanates out of a report by the Auditor General which was tabled in the Legislature in October 2009. The committee had hearings on October 21, October 28 and November 4, 2009, and now the committee is presenting its report.

I want to read five or six of the recommendations. The committee’s recommendations are directed at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care or eHealth Ontario. They are to report back to the committee on the following:

(1) the progress made to address operational and procurement problems through improved oversight and governance;

(2) the status of the electronic health records strategic plan with attention to the technological infrastructure and the development of clinical applications to meet the needs of health care providers and clients;

(3) the implementation of the enhanced accountability initiatives; for example, the balance scorecard framework;

(4) quarterly public reports on the implementation of the EHR initiative;

(5) the possibility of the office of the Corporate Chief Information and Information Technology Officer extending its IT expertise and services to eHealth Ontario and other entities.

And lastly, although there are other recommendations as well, the committee wants a report on the progress in ensuring that consultant proposals set out clear deliverables, milestones, expected time frames and associated costs for each contract.

The committee put a lot of time and effort into the eHealth file. It was a complicated issue. I want to congratulate each member of the committee as well as the Auditor General for the work and effort they’ve put into this report.

With that, I would like to adjourn the debate, and move so.

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The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Mr. Sterling has moved to adjourn the debate. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Debate adjourned.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

RESPECT FOR ONTARIO VETERANS,
SOLDIERS AND WAR DEAD ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 SUR LE RESPECT
DES ANCIENS COMBATTANTS,
DES SOLDATS ET DES MORTS
PAR FAIT DE GUERRE DE L’ONTARIO

Ms. MacLeod moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 129, An Act to amend various Acts with respect to the observance of Remembrance Day / Projet de loi 129, Loi modifiant diverses lois en ce qui concerne l’observation du jour du Souvenir.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

First reading agreed to.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member for a short statement.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: I’m humbled to put forward the Respect for Ontario Veterans, Soldiers and War Dead Act. This bill, if passed, would legislate Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday, as it is in most other Canadian provinces and territories. It would also amend the Retail Sales Act so that Ontario businesses would be closed to respect Remembrance Day, and it would reallocate Family Day as a statutory holiday as well.

Finally, it would amend the Education Act to ensure that Ontario schools would hold a remembrance service on the last school day before Remembrance Day. I’m humbled that this idea has the support of retired Major Generals Lewis MacKenzie and Clive Addy, who’s a former vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion, as well as Michelle Vessey of the Military Moms Network and Colonel Clive Addy of the Conference of Defence Associations and Doug Munroe, the zone commander of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Mr. Speaker, I actually made an error. The Conference of Defence Associations is actually run by Alain Pellerin.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CREDIT
SCORING BAN ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 INTERDISANT
LE RECOURS AU POINTAGE DE CRÉDIT
POUR L’ASSURANCE
PROPRIÉTAIRE OCCUPANT

Mr. Colle moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 130, An Act to amend the Insurance Act to ban the use of credit history and ratings in respect of homeowners and other personal property insurance / Projet de loi 130, Loi modifiant la Loi sur les assurances en vue d’interdire le recours aux antécédents en matière de crédit et aux cotes de solvabilité relativement à l’assurance propriétaire occupant et à d’autres types d’assurance de biens meubles.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

First reading agreed to.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): The member for a short statement.

Mr. Mike Colle: The bill, if passed, prohibits insurers from using, in respect of personal property insurance, a person’s credit history or ratings as grounds for the following: (1) declining to issue, terminating or refusing to renew a contract or refusing to provide or continue any coverage or endorsement in respect of a contract; and (2) classifying risks and the determination of rates for coverage or a category of insurance.

I would like to thank Bryan Yetman, the president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, and Randy Carroll, the CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, for their leadership and their crusade in fighting for fairness for the people of Ontario, who want fair and reasonable insurance for their homes.

REMEMBRANCE DAY

Hon. Monique M. Smith: I believe we have unanimous consent that up to five minutes be allotted to each party to speak on Remembrance Day.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Agreed? Agreed.

Mr. David Zimmer: November 11 is Remembrance Day, and traditionally there are many tributes offered throughout the province and in this chamber where we recognize our veterans for the work that they’ve done and the sacrifices they’ve made. We talk about defending democracy, defending freedom, and defending country, and those are noble ideals. But on another level, sometimes I think perhaps we forget to ask ourselves the visceral question, the very personal question: What did their sacrifice mean in terms of the individuals themselves, in terms of their families, in terms of their friends?

I think there’s an obligation on us to try to understand their sacrifice in these very personal ways and what it meant to them in their hearts, their minds and their souls; to feel for them, to grieve for them on a personal level, for the death of a soldier, the death of a pilot, the death of a sailor. I think we have an obligation to try to feel the pain and grief of their mothers and their fathers and their brothers and their sisters. When we reflect on that at some level, it’s impossible to comprehend—in the safety of our homes, in the safety of our careers, in the safety of this chamber—exactly what that meant. How are we to understand what it must have felt like to be shot at, to be bombed, to suffer grievous wounds, to die from grievous wounds or to live with grievous wounds: blindness, limbless, and other forms of maiming? But this is the visceral reality of what it was like to serve in the armed forces in defence of those noble virtues: democracy and freedom.

All of their names are chiselled on the various cenotaphs throughout the province of Ontario: in small-town Ontario, villages, big cities, on the high school remembrance plaques, all over Ontario. But how many of us, passing a cenotaph, passing one of those high school plaques, take a moment to pause and just look at those names and ask ourselves, “What did it mean to them and to their families on a personal level?”? I think that our obligation—I know that our obligation—on this day of remembrance is to try to feel that reality, to feel that danger, to feel that fear, to feel that horror that they felt, to feel the horror and the fear and the anxiety that their families at home felt, with their sons and daughters off facing grave danger.

It’s a visceral reality: World War I, 66,000 Canadians killed; World War II, 42,000 Canadians killed; Korea, 516; and today in Afghanistan, 153. Each one of those individuals faced horror, fear, danger, and then all of those emotions must have been on their parents’ minds and their brothers’ and sisters’ minds. Imagine today in Afghanistan the fear of the individual, the fear of the parent for their loved one who’s over there, and every step they take might be their last because they might step on a land mine and blow up. Our obligation is to understand the magnitude of their risk and sacrifices and to respect them for that.

Let me tell you one story to drive the point home. Mrs. C.S. Woods of Winnipeg was invited by the Canadian government to the national Vimy unveiling in the late 1920s, and there’s a picture of her in the magazine journal article that covered it. She’s standing there quietly, saluting in a very frail, dignified but brave manner. And this is what the caption says under the photograph: “Among the Canadian pilgrims who attended the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial was Silver Cross Mother Mrs. C.S. Woods of Winnipeg, who lost eight sons in the war. She wore all their medals” on the Vimy unveiling day.

Just let that thought sink in: a mother, a father and a family—eight sons. I did a little bit of research on the background. Mrs. Wood had 12 children, 11 sons, all of whom enlisted. Two were underage and snuck in.

Need I say more? I think we have an obligation to ask ourselves: How do we comprehend that sacrifice? How do we honour it? How do we remember it? That’s our challenge. That’s our responsibility on Remembrance Day.

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Mr. John Yakabuski: Next week, we will be observing Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Week. The theme of Veterans’ Week this year is: How will you remember?

As Canadians, we no longer have first-hand memories of World War I since John Babcock, the last Canadian soldier, died earlier this year. In fact, there are only four veterans of the First World War alive anywhere. Each passing year, there are fewer and fewer veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War. So I ask: How will you remember?

As we sit in this House, we can remember Lieutenant Charles Smith Rutherford. On August 26, 1918, at Monchy, France, Lieutenant Rutherford took 80 enemy soldiers captive and was awarded the Victoria Cross, Canada’s highest military medal of honour. The lieutenant was later the postmaster of Colborne, Ontario, before once again donning his uniform during World War II. In between, Lieutenant Rutherford was the Sergeant-at-Arms here at Queen’s Park, performing his duties in this very chamber.

We can remember by recognizing the heroism of Victoria Cross recipient and Toronto native Frederick Albert Tilston, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery during World War II. Later, he returned to Toronto and joined the War Amps association in 1945.

When you take the short ferry trip across to Toronto Island Airport, you will see a monument to David Ernest Hornell, the Mimico, Ontario-born flight lieutenant who was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for saving his crew and, as a result, giving up his own life on June 24, 1944.

Those are stories and names that every Canadian should know. But do they? Medals awarded for valour aside, there are hundreds of thousands more soldiers and veterans who have served our country that we should remember.

So it is important that this Remembrance Day and all through Veterans’ Week, and in fact at all times, we take the time to listen to the words of these veterans; read and hear their stories so we can understand why one in 10 Canadians who served in World War I gave up his life for the cause of freedom and democracy. They will help us see and understand that the nearly 100,000 Canadians killed or wounded during World War II did so to fight tyranny.

These stories will honour those Canadians killed fighting to keep the world safe in the Korean War. They will honour those on United Nations peacekeeping missions and those killed in the war in Afghanistan. There will be stories of how Canada stood up and fought and became a nation at Vimy Ridge, and how we fought as that nation on Juno Beach; how Canadian soldiers helped liberate the Netherlands during World War II, and today are helping to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban; how Canadian peacekeepers stood between warring factions in Cyprus from 1959 until the mid-1990s, and how they continue to stand on guard for us today.

But it’s not enough only to remember what Canadian soldiers did in battle or peacekeeping roles. It is also important to know that they lived lives after, raised families and, like my father, served their country in other ways. Like my father, many served in this Legislature. Many came home to be schoolteachers, doctors, lawyers, members of the clergy; in fact, there is nary a profession that veterans did not serve to populate on their return.

When we stand in silence next Thursday, we do so to remember those who have fallen in defence of liberty and against tyranny on behalf of our province and our country. We will remember their sacrifice because it is that sacrifice that has made the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today possible.

I encourage everyone across this great province to join Royal Canadian Legion members at a commemorative ceremony in their community at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I urge them all to take advantage of this opportunity to show our respect and admiration to those we can never repay.

On behalf of our leader, Tim Hudak, and the Ontario PC caucus, I say thank you to the men and women in uniform and their families for continuing to serve our province and our country. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Mr. Peter Kormos: I’m proud to address Remembrance Day here in the chamber on behalf of Andrea Horwath and the New Democrats.

Members of this House, of this chamber know that Ontarians wear poppies during Veterans’ Week to commemorate the armistice that ended the Great War at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Most everywhere you go in this city and in the town squares of our home ridings, you come across the stone monuments, the crosses of sacrifice and the bronze plaques filled with names of young Canadians, many who died a long time ago when the world was a very different place and Europe was still a very faraway place. The casualty lists are meant to help us remember, but sheer numbers have a tendency to numb the mind.

We can put those losses in practical terms. Winning the battle of Vimy Ridge—Vimy Ridge alone—would be like losing the population of many Ontario towns, the whole population. This year, John Babcock died. He was 109 years old. He was Canada’s last living link to the Great War, and that means that now we have to work all that much harder not to forget.

It’s a little easier to put a face to those who died on the beaches of Dieppe and Normandy, in the streets of Holland, in the skies over Germany and beneath the cold, cold waters of the North Atlantic. I was at the Canadian Corps in Port Colborne just a couple of weeks ago. One of its members, a constituent, had come to the corps with a love letter written by her father when he was but 22, sent to her mother in Port Colborne. You see, she’d never met her father. She was but newly born. Her mother saved the love letter. Her father, 22, from small-town Port Colborne, wrote it on the ship that was transporting him across the channel to Normandy. He acknowledged that his knees were shaking—I read this; I held this in my own hand; it was a very moving thing—but he was confident that they’d put the Germans on the run. Well, they did, but her dad never came home.

How a young man in the midst of this incredible moment would take the time to write to his dear young wife and daughter, never seen, acknowledge that his knees were shaking and, oh, yes, profess the most genuine and passionate love for his wife is just an amazing testament to the incredible courage of service people, be it then or be it now.

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The Second World War—we’ve seen the newsreels and the documentaries. As I say, we still have a connection to these living veterans. Some of those survivors are family members. Some of our friends fought in Korea too, and in Vietnam. Many served with great sacrifice—incredible sacrifice—in the Merchant Marine. We see these folks aging. We see them at the grocery store, at the post office and at the Legion.

Strangely and sadly enough, we seem to get worse at remembering the closer we get to the present, notwithstanding present sacrifices. We see the Balkans as a newspaper headline, or the First Gulf War as a mere flicker on television, and Afghanistan now as a grim statistic flashing across a computer screen. Maybe it just cuts too close. There’s many a member of this assembly who has borne witness to the loss of families in their communities, the communities they represent, and who has attended the funerals of those service people who made their sacrifice on behalf of Canada and in the service of humankind.

Maybe it cuts too close. Maybe it feels too immediate. Sometimes, you see, we associate Remembrance Day with the past. After all, it is Remembrance Day. But we’d do well to put it in the present.

We walk past the Ontario veterans’ memorial on our way into work here at Queen’s Park. Maybe in November, this month, we might walk a little slower and linger over the pictures from the long line of conflicts and wars dating back to the Fenian raids. Maybe we could let the monument take us back to a time before the age of CF-18s to the era of Billy Bishop’s biplane. Maybe, when we see a young woman or man walking across those grounds right here in front of Queen’s Park, we might remind ourselves that they might have just gotten back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan or have lost a loved one in that country.

Remembering doesn’t need to be political; in fact, it shouldn’t be. That’s a very odd thing to say here in the chamber, but I’m confident that we all believe that is very true. Wearing the poppy doesn’t mean we choose to glorify war and violence—far from it. It’s not a party badge for any one political stripe. It’s simpler than that, it really is. It’s much more subtle. We can choose, and we should, to remember individual lives. We can choose, and again we should, to value individual sacrifice whether or not we agree with the foreign policy. Old men start wars; young women and men fight them.

We can choose to remember because even if we didn’t require them to do so, many paid dearly for our advantages and for that protection of humankind. We can choose to remember and keep our convictions at the same time. We can choose to recite In Flanders Fields and Dulce et Decorum Est and mean both just as sincerely. Remembrance Day isn’t partisan. It doesn’t matter how we voted on any single issue. It’s not the sole turf of the right or the centre or the left. It’s for all Ontarians to remember in our own way, but to remember together. Quiet patriotism is no better or worse than waving the flag. What is important is that we never forget. We must never, ever forget.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I would like to thank the honourable members for their comments today. I would ask all members and those who are here in the chamber today to rise as we observe two minutes of silence and observe those two minutes in remembrance of those men and women who made the very sacrifices that give each of us here as elected officials the right to sit in this chamber today.

The House observed two minutes’ silence.

PETITIONS

REPLACEMENT WORKERS

Mme France Gélinas: I have a petition from the people of Nickel Belt, and it read as follows:

“Whereas strikes and lockouts are rare: on average, 97% of collective agreements are negotiated without work disruption; and

“Whereas anti-temporary replacement workers laws have existed in Quebec since 1978; in British Columbia since 1993; and successive governments in those two provinces have never repealed those laws; and

“Whereas anti-temporary replacement workers legislation has reduced the length and divisiveness of labour disputes; and

“Whereas the use of temporary replacement workers during a strike or lockout is damaging to the social fabric of a community in the short and the long term as well as the well-being of its residents;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to enact legislation banning the use of temporary replacement workers during a strike or lockout.”

