The House met at 1030.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Good morning. Please join me in prayer.

Prayers.

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS


Mr. John O'Toole: I'm very pleased to introduce two very special guests today. Jeffery Golde is the proud owner and operator of a 1976 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the long-wheel-base version of it. Accompanying me in the Rolls-Royce was Ferdinando Longo, who is on Minister Mario Sergio's staff. The purpose of the trip this morning was in support of the Courtice Rotary Club and an event where Ferdinando bought this special occasion for a ride to Queen's Park in the Rolls-Royce and lunch with me. Nothing could be higher and more important. The event was to raise money for the Clarington Older Adult centre, sponsored by the Courtice Rotary Club.

Miss Monique Taylor: I would like to welcome Mr. Vico Rosatone. It's his first visit to Queen's Park in the Legislature for question period today.

Mr. Bob Delaney: Many of us here are fans of Murdoch Mysteries. It is my pleasure to introduce to the Legislature the ladies and gentlemen who create, manage and perform for us and for audiences in more than 100 countries worldwide from their headquarters right here in Ontario. I ask members to please hold their recognition until I've introduced everyone, and there are a few.

In the members' east gallery: Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO of Toronto-based Shaftesbury, producer of Murdoch Mysteries; Scott Garvie, senior vice-president, business and legal affairs, of Shaftesbury; Julie Lacey, vice president, creative, of Shaftesbury; Peter Mitchell, executive producer of Murdoch Mysteries; Paul Aitken, co-executive producer of Murdoch Mysteries; Stephen Montgomery, producer of Murdoch Mysteries; Katherine Wolfgang, vice-president of communication, Shaftesbury; Tanya Koivusalo, publicist at Shaftesbury; Christos Kalohoridis, photographer at Shaftesbury; Andra Sheffer, executive director, COGECO Program Development Fund; Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation; Julie Look, director of research, Canada Media Fund; Suzanne Colvin-Goulding, senior director, production planning, CBC; and Gave Lindo, manager, business rights, CBC.

Now some of the people behind the characters who visit us in our homes weekly on Murdoch Mysteries: playing Detective William Murdoch, actor Yannick Bisson-

Applause.


Mr. Bob Delaney: Hold on. We're not done yet: Mr. Bisson's spouse and periodic guest star, actress Chantal Craig; playing Constable George Crabtree, actor Jonny Harris; playing Dr. Emily Grace, actress Georgina Reilly. Joining us later at the reception in room 340 will be actress Hélène Joy, playing Dr. Julia Ogden. Actor Thomas Craig, who plays Inspector Brackenreid, is out of town today.

We are also joined by my own beloved spouse, Andrea Seepersaud, fully enjoying her time among the stars.

I am also pleased to introduce Monika Duggal, my constituency assistant, and a very old friend, Brian Ellis, who are also joining us in the members' east gallery.

Speaker, these people are returning for the first time since they filmed an episode in this building, set 113 years ago: the men and women behind Murdoch Mysteries.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you, and welcome to our guests.

Mr. Monte McNaughton: As a former legislative page myself, it gives me great honour to introduce the family of the current page from my riding, Julia Brunet. Her mother and father, Sinead and Robert, are here; brothers James and William; grandparents Robert and Diana; and family friends Walter and Alison Lenny. Welcome to Queen's Park.

Ms. Catherine Fife: Mr. Speaker, there's a Cape Bretoner in the House this morning, my good friend Debbie MacRury from Cape Breton. She was also recognized this last weekend as Miss Movember. Welcome, Debbie.

Hon. John Gerretsen: Speaker, would you please help welcome, from Kingston, Heather Blue and Quinton Bradshaw. Quinton Bradshaw won a challenge that the mayor issued some time ago as to how they would make Kingston more sustainable. It would include changes to the building code that would allow for more grey water recycling and more renewable energy.

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I want to recognize Dave Buttenham, CEO of the Ontario Agri Business Association, who will be with us here a little later. I remind all members about their event this evening in room 228. I welcome the Ontario Agri Business Association to Queen's Park.

Ms. Peggy Sattler: I'd like to welcome Kathy Clee from my riding of London West, who is also my constituency assistant.

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I'd like to welcome Brian and Wendy Anderson of Athlone Farms and Athlone Bio Power to the Legislature. They also happen to be the parents of my staffer Amber Anderson.

Hon. Brad Duguid: I'm delighted to introduce His Worship Gerry Marshall, mayor of Penetanguishene, who is here today.

I also want to introduce Jeff Mole from Trillium Energy Alliance, who is here as well.


Ms. Mitzie Hunter: I'd like to welcome Shahene Patel and Zohra Azizi from my riding of Scarborough-Guildwood.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Nepean-Carleton on a point of order.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: I wanted to acknowledge in this House the passing of one of Canada's, and I think one of Ontario's, most special people, Cliff Chadderton. I thought we could do that today, Speaker.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: It's a pleasure to welcome Don McCabe, vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, to the House.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Last call for introductions.

On behalf of the member from Brampton West and page Arvind Krishendeholl: mother Nalini and father Seudial are in the public gallery today. Welcome to Queen's Park.

ORAL QUESTIONS

MANUFACTURING JOBS


Mr. Tim Hudak: My question is to the Premier. Premier, what I'm concerned about is that under your leadership in Ontario, if you are well connected, you get ahead. The middle class is shrinking and many families are struggling to get by with a part-time or minimum wage job, at best.

We have 10 days left in this session before the government is going to break for Christmas. Premier, on which of those 10 days are you going to finally bring forward your jobs plan to restore hope to the people of Ontario who desperately need a change of course and a jobs plan starting now?

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Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: You know, the reality is that we have a plan, Mr. Speaker. There are jobs coming to this province, and I have a list of companies that have created jobs and have expanded in order to employ more people. I think what the Leader of the Opposition is asking me is whether I will adopt his plan, and his plan would actually cut jobs out of the province. It would slash services across government, and that's not what we're going to do. We believe that making the investments in people and the investments in infrastructure and the investments in a business climate that will bring business to the province-that those investments are the ones we should be making. That's our plan, that is what we're doing, and jobs are coming to this province.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: Well, if the Premier calls the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs, the kind of province where families are lucky to get a part-time job or a minimum-wage job just to pay the bills-if that's what the Premier calls a plan, then clearly, Speaker, it's time to toss out the plan, toss out the government and bring in a team that can lead us back to economic recovery.

Premier, you know what? I invite you to go and tell the people of Leamington, Ontario, that your plan is working: 800 families now out of work, farmers whose product is not going to get to market, an incredible impact on the community.

You know, Rick Nicholls and I were there, and I want to salute Rick for fighting for the people in his community to restore some hope to Leamington. We did an open town hall meeting, invited anybody from the community to come in, and I saw the pain of families who are going to lose their jobs. They are worried about their pensions, their mortgages, and how they are going to get by with a minimum-wage, part-time job at best.

