REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF OTTAWA-CARLETON AND FRENCH-LANGUAGE SCHOOL BOARDS STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 1994 / LOI DE 1994 MODIFIANT DES LOIS CONCERNANT LA MUNICIPALITÉ RÉGIONALE D'OTTAWA-CARLETON ET LES CONSEILS SCOLAIRES DE LANGUE FRANÇAISE
Wednesday 13 April 1994
Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and French-language School Boards Statute Law Amendment Act, 1994, Bill 143, Mr Philip / Loi de 1994 modifiant des lois concernant la municipalité régionale d'Ottawa-Carleton et les conseils scolaires de langue française, projet de loi 143, M. Philip
STANDING COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
*Chair / Président: Huget, Bob (Sarnia ND)
*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot ND)
Conway, Sean G. (Renfrew North/-Nord L)
Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L)
Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)
Klopp, Paul (Huron ND)
*Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND)
Offer, Steven (Mississauga North/-Nord L)
Turnbull, David (York Mills PC)
*Waters, Daniel (Muskoka-Georgian Bay ND)
*Wilson, Gary (Kingston and The Islands/Kingston et Les Îles ND)
*Wood, Len (Cochrane North/-Nord ND)
*In attendance / présents
Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:
Daigeler, Hans (Nepean L) for Mr Conway
Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L) for Mr Offer
Johnson, David (Don Mills PC) for Mr Turnbull
Stockwell, Chris (Etobicoke West/-Ouest PC) for Mr Jordan
White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND) for Mr Klopp
Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:
Chiarelli, Robert (Ottawa West/-Ouest L)
Ministry of Municipal Affairs:
Philip, Hon Ed, minister
Barnes, Doug, director, local government policy branch
Gray, Scott, solicitor
White, Drummond, parliamentary assistant to the minister
Tomlinson, John, senior counsel, legislation branch, Ministry of Education and Training
Clerk / Greffière: Manikel, Tannis
Staff / Personnel: McNaught, Andrew, research officer, Legislative Research Service
The committee met at 1541 in committee room 1.
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF OTTAWA-CARLETON AND FRENCH-LANGUAGE SCHOOL BOARDS STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 1994 / LOI DE 1994 MODIFIANT DES LOIS CONCERNANT LA MUNICIPALITÉ RÉGIONALE D'OTTAWA-CARLETON ET LES CONSEILS SCOLAIRES DE LANGUE FRANÇAISE
Consideration of Bill 143, An Act to amend certain Acts related to The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and to amend the Education Act in respect of French-Language School Boards / Projet de loi 143, Loi modifiant certaines lois relatives à la municipalité régionale d'Ottawa-Carleton et la Loi sur l'éducation en ce qui a trait aux conseils scolaires de langue française.
The Chair (Mr Bob Huget): I call the committee to order. I apologize for the delay in starting; it's 3:45. The first item on the agenda this afternoon as we consider Bill 143 is opening remarks from the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I'll turn the floor over to the minister.
Hon Ed Philip (Minister of Municipal Affairs): It's a pleasure to be here this afternoon and to introduce to the standing committee Bill 143, an act that will reform the regional government in Ottawa-Carleton.
My parliamentary assistant, Drummond White, is here and will be with you during the various hearings. As I mentioned to the Chair and to Mr Grandmaître and others, I have to be in another committee at 4:30. If I can get out of that other committee, I will drop back and be available to you again for the rest of the afternoon. Staff from our ministry and Doug Barnes, as well as staff from the Ministry of Education, are here and will brief you on the provisions of the bill and answer a lot of the technical questions some of you may have.
First of all, I'd like to review the thinking behind the bill's provisions and why we think the people of Ottawa-Carleton need this legislation. Among the main features of Bill 143 are: the direct election to regional council, to be in place in time for the 1994 civic elections; regional responsibility for policing under a regional police services board; a new role for regional council in acquiring land for economic development purposes.
During the consultation undertaken by Graeme Kirby and subsequently, the general public overwhelmingly supported the concept of direct election to regional council. However, one aspect of the legislation which has caused considerable comment in the area is that the local mayors will no longer sit on regional council. This is an area of disagreement which the mayors themselves have tried to resolve, and I acknowledge their efforts. Indeed, I've met with them and discussed various options.
However, of utmost concern is the fact that this regional council is responsible for over $1 billion a year in expenditures. Such a large financial commitment entitles taxpayers to a regional government which is directly accountable to them. There is a great disparity in the sizes of the 11 municipalities in the area, from the city of Ottawa with a population of over 300,000 to a village with just over 2,000 people.
I know comparisons have been made between Ottawa-Carleton and Metro Toronto, but there are significant differences. I'd like to talk about those differences. Ottawa-Carleton has almost twice the number of lower-tier municipalities, 11 rather than six. The range in the size of municipalities is much greater in Ottawa-Carleton than in Metro. In Ottawa-Carleton, the smallest unit is less than 1% of the population of the largest unit, whereas in Metro the smallest unit comprises 16% of the largest unit.
There are many more municipalities with a small portion of the region's population in Ottawa-Carleton than in Metro. In Ottawa-Carleton, more than half of the units each have a population of less than 18,000 people. This is less than 6% of the largest unit's population, the city of Ottawa. In Metro, only two of the six municipalities are significantly smaller than the largest unit. Because of this disparity and the number of mayors, it is difficult to achieve representation by population unless the mayors no longer sit on this body, and reflecting representation by population I believe is something we as members of the Legislature should all firmly support.
The decision to exclude the mayors from regional council has many supporters, including David Bartlett, the author of a previous study on the future of Ottawa-Carleton; Claude Bennett, former Progressive Conservative Minister of Municipal Affairs; the former and current chairs of the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Trade; the mayor and council of the city of Ottawa; the Ottawa Citizen; and the Federation of Ottawa-Carleton Citizens' Associations.
Another important feature of this bill, regional policing, which comes into effect, we expect, on January 1, 1995, is long overdue. Ottawa-Carleton, the second-largest regional municipality in the province, needs and deserves a more coordinated response to its policing needs. It is the only region without a regional police force. Regional responsibility for policing will also promote fairness, ensuring that the costs are fairly distributed across the tax base of the entire region and that all taxpayers contribute.
The bill calls for the establishment of a regional police planning committee, which is intended to begin work shortly on integrating the three local municipal police forces in Gloucester, Nepean and Ottawa. The date for the amalgamation of the three existing police forces is now on or by January 1, 1997. The provision of a 1997 deadline is to ensure that there is adequate planning time for this new force. Our government has recognized that the January 1, 1996, deadline on Bill 77 did not leave enough time for a smooth integration and is now providing a full two and a half years for this process.
I expect that on January 1, 1995, a regional police services board will be in place. This seven-member body will be composed of four provincial appointees, the regional chair and two other regional representatives. The regional representation will provide an opportunity for the new directly elected regional council to have an impact on the future direction of regional police services. In addition, the board will carry on the work of the planning committee.
The government has recently provided the regional municipality with a $70,000 special assistance grant to assist in a study to determine the communication system needs of the regional police services established by this bill. This grant will provide assistance in the first stage of the amalgamation process, and other assistance will be provided once further costs are known. I believe this to be the fiscally responsible way to proceed. What is of great importance in this fiscal environment is that the bill will give the region an enhanced new role in economic development.
Specifically, the region will assume exclusive authority to acquire industrial, commercial and institutional lands for economic development purposes. The assignment of this authority to regional council is based on the recognition that Ottawa-Carleton is one economic community of interest.
As you know, this bill replaces Bill 77, which was introduced in the last session of the Legislature. It was reintroduced because we have made a number of additions to it. Some of these were necessary because the passage of the original was delayed. For instance, provisions have been added which will ensure that the 1994 municipal and school board elections run smoothly, and, because of this delay, we were able to add educational provisions to the bill.
In his final report, Graeme Kirby recommended that a separate study be done on the region's school boards. As a result, the Bourns study was commissioned to examine the area's five school boards. Mr Bourns held several public meetings and met with the school boards during the course of his review. His recommendation with respect to the Ottawa-Carleton French-language school board has been added to this bill.
Specifically, Mr Bourns recommended that the public and separate sectors of the Ottawa-Carleton French-language boards be divided into two autonomous bodies. The bill clarifies the existing regulatory power to dissolve and create French-language school boards, and a few minor additions are being made to deal with the specific circumstances of Ottawa-Carleton. What this bill does is eliminate the unnecessary extra layer of the combined board. There is local support for this, as any of you from Ottawa know.
There are provisions, to be dealt with by regulation, for the transfer of trustees, property, employees and assets and any other matters that may arise as a result of this change.
Ministry of Education and Training staff have met with officials of the boards and the representatives of the employee groups to discuss other concerns about how the transfer of employees should be dealt with. Ministry of Education and Training staff will continue to discuss these matters with the two groups during the development of the regulation.
I'm pleased to report to you that today the Minister of Education and Training, Dave Cooke, has announced an agreement which will secure equivalent funding for the Ottawa-Carleton French-language school board's public sector. The new funding formula will increase annual grants to the board, bringing it in line with the neighbouring public boards. The new funding formula applies retroactively and the funds generated will be used by the public sector to reduce its accumulated deficit. This agreement means that the public sector of the French-language board will now receive grants equivalent to those received by other public Ottawa-area boards. I'm pleased that we were able to settle this through negotiation rather than through the courts.
In addition to the agreement, the government-appointed supervisor and the public sector have agreed to a schedule for withdrawing the supervisor, providing the sector maintains a balanced budget and does not go into debt.
I'd be happy to supply the full statement of Minister Cooke to members of the committee.
The Ontario Municipal Board is being given authority to make changes to the electoral wards of school boards as a result of the changes to local municipal or regional wards.
Finally, the street vending provisions from the previous bill have been changed.
There has long been a perception in Ottawa-Carleton that the region is vastly overgoverned. Streamlining is urgently needed. The people of Ottawa-Carleton have waited a long time for this legislation and feel that the issue has been studied to death. In the past several years, there have been three separate studies on the future of regional government in this area, most recently the Kirby commission.
The time has come to act and to put the reforms in place in time for the 1994 civic elections. The delay of this legislation is already creating some difficulties for the region's clerks. Candidates for regional positions have also been inconvenienced by the delay in registration.
Voters at all levels of government are demanding less government, more streamlining and new ways of doing things. We were not elected merely to replicate exactly what has been done in the past.
This bill means progress, progress for the region and for the people of the region. It will give them a regional government that is more accountable and it will provide them with a focus for future planning.
The changes brought about by this bill will not revolutionize life in Ottawa-Carleton, but they will provide a new way of governing and a better, more streamlined way of governing. I hope the committee will be conscious of this during the deliberations.
Later, as I said, after we've heard from the opposition parties, I'm going to ask Doug Barnes of the local government policy branch of my ministry to take you clause by clause through the bill. I thank you for your attention.
The Chair: The next two scheduled items are opening statements by both opposition critics. The minister has indicated he can be with us till 4:30. If we follow that schedule, he will likely not be able to hear both opposition parties' opening statements.
I'd ask the guidance of the committee. If there are questions for the minister from the opposition parties we'd proceed with those now until 4:30, and then we can move into opening statements. Is that agreed?
Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): Agreed.
The Chair: That's fine..
Mr Chris Stockwell (Etobicoke West): What was the timing beforehand? If the minister has to be out of here at 4:30, how in God's name were we ever going to get to --
The Chair: We'd agreed to start at 3:30. We were late in starting, so it could probably have been accommodated.