I fully support this petition, will affix my name to it and send it to the clerks with page Haadiyah.

CEMETERIES

Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“Whereas the Ontario Historical Society, founded in 1888, is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario April 1, 1899, with a mandate to identify, protect, preserve and promote Ontario’s history; and

“Whereas protecting and preserving Ontario’s cemeteries is a shared responsibility and the foundation of a civilized society; and

“Whereas the Legislature failed to enact Bill 149, the Inactive Cemeteries Protection Act, 2009, which would have prohibited the relocation of inactive cemeteries in the province of Ontario; and

“Whereas the Cooley-Hatt Cemetery (circa 1786) is located in the Niagara Escarpment plan within Ontario’s greenbelt plan in Ancaster, city of Hamilton; and

“Whereas this is one of the earliest surviving pioneer cemeteries in Ontario, with approximately 99 burials, including at least one veteran of the War of 1812;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“The government of Ontario must take whatever action is necessary to prevent the desecration of any part of this sacred burial ground for real estate development.”

I’ve signed my name and send this to the Clerk via page Marie-Josée.

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Mr. John Yakabuski: I have a petition for the Parliament of Ontario.

“Whereas the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) recently and unilaterally announced that it would euthanize all animals in its care at its Newmarket shelter, citing a ringworm outbreak as justification;

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“Whereas the euthanasia plan was stopped in the face of repeated calls for a stay in the Legislature and by the public, but not until 99 animals had been killed;

“Whereas the Premier and community safety minister ... refused to act, claiming the provincial government has no jurisdiction over the OSPCA;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario to immediately implement the resolution tabled at Queen’s Park by Newmarket–Aurora MPP Frank Klees on June 1, 2010, which reads as follows:

“‘That, in the opinion of this House, the Ontario Legislature call on the government of Ontario to review the powers and authority granted to the OSPCA under the OSPCA Act and to make the necessary legislative changes to bring those powers under the authority of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure that there is a clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province, and to separate the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.’”

I support this petition, affix my name to it and I will forward it with page Emmett.

HOME WARRANTY PROGRAM

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: This is a petition to support extending the Ombudsman of Ontario’s jurisdiction to include the Tarion Warranty Corp.

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas homeowners have purchased a newly built home in good faith and often soon find they are victims of construction defects, often including Ontario building code violations, such as faulty heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, leaking roofs, cracked foundations etc.;

“Whereas often when homeowners seek restitution and repairs from the builder and the Tarion Warranty Corp., they encounter an unwieldy bureaucratic system that often fails to compensate them for the high cost of repairing these construction defects, while the builder often escapes with impunity;

“Whereas the Tarion Warranty Corp. is supposed to be an important part of the consumer protection system in Ontario related to newly built homes;

“Whereas the government to date has ignored calls to make its Tarion agency truly accountable to consumers;

“Be it resolved that we, the undersigned, support MPP Cheri DiNovo’s private member’s bill, which calls for the Ombudsman to be given oversight of Tarion and the power to deal with unresolved complaints;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to amend the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act to provide that the Ombudsman’s powers under the Ombudsman Act in respect of any governmental organization apply to the corporation established under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, and to provide for necessary modifications in the application of the Ombudsman Act.”

I couldn’t agree more and will give this to Kieran to be delivered to the table.

SAEED MALEKPOUR

Mr. Reza Moridi: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“Whereas Mr. Saeed Malekpour, a resident of Richmond Hill, was detained and arrested in Iran in October 2008 and has been imprisoned since then; and

“Whereas Mr. Malekpour has been accused of certain crimes against the Iranian government and last week was sentenced to death; and

“Whereas Mr. Malekpour has 20 days to appeal this sentence;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to intervene on Mr. Malekpour’s behalf and appeal to the government of Iran.”

I fully support this petition, sign it and pass it to page Jonathan.

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: A petition to the Parliament of Ontario, mostly from residents of the city of Barrie:

“Whereas the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) recently and unilaterally announced that it would euthanize all animals in its care at its Newmarket shelter, citing a ringworm outbreak as justification;

“Whereas the euthanasia plan was stopped in the face of repeated calls for a stay in the Legislature and by the public, but not until 99 animals had been killed;

“Whereas the Premier and Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci refused to act, claiming the provincial government has no jurisdiction over the OSPCA;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario to immediately implement the resolution tabled at Queen’s Park by Newmarket–Aurora MPP Frank Klees on June 1, 2010, which reads as follows:

“‘That, in the opinion of this House, the Ontario Legislature call on the government of Ontario to review the powers and authority granted to the OSPCA under the OSPCA Act and to make the necessary legislative changes to bring those powers under the authority of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure that there is a clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province, and to separate the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.’”

I agree with this and am pleased to sign it and give it to Carina.

DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES

Mme France Gélinas: I have this petition from the people of Nipissing, and it reads as follows:

“Whereas the Ontario government is making ... PET scanning, a publicly insured health service, available to cancer and cardiac patients; and

“Whereas,” since October 2009, “insured PET scans” are performed “in Ottawa, London, Toronto, Hamilton and Thunder Bay; and

“Whereas the city of Greater Sudbury is a hub for health care in northeastern Ontario, with the Sudbury Regional Hospital, its regional cancer program and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to make PET scans available through the Sudbury Regional Hospital, thereby serving and providing equitable access to the citizens of northeastern Ontario.”

I fully support this petition, affix my name to it and ask page Kieran to bring it to the Clerk for me.

PENSION PLANS

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I have a petition here.

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) regulations for ‘loss of sponsor’ of defined benefit pension plans only permit windup and annuity purchase; and

“Whereas, in the present economic climate, the cost of annuities is at a 25-year high, with no relief in sight;

“Therefore the purchase of annuities exacerbates the punitive impact of windup on Nortel pension plan members and others in similar situations, and increases the costs passed on to the taxpayers of Ontario;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“To amend the PBA regulations to permit the administrator and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to apply other options in the ‘loss of sponsor’ scenario which will provide more benefits to Nortel pension plan members and others in similar situations, such as the continuation of the pension plan under responsible financial management by a non-government institution.”

I affix my signature. Thank you for allowing me to present this petition.

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Mr. Charles Sousa: I have a petition that reads as follows:

“Whereas the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) recently and unilaterally announced that it would euthanize all animals in its care at its Newmarket shelter, citing a ringworm outbreak as justification;

“Whereas the euthanasia plan was stopped in the face of repeated calls for a stay in the Legislature and by the public, but not until 99 animals had been killed; ....

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario to immediately implement the resolution tabled at Queen’s Park by Newmarket–Aurora MPP Frank Klees on June 1, 2010, which reads as follows:

“‘That, in the opinion of this House, the Ontario Legislature call on the government of Ontario to review the powers and authority granted to the OSPCA under the OSPCA Act and to make the necessary legislative changes to bring those powers under the authority of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure that there is a clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province, and to separate the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.’”

I affix my signature and provide it to Sanjay.

HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT

Mr. Norm Miller: I have petitions to do with paving shoulders on provincial highways. It reads:

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas pedestrians and cyclists are increasingly using secondary highways to support healthy lifestyles and expand active transportation; and

“Whereas paved shoulders on highways enhance public safety for all highway users, expand tourism opportunities and support good health; and

“Whereas paved shoulders help to reduce the maintenance cost of repairs to highway surfaces; and

“Whereas Norm Miller’s private member’s Bill 100 provides for a minimum one-metre paved shoulder for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“That Norm Miller’s private member’s Bill 100, which requires a minimum one-metre paved shoulder on designated highways, receive swift passage through the legislative process.”

Of course, I support this.

ONTARIO SOCIETY
FOR THE PREVENTION
OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: I’m reading a petition for professional oversight of the OSPCA.

“Whereas the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) recently and unilaterally announced that it would euthanize all animals in its care at its Newmarket shelter, citing a ringworm outbreak as justification;

“Whereas the euthanasia plan was stopped in the face of repeated calls for a stay in the Legislature and by the public, but not until 99 animals had been killed;

“Whereas the Premier and Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci refused to act, claiming the provincial government has no jurisdiction over the OSPCA;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario to immediately implement the resolution tabled at Queen’s Park by Newmarket–Aurora MPP Frank Klees on June 1, 2010, which reads as follows:

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“‘That, in the opinion of this House, the Ontario Legislature call on the government of Ontario to review the powers and authority granted to the OSPCA under the OSPCA Act and to make the necessary legislative changes to bring those powers under the authority of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure that there is a clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province, and to separate the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.’”

I couldn’t agree more, and will affix my signature and get Emmett to take it to the table.

HEALTH CARE FUNDING

Mr. Jim Wilson: “To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the consolidation of medical laboratories in rural areas is causing people to travel further and wait longer for services; and

“Whereas it is the responsibility of the Ontario government to ensure that Ontarians have equal access to all health care services; and

“Whereas rural Ontario continues to get shortchanged when it comes to health care: doctor shortages, smaller hospitals, less pharmaceutical services, lack of transportation and now medical laboratory services; and

“Whereas the McGuinty government continues to increase taxes to make up for misspent tax dollars, collecting $15 billion over the last six years from the Liberal health tax, ultimately forcing Ontarians to pay more while receiving less;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“That the McGuinty government stop the erosion of public health care services and ensure equal access to medical laboratories for all Ontarians.”

I want to thank the good people of Elmvale, Tottenham and Stayner, who would like their laboratory services returned.

PRIVATE MEMBERS’
PUBLIC BUSINESS

KATELYN BEDARD BONE MARROW AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2010 /
LOI KATELYN BEDARD DE 2010
SUR LE MOIS DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AU DON DE MOELLE OSSEUSE

Mr. Crozier moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 80, An Act to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month / Projet de loi 80, Loi visant à désigner le mois de novembre Mois de la sensibilisation au don de moelle osseuse.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Pursuant to standing order 98, the member has 12 minutes for his presentation.

The member from Essex.

Mr. Bruce Crozier: Today I am joined here by members of the family of Katelyn Bedard and friends to support Bill 80, which I have just said is to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month, and I want to point out to members that the short title of the act is the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Awareness Month Act, 2010.

I want to give you a little bit of a history as to why this act is before us. It was more than just several years ago that a good friend, Jackie Leardi, brought to my attention the family of Katelyn, who were in a battle with her to find a bone marrow match.

This bill has had several stops along the way. The first time it was presented, it just simply wasn’t passed on third reading and wasn’t made an act. Nevertheless, we, along with the Bedard family, laboured on, and it was reintroduced, only to suffer being on the order paper when we prorogued. So we’re back for a third time, and as my good friend from Waterloo–Wellington said a few minutes ago, maybe it’s third time lucky. But I think it’s more than luck. I want to ask my colleagues here today to support this bill.

I want to give you, as well, some of the background, and it can be said in no better way than in the words of the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association:

“If Only There Had Been a Donor for Katie

“Katie was such a precious little girl. She loved to sing songs, make crafts and play games with her brother and cousins. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) not long after her second birthday. After treatment with chemotherapy, the leukemia went into remission but it eventually came back, just days before her third birthday. The only thing that could cure her of this life-threatening disease was a bone marrow transplant.

“Sadly, nobody in the bone marrow registry was a match for Katie. She never received the bone marrow transplant she desperately needed, and in June 2005, little Katie earned her angel wings. She was only three and a half years old.

“If only there had been a match for Katie in the bone marrow registry. If only more people were aware of the desperate need for bone marrow donors. Please help.”

And that’s what we’re here today to do: to help. Some of you will have joined us in room 163, and in fact, you still have about an hour to do so, to be swabbed to be on the bone marrow registry and the stem cell registry, where it may be, some day down the road, that you could help.

We often have private members’ bills that come before the Legislature that are for great causes. Frankly, I think that’s what private members’ business should be more about, and that is where you can bring those issues before the Legislature that are personal matters, that touch us all, and that we, as backbenchers and opposition members, have the opportunity to bring issues and have them brought forward and be meaningful. In all honesty, that’s the reason that I’m supporting the bill that I have proposed today.

Bone marrow transplants are simply life-saving. To do so has become, I think, even easier than it used to be. My colleague from Oakville will be speaking today to this matter, as well as my colleague from Nipissing, and they will explain to you just how easy it is to become a life-saver. I encourage you, after listening to them and us and yourselves, to do so.

My colleague from Oakville may repeat this, but there is a match out there somewhere for every individual who needs a bone marrow transplant. It’s finding that match. By setting aside a month in which the advocates of bone marrow donation can use that month to kind of bring people together and to emphasize, advertise and promote how important it is to give this life-saving chance—why, I know that all of us would want to do that.

Bone marrow is located in most bones and is responsible for manufacturing blood cells. Certain diseases such as I just mentioned—leukemia—cause the bone marrow to malfunction and to produce abnormal cells. For many people suffering from these diseases, a bone marrow transplant is the only hope for long-term survival.

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure where a patient’s own bone marrow is destroyed, using high doses of chemotherapy and radiation, and normal bone marrow cells are infused in much the same way as a blood transfusion.

The healthy bone marrow can come from a variety of donors, depending on the type of disease—the patients themselves, a sibling or a parent, umbilical cord blood and unrelated bone marrow donors. That’s really what we are trying to focus on: the unrelated bone marrow donors. Obviously, family and friends are close by and are always willing to donate. But it’s the unrelated, that one match, perhaps, that’s out there, that we’re looking for.

Also, through this month-of-November bill, if it were to be passed, we want to promote this to a number of areas, a number of communities. Just for your information, on the bone marrow registry today, of the total, 1% are aboriginal, 1.6% are East Indian, 3.6% are Asian, 0.3% are Hispanic and 83% are Caucasian.

You say, why do I mention that? The bone marrow matches are, in many cases, specific to different ethnic groups, and we want to encourage in this great country of ours, which is so multicultural, getting to those groups who may not understand that their bone marrow may be a unique match to one that’s needed. We want to encourage more and more people of all ethnicities to register on the bone marrow registry and the stem cell registry.

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I don’t know that there’s a lot more I can say that would add to the urgency of what we are speaking about today. I hope I get the support of my colleagues so that through this we are better prepared to answer the call from those who need our support.

I would point out and will emphasize, perhaps through our discussion today, that everyone who might consider being on this registry has to be between the ages of 17 and 50. I was asking today, when we were downstairs and they were doing the swabs, if the swab could tell how old you are, because I thought that maybe I’d sneak in a bit under the wire.

Interjection.

Mr. Bruce Crozier: I hear a chuckle over there. You know that I’m a long way over the wire. Nevertheless, it is between the ages of 17 and 50. We want to be able to get that kind of information out and support those who are dedicating their lives to spreading the word, to encouraging more people to register and to do that which will give something life-saving to a number of individuals.

I really appreciate the fact that the Bedard family and their friends have joined us today and that they’ve joined me in this journey—or I have joined them in a journey over the last few years—to have this bill see the light of day. I certainly would appreciate and ask for the support of all my colleagues.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I am very pleased to rise today to speak on behalf of the PC caucus. I will be joined by my colleague the member from Wellington–Halton Hills on the member from Essex’s Bill 80, which would mark November as Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Awareness Month.

I would like to commend the member for bringing forward this important bill, and I’d also like to thank Katelyn Bedard’s family and members of the association for joining us here in the Legislature today. We are certainly going to speak in favour of it and vote in favour of it, because it certainly has the potential to save many lives in Ontario.