Premier, I listened directly to the people of Leamington. Why don't you actually hold an open town hall yourself and tell them that your plan is working?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Well, as the Leader of the Opposition knows, I was in Leamington before he got there. I had a meeting with the people who are working to make sure that-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): That will do.

Premier?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Speaker, we included his member in that meeting. He was part of the meeting. We talked with the folks who are intimately involved in creating opportunities and making sure that, first of all, the employees are treated well and that there is a robust plan going forward.

I think what the people of Leamington want to know, Mr. Speaker, is that we are on the ground, that we are going to work with them to make sure we find a way to replace those jobs and make sure people have opportunities. That's why we've already flowed $200,000 to facilitate that process, and we will put everything we can into support for that community.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary.

Mr. Tim Hudak: I think it's a study in contrast, Speaker, because when the Premier went to Leamington, she had a closed-door, backroom meeting and then skipped out of town as fast as she could. Rick Nicholls and I had an open town hall to hear directly from the people of our province, to talk about our plan to actually bring hope back to the community.

Your problem, Premier, is you seem to think that job losses are a temporary inconvenience, that they are a nuisance that can be simply solved by a press release and a photo op. That's not going to cut it.

I think you should go back to Leamington and have a town hall, and if you want to tell them your plan is working, then by all means do so. But I'll ask you to tell them this: Which one of your plans that you've brought through since you and I had a deal to clear the decks-is it the 24/7 emergency rescue for cats and dogs? Is it the smoking on patios? Is it banning water heater salesmen? Which of those three parts of your plan, Premier, will bring a single job back to the people of Leamington, Ontario-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Renfrew will withdraw.

Mr. John Yakabuski: I withdraw.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): That's number two. And I don't stand for you to have a quiet moment to heckle.

Premier?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I know that the Leader of the Opposition knows that I am not averse to having open discussion, Mr. Speaker. In fact, the Leader of the Opposition takes every opportunity to stand up and tell me that we do too much conversation, and that is absolutely not the case.

The meeting we had in Leamington was a working meeting. It was a meeting with people who understand that community, and I am quite sure that the people who came to the town hall were some of those same people. That's as it should be. We are going to work with the community.

I know that the Leader of the Opposition heard from residents that the federal government changes to food packaging rules have had an impact.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Northumberland-Quinte West will come to order.

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I'm not blaming anyone, Mr. Speaker. I'm saying that that's one of the things that the Leader of the Opposition heard. So we need to work with the federal government and we need to work with the community to make sure we find a way to make sure those people have jobs and that industry can thrive.

MANUFACTURING JOBS


Mr. Tim Hudak: Back to the Premier: Premier, closed meetings are not exactly transparent; they're not open. The problem I have is if you wall yourself up at Queen's Park, if you wall yourselves up with inside advisers and you don't have an open town hall, you're never going to understand what's actually happening in communities across our great province of Ontario.

Premier, the middle class is being hollowed out. My Ontario always built things. We'll always make things; we'll sell products around the world. We can beat the best of the best, but we're not going to do that with skyrocketing energy rates, more and more red tape and a Premier whose priority seems to be water heater salesmen, 24/7 rescue and getting a pat on the back from Al Gore for driving those hydro rates through the roof in the first place. I've got to wonder what your priorities are.

Let me ask you this, Premier: The problem in the province of Ontario is we're hollowing out the middle class and minimum-wage jobs are the only jobs that people can get. Is this your measure of success: that your odds, if you're working in Ontario, have now doubled that it's a minimum-wage job and that the proportion of minimum-wage jobs in the province of Ontario is up 100%? My vision: middle-class jobs-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Premier?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Well, let me just say that the plan that we have got in place is a rational plan. The long-term energy plan is going to be released today. It's part of that plan because we understand that if we can make the right investments in people, the right investments in infrastructure and create a dynamic business climate such as the business climate that Murdoch Mysteries thrives in, then we can bring business and we can bring talent to this province. That is our plan. There are a lot of things-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Prince Edward-Hastings got one there.

Carry on.


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I welcome the critique of the Leader of the Opposition, and there are many things to critique, but telling me that I haven't been out talking to people in this province, that's not one of them.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mr. Tim Hudak: You know, a few references to Murdoch Mysteries-we're thrilled that they're here. Maybe they can help the OPP investigate your office, investigate Chris Mazza and investigate the green energy scandal in this province. Maybe they can help you locate where Chris Mazza has run to in the province as well.

Look, I've got to tell you, Premier, I know it's hard to take, but facts are stubborn things. The facts tell us that we've lost over 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Under your leadership, the concern I have is that pace has accelerated. We've lost an additional 38,000 manufacturing jobs under your watch.

The fact of the matter is that the number of minimum-wage jobs as a proportion of all jobs has doubled. So if you lose your job, you're lucky to get a minimum-wage or a part-time job in Liberal Ontario. That's why I'm going to fight for change each and every day. Let's get hydro rates under control. Let's get taxes down. Let's close down the College of Trades. Let's put people and grow the middle class instead of putting them all in minimum-wage jobs-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Premier?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Well, the Leader of the Opposition can diminish the good jobs in the film industry and television industry, but those are very important jobs, and it's a very important industry for this province. I believe that those investments that we need to make are investments in our strengths, playing to our strengths, and that is one of our strengths.

I also want to just say, in answer to the Leader of the Opposition's question, when he talks about good jobs, I would ask him back: What part of right-to-work legislation, that is driving jobs down to the bottom, creates good jobs? That's his labour policy, and we're not going there.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please.

Final supplementary.

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Mr. Tim Hudak: When Camaro was going to Michigan, when Caterpillar goes to Indiana, your role: Put your head in the sand and kiss the manufacturing jobs goodbye. I'm going to do everything I can to grow our middle class, put people into good jobs, give them a better future. I've got a plan to bring 300,000 manufacturing jobs into our province. Your record: one of more minimum-wage jobs.

I'll tell you this, too, Premier: If you're a new Canadian, like my grandparents were who came to this province because they believed they'd have a better future by working hard-they started a business. New Canadians under the Liberal government: 20% of minimum-wage jobs today.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Glengarry, come to order. The Minister of Rural Affairs, come to order.

Mr. Tim Hudak: They're falling behind as well. This path is taking us to bankruptcy and hollowing out our middle class.

I've got a plan to modernize our labour laws, get our energy rates under control, lower taxes, get Ontario back on its feet and make our middle class the envy of the entire country, top among the provinces. That's our plan. Where the heck is yours? We've only got 10 days left-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I'm hoping some people are recognizing the number of times they've been talked to. I think I will repeat it again.

Interjection.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Not really.