Mr Stockwell: But even if it had been half an hour for each opposition party, that would have taken up the hour and --
The Chair: Twenty minutes.
Mr Stockwell: We still wouldn't have had time.
The Chair: What I'm offering now, to get around that issue, is to take the next half-hour for questions from all three parties, to be divided evenly until the minister has to leave, and then we'll revert back to the opening statements by the opposition parties. I asked if that was agreed, and that was agreed.
Mr Stockwell: You misunderstood my question. Did we ask the minister to be here only till 4:30?
The Chair: No. The minister has indicated that he has another committee meeting and will return at some other point. He made that very clear while you were in the room.
Questions, Mr Grandmaître? Ten minutes per caucus. That will take us through till 4:30, then you can proceed with your statements.
Mr Grandmaître: Very good. Mr Minister, the opposition has been criticizing your ministry and you, and you just proved again today that I don't think you were ready with the original bill, Bill 77, because you just made an announcement today concerning the French-language school board, a very important announcement, for the simple reason that we've been asking you these questions in the House about the school boards and the stewardship in the Ottawa-Carleton area. This stewardship has been in place since 1991, and we realized you were under pressure to make some kind of settlement with them or go before the courts and have it resolved.
I haven't heard the Minister of Education and I haven't seen the press release saying that this has been resolved or is very close to being resolved. Can I ask you the content of this press release?
Hon Mr Philip: I said I'd be happy to supply you with all press releases; we can do that immediately, I'm sure. We have it here in both English and French, whichever you prefer. I believe Mr Cooke supplied it to you in your boxes, and that's the normal procedure. If you don't have it, though, we can give you extra copies.
Mr Grandmaître: I just asked my colleagues if they've received it, and nobody on this side of the House -- how about the members on the other side of the House. Have you seen it? I guess the answer is no.
Hon Mr Philip: No, sir. The answer is that there are normal procedures that you as a minister, and other ministers, have traditionally followed in this House, that when a press release is made it is supplied to the members in their offices at the same time as to the gallery. I assume that Minister Cooke has done that. His staff is here and they may have some comment as to how that was handled. But surely it's more important to deal with the contents of this bill than to argue about when somebody received a press release or not.
Mr Grandmaître: Don't you think this important announcement should have been made in the House so that everybody would have learned about this exciting news? I think it is exciting news, because this has been ongoing since 1991. It would have been worthwhile to make a minister's statement in the House so that all of us in this room and everybody in Ottawa-Carleton would be relieved that you will not be forced to go to court to resolve your differences.
Again it points out my earlier accusation in the House that your ministry wasn't ready, for the simple reason that Bill 77 didn't refer to the French-language school boards amendments. And now you come before this committee and you tell us, "Well, we were delayed." Mr Minister, this is unacceptable, unacceptable on my part to be criticized that way, because, after all, you are a majority government. You have the power. You've used that power in the past, 13 times in the last 12 months, to introduce a closure motion or time allocation.
Mr Minister, I want to go on record that maybe this legislation is needed in Ottawa-Carleton -- I agree with you that Ottawa-Carleton needs some fine-tuning -- but to accuse the opposition of delay tactics is unacceptable.
In talking about funding, you did --
Hon Mr Philip: May I respond to those questions then? It seems to me that there are two questions that the member has asked. One relates to -- and I don't know if it's a question or a comment -- that somehow this great news which he has to welcome but somehow put a damper on in terms of process -- instead of welcoming it, he's concerned that somehow the announcement was made by Mr Cooke at 1 o'clock today.
It's the tradition of ministers to make announcements and to release to all members of the Legislature, at the same time as the announcement, copies of the release. My understanding is that that was done. If you have any further questions on it, you may want to ask questions of Mr Cooke in the House tomorrow on that.
With regard to process, let me say this: We wanted to deal with this bill before Christmas. There was no question about that. Our House leaders went time and again and asked that the opposition House leaders agree to the bill being called, and on each occasion the House leaders tried to delay the bill and said, "No, we will not agree to it being called now."
The final crunch came just before the Christmas recess, in which our House leader, Mr Brian Charlton, was informed by the opposition House leaders that were the bill called, the opposition would filibuster every other bill that was before the House. Now, to say that we could have used closure or time allocation a few days before Christmas instead of --
Mr Robert Chiarelli (Ottawa West): Or in September or in October.
Hon Mr Philip: Well, the interjection is, "By September or October." The fact is that it was you, sir, and other members of the opposition, particularly the Liberal Party, who asked that we not call the bill at that time but that we consult with the mayors because they had a series of proposals. We in fact did go through that consultation, and if we had not gone through that consultation, you would have been the first then to say that we were calling a bill prematurely and ignoring the consultation time which the mayors had asked for, as they wished to go back and bring back some alternate proposals.
Mr Grandmaître: The mayors did consult with you, you're absolutely right, but it took you four months to answer their letters. This is inexcusable.
Hon Mr Philip: I'm sorry, sir, but that is not factual. No, that is not true.
Mr Grandmaître: I'm sorry, it's my time and I think --
Hon Mr Philip: You made an accusation, sir, that is not true.
Mr Grandmaître: No, it's not an accusation. It's a statement.
Hon Mr Philip: We sent our staff up to Ottawa. We met with the --
Mr Stockwell: Come on, Mr Chair. He's made a dozen accusations; no one's interrupted him.
Mr Grandmaître: The minister is talking about tradition and also process. Well, there is a tradition that all ministers and ministries must respect the House and that major announcements are made in the House and not outside the House. That's a tradition. That's a respectful tradition.
Hon Mr Philip: It's certainly one that David Peterson never followed.
Mr Grandmaître: Mr Minister, I just went through your comments, your remarks, and there is nothing in your remarks about the school board arrangement in Ottawa-Carleton. Even your remarks weren't ready today. They're not up to date. This is what I've been trying to tell you. You've been doing a patching job; that's what you've been doing. And, Mr Minister, I will not accept that kind of criticism from you or the ministry.
I think it's irresponsible to be before this committee and talk about such an important bill that will change local government and regional government in Ottawa-Carleton for years to come, and you come before us and you're not even prepared to put two and two together, like this bill says: Bill 143, An Act to amend certain Acts related to The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and to amend the Education Act in respect of French-Language School Boards, and you just made a major announcement.
Mr Minister, I would be ashamed to be before a committee and say: "I'm sorry; I'm not ready. This has been going on for four years now but we're still not ready." It's a patch-up job, Mr Minister, and I will not accept this.
Going back to the mayors, I think the mayors wanted and still want to cooperate with you. They've met with you, and in fact you've challenged the mayors. You've said, "Look, come back with some options." I have your response. I have your letters. They date back to two months and three months and four months and you were in a rush to pass this legislation and you were accusing the opposition of delaying this legislation.
You were late. You were late in your correspondence. I think it's very unfair for you to be here and insult this committee or insult me by saying that we were using tactics that you didn't agree with or were unfair. I think you're being unfair, Mr Minister, to say these things and to accuse us of delay tactics.
The Chair: Mr Grandmaître, your time has expired. Do you wish to respond to that, Minister, and we'll move on to Mr Stockwell?
Hon Mr Philip: Yes, Mr Chairman.
Mr Stockwell: Thank you, Mr Chair --
The Chair: Hold it.
Hon Mr Philip: The normal response is that the minister --
Mr Stockwell: So this is not part of my time.
Hon Mr Philip: -- the minister often will give a response at the end of a consultation process. This was an ongoing consultation process. We had numerous phone calls and indeed meetings with the various mayors. Indeed, my people from my political and ministry staff went to Ottawa and had consultations with them. It was an ongoing process, and for you to say that we have not consulted is simply not factual.
Mr Grandmaître: I didn't say that.
The Chair: Thank you. Mr Stockwell, a couple of minutes of your time, sir.
Mr Stockwell: Thank you. Question: There's some credibility gap with respect to some of the comments that you've put on the record in the past and what we're dealing with here today. One of the questions that is maybe not as burning as the others but certainly one that kind of leads me to a sense of trying to manipulate the facts: You were on record very clearly that if you didn't get this Bill 77 by the end of December, nothing could be done and the next election would be problematic and you couldn't see it going through in time. What happened? Were you just kidding?
Hon Mr Philip: We said that it would be problematic. It has been problematic. It's created some difficulties for the clerks. We are trying to overcome that by getting this bill through at the present time.
Mr Stockwell: Yes, but you didn't use the word "problematic," though. I'll have to go back and get the actual quote, but you're quoted as saying, "Unless we get it by December 31, it can't be done." You were just kidding?
Hon Mr Philip: Do you have a quote there to that effect?
Mr Stockwell: I don't, but I wish I did bring --
Hon Mr Philip: No, I didn't think you did.
Mr Stockwell: So you're saying, Mr Minister, that you didn't say that?
Hon Mr Philip: I'm saying that my recollection is that I said it would be extremely problematic and extremely difficult.
Mr Stockwell: Okay. I'll be happy to look that up.
Hon Mr Philip: I also said, I believe, to the press and other people that there might be other legal questions that we would have to look into and that we did not have legal opinions at that time.
Mr Stockwell: Look, I'll be happy to look that up and we'll just see whose memory's in gear on that one.
Question: You made a big sale here about streamlining government. Explain to me how streamlining government consists of enlarging the number of school boards from five to six.
Hon Mr Philip: Enlarging the number of school boards from five to six? We are cutting three bodies down to two in this bill. You have three bodies. There is the Catholic, the public and the plenary. We're taking out the extra level.
Mr Stockwell: You're not creating two school boards out of one?
Hon Mr Philip: We're creating two school boards out of three.
Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): That's not correct.
Mr Stockwell: You see, this is the dilemma: There seems to be a real difficulty here with credibility. You're telling me you didn't say something December 31. Now there's a real concern about credibility here, Mr Minister, and I'll leave my 10 minutes to allow your assistant to explain it if he wants, but as I understand it you're creating two out of one. Am I wrong?
Mr Drummond White (Durham Centre): Yes.
Hon Mr Philip: Yes.
Mr Daigeler: No, he's not wrong.
Mr Grandmaître: No.
Mr Daigeler: It's true.
Mr Stockwell: Okay, let's get that on the record as well through the Hansard that --
Mr Grandmaître: They become two independent school boards.
Hon Mr Philip: Yes. They become two independent school boards.
Mr Stockwell: Well, what the hell was the question? You're creating two out of one.
Hon Mr Philip: I gave that in my answer. That's what the hell the question is. Maybe if you don't understand the question, then at least try and understand the answer. You've got two separate boards. Before you had two plus a coordinating board. We're eliminating the coordinating board.
Mr Stockwell: A coordinating board.
Mr Daigeler: There's one board, two sectors, and a --
The Chair: Mr Daigeler, we're on Mr Stockwell's time.
Mr Stockwell: Oh, I don't mind. Any time you want to chime in and help the minister out, I don't mind.
Here's a good chart. Okay, let me put them on the record then for you, Mr Chair: Ottawa board of ed, Ottawa Catholic, Carleton separate school board, Carleton public board, French public and French Catholic. As I count that, slowly for the Minister, one, two, three, four, five, six; we've got six, and there were five. Now, most people would say, other than the minister, I suppose, that he's in fact creating more boards, but we'll leave that up to the memory of the bright, intellectual Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Question: We asked for your support letters, which you spoke about at great length about a month ago. How come we haven't received them?
