Wednesday 9 December 1992
Workers' Compensation Board
Odoardo Di Santo, chair
Brian King, vice-chair, administration
STANDING COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
*Chair / Président: Kormos, Peter (Welland-Thorold ND)
*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Huget, Bob (Sarnia ND)
Conway, Sean G. (Renfrew North/-Nord L)
Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)
Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)
*Klopp, Paul (Huron ND)
McGuinty, Dalton (Ottawa South/-Sud L)
*Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND)
*Offer, Steven (Mississauga North/-Nord L)
Turnbull, David (York Mills PC)
*Waters, Daniel (Muskoka-Georgian Bay ND)
*Wood, Len (Cochrane North/-Nord ND)
*In attendance / présents
Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:
Ward, Brad (Brantford ND) for Mr Dadamo
Witmer, Elizabeth (Waterloo North/-Nord PC) for Mr Turnbull
Clerk / Greffière: Manikel, Tannis
Staff / Personnel: Anderson, Anne, research officer, Legislative
The committee met at 1535 in committee room 1.
Consideration of report of the Workers' Compensation Board.
The Chair (Mr Peter Kormos): It's 3:35 and we're going to commence. Mr Odoardo Di Santo is here along with his colleagues from the Workers' Compensation Board. All three caucuses are represented. Mr Di Santo, will you please be seated. Mr Brian King is with you. We have 38 minutes.
A précis of the task force report has been prepared by Ms Anderson and has been distributed. The Operational Review of Service Performance, the one dated May 18, 1992, has been filed and distributed. As I say, we've got 38 minutes. If you wish to perhaps utilize a brief period of time for some comments, if you want to make some opening comments addressing these issues and your report, the balance of time will be left for questioning and dialogue.
Mr Odoardo Di Santo: Mr Chairman, thank you very much. I am here with Brian King, who is the vice-chair of the Workers' Compensation Board. I'm pleased to report to you. I'll be very brief because I want to leave time for the members to ask questions.
When we appeared before you in May 1991, we were just rookies at our jobs. Of course you asked us a number of very important questions and the committee directed us to undertake an operational review. We did it and we eventually reported to you on May 18, 1992. But at the same time, we realized the complexity of the problems that the Workers' Compensation Board was faced with, and we undertook basically two lines of actions. We decided to act immediately on service delivery because we thought the board should be a service organization that should cater to our clients, who are basically the injured workers and the employers.
The second and most important thing was that we should act immediately on vocational rehabilitation, because vocational rehabilitation, in our estimation, is the crux of the problem at the Workers' Compensation Board. It's an important issue that must be dealt with directly. For that reason, I appointed in December a task force chaired by Maria Minna, and the task force reported in July. As we promised and as you point out in your direction to us, we decided we would act on the task force. In fact, I'm happy to report to you that on November 26, the board of directors approved an action plan that as you've said has been distributed to the members of this committee.
In the action plan, we outlined five major goals that as you can see reflect most of the issues that were raised in this committee and that we dealt with in the operational review, but are treated in a more coherent way and give a sense of direction to the board. When I say the board, I mean the board of directors, the administration and our staff.
Also, I'd like to report to the committee that for the first time, the board of directors has undertaken a very major effort to develop a strategic plan so that we can look at the issues that the board and the workers' compensation system face here in Ontario, and more importantly, the sense of direction of where we are moving, and also ultimately to look at the viability of the system and to see if within the system, we can deal with the issues that are emerging from the changing workplace and from the new occupational decisions that are emerging because of the introduction of new substances, or because of new work habits.
The board of directors has already met several times and we are now at the stage where we have started the real work that will last until the end of June or July, when we will be able to produce a strategic plan that we will with pleasure share with the standing committee.
I don't want to prolong my introduction. As I said, I would like to give an opportunity to the members to ask questions.
The Chair: We have 10 minutes per caucus.
Mr Steven Offer (Mississauga North): I don't know that I'll require the 10 minutes. I've had occasion to read the operational review and I think on page 1, when you speak to three areas, the third you talk about is the dedicated frontline people of the board staff and I think there is no one who would disagree with that.
My question is not on the issue of the staffing, but rather, throughout the Operational Review of Service Performance, and you don't even have to refer to the pages, there are notations made on the revenue aspect of the board. Pages 1, 2, 32, 33, and pages 156, 157 and 158 in areas touch on revenue, and you know as well as all, that the whole issue of revenue and the funding of the WCB is of some real concern to a variety of people.