Premier?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Since June 2009, which was the low after the recession, there were 460,900 net new jobs in Ontario, Mr. Speaker. There are net new jobs at Toyota, Ford, GM, Green Arc Tire Manufacturing, newterra, Pillar5 Pharma and Lambton Conveyor. All across the province there are net new jobs.

But let's be perfectly clear: the Leader of the Opposition's plan would cut tens of thousands of jobs out of this province, would undermine labour and thereby undermine the ability of people to earn a good wage and undermine the workplace safety that has been gained over decades and decades of strong labour laws in this province.

The Leader of the Opposition, when he talks about modernizing labour, is talking about undermining the gains and protections that have been made by organized labour over the last 100 years. That's what he's talking about.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I'm not getting things quiet for you to heckle. I'm getting things quiet so that we can hear the next question.

HYDRO RATES


Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Premier. For Ontarians paying the highest electricity bills in the country, the latest promises from the Liberal government of some relief on the hydro bills ring pretty hollow. Why should consumers believe the government has now got a plan when they haven't stuck to any of the other long-term energy plans they've developed over a decade in office?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I would have thought that the leader of the third party would like to see a plan that was updated, and that plan will be coming out today. The new plan is a balanced approach to meet the energy needs that we have today.

The reality of an energy plan is that it has to take into account the conditions that exist at the time that the plan is in place. So this plan is based on what we have heard from First Nation and Métis communities, from energy stakeholders, from municipalities and consumers from across the province. That's what we have based this plan on, Mr. Speaker.

Since 2003, what we have done is we have modernized an electricity system that was severely out of date, that needed investment, that needed upgrading. That's the work that we've been doing, and it's only responsible that we would continue that work. That's what the long-term energy plan is about.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: For 10 years, the government has played political games with electricity policy, and people are stuck paying the skyrocketing bills that resulted.

When the Liberal government first announced plans to invest in new nuclear plants, New Democrats said that that plan was expensive and that plan was unnecessary. For eight years, the Liberals ignored us and instead spent $180 million on contracts for a project that they are now finally abandoning.

Why did it take nearly a decade and millions upon millions upon millions of wasted dollars for the government to conclude the obvious?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I know that the leader of the third party knows that the work that was done in preparation for new nuclear is not work that goes to waste, Mr. Speaker. That is work that can be used if and when we need to revisit those plans. But it would be irresponsible of us, in the face of all of the evidence, to go ahead and to build at this point.

What's interesting is the leader of the third party is criticizing us for having a plan. She's criticizing us for one aspect of preparation that we were making, given the best advice, and now we are putting in place a long-term energy plan. We've created 31,000 jobs with our clean energy policies, none of which the leader of the third party has supported. I would have expected that she would have thought that those were a good idea. In fact, she doesn't have a plan and she's not supporting ours. It's curious as how to how she thinks we should move forward.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: This isn't the only example. The Liberal government has already signed $950 million in new contracts for refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear plant, but we don't know what the final price tag is.

Does the Premier think it's a good idea to spend nearly $1 billion without having a final price tag?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: It is responsible for the government to plan for future need. It is responsible for the government to have a plan to make sure we have the capacity to generate the energy that's needed. The problem when we came into office in 2003 was that there was not enough capacity. We did not have the energy that was needed. We were facing brownouts and blackouts, and we knew that we needed to make investments in order to have the capacity that was necessary. That's what we have done. The long-term energy plan will lay out how we determine what we need to go forward. I hope the leader of the third party will take a look at it and see that in that plan is that future blueprint for the future energy needs of the province.

HYDRO RATES


Ms. Andrea Horwath: My next question is also for the Premier. For Ontario families and businesses paying the highest electricity rates in Canada, this doesn't look like a plan for affordable power. It looks like a desperate government trying to hold on to political power. Whether it's $180 million spent on nuclear plants that were abandoned or the nearly $1 billion spent on refurbishment plans without a final price tag or the $1 billion spent on moving gas plants to save a couple of Liberal seats, how can the Premier expect the people to believe that this government has a plan to make electricity affordable?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I just want to speak to the programs that we've got in place that actually help business to deal with energy prices. The Industrial Electricity Incentive Program: Eligible companies qualify for electricity rates that are among the lowest in North America in exchange for creating new jobs and bringing new investment into the province. Again, Mr. Speaker, that's something I would have thought that both opposition parties would support. The Large Industrial Conservation Initiative, which helps large consumers save on costs by putting incentives in place to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours-that's something that allows companies to save money. And then Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program reduces electricity prices for large northern industrial consumers by 25%. All of those programs are in recognition of the fact that businesses need to have the capacity to be competitive. I would have thought that the leader of the third party would have supported those programs.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: People are telling us that they need help, and the solution from the Liberals is, "Just get used to it."

Jennifer from Niagara wrote to say, "Our system is totally broken.... There is a point of no return and a ceiling that is inevitable before you simply cannot give any more."

What does the Premier have to offer people like Jennifer besides more of the same?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: We have a number of programs that I know the leader of the third party will want to inform her constituents about. The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which the leader of the third party knows helps families and small businesses, takes 10% off hydro bills. The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit saves qualifying individuals about $963 a year and up to $1,097 for qualifying seniors. The Northern Ontario Energy Credit saves another up to $210 a year. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program and the saveONenergy Home Assistance Program. So we have a number of plans in place that save money for the people who qualify for those programs, Mr. Speaker.

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I think what's important is that the leader of the third party be upfront with the reality that they have no plan. The fact that they have no plan-it's not responsible when they attack our plan.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Speaker, people are hoping this government will actually offer some relief, but all they hear are the same empty promises from the Liberals, and they're stuck paying the bills for a decade of failed Liberal policy. For 10 years, they've watched their bills climb as they pay the price of Liberals' energy misadventures in this province.

The government wasted billions in public dollars, and it has gone straight to the people's bills. What relief will they offer them today?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I've already outlined some of the programs we have in place that are targeted directly at people in their homes so they can save money.

The Minister of Energy will be bringing out the long-term energy plan today, and I know that the House will be interested that we are focusing on conservation. We believe it's extremely important that we do everything we can to help people conserve energy, because the cheapest megawatt is one that's not used.

So we are working very hard to make sure we have the right supports and incentives in place, Mr. Speaker, to help people save money.

I hope that the leader of the third party, although she has no plan, will look at the plan that we are putting in place and that she will be able to support those incentives-because those plans are very, very responsible in terms of helping people to deal with the realities of energy in the province.

HYDRO RATES


Ms. Lisa MacLeod: My question is to the Premier. Good morning, Premier. Later today, the Liberals will introduce a short-term energy plan. By all accounts, it will be one that continues the decade-long policy that hikes electricity rates and power bills for Ontarians.

Speaker, telling Ontario job creators to control their own energy bills signals a vast departure from Ontario's traditional industrial policy that made us an economic powerhouse from Confederation right up until a decade ago, when they assumed power.