For those who are listening to this debate today, it is really important to spread awareness about the need for bone marrow donations and stem cell donations. I would like to speak for just a few moments on the ease with which one can be connected with one match and put oneself on the list.

As everyone knows, the importance of bone marrow is the concentration of stem cells. Stem cells are vitally important and useful due to their immaturity and their ability to develop into any of the cells that are present in the bloodstream. As the member from Essex indicated, bone marrow is found in most bones and is responsible for manufacturing blood cells.

Certain diseases, such as leukemia, cause one’s bone marrow to malfunction and produce abnormal cells. For many people suffering from these diseases, a bone marrow transplant is the only hope for long-term survival. However, fewer than 30% of patients who need stem cell transplants are able to find a match within their own families. The rest are forced to rely on the hope of finding a matching unrelated donor who has volunteered to give stem cells to anyone in need. Therefore, the need to put yourself on the registry and be available is of vital importance.

Stem cell transplantation can be achieved through unrelated donors in one of several ways. The first is through bone marrow donation, where marrow is collected during a day surgery procedure. The donor receives anaesthesia and the marrow is removed with a needle, generally from the hip bone. Secondly, through peripheral blood stem cells, the stem cells can be removed. In this case, the donor is awake, an IV is inserted into the donor’s arm, and the stem cells are filtered out of the blood. The procedure is virtually painless and much like having blood taken in a simple procedure. Prior to the stem cell collection, the donor receives a special drug called Neupogen to stimulate a greater production of stem cells. Finally, stem cells can also be found in umbilical cord blood.

It’s easy to join the Canadian bone marrow registry. It is known as OneMatch. First, I should mention that joining OneMatch is entirely free. The donor will not be charged for any part of the testing or donation process. The potential donor can even sign up online by simply indicating their interest and by filling out a questionnaire. Certainly, my staff members are in the process of doing that today, and I would encourage all of the other members, both themselves and their staff members, to join up as well. Canadian Blood Services, with OneMatch, has made the process so comprehensive that from being tested to joining the list doesn’t even require a trip to the doctor’s office.

Once approved for the program, OneMatch will send a testing kit directly to the donor’s home, where the donor would perform a simple cheek swab and return the testing kit to Ottawa for processing to be added to the list. That procedure is available here today at Queen’s Park. If you are contacted as a donor, OneMatch will pay all transportation and accommodation fees—so, as I mentioned, the experience will not cost the donor anything. It is a completely—well, not completely, because there are risks with anaesthesia, but a relatively risk-free procedure, and complications are very rare.

In order for a patient to receive a stem cell or bone marrow transplant, as mentioned, the donor must be of the same ethnicity. In the Canadian bone marrow registries, ethnicities other than Caucasian are vastly underrepresented. Last year, OneMatch made a national call for non-Caucasian donors and they report that there have been 3,600 non-Caucasian new donors as a result. So we are making progress, but still there is much to be done.

In conclusion, I would like to encourage all members to join, to see if you can become a donor, and encourage your constituents to do so as well, perhaps through your websites. Please try to spread the word as much as you can, because this is really vitally important and can mean the difference between life and death for so many people in Ontario.

Again, I would like to thank the member from Essex very much for bringing this important awareness step forward, and again, thank you very much to Katelyn’s family and friends and members of the association for joining us here today at Queen’s Park.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mme France Gélinas: I would like to thank the member from Essex for bringing this bill, Bill 80, forward. This is a bill that the caucus of the NDP will be supporting wholeheartedly.

I would also like to thank the family, friends and supporters of Katelyn’s parents. You see, Katelyn’s parents had to live through a tragedy; none of us wants to go down this path. They lost their little girl. But what they did is just fantastic. They turned their grief into action. Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, they decided to help others so that no other parents ever have to live through what I could just imagine was the horror that they had to live through, and that is knowing that there is a treatment that could save the life of your child, yet you’re not able to find a match. What they have done with their grief is turned it into positive action to make sure that they bring awareness to this so that people join the registry and basically get the chance to save a life.

My colleague has talked about how easy it is to join the registry, but right here, right now, today, the members of this Legislature have a chance to help out. We have a chance to bring forward this bill, to make it into legislation so that from now on in Ontario, the month of November will be recognized as Bone Marrow Awareness Month. We will have done our small part to bring awareness to this important issue. Those people work day in and day out to bring awareness to this issue. They are asking for our help. All we need to do is stand up, be counted and vote in favour. Pretty easy, isn’t it? And look at what this could bring. It brings awareness. Every year in November, people who haven’t joined will have a reminder that, “Hey, this is something easy to do.”

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The member from Nipissing and I went to room 163 today, where we joined the registry. The whole thing, from getting there, being greeted and leaving, took me less than 10 minutes. It is very easy, and it is painless. I know when people think about bone marrow and stem cells, there’s a lot of people out there who are afraid of needles. There’s none of this. They give you something that looks like an extended Q-tip, you put it in your mouth, and you put it in the little pouch—voici, voilà, done. You do it yourself. It takes 20 seconds, and you’re done. It’s pretty easy. Plus you fill out your name, and you sign. The whole thing takes no time at all, and you are doing one small part. You are saying, “If I can help out another human being in need, I will do it.” Isn’t that something great? Everybody wins. How could you say no?

This bill has been brought forward. It is now called the lucky third time bill because this is the third time that this easy idea has been put in front of this House. I have a feeling, having heard from all three parties represented in this Parliament, that we will vote in favour. It will pass second reading. But in order for it to become law, the responsibility rests 100% on the shoulders of the government. Why wasn’t this bill brought forward to committee, to third reading and to receive royal assent?

To me, this is the theory of “do no harm.” Nothing bad can come of this. We are bringing forward awareness. We’re not going to force anybody to go on the registry if they don’t want to. It is completely voluntary, it doesn’t cost anything, and it could change so much.

I never met Katelyn—I went online today and saw a few pictures of a very cute little three-year-old—but I’ve seen many, many children in pediatric wards fighting the same disease that she fought. I have seen young adults, as well as adults, facing the same dilemma that Katelyn faced some time ago now. It is very stressful.

As was mentioned, in close to 70% of the cases, you can’t find a match, although we all know that the match is out there. It is out there. We all have a match, but the matches are not there because the awareness is not there. People have not put their names on the registry, so those people often face really tragic events.

Twenty-five years ago, I joined the first oncologist that ever came to northeastern Ontario. It was Dr. Cunningham. They had put a team together, and I volunteered to work on that team. Cancer treatment 25 years ago was nowhere near where it is now: 25 years ago, people saw a diagnosis of cancer more or less as a death sentence. But things have changed; it’s not like this anymore. Cancer is not a death sentence. There are effective treatments that will bring you quality of life. You will join the tens of thousands of Ontarians who are cancer survivors. There are procedures such as bone marrow transplants, such as stem cell transplants, that give a second lease on life to people who otherwise will die. It’s as simple as that.

We have this available. If your family can give, it’s wonderful, but often there’s no match within the family, so you have to rely on the registry. For the registry to be effective, the more people we have on the registry, the more lives will be saved. It’s as simple as that. We all have a match out there; it’s just a question of finding that person.

Those people work hard. We have our little part to do. As parliamentarians, I think we all come to office for the same reasons: We want to help people; we want to do some good for the people of Ontario. Well, here’s an opportunity for all of us to do some good that won’t cost the province a cent. I know we’re in a deficit and we have to watch our pennies. This won’t cost you anything. We’re talking about awareness, allowing the province of Ontario to recognize the month of November as Bone Marrow Awareness Month. That’s it; that’s all. A pretty simple bill. Here again, the member for Essex is nodding his head. Yes, it is a simple bill and a bill that should be supported, but it hasn’t been.

When we look at the types of diseases and cancer that can be treated with stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants, there are quite a few. The best known of them is certainly leukemia. There are all sorts of statistics on the hundreds of thousands of people who will be diagnosed with leukemia—I’m just looking for my stats right now. They’re in the hundreds of thousands; 235,000—I’m going by memory—for children and about 198,000 for adults. That’s a lot of people, and one of the treatment options is what we’re talking about today: stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants.

If we want to help those hundreds of people who may very well be faced with the only treatment option that is available to them, a transplant—we all know that we have a match out there, but that match, for some reason, didn’t know about the registry, didn’t know how easy it was and never got registered, and then the horrific consequences rolled out and the person died.

There’s a good opportunity to do some good. Here again, I’m confident we will pass second reading, and then the next two steps—receiving third reading and receiving royal assent—rest squarely on the shoulders of the members of the Liberal government. It is a Liberal member who brings this bill forward. I’m looking forward to hearing what some of their members have to say. I’ve already talked to the member from Nipissing and I know that she will be speaking in favour. I hope that this goodwill that we see in this chamber today will be translated into action, so that this bill goes to committee, if need be, receives third reading—and I can guarantee you, if it comes for third reading, the NDP caucus will support it, no questions asked—and then receives royal assent.

You will bring awareness. You will make sure that more and more Ontarians know about the registry and will add their names to it. It has been mentioned that you can go on the Internet right now and ask for a kit. They will send it to you in the mail. You take the long-stemmed Q-tip, put it in your mouth, put it back in the envelope and mail it away, and voilà, you’ve done it. That’s all you’ve got to do. Then, if the opportunity arises, you make the decision that needs to be made in due time, but at least you have the possibility of knowing that if somebody needs you, you will be there for them.

Il me fait plaisir d’apporter mon appui au projet de loi 80 qui a été apporté par le député d’Essex pour essayer de créer une banque où tous les Ontariens et Ontariennes qui sont intéressés peuvent donner leur nom pour la transplantation de cellules souches. Une transplantation de cellules souches est une procédure médicale, mais pour s’inscrire sur la liste, c’est tellement facile : on prend une espèce de grand Q-tip, on frotte à l’intérieur de la bouche, on met ça dans une enveloppe et voilà. C’est tout ce que vous avez à faire. On ne parle pas de seringue, on ne parle pas de piqûre, on ne parle de rien de ça. C’est extrêmement facile, et vous pouvez ajouter votre nom à la liste pour être sûr que si vous ou un membre de votre famille vous retrouvez avec une maladie sérieuse pour laquelle le seul traitement est la transplantation de cellules souches, il y aura quelqu’un en Ontario qui pourra vous aider. On sait qu’on a tous quelqu’un qui pourrait nous aider, mais si cette personne-là ne sait pas qu’elle peut s’enregistrer, elle ne le fera pas.

Le projet de loi est simple : créons le mois de novembre comme un mois dédié à la transplantation de cellules souches.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn: It’s a pleasure to rise in the House this afternoon and speak to Bill 80. As the previous speaker, the member from Nickel Belt, just mentioned, this surely is a bill whose time has come. This bill should have gone through in previous readings but for whatever reason it didn’t.

Certainly the intent of the bill is to raise awareness amongst the public in Ontario, in our own communities and throughout the country. It’s about 28 minutes after 2; right now, to anybody who can hear or see these proceedings, there’s a bone marrow donor clinic taking place here at Queen’s Park, as we speak, that doesn’t close until 3 o’clock. So if you’re within hearing or seeing, or if you plan to attend the one at Queen’s Park, you’ve still got about half an hour to get down to room 163 and actually become a donor. Perhaps what you do within the next half-hour this afternoon will save somebody’s life.

This bill gives us a tremendous opportunity to correct a misconception that exists amongst the Ontario public, the Canadian public, that somehow donating bone marrow to another person is a painful and very, very intrusive procedure. In fact, from what I’ve learned from my association today—I had the pleasure of meeting Bryan Bedard from the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association, members of the family, members who are helping him—a wonderful man doing some wonderful work.

In my own constituency, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Kim and Mike Smyth. Now when I first spoke to Mike Smyth, his son David was still alive; he was lying in a hospital bed in Hamilton with leukemia. They were searching for a donor. They were searching for a donor on the national registry, they were searching for a donor on the international registry, and they couldn’t find one.

I, up until that time, carried the same misconception that donating bone marrow to another person was something that you really had to think about because it was going to put you through a lot of pain as well. I found out that exactly the opposite is true. It is so easy, as previous speakers have said. It’s simply a matter of putting a large Q-tip in the four corners of your mouth, having that Q-tip analyzed, finding out if you’re a donor or not; and then there’s a number of ways that transplant can take place.

Each year, hundreds of Canadians need bone marrow transplants to treat what are potentially life-threatening illnesses. David Smyth was one of those people. David was 20 years old and he attended Trent University. His donor was not found. We had planned a donor clinic at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital on a Tuesday; unfortunately, David passed away the Friday before.

So there certainly are some things we can do to this process to make it speedier and make it better. As it stands right now, in Canada 800 Canadians are hoping to get that phone call today that a match has been found. It probably isn’t going to happen because we’ve only got 250,000 Canadians that are registered on the Canadian Blood Services OneMatch stem cell and marrow network. It simply is not enough to support our population, if you do the math. The goal is two million people. We need two million people on that registry; we need to increase it fourfold.

I like the goal of this bill because what the member from Essex is doing in making November Bone Marrow Awareness Month is sending a message or assisting in sending a message to all Canadians and to all Ontarians that they can do something very, very simple that can have such a profound effect on an individual’s life or death, and can have such a profound effect on that family as well.

We need people to be aware of how quick and simple it is to get registered. As I said, we’ve got a clinic right down here at Queen’s Park today. It’s been mentioned that you can do it online at onematch.ca. They will mail the kit to your home; you can mail that kit back to them.

What I’m also announcing today is I’m challenging every member in the House from every party. It’s one thing to talk about this; maybe it’s time we all went out and did something about it. We all have medical facilities in our own community. We all have hospitals in our own community. Working with Canadian Blood Services, I’m challenging every member of this House, every MPP in this House, to host a clinic of their own. Canadian Blood Services will assist you in that regard. It’s a fantastic educational experience. You learn an awful lot about the process, and you will find that the people in your community respond like they did in Oakville.

I understand that one is being held November 10. The member for Oak Ridges–Markham is hosting an MPP clinic on November 10 to look for potential bone marrow awareness recipients. The member from Essex is taking up the challenge. The member from Brantford is taking up the challenge. The member from Peterborough is taking up the challenge.

The efforts of the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association are going to contribute to growing awareness. Making November Bone Marrow Awareness Month is going to assist in that regard. This surely is a bill that every member of this House can support, should support, so that the Katelyns and the Davids of the world who simply didn’t get the match they needed will get the match they need in the future.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Ted Arnott: I’m pleased to join in this debate this afternoon to speak in support of Bill 80, An Act to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month, which has been brought forward in this House this afternoon once again by the member for Essex.

I commend and compliment the member for Essex for his persistence in this regard. I’m aware that he has brought it forward in the Legislature on two previous occasions. As we said earlier, this is the third time and we hope that this time the bill will pass into law. I would encourage all members of the House to support it.

I want to welcome and thank the Bedard family for joining us today. I think your presence here is very much appreciated by all of us. I’m sure it’s a day of mixed emotions for all of you, but we are delighted to have you here today and we look forward to getting to know you better.

Our caucus certainly is supporting this measure. The member for Whitby–Oshawa spoke in support of it—she’s our health critic—and I know that her sentiments are applauded by all of us on this side of the House.