I would like to know if you can give us an update on the work that's being done by the board in the area of how the unfunded liability is to be addressed. I would like to know the work that is being done on the issue of stress, with respect not only to the issue itself but with respect also to the financial implications. Thirdly, I would like to know of a more recent issue, the building of the new headquarters. There are some issues around that, some of the costs that have been bandied about. I think it's dangerous to start to talk about costs, but we all know the areas of cost that have been bandied about, and how that's going to be paid for and by whom.
Mr Di Santo: Mr Offer, you are really putting me on the hot spot because in 10 minutes it's very hard to answer all these questions, but I will try to answer as fast as I can in the most comprehensive way possible.
The unfunded liability: When we came to the board, Brian and I, as you know, found that the board had $10 billion in unfunded liability and also the board had a plan to recover the unfunded liability in 30 years, from the year 1994 to the year 2014. When we came to the board, we realized that was predicated on normal economic cycles. The plan provided that the unfunded liability would increase until the year 1996-97 and then would start to decrease and disappear in the year 2014.
We are faced with the major economic crisis in our economy since the 1930s. We have employers who are really struggling to survive, so we had to deal with two issues: the retiring of the unfunded liability and the survival of our economy. So we decided two things: (1) to consult with the employers in Ontario so that we could devise the rates for the next year and for 1993; and (2) we decided that we should look at the funding strategy of the board. We had a very, very wide consultation with the workers, employers and all the parties who are interested in the Workers' Compensation Board.
At the end of the exercise, we went to our stakeholders and proposed a number of options, which I don't want to mention now, but the options range from keeping full funding to a lower ratio of funding and extending the period of retiring the unfunded liability. We had a very high number of submissions. At the end the board of directors, which I have to remind you is made up of four representatives of the employers and four representatives of the workers, unanimously decided that this is a strategic issue for the board which really impinges on the viability of the system, and therefore should be dealt with within the strategic plan exercise, and that's what we are doing right now.
As far as the rates for 1993 are concerned, we consulted widely with industry and with all the employers, and we came to the conclusion that if we had increased the rates there would be some sectors in our economy that would have been put really in a tough situation. Some employers could not have even survived. I could mention a range of industries that are in a really difficult situation, but I want to give you just the example of the mining industry.
The mining industry is performing in an excellent way in terms of accident prevention, and in fact the accident rate is down to zero. It is performing excellently, especially big companies like Inco and Falconbridge, in terms of rehiring injured workers and modifying work programs, which are very expensive propositions. But at the same time, because of the system we have in Ontario and because of the ceiling that is increasing every year, they find that despite the fact they have an excellent accident record, their rates are going up.
We decided that in 1993, also because we are moving towards, as you know, a different classification of the employers, we would not basically increase the rates. We will increase 3% and decrease 3% for the employers who are moving towards the new classifications, but the total effect will be neutral. There will be just an increase of 0.4% of the rates.
I want to point, to answer your question, to the unfunded liability. It's a real problem for us, but it's a problem that has to be looked at strategically because it won't disappear. We have to put our minds together. The board, the employers and the workers can decide what type of system we want. Perhaps you, the lawmakers, will decide at some point in time that this is not the way to deal with diseases and with accidents, in 1992 as we used to do in 1915, and that we need a different type of system. But that will be your call, and of course it will also be the call of the stakeholders.
As far as stress is concerned, we had last year, for four months, the vice-chair representing workers and the vice-chair representing employers consulting in Ontario from November until March on workplace stressors and entitlement, which were two issues that we inherited from the previous administration.
We had a variety of submissions. The evidence that was brought before our vice-chair really represented the dilemma that we have and that the board has in dealing with this thorny issue. We had representation from workers affected--jail guards, ambulance service, nurses--and on the other hand industry, because of the costs on industry, and also we had the experience in other jurisdictions, especially in California.
The board of directors has not made any decision on stressors. My thinking is that this is an issue that is very difficult to deal with and requires extreme caution, not only because of the costs involved but also because we are dealing with disabilities that are not as easily definable as the disabilities that we have known until now. Therefore, I think the board will approach this issue with extreme caution.
I'm sorry that I'm taking some time, Steven, but I'm trying to give you an answer that is as comprehensive as possible.
Now let's go very, very fast to the last issue; that is, the new facilities. The Workers' Compensation Board now is using for its headquarters the building at 2 Bloor Street East which was occupied in the early 1970s; 1972 actually. After 20 years, that building has been recognized as not responding to the needs of an organization like ours for many reasons. One reason is that in 1972 computers were not used, for instance. Also, the staff in 1972 was much smaller. Today we have all the mainframe of our computers in another building because the temperature in the building doesn't allow us to keep the computers without being damaged.