Doesn't the Premier think that the massive increases in energy bills over the last decade and the coinciding decline of our manufacturing sector actually says the government, not our job creators, should get their energy prices under control?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I would just draw to the attention of the member of the opposition that electricity prices for large industrial consumers remain in line with the major neighbouring jurisdictions. They're competitive with New York, with Michigan, with Pennsylvania. That's the program we put in place. Those energy prices are competitive, Mr. Speaker.

I really believe that if we think that we can take lessons from the opposition on how to run the energy sector, we'll be in a sorry state. From 1996 to 2003, when that government was in office, capacity fell by 6% and demand rose by 8%. They increased the use of dirty coal by 127%. In 2002, Ontario paid $500 million to import electricity. In 2003, Ontario paid $400 million to import electricity.

Mr. Speaker, we have put in place the investments that are necessary to have a stable electricity sector. That's why we're bringing in a long-term energy plan-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. Supplementary?

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: That's simply not true, Speaker. I stood in this House last week and read right into the record that the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association said that rates here in Ontario are much higher, to the tune of 129%, than in some jurisdictions in the United States, including Chicago, Detroit and Nashville. They're beating us out.

She knows full well that it is her government's reliance on subsidized wind and solar that has put us in this place. She knows full well that it's her cancellation of $181 million of nuclear reactors that have put us in this place. She knows that it is her reliance on seats in Mississauga and Oakville that has put us in this place. And we can only conclude that they are announcing the long-term energy plan today to distract from her appearance at the gas plants committee tomorrow.

Speaker, if she is serious about fixing energy prices in the province of Ontario and she wants the jobs to come back, there's only one way forward, and it is Tim Hudak's plan on affordable energy. She could adopt that plan today. She could-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: -forward and she could ensure that-

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Order, please.

Premier?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: The member of the opposition claims that her party wants to reduce hydro rates, but at the same time, they want to spend $15 billion on generating new nuclear that is not necessary. So I would question the very premise of the member's contention, Mr. Speaker.

We have put in place programs that support industrial users who are competitive. I talked about the programs we've got in place: the Industrial Electricity Incentive Program, the Industrial Conservation Initiative and the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program. But the member of the opposition is correct: We have made investments in the electricity sector; much-needed investments in a system that was neglected by the previous government. Those investments have meant that we have a stable supply and that we have a future plan, none of which was in place when we came into office after their regime.

DARLINGTON NUCLEAR
GENERATING STATION


Mr. Peter Tabuns: To the Premier: The government has, by its own admission, signed nearly $1 billion worth of contracts for nuclear refurbishment at Darlington, but by their own admission, they don't know the final price tag.

Why is the Premier making a billion-dollar down payment when she doesn't know the final cost?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I just want to analyze the questions that have been coming from the third party. They do not support new nuclear-fair enough-they do not support refurbishment, they do not support our green energy policies. It's very questionable what they support. What we do know is that there is not a plan in place.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member for Prince Edward-Hastings will come to order.

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we believe that refurbishment is necessary. Yes, we believe the new nuclear build is not necessary. Yes, we believe that our green energy policies, which have taken coal off-line and have cleaned up the air in this province, are the way to go. I would ask the member what their plan is.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Thank you.

Supplementary?


Mr. Peter Tabuns: Well, Speaker, I'm sorry that the Premier didn't see fit to answer the question. Sadly, this is nothing new-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Chatham-Kent-Essex will come to order.

Mr. Peter Tabuns: They signed private power contracts for gas plants that left us with a billion-dollar bill. They added another $180 million to our hydro bills with a plan for new nuclear plants that weren't going to be built.

Does the Premier think it's wise to spend another billion dollars on a refurbishment plan when she doesn't even know what the price tag is going to be?


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Well, I think it's wise to have a plan. I think it's wise to understand how we are going to generate energy for this province, how we are going to support the citizens of this province so that they will have a stable energy supply. I think it's wise to make sure that we have the programs, supports and incentives in place so that business can be competitive, and so that individuals can afford their energy prices. And I think it is wise, Mr. Speaker, to have that plan in place for years to come, so that we are not in a reactive mode to every populist idea that comes along.

So having that plan, having that long-term energy plan in place, which does have to be retooled from time to time, is our process, and that's the plan that will be released today.

PUBLIC TRANSIT


Ms. Mitzie Hunter: My question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. Congestion is stifling growth and economic opportunities in my riding of Scarborough-Guildwood. It hurts our businesses and is affecting the greater Toronto and Hamilton area's standing as a competitive global region.

Civic and business leaders from all sides of the political spectrum have joined the movement for greater investment in transportation infrastructure. One of those leaders is John Tory, from CivicAction, who spoke this morning about CivicAction's Your32 campaign and transportation's impact on people's quality of life. I'm proud to say that before I joined this Legislature, I was a part of this organization.

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Congestion comes with a $6-billion annual cost to commuters and the economy of the GTHA, Canada's most significant urban regional economy according to the OECD. In order for us to grow and remain competitive, gridlock must addressed.

Speaker, will the minister inform this House what the government is doing to help solve the congestion crisis in our region?


Hon. Glen R. Murray: I want to thank the member for Scarborough-Guildwood. This is a remarkable woman who has had a lifetime of commitment to transit-her work at CivicAction and now as an MPP in this House. I want to thank her.

I want to thank Mr. Tory for joining us today and for his leadership-has been quite remarkable as a journalist. He was having breakfast this morning, promoting it.

Mr. Speaker, we are at over $19 billion in public transit investments in the Toronto-Hamilton area alone. We will exceed $20 billion in next year's budget. This is a record level of spending. Fifteen major rapid transit projects are being built all across the region, reducing congestion.

We are picking up over 90% of the transit costs; the federal government's contribution is 3.85%, which I think is a global record for a lack of investment by a national government. The only record they're breaking is disinvestment-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. Supplementary?

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Thank you, Minister, for your answer. It is important to hear that the Ontario Liberal government has taken transportation investments seriously, including the commitment to a fully funded subway to Scarborough.

It has been unfortunate that the federal government has largely been missing in action on dedicated, sustainable investments in public transportation in Ontario. I agree: In order for the GTHA to prosper and remain competitive, the federal government must step up and pay their fair share.

Recently, you and I were at an announcement at the Union Pearson Express. This major transportation investment will certainly help to reduce congestion on our roads and help travellers in their commute to the airport. Speaker, will the minister give an update to this House on the Union Pearson Express project?


Hon. Glen R. Murray: The project is ahead of budget and on time. This is a $456-million project. It will take 1.2 million cars off of the road. It's very important.