Hon Mr Philip: It's under a freedom of information. I'm sure you know previous governments have said that correspondence is of a confidential nature and that you need to receive the permission of the person who has written the letters in order to release the letter.
Mr Stockwell: One fly in that ointment: All we've got is a bill. You've only sent us a bill. We haven't got the letters yet. So I assume that you've got approval to send them. Are you waiting for us to pay the bill before you send us the letters?
Hon Mr Philip: I think the technicalities of that under the freedom of information can be answered by the staff later.
Mr Stockwell: I'll give whatever time I have left to Mr Daigeler.
Mr Daigeler: Thank you. If it's not possible to give the names, which may be so, is it possible to give just straightforward numbers? I'm sure your ministry staff have made a count as to what correspondence was received. Can we know how many letters were received and how many were in favour of your project and how many were against?
Hon Mr Philip: We can probably release to you the numbers. Maybe you'd like to be specific as to what categories you put them into: form letters, what municipality they come from, whether they're pro or against, whether they're neutral, whether subsequent letters to our responses come back and in fact change from being negative to pro. If we'd hear the categories, then we'd be happy to give you the numbers and work them up for you.
Mr Daigeler: I'd be quite satisfied with seeing what categories you established for guiding your own views. That's what I'm interested in, because you made the statements in the House that the people in Ottawa-Carleton can't wait for your reforms and I would like to see some evidence of that over and beyond what you stated just earlier and in the House, because what you referred to were clearly people who were from Ottawa, not from Ottawa-Carleton.
Hon Mr Philip: I'm sorry, I missed that last comment. What I said clearly was what?
Mr Daigeler: Clearly, the people you refer to as being in support of your initiatives were all from Ottawa.
Hon Mr Philip: That's not so.
Mr Daigeler: Sir, with respect, the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Trade does not represent the Nepean Chamber of Commerce, for example; does not represent the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce; does not represent the Kanata Chamber of Commerce. You may not know this, since you're not from the Ottawa-Carleton area, but I suggest to you that as Minister of Municipal Affairs you probably should know that.
I should also point out to you that the Federation of Ottawa-Carleton Citizens' Associations is an Ottawa organization. Why they call themselves Ottawa-Carleton I don't know. But this support that you quoted and that you refer to is Ottawa. So I'm just asking you, what else have you received, and what is the approximate distribution of those for and those against?
Hon Mr Philip: With respect, I've met with the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Trade in three different portfolios: as Minister of Transportation, more frequently as Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology and more lately, at least in telephone calls and so forth, on this matter. Indeed, at their various meetings I've met members from every municipality in that body, with perhaps the exception of one or two municipalities, the more rural municipalities.
My understanding of the second group that you mention is that they do have memberships throughout the Ottawa-Carleton area, but when they appear before you, you may want to ask them who they represent and where their membership comes from. They'd be happy to answer that question directly. I don't know who's been scheduled for the committee, but no doubt they will be appearing. Is the Ottawa-Carleton Board of Trade appearing? Are they on our list? In any case, I'm sure you can get that and in any case, you can ask that question.
Mr Daigeler: You're quite correct that we can ask that, but I'm asking you.
Hon Mr Philip: No doubt some of the members will also want to question the --
Mr Daigeler: I'm asking you what other evidence you have for the view that you've put on the record that the majority of the people in Ottawa-Carleton are in favour of your reforms. That's what I'm asking, essentially.
Hon Mr Philip: My conversations with a large number of people in Ottawa-Carleton.
Ms Sharon Murdock (Sudbury): I'll have to state my uncertainty about this. Not being either from Ottawa or from Toronto, I haven't read the bill in detail, but I'm not understanding something that the opposition seems to be focusing upon and that's the announcement of the school board autonomy. I know from your remarks that due to the delay you've been able to add it to the bill, but I'm wondering how it relates in any way to the Ottawa-Carleton change and whether or not it facilitates the change, or what exactly it does.
Hon Mr Philip: The Ottawa-Carleton bill is a governance bill; it deals with the governance at a municipal level.
Ms Murdock: I understand.
Hon Mr Philip: In the Kirby commission, Graeme Kirby recommended, having completed his study, that he thought there was a need not just to look at the municipal governance but also the school board governance in this particular case. Therefore, the Minister of Education set up Mr Bourns to look at that. Mr Bourns reported back with a proposal that was supported by all of the trustees in both French-language school boards. Therefore, being a governance issue and having its origins in the original last study of governance of Ottawa-Carleton, it seemed a logical place to put the changes.
Ms Murdock: But the bill stands without this. It doesn't facilitate it in any way, does it?
Mr Grandmaître: No.
Hon Mr Philip: Facilitate it in any way? What do you mean?
Ms Murdock: Bill 143 on the Ottawa-Carleton changes to the governance, the school portion doesn't facilitate the enactment -- not the enactment, I don't mean the enactment, but it could be done separately is what I'm asking, I guess.
Hon Mr Philip: It could have been done separately, sure, but there was no need to do it separately since we had a consensus and it was a logical springing forward from the Kirby study. Indeed, the trustees in Ottawa-Carleton felt that the streamlining provisions which we have introduced in this were helpful to them.
Ms Murdock: Just for my edification here, the representation by population that you mentioned -- I know I listened to the member opposite in the House in debate before Christmas about his concept of representation by population, but how is it going to be broken down, basically?
Hon Mr Philip: The average representative will represent what, about 38,000? Is that the figure?
Mr Grandmaître: It's 35.6.
Hon Mr Philip: It's 36,000, okay, so we'll split the difference; somewhere around 36,000.
Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): I'd like to pursue this issue of what you're planning to do with the ward boundaries. Could you just go over that for us, what the bill allows the minister to be able to be involved in.
Hon Mr Philip: There's a whole process, including the involvement of the OMB, depending on whether you're talking about the education component. My staff are going to be here and they'll take you through that whole process, but it would take up the next 10 minutes then if I started going through it. I'd be happy to.
Mr Gary Wilson: I was interested in --
Mr Stockwell: Yes or no.
Hon Mr Philip: I do know. If you would like, then, for me to have an extra 10 minutes, I'd be happy to go through it piece by piece.
Mr Stockwell: Go ahead. See if I care.
Mr Gary Wilson: Actually, what I was interested in is the municipal part of it and whether this would be a model for other places as well. Are you planning to use what we're doing in 143 in other areas of the province?
Hon Mr Philip: We don't see any need at the present time for any similar type of legislation to the Ottawa-Carleton changes anywhere else in the province. There's no other legislation on the books, if that's what you're asking.
The Chair: Further government questions? None. There are approximately four minutes remaining until the minister has to leave, so we can use it on the opposition side, I'm sure.
Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I'm sorry. I missed the minister's statement.
Mr Grandmaître: Don't be sorry.
Mr David Johnson: Don't be sorry? Okay. I am sorry, though.
I just wondered, and this question may have been asked or you may have addressed it in terms of the major issue -- the major issue is the mayors, obviously, and the liaison with the local municipalities. I wondered where the inspiration for this came from. There's really no model in place today. Is this just something new that you thought would be a good idea to try or was it from the staff, that they thought it would be a good idea? Where did the inspiration come from?
Hon Mr Philip: The inspiration came from when we sat down and looked at the Ottawa-Carleton area, as I've indicated earlier. I appreciate the fact that because of other activities you missed my opening statement, but essentially we had the problem of representation by population. When we looked at how we could do that, Ottawa-Carleton was unique compared to any other jurisdiction.
For example, in Metro, which you're very familiar with, you're talking about municipalities that do not have that great range of population differences. Even in your own municipality, which you led so well as mayor, the ratio of that to the larger municipalities of North York or Toronto is not the same kind of ratio that you have in the 11 municipalities in Ottawa-Carleton.
In addition to that, if you look at the representation as a portion of the regional council, you see that in Ottawa-Carleton you in fact have 11 mayors, which of course is not the case in Metropolitan Toronto, so it's one of both numbers and representation by population. Try as we did, and with various consultations with the mayors, we could not come up with a formula that was simple enough for the public to easily follow a council meeting and hold people accountable and still have that representation by population.
Mr David Johnson: There are obviously various issues, and many people would say that's one issue, but as we pointed out speaking in the House, if you look at the province of Ontario, I think the Finance minister's riding is about one quarter or less the size of our Finance critic's riding, being about 30,000 in terms of population vis-à-vis about 150,000, something of that sort. So it seemed that if we were being consistent in terms of rep by pop, then we'd have to look at not only municipal boundaries but provincial boundaries etc.
I realize that's not in the bill, but I've never seen any impetus out of the government to address that issue, so I thought there must have been something else behind it other than simply rep by pop, because that's really an exercise in arithmetic and it's one we're not concerned about here in the province of Ontario with the Ontario ridings, for example.
Hon Mr Philip: I don't accept your analogy. First of all, I'm sure you'll recognize that, as Minister of Municipal Affairs, there are some things I have some control over and other things that I have absolutely no control over, other than the same voice that you have in the Legislature. One of them is the way in which ridings are set up in the province.
Secondly, I think if you look at the example that you gave -- and you could use another example. The member for Lake Nipigon is another example of a small population and one member, and indeed we have other members around who can talk about their own ridings. But if you look at the Treasurer's riding, I believe it's the size of a good many European countries and therefore it's one of logistics.
There's no part of the whole of all of the 11 municipalities -- you could take all of the 11 municipalities of Ottawa-Carleton and put them into a corner of some of the members' ridings. I recall Jack Stokes, who never missed an opportunity to talk about Lake Nipigon and how it was the size of West Germany and how he would fly around with his sister, the flying nun, in order to campaign in various places.
It's one of logistics, and I don't think it's comparable. In this case we could do something about it. I think the problem that you point out is one that the Legislature will have to deal with. Indeed, we have processes for dealing with it, but it's a much more complicated and difficult issue because of the geography.
I want to thank the members. I will try and come back if I can extricate myself from the other committee. In the meantime, my very able parliamentary assistant I'm sure will be happy to work with you.
The Chair: Thank you, Minister. We'll revert now to opening statements by the opposition parties.
Hon Mr Philip: May I just add one last comment, which I didn't have a chance to make on the record, and I wanted to say, because I told him personally. I must say that I was impressed and appreciated the very professional way Mr Johnson presented his case in the House. I think that shows that I'm privileged to have somebody of that calibre as my opposition critic.
The Chair: Thank you, Minister. As I was saying, we'll revert back to opening statements by the opposition parties.
Mr Grandmaître, you have an opening statement. We've allowed up to 20 minutes per caucus. Before you get started, that will automatically mean that the briefing will be delayed by the equivalent amount of time.
Mr Daigeler: I think what is essentially going to be useful is briefing from the officials, but frankly I think the only comment I have I expressed in the House already, and I think we saw it again today, that the minister really -- and I'm shocked by that -- does not have an understanding of what the region of Ottawa-Carleton is all about. Clearly, when I ask him for evidence for the support that he has quoted, he is constantly referring to groups that represent the position of the city of Ottawa and that are based in Ottawa and represent the city of Ottawa.
I've never denied that he's correct in saying that these groups support his initiative. Yes, without question. But they do not represent the position, certainly, of Nepean and of the other municipalities, and he has certainly, because I have copies of it, received lots of correspondence from the appropriate bodies that represent the other municipalities. That's really what I find very frustrating and very disappointing, because this clearly is a matter that affects 11 municipalities and not just the city of Ottawa.