In 1989 the board of directors decided that perhaps the board should look at another location or a different solution and on July 20, 1990, the board of directors made the decision to look at another location. It wasn't done lightly. In fact, the board looked at many, many possibilities and in the end came to the conclusion that it should issue a public tender, look for possible developers and look for a location that was downtown. That was based also on extensive research, on consultants, on demographics and the number of people who use the board's facilities. In March 1991 the board of directors approved this new location.
What is the deal here? I'll explain very, very fast. Is that okay?
The Chair: Please go ahead, sir.
Mr Di Santo: I am trying to breathe at the same time.
The Chair: You've got all the time in the world as long as you use it before the 38 minutes are over.
Mr Di Santo: The deal basically is very simple. The land where the new facility will be built belongs to the CBC. Cadillac Fairview, with the board and the Toronto Dominion Bank, set up the new company, a partnership in which the board is a 70% partner and the other two partners have 12.5% each. Cadillac Fairview is the builder, the developer, so Cadillac Fairview has the responsibility to make arrangements for the financing of the deal. The board will be the tenant for 70% of the building and the owner of 75% of the building.
Therefore, we will participate in the expansions that are necessary to adapt the building to our necessities, which are specific, because every year we see 100,000 injured workers in the building. We need special accommodation for disabled persons and a special number of elevators. For instance, this seems to be a trivial issue, but the elevator capacity at the present building has an incredible impact on productivity because we waste so much time waiting for the elevators. If you multiply 3,000 staff by 10 minutes each, you realize that the costs to the board are incredible and the productivity therefore decreases accordingly.
What are the obligations of the board? That's what you want to know basically. We are in this agreement, which is a binding agreement, and I must tell you that when we came to the board, Brian and I, we wanted to satisfy ourselves that it was a good deal for the board. So we asked three independent consultants. One of them was LePage. I don't remember the names of the other two. I don't know if Brian remembers them. We asked them the questions that you have been asking: Is this a good deal for the board? Now that we have such a large space vacant in downtown Toronto, is this a good time to build? We wanted to satisfy ourselves that it was really a good deal.
The three consultants unanimously told us that it was a good deal for the board, because in 20 years' time we are going to be the owners of a facility that will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. We don't know at this moment, but even at this moment of low market, a building of that nature is worth millions of dollars. Our cost in terms of leasing will be comparable to the ongoing rates; in fact it will be in the low $20s per square foot.
We are not taking money from the investment fund, which has been one of the misunderstandings, that we are investing our money. We are not investing money from the investment fund. The arrangement will be made by Cadillac Fairview. We have to concur proportionately, according to our needs, because we have special needs in terms of partitions, of the layout of the offices etc.
That's basically the deal. It's a very simple deal. It's a binding deal, and we are going along in good faith, because it was signed in good faith and we cannot renege at this point in time. Above all, there isn't an overwhelming reason to renege on the deal.
The Chair: Thank you, sir. Ms Witmer.
Mrs Elizabeth Witmer (Waterloo North): I would tell you that you've not convinced me that there is a need for this new office tower at the present time. I think it's most irresponsible that you would be using your money in this way and I certainly have many questions and concerns about that issue.
I would indicate to you I've also received many letters and phone calls from individuals, particularly employers, who are concerned about the decision that has been made at a time when there is so much empty space within the city of Toronto. I think it's unfortunate that there wasn't an opportunity for more discussion on this issue prior to the announcement being made.
I'd like to take a look at the issue of training. Recently it has come to our attention that students who are involved in programs at the community colleges, and even students who are involved with school boards in co-op programs--there seems to be some concern, because there's an indication now that the employer is going to have to pay the WCB costs for some of these students when they go out on work term.
I guess I would ask you, why was there no consultation with the players who would be involved? Why were you prepared to go ahead as of January 1993 without consulting with the community colleges and the hospitals and possibly the homes for the aged and possibly the school boards? Because this obviously is going to be a new cost. This is a cost too that obviously might have an impact on OTAB and the success of that particular program. I'd really appreciate knowing why there was no consultation and why this direction is being taken.