Mr. Tory asked us to try and come up with a clear position. Mr. Speaker, we know that the party opposite doesn't like automobiles because they didn't want to lend any money to Chrysler or General Motors, and they would have killed our auto sector. They want to take about half of the projects that are on Bombardier's books and cancel every LRT project. That would literally throw Bombardier under the bus-thousands and thousands of jobs lost.

Mr. Speaker I note that they cancelled Eglinton the first time because they didn't like subways. Now they want to cancel it because it's an LRT. I'm really confused. They hated subways before and filled them in; now they hate LRTs and fill them in. I'm sure if we said-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock, please.

I continually listen carefully to all questions and answers, and there are times when the government has not stayed on policy. I'm going to remind everyone that the questions are on policy and the answers are on government policy, and I appreciate you staying so.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I don't want any interruptions while I'm trying to explain something.

New question.

CHRIS MAZZA


Mr. Frank Klees: My question is to the Premier. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier how she and her minister can justify standing by their $9.3-million man. With every new revelation of the Ornge scandal, two things become ever more clear: First is that Chris Mazza engaged in a premeditated scheme to defraud our health care system of millions of dollars, but just as clear is the fact that the government is as guilty as Mazza for the waste and for failing our front-line people, our patients and our taxpayers.

Not only did Chris Mazza siphon millions of dollars through his corporate scheme, but we now learn that millions more were siphoned and were never reported through the sunshine list.

So I ask the Premier this: How can she justify defending a man who defrauded our health care system of millions, and what does this latest revelation about our public disclosure system say-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock, please.

Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Premier.


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Well, I'm not defending this man or his actions, Mr. Speaker. I know that the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is going to want to speak to the specifics, but we have made huge changes at Ornge. We have made huge changes that address the issues that were raised by this set of circumstances. But to suggest that I'm defending those actions is absolutely not accurate.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mr. Frank Klees: Speaker, this is why the people of this province have lost confidence in this government. Rather than show leadership, the Premier and her ministers hide behind process and the veil of being able to wash their hands and deflect responsibility.

Speaker, is there any department in this government at all that the people of this province can trust? Now it's the salary disclosure process through the Ministry of Finance that we can no longer trust. Millions of dollars of salary were siphoned by Mazza. The public salary disclosure system failed to disclose millions of dollars. Are we to believe that Mazza's salaries are the only ones that have been hidden and that haven't been disclosed by that salary disclosure system?

Will the Premier agree to call in the Auditor General to do an audit of the salary disclosure system in the Ministry of Finance so that we know what's going on in this government?

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock.

Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Dufferin-Caledon will come to order. The member from Durham will come to order.

Premier.


Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Hon. Deborah Matthews: I have said before and I say again that Dr. Mazza and his former board abused the trust that was placed in them; he abused the trust that was placed in him.

Mr. Frank Klees: Why is he still on your payroll?

Hon. Deborah Matthews: The member opposite knows full well that he is not on my payroll.

As soon as we became aware of those abuses, I ordered a forensic audit. The Ministry of Finance sent in a forensic audit team. The report from that forensic audit team has gone to the OPP, where it belongs. The member opposite knows that there is an OPP investigation under way. That is an important part of due process, which I know the member opposite is not very fond of.

But in the meantime, Speaker, Ornge continues to get stronger and better every single day.

CHRIS MAZZA


Mme France Gélinas: Ma question est pour la ministre de la Santé et des Soins de longue durée.

Air ambulance is an essential service in Ontario. People's lives depend on it. But instead of making sure that health care dollars were going towards saving lives, almost $10 million of it went right into the pocket of Dr. Mazza. The rules were in place against that, but the government chose not to enforce them. See no evil, hear no evil.

Whistle-blowers had gone to the government in 2010. They came to the New Democrats. We asked questions, point blank, on November 16, 2010: What was Mazza's salary? We gave you the mandate to go look into his salary because whistle-blowers had told us that things had gone wrong. Why did the government pay Mazza $9.3 million? Why didn't they do their job? Why didn't they go look into Mazza's salary back in 2010 and avoid all of this?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: Speaker, I think when it comes to Ornge, when we became aware of the abuse, we did take action. There is an entirely new volunteer board doing excellent work at Ornge. The OPP have an investigation under way.

Let me make it very clear: This kind of abuse of the trust of the people of this province is completely unacceptable. That's why we took the very strong action that we did, and that is why Ornge is into a new chapter.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mme France Gélinas: Mr. Speaker, the government stood by and allowed Mazza to basically use public money as a cash-for-life program. They stood by while he drove this organization into the ground. The $9.3 million could have hired 160 nurses who could have cared for 2,000 people in home care.

1120

The reason Chris Mazza was paid $9.3 million wasn't because he cleverly hoodwinked the government; it was because the government never bothered to look into Ornge. They failed at their primary mandate of oversight. They failed to do their job.

That leaves us with: What keeps it from happening again? What reassurance can she give us that there aren't dozens of other Ornges out there?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: I know this is an issue that has received much attention from committees in this House, Speaker, and I welcome that. But I think it's very important that people acknowledge the strengthening that has gone on at Ornge. Ornge must now comply with the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act. They must publicly report expenses and submit detailed financial reports. They're now subject to freedom-of-information requests. Salaries of Ornge executives are posted online. They have a new conflict-of-interest policy establishing clear rules. They have a new patient advocate, who works with patients to address any concerns they may have. They have implemented several changes to enhance patient safety: additional training for helicopter pilots, including controlled access into terrain. They've revised the operating procedures for night operations, including operations into black hole sites. They're installing solar lighting at-

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. New question.

HEALTH CARE


Mr. Phil McNeely: This question is for the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Speaker, one of the biggest challenges we face is ensuring that our senior citizens and patients with specialized needs receive the highest quality of care. Studies have shown that roughly 75% of seniors with complex conditions who are discharged from hospital receive care from six or more physicians, and 30% get their drugs from three or more pharmacies. This creates challenges that increase the costs of care. My constituents in Ottawa-Orléans want to be assured that if they or their family need health services, they will receive coordinated care without gaps and duplication.

Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care: Could the minister please update the House on some of the ways the Ontario government is working to strengthen community health care?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: It's important to understand that about 5% of Ontarians actually account for two thirds of our health care spending. It's very important that those people with complex needs get access to coordinated care so all of the providers who care for that individual come together to develop one plan of care that meets the needs and the hopes and the aspirations of that patient.

I am delighted, Speaker, that 37 community health links have been established across the province and that more are on the way. It is this kind of coordinated care that smooths the transitions of care for complex patients. It will ensure that they get the right care at the right time and in the right place. This is much better care for those individuals, and it also results in better value for our precious health care dollars.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mr. Phil McNeely: Thank you, Minister, for your response. I know that our government takes community health care seriously. When different health care providers work as a team to care for a patient, they can better coordinate the full patient journey through the health system, leading to better care for patients. Health links have certainly helped to ensure that patients with complex conditions receive the right care at the right time in the right place.