Really, my questions will be to the officials.
The Chair: Further comment? Mr Grandmaître.
Mr Grandmaître: No comments.
The Chair: Mr Johnson.
Mr David Johnson: I haven't prepared any exact comments. I guess a lot of the comments I would make were the same ones that I made in the House.
There are a number of aspects to this bill. First, I guess I should say that I have no opposition to direct election. As a matter of fact, this recalls me back a few years ago -- I'm just trying to recall how many now -- but several years ago in Metropolitan Toronto we had a system of indirect election to the Metropolitan Toronto council, and I was one of the people who supported a direct election. I'm not so sure if I regret it today or not, but at that point I certainly did support a direct election.
I guess the theory here is that people who are getting elected should be accountable to the electorate directly. In the case of Metropolitan Toronto, the annual budget is about $3.5 billion a year, one of the largest budgets, I guess, for a government in Canada, larger certainly than some of the provinces. The people in Metropolitan Toronto who are raising that kind of money should have some direct say in their council, so I've said that.
However, on the other side of the coin, I also strongly supported -- and you may say I had a vested interested at that point, because I was one of the mayors -- but I still supported the concept of the mayors being on the Metropolitan Toronto council as a liaison.
I think what the minister has said here today is certainly one factor, in that our history in Canada is, where possible, to try to promote representation by population. But you can see all sorts of variances from that.
On the federal level, how many seats does Prince Edward Island get? If you break down the population there, which is about the same size as my former municipality, East York, they're way overrepresented on the federal scene. But do people complain about that? No, that's a fact of our history. It seems to work. It's the Canadian way.
I raised the example here today of various ridings in Ontario, some of which are 30,000 people, some of which are up to almost 150,000 people now. The minister is correct; that's not his problem. I don't know whose problem it is, but there must be some other minister who has the responsibility for that. The point I'm making is that the minister is an important member in the cabinet and so to a large extent he's speaking for the cabinet, and I don't see any urgency to correct that problem.
Now, you may say some of the ridings are large in Ontario and therefore that's why it's done. I don't disagree entirely with that. But at the same time, I'm sure that the people in Ottawa would say that there are historical and valid reasons why we should be able to look at different representation situations than strictly by population, which we've done at the federal level, which we've done at the provincial level. Why can't we do that at the municipal level? We've certainly done it over many, many years in the Ottawa area. Why can't we carry on doing that? I fail to see what the answer is.
The minister himself in November, I guess it was, recognized that this was an issue by indicating that he would permit the mayors to be on the regional council with half a vote. But at least that's a recognition that the mayors should be on the regional council.
If you've gone that far, I simply ask the question, why not go a further step, at least when we're starting up this new direct election procedure in Ottawa-Carleton? Leave the mayors on. Let it get it sorted out. Let the municipalities work together, because beyond the rep-by-pop issue, there are other reasons for the mayors to be considered as members of the regional council. Certainly the liaison, the working relationship back and forth with Ottawa-Carleton to the local municipalities such as Nepean, Kanata and all of the municipalities is a sincere concern, and they will bring a service in that regard. I have to say I'm very concerned about what the future will be without that.
Certainly the city of Winnipeg tried that approach. They left the regional government distinct from the local government two or three decades ago. It didn't work. It was just one battle after another. Finally, I guess the provincial government threw up its hands and said: "This isn't going to work. These two governments are not working, the local governments with the regional government," and what they did was they implemented one uni-city, one government. I suspect, and some people suspect as well, that's the way we're headed with the kind of structure of government that we've put in place.
I think we're going to perhaps hear some of those concerns when we go to Ottawa. I congratulate the government for at least allowing this to go to Ottawa. I think that's a healthy step. I just hope all of our ears are receptive to the message we're going to get on that issue.
I think we're also going to get concerns with regard to the levels of policing that will be required in the various municipalities. There certainly are different methods of funding. There are different levels of service that are existing today. There certainly is a message that's been conveyed to me that various people in various municipalities are satisfied. Nepean, for example. The people of Nepean are satisfied with their policing. They don't want to assume a more costly policing structure.
Here in Metropolitan Toronto, the net cost of police in the net budget of Metropolitan Toronto is about 40%. So about 40% of the money raised from the taxpayers of Metropolitan Toronto goes to policing at the regional council. It's a big cost.
The municipalities in the Ottawa-Carleton area are a little concerned that if we have one uniform police approach, the taxpayers could get hit with a severe cost. So let's hear those kinds of concerns and make sure we can address that. The same kind of concern is going to be expressed on sewers. It is a little unclear in the bill who has the authority to deal with the sewer system and where the costs are going to go.
There are going to be concerns and I'm just delighted we're going down to hear them. I hope we're prepared not only to hear them but to address them. I guess I'll leave my comments at that.
The Chair: We've allowed the balance of the day until 6 pm for ministry briefings. As you might have noticed on your schedule, there are Ministry of Municipal Affairs staff here as well as Ministry of Education and Training. What is the preference of the committee? Would you like both ministries to appear together or deal with them separately?
Mr Daigeler: I think Mr Grandmaître will probably have some questions to the Education officials.
Mr David Johnson: Why don't we have them both sit there?
The Chair: I think we could accommodate most of them.
Mr David Johnson: Bring them all up.
The Chair: All right, that's fine. Could we then ask the officials from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Training to join us from the back there. We may have more people than microphones, but we'll try. Before we start, if you could identify yourselves please. Then we'll know who's dealing with whom.
Mr Scott Gray: Scott Gray from the legal services branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Mr Doug Barnes: Doug Barnes from the municipal policy branch.
Mr John Tomlinson: John Tomlinson, Ministry of Education and Training, the legal services unit.
Mr Daigeler: One of the grave concerns of the city of Nepean which the minister hasn't touched upon at all relates to the loss of the municipal authority over ward boundaries. For Nepean this is a very significant matter that hasn't even been acknowledged by the minister.
The reason this is so significant for Nepean is twofold. First of all, the wards that you have put together are going in the opposite direction than the current wards. Essentially, after a long study, Nepean has established three municipal wards that go in a north-south direction, and the regional wards that are being set up go in an east-west direction. The wards that are currently in existence in Nepean frankly are very good. They've worked. They do reflect I think very well the traffic patterns, certain natural boundaries, how people fit together in Nepean, and the people are quite used to this.
With the establishment of the regional wards, this is all thrown overboard and it's all going east-west and making a very different picture, not only for the regional wards, but also for the local wards. That's the first difficulty.
The second difficulty is that with these new wards, and there I'd like some clarification, we're going to have six strictly municipal councillors in order to accommodate the ward boundaries that are being set by the minister. So we're going to have, actually, more politicians in Nepean than before, substantially more. Right now we have six councillors in a city of 110,000 people and one mayor, which is seven, which is really very small, given the size of our municipality.
Under the new system we're going to have six local councillors, the mayor and then three regional councillors. I should say, by the way, for those who don't know, that in Nepean we've always directly elected regional councillors. They've served on the region and on local council, but they had to run city-wide as regional councillors. I certainly do agree that there has to be accountability and there has to be election.
My question is: What about the establishment of these wards? Why is the authority being taken away from the local council, in particular, to establish their own local wards and why is it that we're going to have more politicians in Nepean rather than fewer as put forward as an argument by the minister?
Mr Barnes: The current law in Ontario is that no municipality can establish its own ward structure. The current situation is that if a municipality wants to either establish a ward structure or change a ward structure, it's got to go through a process with the Ontario Municipal Board. It's got to go through a process of consultation, public meetings and so on.
In the creation of the regional ward structure and the fallout into local ward structures in all of the municipalities in Ottawa-Carleton, a process more extensive than that was handled by Commissioner Katherine Graham. Following that, draft proposals on ward structures, a local working committee and a final proposal by the minister was set out on October 19. In terms of the ward structures for the 1994 elections, the process which would normally be undertaken for a change in wards has been parallelled by the ministry.
Secondly, the legislation does provide that for future elections the normal process of applying to the Ontario Municipal Board will allow for that application to happen and local wards to be dealt with by the Ontario Municipal Board. There is provision in the legislation to establish certain relationships and criteria which the board would have to follow in dealing with that, simply to make the relationship between regional and local ward boundaries continue.
On the question about increasing or decreasing the number of local municipal politicians in Nepean: The numbers you have articulated are correct in terms of six local members, one mayor, making the current total number of seven; that is the council of Nepean. When you go through the numbers in Nepean now and again later, you still have seven locals but you end up with an additional three members who are directly elected within Nepean to go to the region.
However, the overall total number of municipal elected officials for the region of Ottawa-Carleton is currently 84, and the new number of total officials will be 84.
The Vice-Chair (Mr Mike Cooper): Mr Daigeler, it's my understanding that there is a brief technical presentation, which may clear up some of this before you get into asking the questions. If you could be brief so there is time for questions or if questions arise on a specific issue they bring up in the briefing, maybe we could proceed that way.
Mr Daigeler: What do you want to do now?
The Vice-Chair: Give them the chance to give a brief technical --
Mr Barnes: If I could, just as a matter of introduction, we have in attendance not only staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, myself and Scott Gray, but we also have Linda Gray and Patricia Myatt; from the Ministry of Finance, the ministry which is responsible for enumeration, Ruth Cameron; from the Ministry of the Solicitor General, Mike Mitchell and Bart Carron; and of course John Tomlinson, here from the Ministry of Education.
What we had proposed to do in terms of presentations: Scott Gray is going to give an outline of how the bill is established and set up; I'm going to go through the parts that deal with reform in the municipal sector; and John Tomlinson is going to go through the parts that deal with the French-language school board.
Mr David Johnson: Do you have a copy of your --
Mr Barnes: We don't have a formal presentation.
Mr Gray: Some of the sections in any bill, if you just read them on their face, you say, "What the devil is that about?" My job basically is to go through the bill and look at the sections so when issues come up, "Here's where they are, here's where they're located," because sometimes some of the complementary amendments are other places in the bill and located in different places that aren't obvious to people looking at it.
The first section of the bill deals with the representation issue, direction elections and the creation of the local and regional wards. That's what you find in sections 1 and 2 of the bill, and that goes from page 1 of the bill through to page 7 of the bill. With a couple of minor exceptions that I'll point out, any time you hear any reference to the direct election or the issue of the mayors or how the wards are created, it's within sections 1 and 2 and pages 1 to 7 of the bill.
Mr Grandmaître: We won't be dealing with the police issue, regional policing?
Mr Gray: Yes, it's in this bill, but not in that section; that's all I'm saying. The direct election, representation, is sections 1 and 2, which is pages 1 to 7 of this bill. That's all. I just wanted to have their location clearly out to you for all these provisions.
Section 3 of the bill is in the middle of page 7, and this is one of the those amendments you wouldn't know what it's about. It deals with the provision of homemaking services and day care. What this provision provides by repealing subsection (2) is that the region can provide those services, homemaking services and day care, without the consent of the area municipality. This is what is in existence in most regions, and that amendment to that subsection (2) removes the requirement for area municipality consent for them to provide day care and homemaking services.
Section 4: We're deleting some words. They simply have become superfluous ever since the region went to region-wide assessment. Since they've had the assessment update, those words are no longer needed and have simply been deleted from the act.