I would like to say, on behalf of my family, certainly, that we have an interest in this issue. My wife has been a blood donor for many years and has gone many times.

I think we all understand the importance of blood donation. Many members of this House, perhaps, weren’t as well aware of the opportunities that exist for bone marrow donation and how it works. Certainly, given the fact that the clinic is still in progress, as we’ve heard many times this afternoon, I intend, after I finish speaking, to go down there and be perhaps one of the last ones before it closes. I hope that it’s still open in time for me.

At the same time, I think it’s important to talk about some of the other efforts that are being made to encourage organ donation. I want to compliment my colleague the member for Newmarket–Aurora, who has a private member’s resolution before the House right now.

Also, I want to remember the Royal Canadian Legion and the work they do to encourage organ donation. As an associate member of the Legion, of course, I have signed my membership card on the back of it, to indicate my willingness to have any of my organs used, if needed, upon my passing. I know that there are a number of members in the House who have brought forward other initiatives to encourage awareness of organ donation, and those are to be commended too.

But let’s again focus on this one, because this is so important to so many families, and there is an issue of awareness that needs to be raised. Certainly, by bringing forward a private member’s bill like this one and passing it into law, I think we would be, as a Legislature, making a point and doing the right thing to encourage greater awareness of the need to register on this registry and to ensure that if we are matched with someone who is in need, that through a simple procedure, we could show our caring for humanity by participating and, hopefully, saving another person’s life.

I’m pleased by the tenor and tone of the debate this afternoon. This is a non-partisan issue. I think members from all sides of the House would appear to be wanting to support this, and I look forward to its passage.

I know that the member for Essex would be willing to see it move forward to committee, perhaps, and then come back to the House, hopefully before Christmas, so that we could pass this bill into law at third reading.

Once again, I want to commend the member for Essex for his initiative in this regard, thank the members of the Legislature who have spoke to this bill so far, and encourage all members of the House to support it when the vote comes this afternoon.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

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Mr. Frank Klees: I too am pleased to rise in support of this bill and to extend my commendation to the Bedard family for their initiative and all of the volunteers and friends who have supported the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association. I believe that really there’s no higher calling than making a contribution to ensure that others’ lives are enriched and that the quality of life that would be available through a donation such as this can in fact be extended.

I commend our colleague the member for Essex for bringing this bill forward. But I have to say that this is about one of the most straightforward bills that this House will ever see. I, for one, see no need for this bill to go to committee, with all due respect. We had the opportunity to stand in this House and debate a private member’s bill just a couple of weeks ago, and it was a straightforward piece of legislation as well, honouring Italian Heritage Month. It was done in the same hour.

I would just say this: I fail to understand why this chamber and the members here, who all are in support of this, would want to waste one more hour of committee time, going through the process of bringing this back here. It’s not up to me to do that. When the vote is taken on this bill—which will, in fact, be passed unanimously; we all know that—I would encourage the member to stand in his place and ask for unanimous consent to have this bill read for the third time without going to committee, right here and right now, today. I will certainly provide that support. I would fail to understand why any member in this House would not provide that unanimous consent. What a great endorsement of the member’s initiative for bringing it forward—now the third time. Let’s move it on and let’s make this day the day that this bill is passed into law, for all of the good reasons that have already been discussed today.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Hon. Monique M. Smith: I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the member for Essex’s private member’s bill, Bill 80, An Act to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month. I want to acknowledge the Bedard family, who are here today, and the Smyth family, who were here earlier, and the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association, which has worked tirelessly to raise the awareness of this issue.

As the member for Nickel Belt stated, she and I were down earlier having our swabs done. I actually thought I was on the registry already, but if I wasn’t, I am today, which is very important and very good. I went down with my chief of staff, Krystina Ceccarelli, and I appreciate my staff’s support. I know that many of my staff members have gone down, as have many around Queen’s Park. We certainly hope we make the 150 new registrants that we wanted to make. To the member for Oakville, I want to thank him in his capacity of making that happen today as well.

David Palmer from my staff, who worked at Canadian Blood Services, brought the kit to my office a couple of weeks ago. He used to work at Canadian Blood Services, and I wanted to know how easy it was now—as it has certainly gotten easier in the last 10 years—to be able to become a bone marrow donor and to register to be a potential donor.

Over 13 years ago, my brother was diagnosed with aplastic anemia; some of the members of the House know this. He was a bone marrow recipient; my older brother was a bone marrow donor. We went through the process. We were tested at the time—all family members. We couldn’t find a better match than my brother, who wasn’t a perfect match. As such, my younger brother had complications and passed away about 10 years ago. But we are very much committed to the whole process and to ensuring that perfect matches are found for as many people as possible. So I come to this with a personal experience. I see some tears being shed, and I hope not to join you in that today.

I do know that it is a very personal drama for families, and it is so simple for individuals to make the commitment to become a donor. You don’t have to leave your home. You go on your computer to onematch.ca and put in your information, the folks at onematch.ca send you the kit, as has been described so many times in the last hour—four long Q-tips—and you do the process yourself. It takes less than eight minutes to fill out the forms and do the Q-tips, and you’re done. You mail it in, and you are on the registry.

To date, we have over 250,000 people on the registry. The Smyth family challenge has certainly been to get over two million. As André Picard set out in his column in the Globe and Mail on September 30, volume counts. It’s about having as many people as possible on the registry to create as many potential matches as possible for those in need of a bone marrow transplant and a stem cell transplant.

Many will remember, from the last time we debated this issue in the House, a friend of mine, Rosalba Perrotta. Her niece, also a resident of North Bay, in Nipissing, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia—as a matter of fact, the same disease that struck my brother about 11 or 12 years ago. Although this only strikes one in a million, I’ve had the unfortunate circumstance of knowing two people who suffered from this incredibly debilitating disease. Julie Perrotta was seven at the time. She came from a large Italian family and a large Italian community in my area of North Bay and Nipissing. Many were tested and many got themselves on the registry.

Unfortunately, Julie was not able to find a match within her family; she found a match in Ohio. It was a miracle. If that person in Ohio hadn’t taken the time to get on the registry, we would never have found a match for Julie Perrotta. Today Julie is in college. She’s 18 and she’s in fantastic shape. It’s a wonderful, good-news, miracle story that only happened because one person in Ohio had the generosity of spirit to register as a donor, for whatever reason, and saved a life.

Anyone watching today, anyone in this chamber, any one reading the transcripts of these proceedings can change a life—can save a life. All you have to do is register to become a donor at onematch.ca. It is so very simple. The process is simple. We want to increase the numbers.

For those who are interested in more information about the process and about the great work the Bedard family and the Smyth family are doing, I commend again André Picard’s article about bone marrow donation in the Globe and Mail on September 30—how very simple becoming a registered donor can be. It’s a one-shot deal; you do it once. They keep track of your address—you let them know if you move. You can create a miracle and save a life. I think it’s a very simple process. I know that many of my colleagues had the chance to do it today. We were so lucky to have it right here in our office. But as I said, you don’t even have to leave your home. Go online to onematch.ca, get the information and get registered.

I will take up the challenge presented by the member from Oakville, and we hope to have a bone marrow and stem cell donor clinic in North Bay in the new year. I will work closely with Canadian Blood Services, because they are doing such incredible work. They did ask me to promote their blood donor clinics as well today, given that we do have the opportunity.

But today I also want to say to the member from Essex, who has been a long-time advocate of this—we hope that three times is the charm—and has graciously permitted me the opportunity to share his time today to talk about this, that Bone Marrow Awareness Month will create an opportunity every single year to raise the awareness of the folks of Ontario that it is simple to become a donor. By raising awareness, we gather more potential donors; by gathering more potential donors, we save more lives.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Crozier has two minutes for his response.

Mr. Bruce Crozier: I want to specifically thank the member for Whitby–Oshawa, the member for Wellington–Halton Hills, the member for Newmarket–Aurora and his encouragement, the member for Nickel Belt, the member for Oakville and the member for Nipissing. I want to particularly thank the Bedard family for their patience. Just keep up your prayers and wishes that we are successful in eventually passing Bill 80, the Katelyn Bedard bill.

In the 17 years I have been here in the Legislature, I don’t think I’ve had a day when I felt any better about something we’ve done, and I don’t just mean this bill. I think the fact that my colleague from Oakville and I and the Canadian Blood Services and the Katelyn Bedard association were able to come together—we had a news conference today, which I hope some good media will come from. We have the event in room 163, which you still have 10 minutes to get to for the swabbing and the ability to register.

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I just think it’s been a great day. The one thing that would top it off, of course, would be to get the unanimous consent of my colleagues, and I ask you for that vote.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): The time for this ballot item has expired. For those watching at home and those visiting us today in the galleries, we’ll vote on Mr. Crozier’s item in about 100 minutes.

AGGREGATE EXTRACTION

Mr. Rick Johnson: I move that, in the opinion of this House, the government should review the Aggregate Resources Act to ensure that if a proponent opts to reapply or demands a site plan reassessment for a quarry and/or pit within five years of being denied, the proponent must cover all of the costs for the government to do an additional peer review study, a cumulative impact study and new series of public consultations.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Johnson moves private member’s notice of motion 53. Pursuant to standing order 98, the honourable member has 12 minutes for his presentation.

Mr. Rick Johnson: It’s indeed a pleasure for me to rise today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had since being elected last year to present a private member’s resolution, so I’m going to work my way through this.

The resolution, as I read, is one that asks for a review to look at something again which is in response to an issue that has arisen within my riding. Many communities cross Ontario have experienced the current process of a quarry and/or a pit application coming forward or being reviewed and being either approved or rejected. It is a very long, thorough process that involves a series of checks and balances that most applicants do subscribe to, but there have been and continue to be some that use the application process as a way to find out what they require to move forward to develop their properties.

I know there’s a huge issue with this process because aggregates in the province of Ontario are so important to our economy. I know that a great amount of the aggregates are used by the government and municipalities to build our economy. They go into our roads; they go into our systems. But it is an issue which, when it comes into the local communities, has an impact on the local communities. When people are opposed to it or raise issues, these are issues that need to be dealt with.

There is a huge cost in dollars and staff time to do the work required for an application approval. When the approval is denied, and a reapplication comes forward again, there are costs that are involved. It also creates a huge amount of stress within communities when this keeps coming forward again and again.

My resolution, should it be supported by this Legislature, will cause an applicant to make sure that their application is thorough and complete and has complied with all necessary requirements of the application process, whether this is making sure that all the t’s are crossed and that the i’s are dotted, going forward. What I am requesting through this is to make sure that the process is thorough, that the companies, as they move forward, have done all their homework and don’t simply use the process as a way to find out what they’ve missed because, once a reapplication is made, it means starting over again, which is a huge cost to the government.

Should the application be denied and the appeal process exhausted, what I am suggesting is that the applicant would be responsible for any cost to the government if the applicant chooses to reapply or demands a site plan reassessment for a quarry and/or a pit within a five-year period. These costs would include, of course, the cost for the government to do an additional peer-reviewed study, costs for the government to do a cumulative impact study and a cost for the government to do a new series of public consultations.

I’ve been asked by several members about the reasons behind my resolution. I would like to relate a story about a group in my riding, which is the Trent Talbot ratepayers’ association. The principals in this group have been relentless in their fight for fairness. I would like to mention some of their names and congratulate them for the thorough work that they have done: Mr. Frank Corker, Jodi McIntosh, Jane Gill, Sharon and Hugh Walker, Sheldon Alspector and Wayne Farrall. They have been an absolute pleasure to work with and a wealth of well-researched information. Their story forms the background for my resolution that is before this House today.

They first were faced with an application to expand a pit to a quarry in 2002. They were concerned about water tables in their area, as the area north of the town of Bolsover contains a huge number of the pits and quarries in this province. Of course, just as we fish where the fish are, that’s where the quarries are.

The concern of this group of people is that the new quarry that has been applied for is further south and much closer to where their residences are. They’re already experiencing some issues with their water supply; they’re all on water. There’s a public well for the city of Kawartha Lakes located very close to this area as well.

It’s a concern about, at what point is too much water being taken? They’ve been asking this question and pushing on this issue since 2002. They have been involved in tribunals. They’ve been involved in legal fights on this. To date, this group has spent over $500,000. They’ve raised all the money in the local community fighting this. It has become a huge issue for them.

I commend them for believing in their cause and working so hard to do this, but once you’ve appealed—and there have been two issues. When the issue has been turned down and was told no, the quarry cannot go forward. At that point, a reapplication was made. So, at what point does no mean no?

I guess that’s what my question is on this. I can see, over a period of time—there needs to be a cooling-off period, which is why I proposed in my resolution that if the ministry chooses to review the resources act, they look at putting in a five-year timeline to allow a cooling-off period and give people more time to look at the issues and make sure that all their ducks are in order.

Once again, I know that the issue of aggregates in this province is so important and that it does take a long time for an application to move forward and go through the system; that, as people apply for these things, there is a lot of work that is done, because we have to look at the proper location for these resources, determine if it’s feasible to extract—financial markets, social and environmental constraints, wetlands, provincial policy direction; look at residential development—and all of this is so important to the debate as it goes on within the local communities.

I know that for the province of Ontario, the amount of the resources that are used, especially in putting together our infrastructure—there are huge numbers involved. In 2007, 173 million tonnes were produced, valued at over $1.3 billion. It is an incredibly important industry. But also, as our population in southern Ontario grows and moves out from the GTA, residences are encroaching on these areas, and we have to do a lot more work on finding that degree of harmony that can exist between local communities and operations like this. This could pertain to a number of other industries as well.

But with this particular group, I think that they’ve raised some very valid points and, obviously, have put their money where their mouths are when it comes to bringing their issues forward.

It’s my hope that, as everyone considers this and talks about this, we’ll look at this as a consumers’ issue, and a consumer protection issue as well, in that for residents living in a community who raise issues and win their case, that they should be—the fact that somebody can reapply literally the day after and try again is really not appropriate. I think what we need to do is look at this as a chance for companies to make sure that what they’ve done is the right thing and that they really do their homework as they’re going into the process to make sure that everything they have done is correct.

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In this particular issue, in 2002, the Minister of the Environment issued a permit to take water. On November 17, 2003, they issued a certificate of approval. It went to a tribunal hearing to repeal the permit to take water. In 2005, the tribunal decision to refuse to revoke the permit to take water was made. In 2006, an amended decision was made and correction sought by lawyers on behalf of the Trent Talbot River property owners. It went again to another hearing in 2006 before a tribunal, and notice of motion was denied. An appeal was filed. The ministry revoked the permit to take water in June 2007; in September 2007, a new application was made. This has been going on, and it’s currently still going on. This group is waiting for results as I speak.

It really goes back to: When does no mean no and who has the final authority here? So it’s a simple request to the ministry that they look at the Aggregate Resources Act and see that, if a proponent opts to reapply or demands a site plan reassessment, they’re not using the application process as an opportunity to see what they did wrong. In a matter as serious as this, when you’re going into a community and people are raising concerns, it is extremely important that everyone is fully consulted on this as it moves forward, and should concerns be raised, they should be raised during the consultation process as the process is moving forward. The process itself shouldn’t be used as a way to find out what is needed and what is necessary.

As everybody has a chance to look at this, I look forward to hearing the conversations that come forward on it. A number of my colleagues will be speaking to this resolution. I see that the former Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Ouellette from Oshawa, is here, and I look forward to hearing his comments today.