Ontarians in rural communities face unique challenges when it comes to providing care. I know that what may work in a larger area does not necessarily translate to small communities. Speaker, through you to the minister: Could the minister update the House on what our government is doing to strengthen health care in rural communities across the province?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: To the Minister of Rural Affairs.

Hon. Jeff Leal: I want to thank the member from Ottawa-Orléans for his interest in and advocacy on this important issue. Communities in rural Ontario face some unique challenges, and our government is committed to strengthening them by improving health services and access to care. That's why we have and will continue to develop health links in a number of rural and northern areas.

Just last Monday, I was in the wonderful community of Orillia and was happy to announce that our government is providing $60,000 to each health link to help identify high-risk patients and develop individualized care plans. Rural communities already exhibit a high degree of collaboration between the health and social sectors. But health links provide a formal venue for them to connect. Moving forward, rural health links will have the flexibility to address unique needs in their communities, including satellite sites and-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Answer.

Hon. Jeff Leal: -community paramedicine. Our government is focused on strengthening rural communities and will continue to work with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to ensure our rural population has access to services and high-quality patient care.

MANUFACTURING JOBS


Mr. Monte McNaughton: Mr. Speaker, I was just wondering if the Premier is expected to come back.

Interjection.


Mr. Monte McNaughton: No? Okay. Then my question, I guess, will be for the Minister of Finance.

Minister, while your Premier was out jogging, Ontario lost 300,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs. You can almost run the alphabet, from Sklar Peppler in Ajax to the General Motors transmission and assembly plants in Windsor. The list in between is long: ExxonMobil Chemicals Films in Belleville, Saputo Dairy in Brampton, Navistar in Chatham, Daimler Trucks in London and St. Thomas and its bus factory in Mississauga. Then there's Edscha in Niagara Falls and the General Motors Camaro production in Oshawa, as well as its 110-year operation in St. Catharines. Minister, I can keep going on: Baskin-Robbins in Peterborough, John Deere in Welland, Southwire cable in Stouffville.

As we approach Christmas and the new year, workers in these communities have lost hope. Minister, where is your jobs plan for the people of Ontario?

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please.

Minister of Finance.


Hon. Charles Sousa: I appreciate the question, because it allows me the opportunity to once again remind the members opposite that our jobs plan has been working, to the extent that we've created over 470,000 net new jobs since the depths of the recession. We've got over 600,000 new jobs that have been created since 2003, and we recognize that the market is changing and we must do everything in our power to continue to invest and stimulate that growth, things that the member opposite has opposed.

So let me cite some issues. We've created more jobs in Ericsson Canada in Ottawa; we've created more jobs in Cambridge because of Toyota. We brought in Ford and supported them in Oakville. We are the ones who supported GM in Ingersoll. We've done more in St. Marys, Ontario, to create more jobs because we recognize the change in the manufacturing sector. We've done so in Brantford. We've done so in Brockville. We've done so in Arnprior, Ontario. We've done so in Wallaceburg, Ontario, and in Bradford and in Woodstock-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Monte McNaughton: Back to the Minister of Finance. The Heinz plant in Leamington in your Premier's recent drive-by photo op is just another example of your careless approach to Ontario's ailing manufacturing sector.

Here are the facts about your pathetic job-killing plan: One million people are out of work in Ontario today, 300,000 net manufacturing jobs have been lost, Ontario is dead last-dead last, Minister-in wage growth in Canada, and our middle class has been gutted by your Liberal government.

But the good thing is it doesn't have to be this way. Only Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs understand the severity of Ontario's jobs crisis, and only Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs have put forward a bold plan to modernize Ontario's labour laws and deal with the thousands of job losses your government has caused.

Minister, will you continue to run away from the manufacturing jobs crisis, or will you finally admit you simply don't have any ideas to create jobs and grow Ontario-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock, please. Be seated, please.

Minister of Finance.


Hon. Charles Sousa: Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.

Hon. Eric Hoskins: First of all, I'm going to give the opportunity to the member opposite to apologize and correct the record, because, quite frankly, he's scaring the heck out of Ontarians when he comes up with figures like a million people unemployed. He knows the figure is roughly half that figure. So I'm going to invite him and give him the opportunity to correct that record.

I want to tell him that we've got a jobs plan. The problem is that that party opposite isn't supporting it. I know that it pains the member opposite that his party didn't support the Southwest-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Halton.

Hon. Eric Hoskins: -that we created a year ago and, in fact-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Because he couldn't hear me, I'll make sure he does. The member from Halton, come to order.

Hon. Eric Hoskins: In fact, of course I know that he feels bad that his party didn't support the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, because the first two projects that were funded out of that were actually funded in his riding: Armo Tool and Lambton Conveyor, which together created more than 120 new jobs and sustained more. The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund has already created and retained more than 7,000 jobs.

1130

LONG-TERM CARE


Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Acting Premier. An 85-year-old couple in Hamilton have been separated by the long-term-care system after 60 years of marriage. Unfortunately, Gilda and Domenico Rosatone aren't the first seniors in Ontario to suffer such a cruel separation. Their son Vico has come to Queen's Park today to make an appeal for common sense and compassion.

When will the Liberal government respect the principle of spousal reunification in long-term care and bring Gilda and Domenico Rosatone back together?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: Of course we are committed to getting spouses back together. That's why we have changed our rules in long-term-care homes to facilitate spouses being together. It's important. If a couple have been together their whole adult life, we want them to be together for the rest of their life.

The member opposite raises an issue that we are looking at. It's an issue when one of the couple is in long-term care and the other is in a retirement home. This is a different issue, but it is one that we care about and we are exploring what we might be able to do.

In the meantime, I know that every single CCAC in this province is committed to getting couples together as quickly as they can, and I would urge the member opposite to encourage this couple to continue to work with the CCAC.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Wanting to change things isn't good enough. Actually getting to the action of changing things is what the people of this province need. The Acting Premier knows full well that this isn't the way a six-decade love story should end. She also knows that the long-term-care system is broken if the only way for a senior to get a bed is to be in crisis in the community. This government has already said that reuniting couples in the same situation as the Rosatones is "the right thing to do." She repeated it again in the first part of my question, so will the Acting Premier do the right thing and bring Gilda and Domenico Rosatone back together or are they destined to celebrate their future anniversaries apart?

Hon. Deborah Matthews: As I said in the first question, the CCAC, I know, is working hard to bring this couple back together. It's what we all want to happen. And I think the member opposite would be very interested to know that for the first time in a long time, our wait-lists for long-term care are actually dropping, thanks to the excellent work that is being done in the community because of our investments in CCACs and in home care. We're actually seeing fewer people needing to go into long-term care. This is very good news for our health care system and it's very good news for the people who need that extra care.