Section 5, which goes from pages 7 to 15: That's the core of the police amendment. This is what provides for the creation of the new regional police force, the dissolution of the existing forces and their ultimate amalgamation into a combined force by January 1, 1997. It also provides for the planning process leading up to the creation of the regional force. That goes from section 5 on page 7 right through to page 15.
Section 6 of the bill is near the top of page 15. John may speak to you in some greater detail about this, but these are the provisions made necessary to adjust the school board electoral areas and the school board trustees, the numbers between electoral areas. Because we're amending the municipal wards, the election wards are in fact based on the municipal wards so once we get the new municipal wards in place, assuming the bill does pass, we have to have a process to adjust the electoral areas for school board purposes. That's section 6 of the bill and it goes from the top of page 15 right through to the top of page 17.
Section 7 of the bill, which is about midway down page 17 -- when you hear people talking about economic development powers for the region, here's what we're looking at. It's the new section 49.1 of the regional municipality act. So when people are talking about it, that's what they're referring to.
Section 8 of the bill, further down the page: These are two amendments that are really complementary to the police amendments. The first relates to who passes licensing bylaws. Ordinarily, that's the commissions of cities. Now that we have a regional force, it's not going to be the commission of the region, it's going to be left at the city levels, except it will be council of the city. This is what normally has been done in other regions where they have regional police forces, to leave that licensing power at the city level.
Section 49.3, the second amendment in there: This is something the region felt was important. When they're taking over new functions such as policing, they want to be able to put in the tax bills -- and that's sent out by the lower tiers, of course -- an explanation of why the regional levy is changing. So they can put in there, "This levy is increased this year because we're now responsible for policing." It's to give them a chance to explain to the people receiving the tax bills their view of why the regional levy is changing or increasing.
Section 9 of the bill starts at the bottom of page 17 and deals with street vending. That's a power that the city of Ottawa presently has, and in Metro the city of Toronto has it. This is a power to license people to sell on the streets, and if they don't have a licence or if they're selling in inappropriate places, not the designated spaces, they can remove those vehicles from the streets.
As I say, the city of Ottawa has this power presently, and with the consent of the region it can exercise it on regional roads. This gives the power directly to the region, so the city will have its power on city roads and the region will have its power on regional roads.
You may notice in that, it does give authority for the region, if it wants to, to delegate its authority down to the area municipality, or to the city in this case, if it wants to perpetuate that, but if it wants to operate that as a regional function, it can. That goes over to the top of page 21 in the bill.
Sections 10, 11 and 12 are complementary amendments to the representation material, the direct elections in the wards, for instance.
Section 10: Simply, that section is being repealed and replaced. What that section does is say if the ministry is undertaking a review of the structure of some municipality, then the municipality and the board can't deal with an application to amend the wards. That's an existing power, but obviously it only relates to local wards because they only have local wards in Ottawa-Carleton. Now, with the advent of regional wards, that power has been amended so that power can be exercised with both applications for change in regional wards and local wards.
Section 11: These sections provide that certain subsections no longer apply to Ottawa-Carleton. Those are subsections that rely upon the fact that lower-tier members are sitting on the upper-tier council, and with the advent of directly elected council, those sections simply no longer apply.
Section 12: Once again, it's saying certain sections don't apply to Ottawa-Carleton and the new ones that are being added to this section relate to vacancy. In the past, because you had members sitting on both upper and lower tier, if your lower-tier seat was vacant, automatically your upper-tier seat became vacant and vice versa. Now that you don't have people sitting on both bodies, those provisions simply are no longer needed.
Section 13, at the bottom of page 21, the second section from the bottom, gives minor additional powers to the chief administrative officer of Ottawa-Carleton. Like the heads of councils and heads of departments in municipalities, he or she is now going to be in the position of being a commissioner for taking oaths so he can sign affidavits. You can swear them out in front of him.
The other provision there: In all other regions there's a statutory provision that says the chief administrative officer is in charge for the proper functioning of the municipality, making sure the departments are working properly, and that section applies to all the regions. It doesn't apply to Ottawa-Carleton, even though that's exactly the function the CAO exercises. We're simply giving them exactly the same status as the CAO in all other regions.
Section 14 starts at the bottom of page 21. There are a series of sections, sections 14 to 20. They deal with sewage powers. They go from sections 14 to 20, which is over on page 24, and all these sections provide the region with greater power to regulate and manage the sewer system in Ottawa-Carleton.
As you probably know, in Ottawa-Carleton sewage responsibility is split between upper and lower tier. The main lines traditionally have been looked after by the region, and the local lines, the subdivision lines, are looked after by the local municipalities.
What this does is allow the region a greater degree of power to inspect and regulate and control the total sewage system in Ottawa-Carleton and not just its own system. They're obviously interconnected. All the local systems flow in with the regional systems so it was felt there was a need for greater coordination there. That takes us down to section 20 on page 24.
Section 21 just says, "Section 101 of the act is repealed." That's simply a complementary amendment to the police powers. There are certain minor provisions that apply to all regional police forces -- that's in the regional municipality act -- and section 101 said these don't apply to Ottawa-Carleton because they don't have a regional force. Now that they do have a regional force, these provisions will now start to apply.
Section 22: Once again, John Tomlinson will speak to these to some extent, but these provisions are the minor amendments that the minister spoke of to the existing power. There's an existing power to dissolve and create French-language boards at the present time, and these are the amendments that deal with the peculiarities of the Ottawa-Carleton situation.
Section 23 is once again a complementary amendment to the election material, and this recognizes the fact that -- nowhere else in the province does the regional clerk have any role in elections -- we're giving the regional clerk a role of receiving the registrations, receiving the nominations, announcing the results of the election for the directly elected regional council.
Section 24: It's the education provision again. These are the amendments that would come into force in the event a regulation is passed to take the three-body board and convert it into two independent boards. This basically repeals the majority of the bill that set up that three-sector board that's presently in place. Obviously, it wouldn't be needed any more if we don't have the three-sector board.
Section 25, at the bottom of page 26, is repealing one subsection of the Police Services Act. That's the section that says it's the lower-tier municipalities in Ottawa-Carleton that are responsible for policing and not the region. With this amendment, if you remove that provision, the effect is it's no longer the lower tier, it's now the region that will be responsible for policing under the Police Services Act.
Section 26, at the top of the last page: This is the provision in the Ottawa-Carleton private bill that allows them to exercise the street vending regulation power on regional roads. Now that the region has its own power, that's no longer required.
The only other provision, section 27, that I should mention is this is the power that's required -- because the election year is already in progress, there was a need to adjust or modify the election process to take into account that instead of January 1, this new ward structure isn't going to be in place until some time later in the year and this will allow the minister, by order, to provide transition provisions to smooth the operation of the 1994 elections.
I think that's about it. That's the basic outline of what each of the sections do in the bill.
Mr Barnes: I would like to go through some of the background and then what the provisions are in terms of different parts of this bill, the main thrust of the bill.
The first part deals obviously with the questions of representation and --
Mr Grandmaître: Mr Chair, I wonder if we need this? We've read Bill 143 a thousand times, I think. Couldn't we go into questions instead of having staff repeat what we already know?
The Chair: These people are here at the disposal of the committee and if you have specific requests from them and you want to move to that, that's fine. How much time have you anticipated taking and giving what is, I think, an overview?
Mr Barnes: Yes.
The Chair: How long do you think that will take you?
Mr Barnes: Five, 10 minutes.
The Chair: I think it would be appropriate if you concluded giving this overview and then we can move into questions.
Mr White: Mr Tomlinson also wanted to speak about the French-language issue.
Mr Grandmaître: What we're doing now, Mr Chair, is simply repeating ourselves. I think we've all read the bill and I can understand staff being willing to explain to us what's in the bill. I think we all know what's in the bill. Could we proceed to questions from the experts?
Mr David Johnson: I would certainly be agreeable to going the route suggested.
Mr Daniel Waters (Muskoka-Georgian Bay): Going through the last one, I picked up a couple of things that I'd like to ask a couple of questions on. I'm not so sure that indeed it is a useless exercise, but I'm not sure at this point that it isn't. If there are more of these questions that are going to pop into my mind as we go through this, I'd probably like the briefing. How long is it going to take, this technical briefing?
Ms Murdock: He said five to 10 minutes.
Mr Waters: Five to 10 minutes? I don't see that as a waste of our time limit. Get on with it.
Mr Daigeler: We've only till 6 o'clock.
The Chair: Is it agreed? I prefer to do this by unanimous consent rather than get into voting on this type of an issue. Do we agree on continuing for the next few minutes on concluding the technical briefing and then moving into questions?
Mr David Johnson: I have to say, in all truthfulness, that I know what's in each one of these sections. I'm sure it was an excellent presentation, but my mind couldn't focus on it because it's just stating the obvious and this gentleman is going to do the same thing.
The Chair: Mr Johnson, with the feedback you've just provided to the people from the ministry, that should help tailor their overviews and perhaps they'll be briefer than anticipated.
If I could ask you, sir, to conclude, whatever brief overview you would like, and then we'll move into questions.
Mr Barnes: Okay. The issue --
Ms Murdock: The pressure's on.
Mr Barnes: How do you make 10 down to three; right? Structure and accountability and the problems that we have in Ottawa-Carleton: We have to recognize, and I thought I should put some of this in for the members that are not from the Ottawa area, there are 11 local municipalities in Ottawa-Carleton. They range from the village of Rockcliffe Park with a population of about 2,500, there are four medium-sized townships of about 15,000, there's the city of Vanier at about 18,000, two larger cities and the city of Ottawa at over 300,000 population.
Under the current municipal structure, the mayors of each of those municipalities sit as regional councillors. The complete council of the city of Ottawa also sits as regional councillors. After that, in the townships it's exclusively the mayor that sits. The other cities in Ottawa-Carleton have a couple of members who also sit as regional council. That gives us currently a regional council of 30 members and a total number of local politicians of 84.
Under the proposals which have developed in terms of dealing with the structure of the regional council, we have now proposed 18 wards for regional councillors who would directly elected, plus a regional chair who would be elected at large.
Each ward is approximately 36,000 population. Those wards cross municipal boundaries, and that is the case in its application to all local municipalities. There are cross-boundary wards. All of the local wards also must be coterminous with the regional wards so that the electoral jurisdictions are the same.
The final number of local and regional politicians ends up being exactly as it is now.
In the determination of the wards, we have established that the wards would be set out by regulation. The minister put a draft of that material out in October of last year, and that describes the 18 regional wards and the local wards which come out of it.
We have made provision in the legislation -- I made this in response to another answer -- that is, the ward creation is normally an Ontario Municipal Board process. In future elections, that process is made available in this legislation. That process was subject to a number of provisions which will ensure the integrity of the relationship between local and regional wards.
The next major part in the legislation deals with policing. The policing in Ottawa-Carleton is currently provided in a variety of ways. There are three municipal forces: the cities of Ottawa, Nepean and Gloucester. The city of Ottawa force also provides a full policing service to the city of Vanier on contract. Rockcliffe Park is under contract with the Ontario Provincial Police, as is the city of Kanata. The five townships in the region all currently receive policing by the Ontario Provincial Police for free, not under contract.
What's proposed in the legislation is that the region will become responsible for policing services throughout the region. There is a provision in the Police Services Act which will allow differentials in services, but that choice is up to the regional police services board.