Once again, I thank the members for indulging me this afternoon. This is my first go-round on this, as I said earlier. I look forward to hearing debate from my fellow colleagues in the House today. I hope that you will see fit to support this resolution to simply ask the ministry and the government to review the Aggregate Resources Act to ensure that it is applied fairly and that everything we do is working towards a resolution that both the aggregate industries and people in the local communities can deal with. Then life will go on for everyone and everybody will hopefully be happy at the end of the day.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette: I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issue. It’s quite a difficult issue to deal with, in that there are so many sides on this. I know that the aggregate industry—sand and gravel people, essentially—are very concerned that, in order to provide a resource in an area where they can utilize the goods, some of the difficulties are that some of these sand and gravel pits are needed to produce sand and gravel in certain areas and then, lo and behold, the trucking costs to relocate a lot of this end up being a huge cost for that. It ends up costing the taxpayer or the individuals who are utilizing it, whether it’s the taxpayers in building a road or the infrastructure development there—it ends up being very costly.

I can recall a number of cases where there were a number of specific organizations, and the one mentioned here was, I think, the Trent Talbot ratepayers association, that didn’t want—I’m not sure of all the details, but there were a number of associations that didn’t want gravel pits in their areas because, as is Gravel Watch Ontario, they’re concerned with the noise, the dust, the rehabilitation and all those aspects of the development of sand and gravel pits.

I recall one case where it would be less than 10 kilometres to truck the goods to where they were going to be used for the development of roads in the area. When those individuals came forward—in this particular case, it was mostly cottagers who were opposed to it—they didn’t want all the noise and the sand and gravel. Yet what was going to take place in that case was that it was going to be over 90 kilometres—somewhere in the area of 100 kilometres—to transport these goods, which was going to have that many more trucks on the road in order to bring it into the area to do the development, plus the cost goes up. In a lot of cases, when you look at the infrastructure funding that has been put out there—the stimulus packages—they certainly are needed there, and there’s a lot of road development, which requires sand, gravel and aggregate in order to move forward.

All you have to do is simply look at what is taking place on the highway between Parry Sound and Sudbury, the four-laning that’s taking place and the vast amounts of sand and gravel that are there. There are a lot of organizations: There’s FORCE; there’s Gravel Watch Ontario. Quite a few of these are very concerned about, and quite frankly opposed to, producing sand and gravel in the area. But you have to look at all sides of the issue.

The concern I have with this is that it appears to be one specific case that has spurred this on, as opposed to a pattern or a trend. According to MNR’s own 2006 figures, there are 2,787 licensed aggregate sites on private land in Ontario and an additional 3,453 aggregate permits issued on crown land. That says we’ve got over 6,000 cases here, and there seems to be one that is using the process to try to find out where the difficulty is, and they keep reapplying. It’s not appealing; it’s reapplying.

Some of the difficulty with this is that if, as the member is stating, they’re using this reapplication process in order to see what they did wrong, then it should be very much like the Trillium process, where they provide individuals to guide somebody through. If they have to go through a process because nobody is going to tell them what they did wrong or what they’re doing right in order to find out how to correct it, then how do they move forward? The end result is that they have to come forward.

In this particular case, it was water extraction. As the member mentioned, on November 7, 2003, a water extraction permit was given by the Ministry of the Environment. Just so that people understand, in a lot of cases when you dig gravel pits—these are open pits; these aren’t closed mines—you dig down into the sand and gravel in the area and water starts to flow in. You have to extract that water to be able to get to the sand and gravel that you’re trying to use for infrastructure purposes. You need a permit through the Ministry of the Environment to extract that water, to make sure that it complies.

Some of the other things are that approximately 85% of the aggregate production takes place in southern Ontario. I wonder why that is. It’s because most of the development is happening right here in the south. I know that Mayor Hazel McCallion actually took a strong stand regarding some gravel pits in Caledon. They wanted to make sure they remained open, because the locals in that area were opposed to it.

I also recall another case down in Tweed, where the local paper printed an article dealing with this. The article was substantially from another organization, such as Gravel Watch Ontario or one of these other organizations, although you didn’t get that sense when you read it in the Tweed paper. It was regarding a marble quarry—obviously not quite the same as sand and gravel.

I drove down, met the publisher and asked why they printed this article without contacting the ministry. Their response was, “Well, it’s twofold. One, it’s an article they sent in, so we just printed the entire thing without contacting any of the other players such as the minister or the ministry involved to find out their position.” His position at the time was, “Quite frankly, we need the jobs.” In that area, there was a lack of jobs; there was a decrease in the number of jobs. I recall that the member was opposed to this quarry moving forward. The publisher of the paper was very specific in saying that they get a lot of individuals coming in—predominantly a lot of cottagers—who don’t want any of these aggregate or quarry producers in their areas because they don’t want the sand, they don’t want the noise, they don’t want the dust that takes place, and what happens with rehabilitation. But this publisher’s position was that they needed the jobs in the area and it was something that should go through, in their opinion. That’s the official position of the paper.

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What needs to take place is, we need to sit down with the various players in this and find out exactly how to move forward. If there are problems in that, as the member said, with the use of process to determine and see what they did wrong in order to make it right, then the ministry, or the various ministries—as mentioned, the Ministry of the Environment was involved or is involved in this case—need to sit down and find out exactly where it is that they need to make sure they are in compliance.

Some of the other aspects include the five years, and how would that play out with the stimulus package that’s out there now? Lo and behold, I spoke to an aggregate producer in the member’s riding and asked them how that would play out. Quite frankly, they are a small producer—they produce 20,000 tonnes of aggregate on an annual basis—and their sole contract is with the municipality. However, their permit is only good for 20,000 tonnes. If the stimulus package had come in and requested more tonnage for more development in their area, they would have had to make a reapplication. Would this mean that they would be disallowed because they’ve had one within a five-year period in order to supply the additional aggregate needed by the municipality, their only contract, to make sure they could comply with the demands that they particularly want in order to supply all the growth—in their case, road development—that’s out there?

So there have been a number of aspects that have come forward that really need to be clarified. To try and resolve an issue or have a ministry review an entire process when you have over 6,000 players out there and there’s one particular situation that’s not in compliance—that’s one in 6,000, and I don’t necessarily know if the province should be looking to rectify situations for one particular case. If there are additional costs in there that are coming forward, then the minister—or the ministers, in this particular case—should step in and review specific aspects of the case to be able to try to figure out how best they can do that.

As I said before, it’s a difficult situation in that aggregate is in large demand. A lot of individuals don’t want it in production in their location because of, as I said, Gravel Watch Ontario—they want to look at the noise implications, the dust implications and the rehabilitation. The average individual may not realize that every tonne of aggregate that’s taken out pays a fee for rehabilitation. There are a number of particular cases in Ontario whereby these locations have actually gone forward and provided fishing locations, where there is recreational fishing taking place in old gravel pits. Not only that, but there was a hatchery developed in one of these old gravel pits as well. So they are substantially utilized when they come together and look at how they can make it that much better for many more industries or recreations in the province of Ontario.

I recall another case: St. Marys Cement, as a matter of fact. They had an agreement when they built their original facility. The facility has expanded immensely; it’s one of the largest employers in one of the local communities east of my riding. What took place there was that, when they had completely utilized the deposit that was located right beside their facility, they were then to move forward with an agreed-upon location that they already had approval to utilize, and, lo and behold, this area had become a recreational area where people enjoyed going in carp fishing and canoeing and bird-watching and those sorts of things in the area. Then there was a huge outcry all of a sudden, after they had invested probably hundreds of millions of dollars in the area to utilize this.

Well, it ended up that the players sat down and came to realize that the old site that was now fully utilized was to be rehabilitated and could take on those additional opportunities for individuals to participate in the canoeing and the birdwatching, which I had done in that area on a number of occasions, but realized that eventually this particular site would be utilized by St. Marys in the production of cement, so that they could produce and provide jobs for Ontario. Quite frankly, quite a bit of the cement that was produced there was sent outside the province.

I do look forward to hearing a number of the other speakers, to hear their positions on this and to see how it’s coming forward. I do have some strong concerns, as I said, that one particular player out of the over 6,000 that are out there may be spurring on an entire change within the ministry. I think that it’s something where they could probably sit down with the players involved to work out the details.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Further debate?

Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield: I’m more than pleased to be able to join the debate and support my colleague from Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock.

It has been stated that there are over 6,000 quarries and pits in Ontario, so obviously aggregate is not in any shortage to speak of. Aggregate is where aggregate is; there’s no question. It is where geologically it has been placed. There are some really good rules around the issue of aggregate close to source. Yes, it’s not just used for roads; it’s used for toothpaste, shingles and a whole number of things.

The important part here is that in order to get a licence, there are some very strict criteria that are in the Aggregate Resources Act. If I may:

“In considering whether a licence should be issued or refused, the minister or the board, as the case may be, shall have regard to,

“(a) the effect of the operation of the pit or quarry on the environment;

“(b) the effect of the operation of the pit or quarry on nearby communities;

“(c) any comments provided by a municipality in which the site is located;

“(d) the suitability of the progressive rehabilitation and final rehabilitation plans for the site”—because for years, there was no rehabilitation;

“(e) any possible effects on ground and surface water resources;

“(f) any possible effects of the operation of the pit or quarry on agricultural resources;

“(g) any planning and land use considerations;

“(h) the main haulage routes and proposed truck traffic to and from the site;

“(i) the quality and quantity of the aggregate on the site;

“(j) the applicant’s history of compliance with this act and the regulations, if a licence or permit has previously been issued to the applicant under this act or a predecessor of this act; and

“(k) such other matters as are considered appropriate....

“No licence shall be issued for a pit or quarry if a zoning bylaw prohibits the site from being used for the making, establishment or operation of pits and quarries.”

That’s pretty clear.

It’s not just one individual. The fact of the matter is that we have a significant number of people who put forward applications for quarries. As my colleague has indicated, it’s a one-point-something billion-dollar business; it’s very lucrative. It’s also necessary as part of our social fabric, in that we need to have toothpaste and roads etc.

But the fact remains, when it impacts the water resource, when it impacts the communities—and we’re not talking dust and noise and sand here; we’re talking when it impacts the foundation of their homes—when it does have a total effect on the community, and when the ministry has said no, it’s no.

It’s a very long, arduous process that the proponent goes through, sometimes two to three years, when they must engage the public. If the public brings up something that they’re not aware of, they must engage the public on those issues. They must satisfy the ministry. So nothing new comes out at the end of this. The whole process allows the proponent—the applicant, in this case, who wants to put in the quarry—and the people who are opposed to it, for whatever their reasons may be, or who are for it, in some cases, to come together over a significant period of time.

If that applicant wants to draw water, then the Ministry of the Environment gets involved, because the impact of the water on the aquifers is significant. When you get into places such as the Kawarthas, it is very significant, because it draws the water from other aquifers. So the Ministry of the Environment takes this very seriously. At the end of the day, if they say no, it’s no.

What happens in some cases is that some proponents—not all—fold their hands and say, “We’ll just wait for the next government to come in.” That’s the truth of it. Or they’ll say, “What the heck; we’ll just submit it,” and the cost of those two or three years that’s been borne by the people of Ontario, the taxpayers of Ontario, suddenly is borne again.

I think what the member from Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock is saying is, let’s have a second thought about that. Are we, in fact, prepared to allow this process to continue again when it’s really an unnecessary process, unless something absolutely dramatically new has occurred that we didn’t know about and had two or three years to figure out?

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So I don’t think we’re looking at all of the 6,000, but we are looking at the cost that is borne, which is substantial, by the people of Ontario, the taxpayers of Ontario, who, we must have high regard for in terms of how we utilize their dollars, so that when we’ve gone through this process and this process says no, there’s a darn good reason for it. We’ve given you the reasons. You’ve had the public exposure. You’ve had the ability to bring in all your experts. No is no. You can’t reapply tomorrow.

I think that’s really well worth looking at. There’s nothing worse than a frivolous lawsuit, nothing worse than a frivolous application, because it does no justice to either the person who is applying or the people of Ontario who have to deal with the application.

So kudos to you, member from Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock, for actually thinking about how this is impacting your community and, in fact, many communities, not just one, right across Ontario.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Bob Delaney: I hadn’t expected the pleasure quite so soon.

I think we should look at this resolution and just review. What are we trying to do here? If you pave a road, you’ve got to use aggregate. The largest user of aggregate in the province of Ontario is, in fact, the province of Ontario itself. Some 60% of aggregate, which is crushed stone, is used in the development and maintenance of roads. If you build a building, if you pour concrete, you’ve got to use aggregate.

How much aggregate is produced? About 173 million tonnes. Its value, which excludes the cost of transportation, is roughly $1.3 billion. It’s a fairly big industry, too. It employs 35,000 people directly or indirectly and contributes $3.2 billion to the gross domestic product of Ontario. It’s the basis of the $45-billion construction industry.

What the member raises is what is fair. He says, “Fair doesn’t mean you can wait out the decision process,” as my colleague from Etobicoke Centre has just explained very, very eloquently. Extensive public consultation is required for all decisions related to new licences and permits to take aggregate, and it’s a matter that the province has been studying continuously to make sure that the processes that we use reflect the best practices and are fair and reasonable to all parties.

No one is proposing, and the member is certainly not proposing, that we no longer allow aggregate, because that’s silly. We need aggregate for all of the things that use it. We need aggregate to be produced close to where it’s used because it’s heavy, and transportation beats up roads, causes traffic and is very expensive. You end up spewing greenhouse gases into the air when you’re hauling rock, and you end up consuming fossil fuels.

The member is not asking for anything unreasonable. But what he is saying is that by the time a complete permit is done and the ministry has had a chance to evaluate it and has said that, based upon the best evidence available at the time, the answer is no, that for at least five years no actually means no, and that in the event you want to go ahead and say, “Oh, there are mitigating circumstances, and we would like to go ahead in a period earlier than five years,” no also means that you’re paying the cost, as the proponent, of all of the studies. It’s fair, it’s reasonable, it’s measured and it’s a workable resolution. It’s one that I think we can support and it’s one that I’m pleased to stand here in the House and recommend that members stand up and support at the appropriate time.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Peter Kormos: Look, I’m very sympathetic to the sponsor of this motion. I think it’s pretty clear what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to advocate for members of his community who have concerns about a quarry operation.

I regret that now I get into the “however.” I’m not disputing anything that the author of the motion proposes in the content of the motion, but I’m relying upon research in a briefing note prepared by legislative library research, which indicates that the Ministry of Natural Resources indicates that, “A peer-reviewed study is not currently required as part of a site plan and application under the Aggregate Resources Act,” however, “but may be required as part of a rezoning application under the Planning Act. Sometimes the application for a licence or a permit under the Aggregate Resources Act is joined with an application for rezoning under the Planning Act,” for the obvious reasons: because that activity, never mind a permit being issued by the government, wouldn’t be allowed on that particular piece of property because of the way that property is zoned.

What I did learn, in the course of getting some background material on this—and just to, I suppose, impress you, if you can be impressed, with the fact that I’ve done some due diligence here: I note that, “A licence for the removal of more than 20,000 tonnes”—and that’s metric tonnes—“of aggregate a year will be a class A licence, while the licence for the removal of lesser amounts will be a class B.” There. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the request of the sponsor of the motion.