UNDERGROUND INFRASTRUCTURE


Mr. John Fraser: My question is for the Minister of Consumer Services. In my community of Ottawa South, I've been receiving questions from local businesses, municipal leaders and residents about a new requirement to call prior to digging underground for any great depth. I know our government has always been committed to putting public safety first and that we have been supportive of initiatives that prevent damage to vital underground infrastructure, and promoting safe excavating practices. I remember that in the past, we supported industry-led voluntary participation in a one-call-to-dig system across all utilities. However, now I hear questions about mandatory participation by all owners of underground infrastructure in a one-call-to-dig system.

Speaker, through you to the minister, can you please provide more insight into this new program and what the requirements are for owners of underground infrastructure and excavators?


Hon. Tracy MacCharles: I want to thank the member from Ottawa South for raising the question today. I'd also like to thank two members from the opposition: the member from Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and the member from Sarnia-Lambton. They've taken a great interest in this file, a very active interest in this file and what's happening.

Just to refresh everyone's memory, the Legislature passed the Ontario underground infrastructure notification act in 2012, and this makes One Call the one and only point of contact in Ontario for underground infrastructure location requests prior to digging. The act requires all owner-operators of underground infrastructure to join One Call. Currently, all non-municipal owners are considered members of One Call, with municipal owners set to come on board by June 2014. Assisting with the implementation of this act, my ministry has been working with One Call to provide the support and make the transition to the act and the day-to-day responsibilities for the act-


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. John Fraser: I'm pleased to hear that the ministry will be working with all impacted stakeholders in implementing this service.

I know in talking to residents and municipal leaders that there are some concerns they want to be addressed in the implementation of this mandatory requirement. The concerns raised with me have been around membership, board composition, reporting requirements and enforcement of the act. Many of the stakeholders I have spoken to are looking for better clarification and direction from the ministry on how to proceed with this mandatory call-before-you-dig requirement.

Speaker, could the minister please provide some answers around what the ministry is doing to move forward and address the concerns of stakeholders?


Hon. Tracy MacCharles: The member is right: There have been concerns raised by stakeholders on the implementation of the program, so we released a consultation paper on this in February. Many of the initial concerns regarding membership and board composition have already been addressed by One Call in making changes to their operations and requirements.

To further assist with the concerns regarding implementation and enforcement, we released regulatory proposals around these issues. The proposals are based on the feedback obtained during consultation and they're available for public comment until December 16. I invite all stakeholders-utilities, excavators, municipalities and so on-to give us that feedback, and the ministry will review and consider feedback received before we move forward.

This is a very important safety issue in this province that I take very seriously.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY


Mrs. Jane McKenna: My question is to the Deputy Premier. Last week, the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council released a report on auto investment in North America. It found that Canada was not in first place, not in second, but in third, trailing Mexico as a destination of choice for industry investment.

This sector represents about 100,000 jobs, almost 30% of Ontario exports and a huge chunk of economic activity, and Mexico is eating our lunch. Billions in direct investment are flowing south of the border. This is a story that we've heard over and over again.

Most new employees get three months' probation. Your appointed Premier has had 10. When will the Premier make jobs a priority?

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Be seated, please. Thank you.

Deputy Premier?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment.

Hon. Eric Hoskins: Again, I don't know where the member opposite is getting her information, but she needs to understand that we're on track for a record sales year in Canada for the automotive industry. In fact, we have bounced back so well since the bottom of the recession that we've created nearly 15,000 new jobs in the auto sector-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Order.

Hon. Eric Hoskins: Part of that, of course, is the support that the federal and provincial governments have provided to the sector. Toyota, which is rolling out their hybrid version of the Lexus starting in January-a $70-million investment we made; a nearly $1-billion investment for Ford for their Oakville plant.

I had the privilege, actually, of hosting a gathering with the Minister of Industry, a federal minister. We attended and hosted a meeting with the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council just last week. The message we were hearing there was steady as she goes, continue with the federal and provincial support. That sector is doing well.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Mrs. Jane McKenna: Tell that to the people in the unemployment line.

Deputy Premier, it's not a matter of whether you're doing something; it's a question of whether you're doing the right thing. It's a question of whether you're doing enough of the right thing.

Ontario has never been satisfied with a bronze medal. We should be reclaiming our rightful place at the top of the podium. We should own the podium! Haven't you lost enough businesses? If your government isn't bringing its A game, you will end up answering another question: How will you fill the economic footprint of Ontario's automotive industry?

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated. Be seated, please.

Minister?


Hon. Eric Hoskins: This is ironic, because the party opposite voted against the support that we provided to the auto sector in 2008. If they would have had their way, GM and Chrysler wouldn't even be in this province. Instead, we have nearly 100,000 people proudly employed in the auto sector; in the spin-off jobs in terms of the supply chain, probably close to another half million-

Interjection.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Oxford, come to order.

Hon. Eric Hoskins: So I'm not going to take any lessons or advice from the party opposite in terms of the auto sector. We were there when they needed support prior to and during the recession. They've bounced back: nearly 15,000 more jobs since the bottom of the recession and a record sales year this year in Canada.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. New question

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS


Ms. Peggy Sattler: My question is to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. It concerns Stuart Clark and Alicia Grayson, constituents from my riding of London West who contacted the minister in October about delays accessing the Trillium Drug Program.

Alicia has complex medical needs with prescription drugs that cost between $400 and $500 a month. These costs used to be covered by Stuart's employment benefits, but like too many people in London West, Stuart was laid off more than a year ago.

In March 2013, Stuart applied to Trillium for drug coverage. Eight months later, his application has yet to be processed, after Trillium lost both the original and replacement documentation he sent. In Stuart's words, "It's almost as if they are hoping people give up."

Will the minister commit to addressing these unacceptable problems at Trillium so that Alicia Grayson can access the medications she needs?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: I am aware of this case, Speaker, and my constituency office and my ministry office have been working to get the access to medication that is appropriate for this couple and for others who access the Trillium plan. I think it's very important to know that we in Ontario do have a drug plan, which is very, very important for people who might not be covered but whose drug costs are very high relative to their income.

This is an issue that I am looking into, and I look forward to getting a resolution quickly.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Ms. Peggy Sattler: I also look forward to a resolution.

The good news is that Stuart is working again in self-employment, but he has no benefits. As a result of the delays in accessing Trillium drug coverage, he's considering separating from his wife so that she can go on to ODSP to get her drug costs covered.

Minister, does it make sense to you that the problems at Trillium are potentially forcing people on to ODSP so they can get access to the life-saving medication they need?


Hon. Deborah Matthews: As I said in the original question, this is an issue that we are looking into. Of course, I think when people are entitled to access under Trillium, they should get that coverage as quickly as possible. I tell you, if the system isn't working, Speaker, I will fix it. In this case, we are looking into this particular issue. We're here to serve people, and we're here to make sure that the people of Ontario get the drugs they need covered when they need that coverage.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): There are no deferred votes. This House stands recessed until 1 p.m.