The legislation will allow the establishment of a regional police services board, which will have the authority to hire a chief of police and deputy chiefs in advance of the region taking over responsibility, which is January 1, 1995. In addition, the provisions that we have set up allow that body to provide for a plan for the new force and it also provides that the new force will first move an amalgamation of the three municipal forces.
We have made provision in there for the settlement of all of the assets and liabilities, for the transition of the employees, including, if there are takeovers in the future of the Ontario Provincial Police areas, transition between the OPP and the local forces.
We have made provision in this legislation which brings the Ottawa-Carleton legislation in line with other regions in terms of economic development. The region will have exclusive power for the acquisition of industrial land. That is available in other regions in Ontario.
The last major provision we have deals with sewer services. This was a request by the region, and the region at that time was constituted by representatives of all the local municipalities. The provisions we have give regulatory authority to the region to establish what is a regional service and what is a local service. That will be done in the official plan process. It also provides a greater amount of flexibility in how the region charges back the cost of services. Now it must charge it back as part of the regional levy. It will be in a position to charge it back to the specific areas that benefit from a service.
Those are the major provisions.
The Chair: Thank you. Mr Tomlinson, do you have some brief comments?
Mr Tomlinson: Yes, three items. The first item: Perhaps I would make a brief comment on the discussion that occurred a number of moments ago about whether or not this French-language board is really one board or three boards or two boards or how many boards it is. The reason that discussion arose was because the member raising the question said, "How can you call this streamlining if you're taking one board and making it into two?"
From a technical-legal point of view, the French-language board is one board, one legal entity. It consists of three parts: the Roman Catholic sector, which gives the Roman Catholic education; the public sector, which gives the public education; and the full board, which provides services that both sectors need, the main one being the caretakers in the schools.
Brian Bourns was retained by the Minister of Education and Training last May to do a report, and the report was to tell the minister whether or not there was any way of "streamlining" this French-language board; that was the word that was used. Mr Bourns came back and he basically said yes. He said, "You can do one of two things: You can either beef up the full board, give it more powers, have it do more, or you can get rid of it entirely and make the two sectors autonomous boards." He said, "That too will result in savings." In fact, I recommend the second because I think you are more likely to have success with it.
So from the point of view of practical efficiencies and substance, the one legal entity is really three, and the idea is that you're getting rid of the inefficient full board and making the two sectors autonomous.
The second thing I just wanted to comment on was section 6 of the bill. That's the part of the bill that has the provisions which relate to all school boards in Ottawa-Carleton and their electoral areas. As was explained, the need for this is that if this bill is passed, the Minister of Municipal Affairs will create new municipal wards. If that happens, the existing electoral areas used by the school boards can no longer be used, because their boundaries will no longer coincide with municipal ward boundaries. Therefore, we've put these provisions in here so the school boards can, in a rapid manner, re-establish new electoral areas if indeed they want them.
The last item is the provisions relating to the French-language board. This is section 22. I think the important thing on these is that this bill does not have provisions which dissolve the existing board, which create the two new boards; all it does is add to the existing power. The power already exists to dissolve the existing board and create the two new boards. Certain items we've put in as clarifications and additions because there are certain specific problems in Ottawa-Carleton we have to deal with.
For example, if you look at subsection 22(6), that in effect says that in your regulation you may provide that the Municipal Affairs supervision of the public sector, which is now there, can continue and that the new public board will be under Municipal Affairs supervision. If we didn't have this provision in there, we couldn't do that in the regulation. I think that's all I have, Mr Chairman.
The Chair: Thank you. Questions?
Mr Daigeler: I want to get back, really, to the question that I had asked earlier when you invited us to immediately go to questions. I was told that the process for the establishment of wards is that you go to the OMB and it has to approve it. Just to be clear, for this election this is not the process that is being followed; it's the minister who is telling the municipalities what the wards are going to be. Is that correct?
Mr Barnes: That's correct. I think the question, as asked, was if we are taking an authority away from a municipality. A municipality has never had that authority.
Mr Daigeler: But it would have been through the OMB?
Mr Barnes: Yes.
Mr Daigeler: Could the city of Nepean, for example, say, "Well, we don't want and we don't need six local councillors"? Frankly, I take that position. We don't need six local councillors. We have managed well with the way we've had it, and it's saved us money. We don't want the province to give us even more costs. Can Nepean do that for this election that's coming up in November?
Mr Barnes: Not as the bill is currently written, no.
Mr Daigeler: You see, you wonder why Nepean is opposed.
Mr Barnes: I can't give you the exact answer on that right now, Mr Daigeler, but they may not be, even if this bill were not proposed -- there are provisions that are in the Municipal Act and in the regional act about the number of councillors. I would have to check that detail as it currently exists. They may not be able to do that now in terms of reduction or increasing the size of council. They can change the ward boundaries in terms of moving it over a street or moving it back somewhere else by an application to the board, but I am not so sure that they can do that with the number. I can look into that provision.
In the Municipal Act for ward structures, in cities outside of counties, there are very specific provisions as to the number of representatives per ward and so on and how that would operate. So I would have to check that provision.
Mr David Johnson: There have been a number of letters written to the ministry on this matter. Would it be possible for me, as a member of this committee, to see the letters that are coming in, to see what people are saying about this bill?
Mr Barnes: I understand that the answer that our minister has given is that you have made that request as a freedom of information request and the ministry has responded to that request already.
Mr David Johnson: Yes, and it's going to cost about $3,000, I think. I mean, there's something ludicrous --
Mr David Johnson: No. So this has already been raised earlier, was it? There's something wrong. I can't believe this. This is the minister's directive, am I right, or is this normal practice?
Mr Barnes: If a member would like to see correspondence of a minister, the normal protocol is that a member will apply through freedom of information for that material.
Mr David Johnson: So that's for any information, in this case or --
Mr Barnes: That is my understanding, yes.
Mr David Johnson: This just blows my mind. Any information that comes in at the municipal level goes to the clerk. Not only do all the members get to see it if they want to see it, but it can be put on a public agenda and anybody in the public can see it. But here you have to do a freedom of information. It's unbelievable.
Mr Barnes: Would you like me to answer that question?
Mr David Johnson: Yes, please.
Mr Barnes: The information which does come in to a municipal clerk is a public piece of information. A piece of information which comes in to a head of council is not.
Mr David Johnson: So this information -- well, it didn't come in to either. In this case, I guess it came in to the ministry.
Mr Barnes: Yes.
Mr David Johnson: So you consider that to be equivalent to a head of council, then?
Mr Barnes: No, I didn't make that relationship. You pointed out the relationship of the municipal clerk and I'm just saying that there are differences in terms of how correspondence is dealt with.
Mr David Johnson: I guess all I'm pointing out is that people are writing in on this and I think they want their thoughts known and I'd like to know what their thoughts are. Would I be able to come in and see it -- not take it away, but, wherever the information is, just see it?
Mr David Johnson: The answer is no?
Mr Barnes: I guess there are a couple of things. Number one is that we not only have a freedom of information but we also have a protection of privacy component in that legislation, and I think the reason for having the protocol is that it allows the ministry to remove the names of the individuals on that correspondence.
Mr David Johnson: Because they may be saying something confidential about the Ottawa-Carleton region.
Mr Barnes: No, but it's a choice. That individual has written a private letter to a minister.
Mr David Johnson: Have I still got time? Can I ask -- the ministry staff support this bill, obviously, but just to hear you say that.
Ms Murdock: That's not a fair question, really.
Mr Waters: That's not relevant.
Mr David Johnson: Okay. What's behind it?
Mr David Johnson: Unless there's a point of order -- if she has a point of order, make a point of order.
The Chair: I'd ask the entire committee to come to order. This is not an auction; there are people who have the floor. Currently the floor belongs to Mr Johnson, who has made a request of ministry staff. If ministry staff would wish to respond, they will.
Ms Murdock: I did call a point of order, Mr Chair.
The Chair: I'll deal with your point of order, Ms Murdock.
Ms Murdock: Thank you very much. It is common that civil servants are not required to answer those kinds of questions, particularly from a political point of view.
Mr David Johnson: They're not required, but if they wish to --
Ms Murdock: They can answer political questions. Yes, they have input, but they do as they're directed.
The Chair: Ms Murdock, you do not have a point of order. Thank you very much for the information.
Mr David Johnson: Do you wish to answer or decline?
Mr Barnes: I think at this point I decline.
Mr Waters: I'd like to go back to the first gentleman, who did the briefing. I might be thick, but I'm looking at 49.2 on page 17 and it refers to, "The council of a city in the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton." Does that mean Kanata or Ottawa proper as individual cities?
Mr Gray: Yes, any municipality that has city status.
Mr Waters: So any one of those people may pass a bylaw, the police services, to authorize under the Municipal Act. You're saying in there that each individual city can pass bylaws. Then you go on, and this is where I have the problem -- turn the page to section 56, where it says that the regional council now passes the bylaws in a lot of cases. In other words, the region of Ottawa-Carleton -- let's say I represent Kanata and I don't want street vendors, but Ottawa does. I can get stuck with them anyway?
Mr Gray: What 49.2 is saying is that the powers of the police services board of a city to pass bylaws under the Municipal Act are very specific powers and certainly don't include the kind of powers in section 56, if for no other reason than it's not in the Municipal Act.
In the Municipal Act, the powers a police services board has is basically to pass licensing bylaws, and those are taxi licences, licences of pawnshops, pawnbrokers, a variety of things. Ordinarily a police services board in the city passes the bylaws if, I think the figure is, the city is over 100,000 people, and if it's under 100,000 people usually city council itself has to pass this. What this is saying is that now that we don't have a city board any longer if this bill goes through, it will be up to the city itself.
Mr Waters: What about Rockcliffe, is it, the little community that isn't a city? It's a village, so they don't get equal status under 49.2?
Mr Grandmaître: They pay taxes but no vote.
Mr Waters: Mr Grandmaître has interjected there. Is that indeed the case?
Mr Gray: Taxes with no vote?
Mr Grandmaître: They won't have a vote on regional council.
The Chair: I ask you to address your responses to Mr Waters, and I ask committee members to refrain from interjecting. Proceed.
Mr Gray: To finish your point, villages and towns have the authority to pass these bylaws. It's only when you come to cities that once you get over a city of a certain size, that becomes a police commission bylaw. The only situation that needs to be dealt with is the city situation, because that's the only situation where it's split, depending on city size, between council and the police commission.
Mr Waters: And they will retain this right under this new act? They won't lose it, these smaller parts of the community?
Mr Gray: No. The power to pass licensing bylaws remains where it is now.
Mr Waters: I guess my other concern is when you start talking about street vendors. I might make up a part of a regional municipality -- I'll look at my own, Muskoka. In some towns we may want it, in other communities we may not. I'm a little concerned that a group of people could dictate to one member of that group, "You're going to have street vendors, whether you like them or not."
Mr Grandmaître: Regional responsibility.
Mr Waters: I don't know why you would move that particular piece to a region, rather than leaving it within the rights of the individual communities that make up the region.
Mr Gray: This is a power for the region to control its roads, so anywhere regional roads are in the region, if they're part of the regional road system they can control street vendors. On local roads, this does not give the region the power to deal with that.
Mr Waters: On main arteries you can have street vendors, but on the smaller arteries that are very much the individual municipalities', you can or cannot. It depends; it's up to you.
Mr Gray: It's up to the local council, yes.
Mr Waters: I just wanted to understand that. I had a couple more.
The Chair: I'll move in rotation and come back to you.
Ms Murdock: I get a turn, don't I?