The ministry indicates as well that, “The onus of putting together all of the required information and providing it to the ministry is on the applicant for both licence and permit applications, and there is nothing in the act to suggest that the process would be different for subsequent applications following an initial refusal. However, when the decision is effectively appealed, then the minister may refer the application to the Ontario Municipal Board”—in the event of objections, effectively. “If this type of board hearing is initiated, the objectors and the minister are all separate parties who would generate their own materials in support of their various positions.” I don’t know whether that’s what the member is speaking of when he talks about the applicant being required to pick up the costs.

I am not going to vote against this resolution. I, for one, am not going to vote against it. It’s a resolution. It is not binding on the Legislature; it is not binding on the government, and we have seen that, witnessed that, over and over again. But I do want to acknowledge that I think I understand what the sponsor of the resolution is trying to achieve.

I am troubled by the fact that his proposal, if it were adopted, would effectively privatize a subsequent application. I say this because if the applicant were required to pick up all of the governmental costs of considering an application, then government isn’t doing its job. We rely upon government to perform that regulatory function.

That comes down to the apparent observation that applicants for these licences have discovered that a failed application does not, in any way, shape or form, prevent a subsequent application. The impression I get is that the subsequent application can literally be made the next day. I suppose that process is somewhat what akin to judge-shopping in the legal world. If judge A turns down your application, you then try to get in front of judge B, and if judge B turns it down, you try it in front of judge C, and if judge C had a late night and really wasn’t that eager to take on a heavy file that morning, you just might get your application granted.

I would suggest to the member that this issue would be a most appropriate one for standing order 126. It seems to me that it would be ideal to put this difficulty before the appropriate committee under standing order 126 so that that committee could consider the matter and make recommendations to the government about possible amendments to the legislation. If the member were to be proposing that there be a prohibition against subsequent applications, that would be clear. It would be something that people could debate on the merits, and I quite frankly suspect there might be some great merit to supporting that.

As I say, I understand what the member’s doing. I’m not sure I’m overly comfortable with it. I’m not sure that it’s bang-on on all points, but I will not, as one member, be voting against it.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate. The honourable member from Manitoulin-James Bay—James Bay. I’m sorry.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: There is an island in my riding, Akimiski Island, up on the James Bay, not on the Great Lakes.

I just want to say upfront that the arguments that my colleague from Welland-Thorold put forward I think are good arguments and, for that reason, I have problems supporting it because I see it as, yes—and I think the point was well made—this is a way of partially privatizing the application process, and I think that is something that is troubling.

The issue to me is that if somebody’s made an application and they’ve been rejected, do they have the right to some type of appeal? That’s the bigger issue. Under the current legislation, I believe you do have that particular right, but I’d have to go back and double-check. If not, then there should that be a right to an appeal, and there is a responsibility on the part of the crown in order to afford its citizens the ability to go through that process.

I’m always reluctant to vote against a member’s initiative in private members’ because you want to give them an opportunity to at least get a hearing and a committee in order to deal with it, but unfortunately, this is a motion and, as my House leader pointed out, it doesn’t afford that. I think you would have to find some way of referring this off to committee so somebody can actually have a discussion on it. I want to say that.

Number two, we know that under the aggregate act there’s been all kinds of issues over the years. Every minister has had to suffer in regard to dealing with the issue of quarries from both a neighbourhood perspective, the developer’s perspective and the ministry’s perspective, trying to balance off both those interests.

I think what clearly is a larger issue is, there needs to be a review of the aggregate act, something that is long overdue, in order to deal with how you balance off the need of the developers who need the aggregate and the citizens who need to be protected when it comes to not having that quarry in their backyard.

There was a quarry that was going to be developed in a particular part of my riding in the city of Timmins, and in a fortnight I ended up with the largest amount of telephone calls and emails than on almost any other issue I’d seen for a very long time. So you know this is an issue that people take seriously. I would advocate that, if anything, if this motion goes forward, it should be a call for some sort of review of the issue at committee in order to deal with the broader issues that need to be dealt with within the aggregate act.

But this motion also gives me an opportunity to talk about the issue of natural resources overall. I just want, in the four minutes I have left to say that it is really interesting to see what’s happening today with this whole potash takeover, the company in Saskatchewan that is being bought by a foreign company, and what kind of debate that is starting to have with Canada and within Saskatchewan.

I think the part that’s interesting is, there’s a real contrast between the positions that various provinces have taken when it comes to multinationals controlling our natural resources. I and New Democrats have always favoured that, at the end of the day, these are our public natural resources, and the crown in right of the people has a right to make sure that those natural resources are protected, and that if they are extracted, they are developed in some way that benefits the province, both economically and environmentally, jobs etc.

In Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, the Premier, has decided to go to war. He’s almost running up and down the streets of Saskatoon challenging the government to a fight and saying, “We’re not going to allow this multinational to come in and take over this large corporation because we worry that the multinational is going to make decisions in the longer term that are going to not benefit the workers in Saskatchewan or the economy of Saskatchewan and the business community.”

The contrast to Ontario is quite remarkable. Inco was bought out by Vale, which is now Vale Inco, and Falconbridge was bought out by Xstrata, just to name two of our natural resources companies. When those particular companies were being taken over, we in the New Democratic Party, the mayors in northern Ontario, the chambers of commerce—some of them, not all—and certainly the labour councils and others, were saying, “Listen, if we’re going to allow a multinational to walk into Ontario and take over one of the crown jewels such as Inco or Falconbridge, there need to be some sort of conditions attached to the sale, because we worry that those companies which are far away are going to make decisions about the operations in our communities that will have a negative effect on workers in those communities and the local economy.”

The government here in Ontario, very differently than Saskatchewan, said, “Well, don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.” They tell us they’re going to be good to the workers. They tell us they’re going to be good to the communities and they’ll be great corporate citizens. Go talk to the community of Sudbury today when it comes to the workers and how they were dealt with for a year as a result of a strike, where Vale Inco, a foreign multinational, came in and said, “We will rip away the pension of those new workers that go into Vale Inco.” Was that to the benefit of the Ontario workers and the Ontario economy? Absolutely not. But the provincial government here in Ontario, with Mr. McGuinty as the leader, decided not to put any conditions about what these companies can and can’t do.

In the case of Xstrata, then Falconbridge, we said the same thing. There need to be conditions on the sale of Falconbridge, so that if a multinational is going to walk in and take over, there has to be a mechanism by which the rights of the province are protected when it comes to what happens to those natural resources in the extraction and how we can benefit. The government of the day, then-Minister Bartolucci and Premier McGuinty, said, “Don’t worry. Xstrata tells us they’re going to be great corporate citizens.” Some great corporate citizens; they shut down the only refinery smelter in Ontario and they said it’s okay to take that ore and ship it into Quebec in order to be processed there. I guarantee you: In five or six years’ time, that ore is going to be in China, being transformed in a country far, far away.

To the issue of natural resources, I believe there needs to be a rethink in the province of Ontario—because it is a provincial jurisdiction; it’s not a federal jurisdiction—as to the ability for us to determine what is the best way—first of all, do we want to extract particular natural resources—mining, forestry, gas, oil and others? And, if so, how is it going to be done and how do we protect our interests when it comes to the environment, workers, the economy and the overall well-being of the province of Ontario? I certainly hope that’s what this motion would have been all about.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Dave Levac: I appreciate the opportunity to engage in the motion today. I want to thank my colleague and friend from Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock for presenting us with an opportunity to speak to the people of Ontario, particularly the people in his riding who are experiencing this situation.

The members from Welland and Oshawa I believe offered us some review of some of the concerns that are out there as to why this might be causing some concern for them, but I also want to let the member know that I’ve listened carefully to all of the debate today, and I want to make sure that, from what I perceive—is to talk about the motion. Hopefully, I’ll get the nod if he understands what I am trying to say. The motion does not specifically refer to the licence or the permit but is in response to concerns raised by your constituents about the other acts that are used in this process. That deserves our taking a good, hard look at what that means.

First of all, I do share some concerns about what aggregate is—and we’ve got the notes. We’ve heard some of the concerns of what the money is all about, the industry being an extremely important aspect of who we are in Ontario. There’s acknowledgment from you and from your constituents that that’s not the argument; the argument is not about the industry itself. I want to associate myself with what you’re doing today. In private members’ time, we are provided an opportunity to bring those issues back from our constituency, those issues that we believe are province-wide, and put them in front of us so that we can talk about them and debate them to see whether or not there is some uptake, as my friend from Welland often reminds us, from the government to understand the issues. Can they work it out with the House leaders? Can they have a discussion about that?

I think you’ve done exactly what I believe, and I’ve made the commitment to do—you will be the messenger and/or the voice from the people of your community to Queens’s Park to let them know that you’ve got an issue here that you want to have evaluated.

The other thing that you have also done is you’ve asked us to review. You didn’t ask us to change, you didn’t ask us to stop; you asked us to review the circumstances behind the problem that you have been faced with in your community. I agree with that process. I agree that what you’ve done is an appropriate action on your behalf to make sure that we’ve done what we can do in order to answer the responses that you need to have for your community.

The member from Welland offers an option that I believe is still available.

All in all, I thank the member for bringing this forward on behalf of his constituency. I for one will be responding to him in that same manner.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Johnson has two minutes for his response.

Mr. Rick Johnson: I greatly appreciated the comments that have been made by all the speakers this afternoon. I appreciate the wisdom that they bring to this debate and the experience that has been brought forward as well. I take everything that they say very seriously on this, as do, I’m sure, the constituents on whose behalf I’ve been bringing this forward.

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I’d like to thank the members from Oshawa, Etobicoke Centre, Mississauga–Streetsville, Welland, Timmins–James Bay and Brant for being here this afternoon to speak. A couple of issues that were raised: How would an existing pit or quarry be affected? If they haven’t been denied, they wouldn’t be affected at all. It would just be a matter that, under this, they would apply to have an expansion. Then, if they were denied at that point, they would be affected, but if they weren’t, it would just be moving forward.

My resolution refers to a proponent who has been denied. I view the word “denied” to refer to a process where all appeals have been exhausted and somebody has come down with a final verdict and said either yes or no.

I once again would like to thank the Trent Talbot River Property Owners Association, the group from Bolsover—Mr. Corker, Jodi McIntosh, Jane Gill, Sharron and Hugh Walker, Sheldon Alspector, Wayne Farrall—for taking the time to raise this issue with me many, many times. I appreciate the House giving me the opportunity this afternoon to bring forward my concerns. I hope that you will support me in this resolution, that we can take a look at the act and maybe find some solutions that will work for people right across Ontario.

I thank you all for speaking this afternoon. I appreciate your comments.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): The time for this ballot item has now expired. We’ll vote on Mr. Johnson’s resolution in about 50 minutes.

G20 PUBLIC INQUIRY ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 CONCERNANT
LA TENUE D’UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE
SUR LE SOMMET DU G20

Mr. Kormos moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 121, An Act to require a public inquiry into government action and spending in connection with the G20 Summit / Projet de loi 121, Loi exigeant la tenue d’une enquête publique sur les mesures prises et les dépenses engagées par le gouvernement dans le cadre du Sommet du G20.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Pursuant to standing order 98, the honourable member has 12 minutes for his presentation. Mr. Kormos.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Today we have the opportunity to debate An Act to require a public inquiry into government action and spending in connection with the G20 Summit. That bill, of course, was tabled in this House on October 5, 2010, by Andrea Horwath. Bill 121 was subsequently tabled by me—it’s the very same bill; it’s the Horwath bill—so as to facilitate its debate here in this House in a timely way.

June 26 and 27, 2010, will forever be dark days, sad days, not just for the city of Toronto but for Canada. I suppose that if the inevitable movie is made or book is written, one might suspect that it would be titled If the Bubble Touches Me, You’re Going to be Arrested for Assault. That video, that shocking and rattling video, has now travelled the world, and we’ve all seen the regrettable image of Officer Bubbles confronting a young woman behaving very peacefully and peaceably and, for somebody my age, in a manner reminiscent of the sorts of protests that we participated in in the 1960s and 1970s. But we saw a police officer, with incredible levels of aggression, anger and malice, confront, in a way that was shocking and disturbing, a young woman peaceably and peacefully protesting. It was shocking and disturbing not just for all New Democrats, we in Queen’s Park and those across the province; it was shocking and disturbing for communities wherever you went in Ontario and beyond. Whether you’re in downtown Toronto or whether you were up in Timmins or Sudbury or the Nickel Belt area or whether you’re down in Welland, where I come from, or Hamilton, it was the sort of thing that people spoke to us about on a regular basis as we went to the market squares on Saturday mornings. It was folks who came from all walks of life, and all political persuasions, for that matter, who told us how shocked they were about the response to peaceful protest here in the city of Toronto. It was folks who told us how shocked and outraged they were that a handful of hooligans wreaked mayhem on the city of Toronto on Saturday and that the response, by Sunday, was to arrest over 1,100 people, the vast, vast, vast majority of them without charges, and to detain them in primitive, cruel conditions.

John Pruyn is a constituent of mine; I know him. He’s 57 years old. He works for Revenue Canada, for Pete’s sake. He’s an amputee; he lost his leg in a farming accident 17 years ago. John Pruyn is a peace activist. He was at the event with his wife, Susan, and his daughter. He was sitting on the lawns of Queen’s Park, which so many people had believed was sort of a safe zone—not safe to commit crimes but safe to be removed from any of the fray that was going on out there. He was attacked by police officers, arrested, handcuffed, had his prosthesis torn off his leg, was hauled off to spend a couple of days in the primitive, makeshift, oh-so-Guantanamo-reminiscent holding cells down on Eastern Avenue, and then was released without charges.

We learned about kettling, where thousands of people were encircled by aggressive police officers and held in the rain in what became a cold night—al fresco, if you will. What we’ve never learned is, what was the chain of command? Who was making the decisions? Who was giving the orders?

We learned just recently that over 90 Toronto police officers—we don’t know how many from other police forces—removed their name badges, their identification badges. I put to you, Speaker, that there is only one inference to be drawn when a police officer removes his or her name tag. That is that they intend to do something that is improper or outright illegal. That’s the only inference that can be drawn.

While we can credit Chief Blair with scanning the film footage and discovering 90, one asks, where was the supervision of these police officers out there on the streets of Toronto? I was out there. I saw these police officers. I talked to them. I talked to demonstrators. Where was the supervision of these police officers? Where were the sergeants and staff sergeants, who I know were out there with their police officers, telling their police officers to get those damn tags back on tout de suite, or else there’s going to be hell to pay? Well, they were there, but nobody was telling those police officers to put those name tags back on, were they?

Chain of command: Who was calling the shots? Who were the parties involved? A billion dollars later, a thousand-plus people arrested, illegally in most circumstances, the vast majority of them, and the vicious response of the police by the time Sunday had come around, while the police seemed to be incapable—notwithstanding thousands of police officers on the streets of Toronto, notwithstanding helicopters circling downtown, notwithstanding all sorts of surveillance, including undercover officers—of controlling the property damage that took place along Yonge Street and one, perhaps two, police cars being torched.