Mr Di Santo: Mr King will reply to the training, but I want to just point out for a second about the building that I did not pretend to come here to convince you, obviously, but what I'd like really to clarify is that we are not using our money. This is like a house. You buy a house and you need a mortgage. The arrangement for the mortgage will be made by Cadillac Fairview. We don't use our money. We don't take $180 million or $200 million and invest in that. So it's not our money.
As for discussion, well, we were not there, so I could say easily, "It's not our fault," but I think there was extensive discussion, because the initial decision was made in 1989 and from 1989 until July 20, when the board finally decided that--the board is made up of four representatives of the industry and four representatives of the workers, and they consulted with their people. There was discussion going on. The issue has emerged now because we have come to the point where the building is starting, but there has been ample discussion.
As for the training, Mr King will explain to you why the interim decision was made in September.
Mr Brian King: The question arose in the spring of this year as to whether those who were undergoing training courses were covered by individual employers for workers' compensation benefits. A review of our act showed that there is a provision to cover as workers a category called "learners" and there is a definition in the act.
In order to clarify the rights of both those who are undertaking training and the obligations of those who are taking people under training, an interim policy was put into place so that there would be no question as to whether one should file for compensation if one was injured on the job while, let us say, undertaking training as an ambulance driver or attendant. We have got to find a way to fund that.
Rather than allow the so-called schedule 1 employers or those that pay under collective liability to have additional costs, we indicated we would charge any cost to the collective liability of that group rather than the individual employer. Unfortunately, in the other group of employers, the so-called schedule 2 who self-insure, we have no ability to offset the costs across the board. We can't charge the C&R costs for hospitals who might be self-insuring. Therefore, we notified those groups that they would be responsible for the costs of injuries which occurred.
We undertook consultation as soon as we could on this issue and consultation has been occurring. We are continuing consultation. The interim policy was to end as of December 31 of this year and it was at the request of those employers whom we were consulting that they asked for time to consider the issue further. Therefore, we've extended the period of consultation to February 28 of this year, with the final decision on what to do on this matter by June 30.
I think that we are receiving some criticism for honestly coming forward and saying no one has ever dealt with this problem before. Workers did not know their rights, employers did not know the risk side of, let us say, our hearings branch accepting a very expensive claim. I would hope that we would never be criticized for trying to honestly face the problems that come before the Workers' Compensation Board for determination.
Mrs Witmer: I think it was the manner in which it was done. You've indicated that there was consultation and you must know that you took many employers by surprise, particularly the original time lines were going to have a devastating impact, I know, on students in the ambulance program, because in order to get the diploma they need the hours on the job and, unfortunately, they wouldn't have been able to obtain that if the ambulance companies had indicated that they weren't going to take these students because of the additional cost. So I would ask you, Mr King: Whom did you consult with before you made public?
Mr King: We had gone through an intergovernmental consulting process in order to determine whether there could be agreement on having funding of workers' compensation come through the training agencies, both federal and provincial, or through the ministries which might be responsible for the programs. Unfortunately, we were unable to conclude that consultation.
I want to point out, however, that this was not dropping something on the employers. They still bear the obligation to provide compensation if a worker is injured. We merely clarified that these trainees are, for interim purposes, workers, because that is the prevailing opinion at the present time. Perhaps after consultation a determination will be made. Otherwise, I don't happen to see that because I think the thing is so clear in law.
I think what we were doing was telling ambulance companies, "You may be risking costs," and we have clarified this to say that if a learner is injured there may be costs. That, I don't believe, is dropping something on them. That is warning them of a reality or of a truth, because in our appellate structure indeed a learner who is injured could be found a worker and they would bear those costs.
Mrs Witmer: Whom will you be consulting with now in your attempt to resolve the problem? Will you be talking to the ambulance drivers and the other employers who are going to be involved? You mentioned that your consultation so far really has been interministerial as opposed to going out to the wider community. We talk about stakeholders and I guess we have a whole group of people in the province who really have not had a chance to be involved in this discussion, and I'm wondering: How are you going to involve those individuals?
Mr King: I don't think there's any trouble determining who is interested in this because I think every one of them's written to me personally. We are consulting through the Ontario Hospital Association and individual hospitals; we're consulting through organizations such as the Employers' Council on Workers' Compensation. The board has a rather complex series of groups it pulls in when it is involved in a consultation. So those parties which will be mainly affected are being involved in the consultation process.
Mrs Witmer: You would give your assurance that that will indeed happen?
Mr King: It's already under way.
Mrs Witmer: You'll be making your final determination then as to time line--
Mr King: June 30.
Mrs Witmer: June 30. When will that be effective then? The decision that you would make, when would it become effective?