The Chair: We'll get to you.
Mr Grandmaître: Is there a regional road in Rockcliffe Park?
Mr Barnes: I don't know.
Mr Grandmaître: I was just referring to the vending amendments.
Mr Barnes, you have vast experience in municipal government.
Ms Murdock: When you get a compliment, beware.
Mr Grandmaître: No, I'm not like the minister, complimenting -- I wouldn't do that. I'll be circulating that comment in my riding; it's going to be part of my report.
My question is to Mr Barnes. Can you give me another example in Ontario, or Canada, that has a similar type of government?
Mr Barnes: In terms of having two tiers separately elected?
Mr Grandmaître: Well, especially excluding the mayors.
Mr Barnes: No. This is a different system than we currently have. There is a big distinction in terms of governance across the different provinces of Canada.
Mr Grandmaître: Is there a regional government in Ontario, in Canada, that excludes mayors?
Mr Barnes: No.
Mr Grandmaître: My next question: Did you dream this up? Why did you come up with this model of a government? The minister is gone. You can tell me. You do have 20 minutes.
Interjection: That wasn't a question.
Mr Grandmaître: Yes, it was.
The Chair: Did you wish to respond to that?
Mr Barnes: No.
Mr Grandmaître: Gee, I'm batting a thousand: I'm not getting any answers. I'm just trying for one answer.
The Chair: A quick supplementary, then I'll move to Mr Johnson, and we'll come back to you in rotation.
Mr Grandmaître: Mr Barnes, the new regional government in Ottawa-Carleton will have no board of control. Will it have an executive committee?
Mr Barnes: There is no restricting authority in terms of them having an executive committee, but there is no provision to give it board of control type of powers. The feeling, in terms of moving on the question of board of control or not, is that the small size of council makes it more open to simply not have board of control powers in Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr Grandmaître: But this new executive can draw up its own powers.
Mr Barnes: They can draw up their own rules within the provisions of the current legislation.
Mr Grandmaître: Like it takes a two-thirds majority in council to overturn the executive council?
Mr Barnes: No. That's an authority of a board of control.
Mr Grandmaître: Can't they give it to the executive committee? You don't refer to an executive committee; you say no board of control.
Mr Barnes: The provisions on a board of control are that a board of control can make a decision on certain matters and it requires a certain two-thirds majority of council to overturn that decision of a board of control. There is no board of control in this proposal.
Mr Grandmaître: But they will have an executive.
Mr Barnes: Right, but it will not have the authority of a board of control, so it will not be able to make decisions without the approval of council.
Mr Grandmaître: And they won't be able to use the two-thirds majority?
Mr Barnes: No. Council is what exercises the two-thirds majority to overturn a board of control, but since there's no board of control, there is no exercise of that power.
Mr Gray: They can have an executive committee, but that committee simply will make recommendations to council.
Mr Barnes: Like any other committee of council.
Mr Grandmaître: But that executive council in Ottawa-Carleton did have this power.
Mr Gray: Yes.
Mr Grandmaître: A two-thirds majority of council could overturn.
Mr Barnes: Yes. That has been removed.
Interjection: Is that being overturned by this bill?
Mr David Johnson: I think there's some curiosity up and down this side of the table. It goes back to the question I asked the minister about what the inspiration was for this particular bill. Maybe my colleague to my right has asked that question too.
The Kirby report didn't recommend that the mayors for example be off the council; neither did the Bartlett report or the Graham report before that, if it was called the Graham report. At any rate, there is no other document preceding Bill 77, let's say, that we can lay our hands on that recommended the mayors be off the council.
Where was the first inspiration for this structure of government? Can the ministry staff tell us where it came from?
Mr Barnes: I guess the best way of answering that question, Mr Johnson, is that in terms of trying to deal with the issues of representation and accountability in Ottawa-Carleton and how you try to give each elector in Ottawa-Carleton the same kind of representation, you have to look at a number of options that deal with the current problems.
One option, obviously, which has been put on the table over the years is to take a look at restructuring the local municipalities. As an example, you might look at Rockcliffe Park, which is basically a hole in the doughnut of the city of Ottawa, becoming part of the city of Ottawa. You might look at some amalgamations of some of the townships and so on. By doing that kind of change, the range in population size of the lower-tier municipalities would be substantially narrowed and you could have had a two-tier council which would have had fair representation. That's an option as well.
There are other options you could look at. Another one that was looked at was just creating --
Mr David Johnson: In the first instance, you studied a number of options. Would you have presented a number of options to the minister, for example?
Mr Barnes: In terms of what was presented to the minister, I don't think that is a fair question that I can answer. All I can say is that the structure of government has lots of options.
The Chair: Mr Johnson, I would caution you that that type of questioning is unfair, and I would ask that you stick to the nuts and bolts of 143. The staff is prepared to answer those types of questions.
Mr David Johnson: I have no idea when I'm stepping on land mines and when I'm not. At the municipal level, these questions are answered; people are proud of what they did. I don't quite understand where the problem is, so I'm sure I'm going to tread on it again.
Mr White: Mr Johnson, you've always seemed an intelligent fellow. I don't think the minister should be forced to take back those compliments.
Mr David Johnson: Nobody is forced to do anything. I'm simply trying to find out where this came from in the first place. I don't know why that's so secretive. It blows my mind.
Then let me ask you this, and maybe this is a bad question too. Do the ministry staff have any vision? If I ask the Ministry of Housing about its vision for housing, I would think it would have some vision, and if I asked the Ministry of Transportation, I don't think they'd say: "You can't ask about our vision for transportation. We're not going to tell you anything about it. You'll have to wait and see till the policy statements come out."
Do you have any vision in terms of the structure for municipalities? The member across has said he's from Muskoka, and how this vending thing works in Muskoka may be quite different than in Ottawa, for example. Does the ministry recognize that there are differences in municipalities and that there should be different setups, or does the ministry staff think that regional government should be created some way? Can you tell us what your views are on that?
Mr Barnes: I don't think I can answer the "should" part of any of your questions. I can answer the fact that there is a variety of municipal governments in Ontario, and in different circumstances I think they're doing a very good job and they represent their people well.
Ms Murdock: First of all, to go back to -- I can't remember who said it, but ward designations were suggested by Katherine somebody?
Mr Barnes: Graham.
Ms Murdock: Oh, I didn't realize. My question is in relation to this school board thing; I guess I'm really getting hung up on it. Is this going to set a precedent? I'm thinking of French-language boards in particular because I'm from Sudbury, my riding is Sudbury, and we have a very strong francophone population in the north. I'm wondering if this is going to set a precedent for other French-language boards or a separation of French-language boards.
Mr Grandmaître: Can I answer this?
Mr Tomlinson: I wish you would, Mr Grandmaître.
Ms Murdock: I truthfully don't understand the Ottawa-Carleton school board situation. Is it distinct?
Mr Tomlinson: The Ottawa situation is so unique. In Sudbury, you have what is general across the province or is the most general arrangement. Where there is a sufficient number of francophones you have one board, and it's, say, a public board, and you have a section which will be the French-language trustees and then you have the majority who are not French-language trustees.
Ms Murdock: Right, 17 and three.
Mr Tomlinson: But then you will also have a separate board and it could be the same way. This is unique in that you've got both the separate and the public French together on one board, with a full board in the middle, trying to do common things, which obviously isn't efficient, according to Mr Bourns. It's the case of an efficiency expert going down there and saying, "Look, you can make this thing more efficient if you get rid of that full board and make these two sectors, which are almost autonomous now, autonomous."
Ms Murdock: So you're saying no to my question, that it won't set a precedent for other boards in the province.
Mr Grandmaître: Maybe.
Mr Tomlinson: In my view, it doesn't set a precedent, no.
Ms Murdock: Okay. The second part: Eighteen wards plus a regional chair is the number of -- well, I'll call them councillors for the sake of anything else. How is this separation going to affect the number of school board trustees, or will it? Will this act change the number of school board trustees? I don't know whether it will and I'm asking you whether it will.
Mr Tomlinson: No. It won't change the number of school board trustees to which any board is entitled. The most it would do -- as you may know, right now a board looks at a table in the Education Act and looks at the number of its electors and their dependants and figures out how many trustees it's entitled to. Say, for example, they're entitled to 17. Then there are further provisions that say they can increase by one or two, if they wish, and then there's another provision that says they can decrease down to whatever they want, as long as it's still sufficient to carry on the duties of the board.
This bill still allows that scope that's there now generally and doesn't affect it. The boards are in no different position after this bill, in terms of their power to determine the number of trustees, than they were if this bill didn't go through.
Mr Daigeler: I have two specific questions. Another big concern that the people of Nepean have and that the representatives of the city of Nepean have is that we might be stuck with the sewer upgrading bills for the city of Ottawa. Are there any provisions in this bill that will protect the citizens of Nepean from being stuck with the sewer upgrading bills for Ottawa?
Mr Barnes: The current situation is that any work which is done by the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton is charged generally to all ratepayers in the region. If the region does any work in the city of Ottawa, that goes on the regional levy applied to everybody in the region. That's the way it is now.
Mr Daigeler: So you're confirming the fears of the people of Nepean.
Mr Barnes: No, I'm saying that's the way it is now. This bill will allow the region to charge back to the city of Ottawa for works like that. In other words, we're giving them the power to charge back, which they don't have.
Mr Daigeler: Where is that?
Mr Gray: It's on page 24 of the bill, section 19, the new section 86.1 of the Regional Municipalities Act.
Mr Daigeler: Okay, thank you.
The second question is, the minister has made a lot of the fact that the region needs a regional police force. Are you aware of any significant policing problems in Ottawa-Carleton arising from the fact that we have a Nepean Police Service, an Ottawa Police and a Gloucester Police Service?
Mr Barnes: There are a number of different questions about policing. You raise one about whether the actual policing service has problems and there have certainly been newspaper accounts that that has happened over time. But I think you have to think about other questions in Ottawa-Carleton; that is, you have a region which is one economic unit and yet you parochialize who provides this service and who pays for it, and they aren't matched.
Mr Daigeler: They're not what?
Mr Barnes: They are not matched, the people who use it and the people who pay for it. You have communities in Ottawa-Carleton that don't pay anything for policing, so there's the question not only of the actual service, there's the question about paying for it. There's also a question about how you make decisions with regard to the governance of it.
Mr Daigeler: With regard to my specific question, and I'm aware of the other issues, perhaps this is for the Ministry of the Solicitor General to answer: You're not able to point out specific major problems in terms of providing the actual policing services due to the lack of a regional police force in Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr Barnes: No, but we do have two commissioners who recommended that policing become a regional service.
Mr David Johnson: Just to stay with the police for a moment, at one point I think there was some money on the table in terms of phasing in this new police structure. Is that money still there?
Mr Barnes: The minister has made a public commitment that there would be transitional funding available.
Mr David Johnson: Was there a specific amount?
Mr Barnes: There is not a specific amount, and for a very good reason: Until the actual costs are known there wouldn't be a specific amount, and the ministry, with the Solicitor General, has established a number of working committees locally to try to establish what some of those costs will be.
Mr David Johnson: Any idea if that money would be available to the region, or would it be a portion back to the local municipalities? I guess it's probably to the region, is it, or what is it?
Mr Barnes: The region will be responsible for the police service and the bills.
Mr David Johnson: So that's where the transitional money will go.
Mr Barnes: Yes.