The government members, I suspect, will respond by saying there’s a number of inquiries taking place. There are. I look forward to Ombudsman Marin’s report, for instance—but limited to a very narrow subject, and that is the subject of the notorious regulation passed by this government, this Premier, in secrecy, then kept secret, and then misinterpreted purposefully so as to mislead police officers and the public about its effect. That’s the now-notorious five-metre law, which was phony, which was faked. The law was fraudulent. It resulted in people getting arrested illegally. I, for one, would very much like to know whether this was an instance of the police calling government and calling the shots. That’s not how it’s supposed to work in a democratic country. It’s for government to enact the law; it’s for police to enforce it. It’s not for police to have a Premier sitting on their lap like a secretary taking dictation and dictating the sorts of laws that they want for a particular period of time. Sorry for the imagery. I apologize. I retract it. I’ll do one better, okay, Speaker? Too many young people won’t get it, but it’s not a matter of Edgar Bergen having Charlie McCarthy sitting on his lap, manipulating the words that Charlie McCarthy says. This is reprehensible stuff. This is very serious stuff.

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The Toronto Star, as you know, just recently wrote an editorial saying, “Public Inquiry Still Required.” The piecemeal inquiries taking place are not going to be enough to connect all the dots, to fill in all the gaps. There are so many pieces of the puzzle still missing. Why, the House of Commons’ public safety committee—I think that’s what it’s called—Vic Toews, the minister, said there was a reason why the locations of Muskoka and then Toronto were chosen for the G8 and G20, respectively, but for the life of me, he couldn’t remember them. I suspect he’d be less inclined to respond so flippantly if he were under oath in a public inquiry. Why a public inquiry? Because a public inquiry, under the Public Inquiries Act, has the power to summons people; has the power to issue search warrants; has the power to hire an investigator; and has the power to, again, require people to testify under oath.

To those who would argue expense, I say, on the contrary, Ms. Horwath’s bill so very, very carefully and neatly outlines the very limited scope here. The interest is to:

“(a) inquire into and report on the decisions and actions of the government of Ontario and of Ontario’s law enforcement agencies in connection with the G20 summit; and

“(b) make recommendations to the government of Ontario and to Ontario’s law enforcement agencies about how to reduce spending, reduce arrests and reduce violence in connection with similar events that may be held in Ontario in the future.”

This isn’t a wide-ranging, broad inquiry; it’s a very specific and clear one, and it’s one that, in all respects, is quite compact. But it’s an inquiry into issues that simply aren’t going to be answered by the plethora of ragtag investigations and inquiries being held now, most of which are not public. A public inquiry, by its very name, has to be public.

People in this province and in this country have lost a great deal of confidence in law enforcement and in their government over the course of the time from June 26 through to now. The only way we can restore confidence—because it’s a very dangerous thing, when people lose confidence in the criminal justice system, isn’t it? It’s a very dangerous thing when people lose confidence in their ability to ensure that the state protects their constitutional rights, isn’t it? It’s a very dangerous thing, and no good can come of it. The only way to restore confidence is to have a public inquiry, one that’s transparent, one that produces the facts, reveals the facts, pulls the layers back.

Good grief, we had OPP involved. Where was Julian Fantino on this matter? We had RCMP involved. Where was the RCMP commissioner on this matter? We had police forces from Montreal and other provinces. Who was supervising them and to whom were they responsible? Why was there the major shift in policing perspective from Saturday through to Sunday? These are questions that have to be asked because the answers are imperative.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Mike Colle: I certainly commend the member from Welland for bringing this forward. I think it’s an important bill that’s before this House. We should be examining this and we should be debating this, because it is a very troubling event that occurred in the city of Toronto, the G20 summit.

The major disagreement I have with my colleague from Welland—he talked about Charlie McCarthy—is that the perpetrator, the one who pulled the strings and orchestrated this whole tragic event, was found to be in the city of Ottawa: our federal government. I think we cannot let them off the hook. They basically foisted this summit, as they called it, on the city of Toronto against the will of the elected members of council and the mayor, who said they didn’t want it, and if it was to be held, it would be held on the Exhibition grounds. That was denied and overruled by the federal government.

The last-minute switch: Originally, if you recall, this was supposed to be held in Muskoka, in Huntsville. The grandiose plan of the Harper government was to hold it in Muskoka. Then, at the last minute, it got switched without any consultation, without any kind of input from the mayor and the council of Toronto. They said, “You’re going to have it in your city. We’re going to establish our parameters here, and we’re going to do it whether you like it or not.” That was the order from Ottawa.

It was their plan, their idea, their showcase. It was supposed to be a showcase for the world. I agree with the member from Welland: It was a disaster as far as Ontario, Toronto and Canada were concerned. It was the wrong place, the wrong time and the wrong approach.

I will not stand here and defend every police action. Some of them were inappropriate to say the least; we can concur in that. But on the other hand, who put our police, the people of Toronto and also the peaceful demonstrators in this untenable situation? Who dictated that this be the theatre for the G20 summit? Whether it was the RCMP who were supposed to be in charge of the whole operation, they were running the show: “We’re running the show. You people in Toronto don’t know what you’re doing. We’re going to have this summit here and we’ll manage it.”

You put people in an untenable situation—in a frightening situation. Certainly the police officers were in a frightening situation, given the hype, given the intense media coverage, given the confrontational attitude that developed. I think that what happened on those two days was really deplorable. But on the other hand, the perpetrators of those two horrible days are not even discussed here; that is, the federal government which, as I said, managed, orchestrated and financed—and we can talk about the financing of this event, a billion dollars-plus that was hoisted on everyone without any kind of acceptance by anybody. “Here is what it’s going to cost. We are going to fund it. We are going to undertake this summit.”

I want to quote from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association: “What is needed is a comprehensive review that can examine the decisions and policies of all of the actors involved in the G20. The G20 was a federal summit, hosted by the federal government, policed by a federal security agency and paid for by federal funds. The federal government is therefore best suited to coordinate such an inquiry….”

As the member from Welland said, there are ongoing investigations being done by the Ombudsman of Ontario and by former Ontario Chief Justice McMurtry. There is an independent police review being done right now. Also, the Toronto Police Services Board is undertaking and has commissioned an independent review. I think it would be interesting to see whether the federal government has taken this upon themselves. I know they’ve been doing some hearings in the last couple of days. Again, what they’re doing is, they’re almost as if the federal government and the federal MPs are questioning what we did in Toronto when they perpetrated it on Toronto and, to this very day, ordinary people in Toronto have never been apologized to for what was perpetrated upon them. That’s why we need to hold the federal government to account.

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I’m not saying that they’re the only ones to blame. There were a lot of mistakes made by all governments in this case. But the main culprit—and the member from Parkdale–High Park refuses to acknowledge that: that the federal government needs to be held to account here, and I think they should be held to account.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: I’m pleased to rise to speak to this bill today, Bill 121, from the member from Welland.

It has been very interesting to watch this process from the very beginning. We’ve had other G20–G7 summits in our country. Just to answer the previous speaker, that’s a choice the federal government has in holding these events. They’re considered to be fairly national and prominent events that would help the country in the long run. It’s hard to believe we’ve escalated into this. It sounds like the government members are going to blame the federal government. That’s what I take from the previous comments, and it will be interesting.

I know myself that we call for inquiries here all the time in this House. The government never calls an inquiry, and I suspect they will never support this. I think, before an actual inquiry is called, that we should listen to what the McMurtry report says, what the Ombudsman report says and what the internal reports of the police services say. If you look at the history of the Ombudsman, he has never been a really friendly person, in his previous careers, toward policing, so I suspect that any report coming from the Ombudsman will be fairly critical of anything the police could have possibly done wrong.

Up our way, in Mr. Miller from Parry Sound–Muskoka’s riding, we had the G7, and it went off almost perfectly. We can’t be very critical of that. The police did a great job. The leaders went to Deerhurst Inn at that time. Overall, I would say it was a very positive response for that community, for the police services and for all the people visiting from other nations around the world.

What happened in Toronto—I say that a lot of it has to be blamed on the provincial government. We all know that in this House, when we were sitting back on June 1 and 2 of this year, a cabinet meeting took place, a special regulation was passed, and it was somehow put on some kind of a website that we certainly weren’t aware of. I know that all the people who came to this city to peacefully demonstrate had no idea that a lot of those rules applied to them.

I’ve got a copy of the regulation. I’d like to read it into the record, because I can tell you, if you can understand this—you’re going to need to have a few Bay Street lawyers just to follow this, I think.

What it says is:

“Ontario Regulation 233/10

“made under the Public Works Protection Act

“Made: June 2, 2010

“Filed: June 14, 2010

“Published on e-Laws: June 16, 2010

“Printed in the Ontario Gazette: July 3, 2010

“Designation of Public Works

“Designation

“1. The following are designated as public works for the purposes of the act:

“1. Everything described in clause (a) of the definition of ‘public work’ in section 1 of the act that is located in the area described in schedule 1, including, without limitation and for greater certainty, every sidewalk in that area.

“2. The places described in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of schedule 2.

“Revocation

“2. This regulation is revoked on June 28, 2010”—meaning, as soon as the G8 is over, this is revoked.

“Commencement

“3. This regulation comes into force on the later of June 21, 2010, and the day it is filed.

“Schedule 1

“Area Referred to in Paragraph 1 of Section 1

“The area in the city of Toronto lying within a line drawn as follows:

“Beginning at the curb at the southeast corner of Blue Jays Way and Front Street North; then north to the centre of Front Street West; then east along the centre of Front Street West to the east curb of Windsor Street; then north along the east curb of Windsor Street to the centre of Wellington Street; then east along the centre of Wellington Street to the centre of Bay Street; then south along the centre of Bay Street to a point directly opposite the north wall of Union Station; then west along the exterior of the north wall of Union Station to the centre of York Street; then south along the centre of York Street, continuing east of the abutments under the railway overpass, and continuing south along the centre of York Street to the centre of Bremner Boulevard; then west along the centre of Bremner Boulevard to the east curb of Lower Simcoe Street; then south along the east curb of Lower Simcoe Street to the north curb of Lake Shore Boulevard West; then west along the north curb of Lake Shore Boulevard West to the south end of the walkway that is located immediately west of the John Street Pumping Station and runs between Lake Shore Boulevard West and the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre; then north along the west edge of that walkway to the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre; then west along the south edge of the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre to the west edge of the driveway running between the parking lot and Bremner Boulevard; then north along the west edge of that driveway to the north curb of Bremner Boulevard; then west along the north curb of Bremner Boulevard to the east curb of Navy Wharf Court; then north along the east curb of Navy Wharf Court to the southwest point of the building known as 73 Navy Wharf Court; then east along the exterior of the south wall of that building; then north along the exterior of the east wall of that building to the curb of Blue Jays Way; then north along the east curb of Blue Jays Way to the curb at the southeast corner of Blue Jays Way and Front Street West.”

If you’re a surveyor, you likely can understand what I’ve said so far.

Schedule 2 is a little bit shorter.

“Designated places referred to in paragraph 2 of section 1:

“1. The area, within the area described in schedule 1, that is within five metres of a line drawn as follows:

“Beginning at the south end of the walkway that is located immediately west of the John Street Pumping Station and runs between Lake Shore Boulevard West and the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre; then north along the west edge of that walkway to the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre; then west along the south edge of the bus parking lot of the Rogers Centre to the west edge of the driveway running between the parking lot and Bremner Boulevard; then north along the west edge of that driveway and ending at Bremner Boulevard.

“2. The area, within the area described in schedule 1, that is within five metres of a line drawn as follows:

“Beginning at the southwest point of the building know as 73 Navy Wharf Court; then east along the exterior of the south wall of that building; then north along the exterior of the east wall of that building and ending at the curb of Blue Jays Way.

“3. The below-grade driveway located between Union Station and Front Street West and running between Bay Street and York Street in the city of Toronto.”

How you could ever blame that regulation on the federal government is beyond me. That was passed down the hallway here on June 2, when none of us knew it; it was in secrecy. Anybody who was prepared to go and peacefully demonstrate had no idea these rules applied, not any at all.

I’m quite sure that in a lot of cases, the police may not have understood this, as well. As a result of this misunderstanding and as a result of this lack of communication between these government members and this cabinet—that is why a lot of these problems happened. I blame it fully on Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal government. That is who I blame, not Stephen Harper. Stephen Harper paid his way. He paid for the policing costs. He sent the cheque to the OPP and the Toronto police for their costs. It’s up to us to do our job in community safety.

You all know full well that the minister only lasted about three weeks after that and he was tossed out of that job. He switched jobs with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. That’s my understanding of it. I’m not blaming anything on the police. I think the police did the very best job they could. I talked to the police outside this building from the Barrie Police Service, from the Toronto Police Service, from the OPP. They were hot summer days. The last place they really wanted to be on overtime or anything else was in the city of Toronto fighting off demonstrators or being involved in any kind of scuffles.

I think for the government to come out and say that it’s a federal government responsibility is completely irresponsible. This is solely on the hands of Dalton McGuinty. I blame him fully for this. I can tell you, there was absolutely a lack of communication here, and if you do any kind of inquiry or if McMurtry comes out with his inquiry or if the Ombudsman comes out, I hope he’ll take into consideration what happened here.

We could have been notified in this House. Every one of us knew about the G20 and the G8. We were here the week that that bill was passed. None of us knew about it until about June 24 or June 25. So anything that happens as a result of this is, I think—I’m hoping that these inquiries that are taking place will put the blame where it actually belongs, and that’s at the cabinet table of the McGuinty government.

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As far as a separate inquiry, I think you’re going to spend money after money after money. I would like to see what becomes of these other three inquiries before I would support another expensive inquiry, because it will be very expensive if we go to a full inquiry. And you know what? We’ve got a $21-billion deficit. I’m not sure we’ve got enough money to afford a coffee at this stage of the game.

With that, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to say a few words today and congratulate the member for bringing this to the floor of this House. I think it’s important that this debate take place, and I’ve been really surprised today that after all this, the government members would start up and their message is, “Let’s blame Stephen Harper again.”

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Just before we start with the third party, I remind members to please use riding names and not first names, that’s for sure. Please speak through the Chair so we can have a peaceful afternoon.

Further debate?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Ontarians deserve answers. Ontarians deserve respect. Ontarians deserve a public inquiry to get to the bottom of what really happened in Toronto during the G20 summit. That is the bottom line. Otherwise, we risk setting a terrible, terrible precedent for the next time a major international meeting takes place in our province. When Amnesty International, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Law Union of Ontario all say that something is rotten in the cupboard, that means we have to clean house.

Over the course of the G20 weekend, as was already stated, 1,100 people were arrested. That’s more arrests than during the FLQ crisis. That’s more arrests than at any other time in Canadian history. That’s mass arrests, with little or no cause. Only 230 individuals were ever criminally charged. Ontarians of every age and background came to express themselves, which is their legitimate right as citizens of this province and this country, and here in Ontario, in Toronto, many of those citizens were denied that basic freedom. Worse yet, some were repaid with arbitrary police action and detention. The government colluded by enacting a secret law that was translated by police into sweeping new powers, the law that was just outlined by the member for Simcoe North.

Yes, there were ugly scenes; many of us saw them. Yes, there were violent confrontations. But there was also peaceful protest and lawful assembly. Some people had just the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Credible journalists and ordinary pedestrians alike reported acts of intimidation and a nightmarish situation of panic and fear. That is unacceptable.