Mr King: It's effective in an interim way at the present time because people wanted clarification as to whether they had liabilities should a learner be injured. We merely clarified. The interim policy is yes, you would be liable. We will finalize the policy after consultation.
Mrs Witmer: Why would you not extend that policy until such time as you've had an opportunity for adequate consultation?
Mr King: Are you suggesting that we not protect the workers who were vulnerable, who were out there to become the future nurses and the future X-ray technicians, the future taxi drivers? Are we to leave them vulnerable when our act says we should cover them?
The Chair: Thank you, Mr King. Thank you, Ms Witmer. Mr Waters.
Mr Daniel Waters (Muskoka-Georgian Bay): It's nice to see you gentlemen back again and I thank you for coming in.
I think I'd like to refer to page 37 of your report and there's--
Mr Di Santo: Which one?
Mr Waters: It refers primarily, I guess, to one of the--
The Chair: Just for the record, you're talking about the May 18, 1992, final report. Correct?
Mr Waters: Yes.
The Chair: Thank you, sir.
Mr Waters: I'm talking about paragraph 4.1.1 on that report, and because I haven't had a chance to go through it all yet, I think that a lot of those points there, 1, 2 and 3 in particular, as well as the two above them, were the primary reasons in discussions that everybody brought forward and I would like some of your personal comments on those.
Mr Di Santo: I think that we admit in the report with frankness that there are problems. There have been problems and there are still problems in the decision-making process at the board. If you have time to read--
Mr Waters: I intend to read it word for word, believe me.
Mr Di Santo: --the action plan, you will see that following the recommendations of the task force, in fact we have committed ourselves to have a new model of case management that will in fact impact positively on the way we deal with cases at the present time. In the interim, we have taken a number of measures to try to solve the problem.
The first decision that was made was to remove the adjudicator assistants that were also criticized by your committee when we appeared before you originally. We came to the realization that in fact that was a resource that was not used appropriately within the board and we have upgraded all of them, 202 if I remember correctly, to the position of adjudicators, so now we have a larger number of adjudicators.
Also--the board doesn't want to take all the credit--because of the economy the number of accidents has decreased and therefore the case load has decreased substantially also for injured workers, even though there are some negative side-effects because the recurrences in the meantime have increased and therefore the case load is more manageable than the time when we appeared before you.
Also, on November 26 we approved the new budget that was prepared by the vice-chair, and in the new budget we are trying to do the impossible. For the second consecutive year we have an administrative budget that is a straight-line budget. We are using the same amount of resources to produce more work, basically.
If you take into account the fact that we have a collective agreement with our organized staff and that you have to include the cost of living and increasing benefits, and inflation low as it is now, we are using basically the same amount of dollars to give a better service.
Also, because the task force recommended unanimously--I must point out that the task force was also bipartite: two representatives of the employers and two representatives of the workers. In fact, two representatives of the employers on the steering committee, Maria Marchese and Stephen Cryne, are present here at the hearing. It was a consensus report and one of the recommendations that they made to us was to try to give better service by reallocating resources and that's what we did in the budget.
In the budget we made two decisions that were very important for us. The two decisions were that within the same allocation of money we would increase 20 adjudicators and 20 case workers, so that we can respond more promptly to the needs of the injured workers.
I think, personally, that if you look at the decision-making process, if you look at the way we deal with the public in general, if you look at more elementary things that you yourself pointed out in your direction to the board when we did the operational review--the way we communicate with the public, both the employers and the workers--I think that we are making progress towards that.
I think 1993 will be a crucial year because we have, for the first time in the history of the board, not a budget with a bunch of numbers and figures and statistics, but we have an organized document, a plan of action that tells exactly how we are moving.
Also, because we have made a decision, Brian and I, that we want to be accountable not only to you but also to our stakeholders and to the public of Ontario, if you look at the action plan, we have done something that perhaps we will regret at the end, but in the action plan we have established a timetable that ties our hands and will force us to make decisions in a way that we will be called for if we don't respect the timetable.
That's what I can answer to you in general terms. If you want to be more specific, I--
The Chair: Thank you. Ms Murdock.
Ms Sharon Murdock (Sudbury): I'd like to thank you for coming as well and remind everyone that the 12 hours under section 125 are with regard to service delivery rather than some of the other issues that have been raised.