Mr David Johnson: Looking at page 23, section 17, subsection 84.1(2), the second one from the bottom, "Bylaws regulating works," it says, "The regional council of the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton may pass bylaws regulating the design, construction, operation and maintenance of works owned or operated by or on behalf of any person, including an area municipality or local board thereof." What sort of authority does that give to the regional council?
Mr Gray: Just take the words one at a time. They can set design standards. They say: "Here are the construction specifications. Here's the kind of fill you have to put under it to make sure it doesn't sag. Here's the type of materials you may have to use that meet certain --
Mr David Johnson: If I'm interpreting what you're saying, does it pretty well allow the region to dictate to the area municipality? Mr Daigeler was concerned about costs, I guess, that area municipalities would incur, and somewhere on the next page it says that this may be assessed to the area municipality in question.
But it looks to me here as if the regional municipality, not only on regional works but on local sewers as well -- sewers that may service a very small area, a very localized area -- would have the authority to tell the local municipality how it must design that local sewer. Am I correct there?
Mr Gray: That's correct. That is one of the major thrusts of this bill, to give greater authority to the region to coordinate the total system, because functionally it's one system but we have divided responsibilities for parts of it.
Mr David Johnson: That must be unique in the annals of Ontario as well, I would assume. Is it? Certainly that's not true here in Metropolitan Toronto.
Mr Gray: No, out of the 10 regions, I think there are either three or four that have divided jurisdiction like Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr David Johnson: Three or four that have this?
Mr Gray: Yes, that have that. I could find out for you which ones.
Mr David Johnson: I'd appreciate knowing who they are. That would mean you may have a very small street, a cul-de-sac with a little sewer coming out of it in, I don't know, Nepean or Kanata or someplace, and the region would have the authority to tell Nepean or Kanata how it must design that sewer.
Mr Gray: Yes. It's worth noting in this regard that under the Ottawa-Carleton act as it presently stands, the region can assume any portion of any local work forming part of an area municipality sewage system now. If they decide that little stub only makes sense being part of the regional system, they can make it part of the regional system.
Mr David Johnson: Under today's legislation.
Mr Gray: Yes.
Mr David Johnson: When we're talking about works, are we just talking about sewers or are we talking about water systems, roads, sidewalks? What are we talking about?
Mr Gray: "Work" is a defined term in the act. I'm sure I can find it for you if you want to take a second.
Mr David Johnson: Maybe you could just tell me if you can't find it there.
Mr Gray: "`Work' means a sewer, sewer system, sewage works or treatment works, or a capital improvement of any of them."
Mr David Johnson: Sorry, I didn't hear the last part.
Mr Gray: "...a capital improvement of any of them." Some of those other terms, "sewer system" and "sewage works," are also defined. This is section 73 of the Regional Municipalities Act.
Mr David Johnson: Is that in here?
Mr Gray: No, it's not being amended so it wouldn't be reflected in here.
Mr David Johnson: It's somewhere else. So it doesn't include water systems then and it doesn't include roads.
Mr Gray: No.
Mr David Johnson: It just includes sewage. But it would include storm sewers or sanitary sewers, either one?
Mr Gray: Yes, both storm and sanitary.
Mr Waters: I have a couple of questions. We've been talking about policing. If there's one thing, as an outsider going into Ottawa, that's always confused me it is who has what jurisdiction over what. Is this going to resolve that? I see more cop cruisers and duplications. We've got the RCMP, the OPP and different municipalities. I never know which one to look out for, to be quite truthful. Is this going to resolve some of the -- There has probably been a jurisdictional problem having all of this going on. Will this help with that?
Mr Barnes: Yes.
Mr Grandmaître: That's why they've got photo-radar.
Mr Waters: I don't think we're going to do that on the streets but it's a thought -- on your street then.
It will help, and in what way?
Mr Barnes: On the one hand the governance of policing for municipalities in Ottawa-Carleton will be resolved by one jurisdiction.
Mr Waters: No more RCMP too?
Mr Barnes: No, I said for municipal policing services.
Mr Waters: Okay.
Mr Barnes: From the people we've talked to and the discussions we've had, there's a significant level of cooperation between the RCMP and the local forces in Ottawa as it is. In fact, in terms of looking at the communication system for the new regional force, the RCMP is part of that team because they want to be part of it.
Mr Waters: You brought up an interesting thing. I think in the minister's comments he talked about some money they're putting in place so they can do something to prepare for the communications thing. In my region we're having a major problem because -- I've never understood what they mean by holes but I gather it's blank spots where they can't communicate. If you're going to have a regional police force, at the present time you would have a number of blank spots, and that means you're going to have to put in towers and different policing. Has there been any work done at all or is this $7,000 just a kickoff on that, because the reality is you're looking at only a few months.
Mr Barnes: The legislation provides that the amalgamation of forces does not have to happen until January 1, 1997. That gives two and a half years' planning and other time frames to start the process.
Mr Waters: Things will go on as they presently exist even under the new act for up to 1997, for another couple of years. That's fine.
Mr Barnes: It will go on as the new police services board sets it out, yes.
Mr Waters: The other thing that has come to light as we move towards this in our local area, and therefore I always worry about it because the same thing will happen here, is the job loss to the OPP. If you don't contract out to the OPP or should you go the other route and contract everything out, either way there would be a surplus of officers, vehicles and equipment. Has there been any discussion at this point on how that's going to be worked through, such as job guarantees or the movement of equipment and personnel?
Mr Barnes: This piece of legislation deals with the employment of individuals in municipal forces. It deals with employment if there is either a movement to eliminate some OPP or to increase OPP, between both the provincial forces and the local forces, so there are employment provisions in there for carriage either way.
Mr Waters: While we're on the employment discussion, as we change the boundaries, and under this act, what about the rest of the municipal employees? Is there some form of guarantee that there will be job retention or something, or is there going to be a surplus? Quite honestly, I haven't had a lot of time to read through all the backgrounders you've provided us with.
Mr Barnes: There's regulatory authority for the minister to protect any change in staff or any other service, but in terms of the sewer adjustments which are here, in terms of the economic development adjustments, there should be no change.
Mr Waters: As I dealt with the last time we looked at changing anything, what about the power of the minister should one of the municipalities try to create a sweetheart deal, as we termed it the last time, with their employees that guarantees them jobs for ever and exaggerated pay scales and that? Was that going to be covered in this act?
Mr Barnes: This piece of legislation, in terms of policing services, makes a number of provisions which prevent local police authorities making financial decisions regarding promotion, hiring, amount of remuneration.
Mr Waters: No, you misinterpreted what I'm getting at. This was not with policing; it was with municipal employees and it was their higher-paid employees, the top six or eight employees in a municipality that was being amalgamated with another. They decided to create a sweetheart deal where they would protect those people and they had an exaggerated wage rate over other employees to be joined with. I was just wondering if there's a protection there.
Mr Barnes: There are no employees of this status. Outside of policing, we don't expect any employee adjustment between the lower-tier and the upper-tier municipalities.
Mr Grandmaître: The minister in his opening remarks pointed out that at the present time there exist three separate police forces in the Ottawa-Carleton area. Also, at the same time, we have four municipalities receiving free OPP policing. These municipalities are saying: "We will do it our way. We're not interested in a regional police force. We'll draw up a contract with the OPP and continue to be served by the OPP."
It's a rumour that two more municipalities intend to do the same; they intend to ask the OPP to provide them with police services. If, and I realize that there's a big if, let's say, there are only four municipalities left that agree to a regional police force. Will you create a regional police force for four municipalities? What will happen to the assets and liabilities of the three existing police forces?
Mr Barnes: I'm sorry, I'm not too sure where your question is coming at, because this piece of legislation gives the region the authority for policing, so the local municipalities will not be able to be in a position to say whether they want a municipal force or an OPP force or a contract with a municipal force.
Mr Grandmaître: This is what the people in Ottawa-Carleton are saying now. I know of four townships that are saying, "We will continue to buy our services from the OPP."
Mr Barnes: No, this bill firmly puts the authority for policing at the regional level. The local municipality will have no say.
Mr Grandmaître: So the four existing municipalities that are receiving free OPP will automatically --
Mr Barnes: But there are five townships.
Mr Grandmaître: Is it five? I thought it was four.
Mr Barnes: Cumberland is free as well.
Mr Grandmaître: You're right; that's five. They're eliminated automatically. When I say "eliminated," they will have to join in that regional police force. It will be imposed on them.
Mr Barnes: They will be participating in a regional force. The region may choose to continue the on-the-ground delivery, and with agreement with the OPP and the Solicitor General, the region may continue to have that area policed by the OPP, but that decision is up to the region.
Mr Grandmaître: If these five townships continue to deal with the OPP -- get me? -- will it be feasible to create a regional police force for seven municipalities?
Mr Barnes: If those five townships are still policed by the OPP operationally and the rest is done by a single municipal force?
Mr Grandmaître: A regional police force, not a single.
Mr Barnes: Then I guess the best way of answering that is that the organization, the structure, the type of service and so on will have to be determined in terms of the big area, and then the townships by the police services board, and that will have to be approved by the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services.
Mr Grandmaître: And nothing has been established as yet. This study is ongoing, if I'm not mistaken.
Mr Barnes: That's correct, but the legislation ensures that there will be continuous police services in Ottawa-Carleton throughout, regardless of who provides it.
Mr Grandmaître: Can you briefly tell me what will happen to the cities of Nepean and Gloucester and Ottawa? What will happen to the assets and liabilities of the police forces?
Mr Barnes: They will become the assets and liabilities of the regional police services board.
Mr Grandmaître: In other words, if the city of Ottawa, for instance, has a debenture of $60 million on its police building, the taxpayers in Ottawa-Carleton will now pay that bill for the city of Ottawa.
Mr Barnes: The region will acquire an asset and it will acquire the debt. Any debts will be paid for through a regional requisition, a regional levy.
Mr Grandmaître: For instance, the city of Nepean will not owe a cent on its building; it's all paid for.
Mr Barnes: My understanding is that both the city of Ottawa and the city of Nepean have outstanding debt liabilities on their buildings.
Mr Grandmaître: How about the city of Gloucester?
Mr Barnes: I understand they do not.
Mr Grandmaître: They do not?
Mr Barnes: Do not. But on the assets and liabilities, as it relates to not only buildings but all the other aspects involved in policing, it is not uniform across the region. We have set up a system where we will do the evaluations and the arbitration and so on to sort out those problems, but it is not uniform by any means.
Mr David Johnson: Actually, that was my question. I'm looking at page 9, if I can just follow up. At the bottom of page 8, it clearly says that the region would assume the assets and liabilities of the various police departments; some will have assets and some will have assets and liabilities. But at the top of page 9 it says, "The regional corporation shall pay to an area municipality before the due date all amounts of principal and interest due upon any liabilities assumed by the regional corporation under subsection (1)." What does that mean?
Mr Barnes: It means that the actual debenture will still have the name of the issuing municipality on it, so that municipality has to make the payment.
Mr David Johnson: The region pays the municipality; the municipality pays the debenture. Okay.
The Chair: I'd like to thank you for taking the time to appear this afternoon and provide answers to some important questions and any other relevant information that you've provided to the committee. I appreciate that very much, as does the entire committee.
Just before we adjourn, I would ask the members of the subcommittee to stay behind for a couple of minutes to deal with an issue. We are adjourned until Friday in Ottawa.
The committee adjourned at 1801.