One of the better-known accounts came from Steve Paikin, a very well-known TVOntario journalist, who witnessed democracy take “a major step backwards” during the G20. In a piece published by the Ottawa Citizen, Paikin described “inexplicable behaviour by too many police officers.” One incident in particular left him very confused and, in fact, outraged. Like many journalists just trying to do their job that weekend, Paikin himself was threatened with arrest. Before he could be “escorted” away, he witnessed three police officers punch and elbow Jesse Rosenfeld, a UK newspaper correspondent, when he refused to stop covering a legitimate news story. Paikin called the treatment of “an asthmatic journalist ... all of 5’6” tall ... missing one kidney” an “unnecessary overreaction.”

I don’t think any of us can forget the incident that occurred at Queen Street and Spadina. The Toronto Star reported that no violence spurred this action by police—no violence. Hundreds of law-abiding citizens were corralled like livestock in the pouring rain. Riot-gear-clad police blocked any opportunity for those people to peacefully disperse. Some were tourists. Some were innocent bystanders. All were left shivering in soaked clothing for over four hours and then released with nary an explanation.

A recent university graduate was caught up in that chaos, and she couldn’t believe that she was experiencing that kind of treatment in Canada. She told a reporter, “My charter rights have been trampled. My human rights have been trampled. It’s shameful.” New Democrats agree.

Deep questions remain about what really happened in Toronto that weekend. The public deserves coherent answers. These answers cannot be provided by the patchwork of investigations that are currently under way. None of the six separate reviews has the mandate or the jurisdiction—or the impartiality, I charge—to ask the fundamental questions.

The faith of Ontarians in the responsibilities of law enforcement, in the accountability of government and in Canadian democracy has been shaken.

We need a formal mechanism for people to share their stories. We need an inquiry with broad scope, binding recommendations and the teeth to subpoena. That’s an important issue, and it was outlined by the member for Welland in his opening remarks. It’s extremely important, the power to subpoena, to compel witnesses and documents on the public record.

One month ago, I introduced a private member’s bill that is going to remedy that wrong, and it’s the one we’re debating right now, the G20 Public Inquiry Act. It will establish an independent commission, empowered to carry out a full public inquiry. It will probe and report on the decisions and actions of government and law enforcement during the G20. It will provide a fuller account of how more than a billion taxpayers’ dollars were spent and whether that money was, in fact, well spent. It will determine whether the basic human rights and freedoms of Ontarians were compromised that weekend in June.

Yes, I think everyone would agree that the G20 was an important global meeting. Yes, visiting politicians and delegations have the right to convene in a safe and secure atmosphere. But Ontarians have a right to gather and voice their opinions, too, even when those opinions are different than the ones of those dignitaries who are collecting for their meeting.

Ontarians have paid very dearly over the years for this right to collectively gather and voice their opinions in freedom without being accosted by law enforcement and police. They’ve had this right since the founding of our province. It must be respected and it must be protected.

If there’s a consensus among all of the parties and all of the factions, it’s that what happened in Toronto during the G20 should never be allowed to happen again. That’s why we need a public inquiry: to put this event in the past. We also need a public inquiry to be able to move forward.

I want to say one last thing, and that is on the issue of costs. This bill very clearly sets parameters not only in scope, as Mr. Kormos mentioned, but it also sets parameters in terms of time frames to ensure that this is done in a timely and cost-effective manner: a six-month interim report and a 12-month maximum duration for the inquiry, to hold the line on costs.

I ask, as I finish my remarks: At what price is democracy and freedom going to be protected in this province?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Mr. Dave Levac: I appreciate the opportunity to speak to Bill 121.

The member from Welland, I believe, knows that I hold him in great respect. His capacity as a trained lawyer is well known. I think his arguments are reminiscent of closing arguments of a case that could be made here today.

I don’t necessarily subscribe to his characterization of the independent review commissioned by the Toronto Police Services Board. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director is directly conducting a systematic review. The Ontario Ombudsman is conducting an investigation. There are numbers of civil proceedings that are being pursued as we speak. We’ve also appointed Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry to lead a detailed review of the Public Works Protection Act.

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I don’t agree with his characterization—and he’ll probably check Hansard for this, because somebody else said something that he checked, and I’m sure he’ll check this—as a ragtag group of investigations and, as portrayed by the leader, a patchwork, questioning the impartiality of whether or not this batch of reviews, as he’s calling them, is going to be fair and reasonable. What I want to do is make sure that Mr. McMurtry’s esteem has not been tarnished a little bit by the comments that were being made, in that he will be reviewing the focused discussions on key stakeholders.

My friend opposite is very disappointed that I’m bringing this up simply because I’m not the one who called it impartial. That wouldn’t be impartial. I’m not the one who said it was a patchwork and I’m not the one who said it’s a ragtag operation. I’m concerned that Mr. McMurtry would not be seen as impartial, as being a Chief Justice of Ontario. I honestly believe that he’s going to be doing that work—and he’s going to be including in his discussions the legal community. He’s going to go to the stakeholders. He’s looking for the legal community, the policing organizations, the civil liberties groups, other levels of government, including the federal government, and interested members of the general public. So I hope, as one of my friends from the Tory party, whom I also disagree with in terms of the sole responsibility of the province of Ontario—that we would include levels of government and that the general public will be participating in this.

I also look forward to the Ombudsman’s review. His report is going to be on the very thing that we’re talking about this evening. I honestly believe that the characterizations of what’s been happening here are a little bit rich.

Let me make it perfectly clear, in my position of what I observed. I too agree that we should never have this happen again. I too agree that there were some civil liberties that were removed. And I too believe that there should be some actions as a result of that. The questions I think we should ask ourselves are: What did we learn already, what can we learn further, and where else are we going to show some improvements in this?

Let’s talk about the bill that people are referring to, which precipitated the use of a regulation versus a bill—because twice now from the opposition, it’s been characterized as a secret bill that was passed. We all know that it was not a bill that was passed. The bill has actually been in existence for over 60 years, and it requires the removal of Second World War-era types of security concerns that were established back then to what they are today. I, for one, look forward to that bill being reviewed and improved upon.

The other thing that I wanted to talk about was the characterization that the civil liberties were totally on one side of this, solely responsible for that removal. I hope we would acknowledge that the tactics of the Black Bloc, as I believe they are called, would not be perceived as “civil liberties” to pursue and not have something to do with this review as well.

In terms of the balance, am I defending actions that were taken by the citizenry to be there to protest? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, that’s the part that I am disappointed in. That’s the part that I have been appalled about in terms of the actions. Those kinds of reviews that are taking place right now will take care of that. I would say that the request for an inquiry is a reasonable one insomuch as the timing part of it; I want to see this part of the process finished. Then we can look at an inquiry. I would definitely be open to do that, because they do have their place in our government, they do have their place in our society here in Ontario, and they have their place to help us make a better process for it, vis-à-vis the inquiry in Ipperwash, which was called for and was done.

Having said those things, right now as it stands, I was very disappointed in this Black Bloc process that I don’t support, and I’m guessing that no one in this building does, because not only did they cause their chaos and their anarchy belief, they also dressed in black from head to toe, perpetrated some of the very extreme things we saw happening and then discarded those robes immediately to blend back in with the law-abiding, peaceful protestors, who, I believe, deserve our respect.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate?

Ms. Cheri DiNovo: The weekend of the G20 was the weekend that civil rights and democracy died in the province of Ontario, in the city of Toronto, and certainly were put to the test throughout Canada.

This was a black weekend, a weekend when we remember the chant, “Whose street? Our streets.” We remind ourselves of that. I was part of every single day of the weekend, standing with the Tibetans to demand autonomy and freedom for Tibet one day, a prayer vigil of faith leaders where we were muscled and refused to allow to sit on the street that we own the next day. And finally, I came home to Parkdale–High Park to witness the occupation—I can only call it that—of Parkdale. Most of Queen Street was shut down—hundreds of police in riot gear. I personally witnessed people being harassed, handcuffed and kept without notice or charge.

This is unconscionable. One of the screams—and I say it’s a scream—that we yelled in my community, on my street during the G20 was, “We want our police, not their police.” That’s how concerned our citizens were with what was happening in their community.

Certainly Roy McMurtry is an honourable man. We have no problem with Roy McMurtry. We have a problem with the limitations of his inquiry. He is not able to subpoena testimony from cabinet members, and we want testimony from cabinet members. He is not able to subpoena testimony from Dalton McGuinty, and we want to hear from Dalton McGuinty.

Listen, I’m no fan of Harper—far from it—but we have to admit that those across the aisle bear some responsibility for what happened here that weekend, and we want to know where that responsibility started and where it stopped—absolutely.

I’m going to leave some moments for my friend from Trinity–Spadina.

It’s a weekend I’ll never forget. It’s right up there with the War Measures Act—another attempt by Liberals to deny civil liberties to Canadians. This can never happen again.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Further debate?

Mr. Rosario Marchese: My friend from Welland has covered much of the field, but he started by asking who was in charge. The real question for me is, no one was in charge. Why? That is the question.

In my mind, the reason why no one was in charge was because no one wanted to be held accountable. Nobody wanted to be blamed, because blame will come and would come, and they knew it. If we knew who was in charge, blame would be assigned. It was organized confusion, it was predictable confusion and it was systemic.

I remember that within the police force nobody knew who was in charge, but Chief Blair seemed very confident that the five-metre rule was there in the regulation and he seemed to be very clear the day before. The day after, it wasn’t so clear anymore. Lawyers looked at it again. It wasn’t clear. When they called the Solicitor General, he was not available for comment, said the Toronto Star. The cover-up was systemic.

The outrage in my riding was swift. I have letters from three people I thought I would be able to read out of 20 that I got, one from Patrick who said, “Like many others, I feel that a wide-ranging and in-depth public inquiry into how and why the security was handled as it was is essential. Without this, the trust in our police services is undermined and our charter rights trampled with impunity.” I had other letters that I wish I could have read into the record.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Further debate? Seeing none, the honourable member Mr. Kormos has two minutes for his response.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Referring to the recent Toronto Star editorial, let’s go down the list. “Laws were changed without public input; the public was misinformed about broadened police powers; unconstitutional searches occurred across the city; excessive force was used to disperse peaceful protestors ... more than 1,000 people were arrested, held in an overcrowded detention centre and not allowed to call their family or a lawyer. More than 900 of them had not done anything wrong and were subsequently released without charge.”

Never before have we witnessed in this province such an outrageous and aggressive attack on fundamental freedoms and on basic and clear charter rights. We reverted to barbarism on June 26 and June 27. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the people across would not want some light shone on this sordid moment in the province’s history.

Regulation 233/10 was made in secret. For the life of me, I can’t understand why government backbenchers wouldn’t be as outraged that they were kept in the dark as well, because they’ve had to wear it in their ridings, weekend after weekend.

A public inquiry is the only way we’re going to clear the air. A public inquiry is the only way we’re going to build a system where this can never happen again.

I do encourage people to go to the website torontog2exposed.ca—

Interjection: G20.

Mr. Peter Kormos: —torontog20exposed.ca—it’s an age thing, Speaker. I hope folks will bear with me. Torontog20exposed.ca: There is a movie starring, amongst others, Officer Bubbles. I suspect people will find it most interesting.

Please, colleagues, support this bill. Support this endeavour to nestore some civility and some fundamental freedoms and rights back to Ontarians, and to restore some confidence of Ontarians in their government.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): It’s time to vote on today’s ballot items. The time provided for public members’ private business has expired.

KATELYN BEDARD BONE MARROW AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2010 /
LOI KATELYN BEDARD DE 2010
SUR LE MOIS DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AU DON DE MOELLE OSSEUSE

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): We will deal first with ballot item number 46, standing in the name of Mr. Crozier.

Mr. Crozier has moved second reading of Bill 80, An Act to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Second reading agreed to.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Crozier?

Mr. Bruce Crozier: I would respectfully ask for unanimous consent that the bill be ordered for third reading.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Do we have unanimous consent for the bill to be ordered for third reading? Agreed. So ordered.

Just for members’ information, we’ll deal with this matter again if it is called for orders of the day after the next couple of votes.

AGGREGATE EXTRACTION

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): We’ll now deal with ballot item number 47.

Mr. Johnson has moved private member’s notice of motion number 53.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

Mr. Peter Kormos: On division.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): On division is noted.

I heard “carried on division.” I didn’t hear any noes.

Motion agreed to.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Rick Johnson: I would just like to thank everyone for the support and for the wise counsel that has been offered during the day. I appreciate that. Thank you.

G20 PUBLIC INQUIRY ACT, 2010 /
LOI DE 2010 CONCERNANT
LA TENUE D’UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE
SUR LE SOMMET DU G20

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): We will now deal with ballot item number 48.

Mr. Kormos has moved second reading of Bill 121, An Act to require a public inquiry into government action and spending in connection with the G20 Summit.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour, please say “aye.”

All those opposed, please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1633 to 1638.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): All those in favour of the motion will please rise and remain standing until recognized by the Clerk.

Ayes

  • Bisson, Gilles
  • DiNovo, Cheri
  • Gélinas, France
  • Horwath, Andrea
  • Kormos, Peter
  • Marchese, Rosario
  • Prue, Michael
  • Tabuns, Peter

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): All those opposed to the motion will please rise and remain standing until recognized by the Clerk.

Nays

  • Albanese, Laura
  • Arnott, Ted
  • Balkissoon, Bas
  • Best, Margarett
  • Cansfield, Donna H.
  • Colle, Mike
  • Delaney, Bob
  • Dhillon, Vic
  • Dickson, Joe
  • Dunlop, Garfield
  • Flynn, Kevin Daniel
  • Fonseca, Peter
  • Hardeman, Ernie
  • Jaczek, Helena
  • Klees, Frank
  • Kular, Kuldip
  • Levac, Dave
  • Mangat, Amrit
  • Miller, Norm
  • Moridi, Reza
  • Pendergast, Leeanna
  • Qaadri, Shafiq
  • Ruprecht, Tony
  • Sergio, Mario
  • Smith, Monique
  • Sousa, Charles
  • Takhar, Harinder S.
  • Zimmer, David

The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 8; the nays are 28.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): I declare the motion lost.

Second reading negatived.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): All matters related to private members’ public business have now been completed. I do call orders of the day.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Hon. Monique M. Smith: Based on the spirit of the House that was expressed earlier today, I seek unanimous consent to put the order for third reading of Bill 80, An Act to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month, to be called immediately, and that the question on the motion for third reading of the bill be put without debate or amendment.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Do we have unanimous consent? Agreed.

KATELYN BEDARD BONE MARROW AWARENESS MONTH ACT, 2010 /
LOI KATELYN BEDARD DE 2010
SUR LE MOIS DE LA SENSIBILISATION
AU DON DE MOELLE OSSEUSE

Mr. Crozier moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 80, An Act to make the month of November Bone Marrow Awareness Month / Projet de loi 80, Loi visant à désigner le mois de novembre Mois de la sensibilisation au don de moelle osseuse.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Congratulations.

Mr. Bruce Crozier: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: just a brief comment. On behalf of the Bedard family, I want to thank my colleagues today.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): To make it formal, be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Third reading agreed to.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Orders of the day.

Hon. Monique M. Smith: We have no further business. I move adjournment of the House.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Jim Wilson): Ms. Smith has moved adjournment of the House. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

This House stands adjourned until November 15 at 10:30 a.m.

The House adjourned at 1642.

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