Speaking of service delivery, I want to get back to training. One of the things that our standing committee report was about, and we had a number of comments made in that, was in regard to the inadequate training of the claims adjudicators. Of course moving adjudicator assistants up isn't helping that process, I don't imagine. We are still actually receiving complaints from different MPPs in regard to the fact that they don't feel the training is adequate at the present time.
Having said that, and keeping in mind that the action plan is taking that into consideration, I'd like to know, first of all, what the time frames are for retraining of your adjudicators. Secondly, what kinds of cost implications are we looking at in terms of that retraining? Also, obviously, if they're being retrained then they aren't on the job and so on, so those have cost implications as well. Thirdly, an idea that was raised by some people here in the standing committee but also outside was in regard to mechanisms to track policy decisions where claims decisions have been overturned at either decision review hearings or WCATs, and how that filters back down into the system.
Mr Di Santo: On the last issue, we address that rather directly in our operational review. We have been trying to devise a possible way of dealing with tracking the decisions where they are reversed. But the reasons why decisions are reversed are not of one nature only; there are several reasons why a decision is reversed, either by the decision review branch or by the hearings branch. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for us--
Ms Murdock: If I might, just on that point: Because of the lack of training at the claims adjudication level, many of the complaints are that they are being sent back to claims from a reviewer at the decision review branch stage and, as a consequence, you're talking of time frames of seven, eight weeks before decisions are made. I'm speaking more along the training aspects.
Mr Di Santo: Okay, the training aspect. We admitted frankly when we came before you that before we came, for a number of years, because of all the changes that had taken place at the board--introduction of new technology, the introduction of imaging, the new payment system--really there had not been time to train the staff properly and that was a problem. So in 1992 we doubled the training time for the staff.
The first occasion that we really had to deal with this issue was the budget for 1993. In the budget, taking into account your recommendation, we have increased the number of trainers by 50%, which means that in 1993 the training time will be increased 50% across the board. We are very committed, Brian and I, to training because we realize that.
When I came, I found it very painful that we had young kids coming out from George Brown College dealing with issues that affect the lives of people they didn't know about, and they were not equipped because they had not been trained properly. So we are increasing substantially the training. In 1993, everybody in the board will be trained and I will be insisting that at every level there has to be training. Yesterday, Brian and all the vice-presidents went to train themselves; they secluded themselves. We think that if you don't have good training you will not have good decisions up front. If you don't have good decisions up front, you have appeals and you have reversals and you have appeals to the hearings branch and you have appeals to the tribunal. The system becomes convoluted because of that original sin, and that's what we are trying to address and I'm sure that we'll do that, also because the staff is very enthusiastic because they were totally frustrated.
When we came to the board there was an incredible flood of new policies flowing over their heads every week. They were submerged. If you went to the desks of the adjudicators they had piles of policies and they didn't understand them, so we are also addressing that issue from this standpoint, that we will empower the front-line staff in the development of policies. In other words, when we have a new policy development we will go to the staff and ask them: "What do you think of this policy? Do you think that it's implementable, that it's practical, that it makes sense to the people you deal with?"
Also, the second aspect: In the implementation we will try to involve everybody. We give the greatest importance to this democratization of the workplace because one of the problems that we had at the board was the disenchantment of the staff because they felt alienated from the process. They were the recipients of orders coming from the top and they didn't have any say in the development of the policy, in the implementation of the policy. They were like robots, and of course that didn't create a morale that was conducive to do good business with.
The Chair: Thank you, sir. I want to thank you, Mr Di Santo and you, Mr King, for your cooperation. We appreciate you coming here today, not only your presence, but the presence of your colleagues from the Workers' Compensation Board. You have, of course, participated with the committee's process and cooperated fully; there's absolutely no suggestion to the contrary. That's not only a pleasure but it is applaudable in itself.
Mr Di Santo: Mr Chairman, just if I can take one second. We make ourselves available, not only to this standing committee but also to the various caucuses. If they want to discuss any issue, we are willing to come--we did already.
The Chair: Thank you, sir. Gentlemen, thank you kindly. Take care.
That completes the time permitted for Mr Waters's standing order 123-125 designation.
Mr Huget, do you have a motion for the committee? Do you want to put that on record, Mr Huget?
Mr Bob Huget (Sarnia): I move that the Chair of the committee is authorized to determine the administrative matters and to approve advertising and travel if necessary on any matter referred to the committee by the House to be considered during the winter recess.
The Chair: There's no discussion. All those in favour, please indicate? Opposed? Motion carried. Any further business? Thank you, people. We are adjourned sine die, as they say.
The committee adjourned at 1622.