The House recessed from 1143 to 1300.

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS


Mr. Garfield Dunlop: The class hasn't arrived yet, but I want to introduce Gillian Hutchison and her son William Perry. They're here today with École élémentaire Jeanne-Lajoie here in Toronto, and they will be in the Legislature in the next few minutes.

Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield: It's my pleasure to introduce Madame Françoise Hébert, who is the former CEO of the Alzheimer Society, Toronto chapter, and is now with Dying With Dignity.

Mr. Bob Delaney: Earlier, I introduced many of the cast members and staff from Shaftesbury and from Murdoch Mysteries. While she was not able to make it this morning, she is here this afternoon, and I would like to ask the Legislature to welcome Hélène Joy, who plays in Murdoch Mysteries. She is over in the members' east gallery. I ask members to please welcome her.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I saw a couple of fans. Further introductions?

Mr. Jagmeet Singh: Mr. Speaker, I ask everyone in the assembly to join me in welcoming today a true hero, a human rights defender, someone who witnessed a genocide that occurred in 1984 in Punjab and in Delhi. She has her son here with her, Mr. Gurdeep Singh. She lost her husband, her eldest son and her brother to a violence which occurred which was organized by the state in India. Mata Jagdish Kaur is here; I'll ask her to stand. Mr. Gurdeep Singh is here.

She's here to share her story of what has happened to her own family as well as many thousands of Sikhs in India. She wants to make it clear that it was not a communal violence; it was not a violence between people; it was government-organized state violence. She's here to share her story. Please join me in welcoming her.

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

INTERPROVINCIAL TRADE


Mr. Rob E. Milligan: I would also like to thank the cast and everyone from Murdoch Mysteries here this afternoon-big fan, so thank you very much for coming out.

I rise today to speak briefly about my new role as the PC opposition critic for interprovincial trade. In Canada, the agreement on internal trade has laid out the groundwork for what could be a vibrant and progressive free market national economy, with free movement of both labour and capital from coast to coast.

Very rarely is a country blessed with the diversity and abundance that we have access to here in Canada. I am taking it upon myself, going forward, to make sure that this government does everything in its power to take advantage of this uniqueness.

You could say I have already started the effort by my private member's bill, Bill 98, seeking to boost the grape and wine industry nationwide by making wine available for sale across borders to individuals for domestic consumption. This bill has the potential to build upon the 14,000 people already employed in this industry and bring job creation back to the province of Ontario.

With that in mind, stakeholders in my riding and across this country are asking me why this government is stalling Bill 98 in committee, and I can think of only one reason, and unfortunately, it's not uncommon or surprising at this point: Job creation and a flourishing economy simply aren't a priority for this government.

AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE


Mr. Jagmeet Singh: I rise today to address an issue that has been raised a number of times in my community. It's about auto insurance rates. We've seen a government that promised to follow through on the NDP demand in the budget to see auto insurance reduced by 15%. The problem is that people in my community and across Ontario aren't seeing that reduction yet. So we're calling on this government to follow through with their promise and ensure that the rates go down.

Another issue that's being raised is the fact that in committee hearings last week, when we were addressing this issue around auto insurance and the industry, we're seeing that the profits the industry is making are simply not being accurately reflected in the data we have. We have data that show very clearly that the insurance industry is making a significant profit. But the way that data is reflected, the way that data is presented, is not capturing the truth.

We call on this government to ensure that if we are to seriously bring down auto insurance rates, we need to make sure we have an accurate and true assessment of the profits the industry is enjoying so that we, as policy-makers, can make the right decisions to bring those rates down.

This is something that's a serious issue across Ontario. I know that in Peel region it's a significant issue. We have families who are struggling to pay their insurance bills, and that means they are having a hard time being able to afford the means to travel to their work. In Peel region and in many other suburbs, it's not a luxury; it's a necessity. People need to drive their vehicles to get to work, and we need to make that affordable.

JAGDISH KAUR


Mr. Vic Dhillon: I rise today to introduce Ms. Jagdish Kaur, who is currently visiting us from India.

Ms. Kaur has been hosted by many community organizations and families in my community of Brampton West and across the greater Toronto area.

It is with sadness that I share with this House that Ms. Kaur lost her whole family during the atrocities that took place in her home country. She has been welcomed to Ontario to share her story for justice and commitment to human rights.

Her visit is timely, since December 10 has been proclaimed Human Rights Day by the United Nations.

Human rights are fundamental in Ontario. Our success has been founded on our ability to work together through mutual respect and understanding.

I want to thank Ms. Kaur for bringing her story to Canada and welcome her to Ontario.

Remarks in Punjabi.

MAJOR WILLIAM HALTON


Mr. Ted Chudleigh: Major William Halton came to Upper Canada, the present day Ontario, in 1806, as private secretary to Lieutenant Governor Sir Francis Gore.

Halton was named to the position of Provincial Agent and, in that role, became known for his courageous and charitable efforts to assist veterans and their families in Upper Canada in the aftermath of the War of 1812. The great esteem in which he was held by the people he served led to the naming of Halton county after him in 1816.

I'm proud to be able to say that the tradition of helping our veterans who fought for our country's freedoms, begun by Major Halton, continues throughout the region and municipality of Halton today; indeed, throughout Ontario.

Initially settled by United Empire Loyalists and immigrants from Britain, Halton region, Canada's fastest-growing municipality, is today a dynamic home to nearly half a million people of various backgrounds that reflect the Canadian multicultural mosaic.

Having lived a life of dedication to the people he was entrusted with the responsibility to serve, William Halton died on September 22, 1821.

That is why I have tabled my private member's bill, An Act to proclaim Major William Halton Day. On February 20, at second reading of Bill 142, I ask all members of the House to join me in celebrating the life of this hero of our province's history and enduring contemporary inspiration of the people of Halton and Ontario.

BLOOD DONATION


Mme France Gélinas: I feel it is my duty to rise in this House and ring the alarm bell, this time on the subject of paying people for donating blood. In May of this year, I stood with a federal colleague and Mrs. Kat Lanteigne at a press conference to shed some light on the two for-profit plasma clinics that pay for donations, which have been built right here in Toronto. And as we speak, a third one is being built in Hamilton.

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For the last few weeks, Canadian Plasma Resources, the owner of those private for-profit clinics, have been soliciting donors. They give a lot of details as to how you will be paid for each donation, how much you can make in a week or in a month. It is of great concern to a lot of people in Ontario, especially the families directly affected by the tainted blood scandal of the 1980s. If we learned anything from this tainted blood scandal, where 2,000 people got infected with HIV and 30,000 people got hep C, it is that blood donated freely is the best way to keep it safe.

As soon as I learned about this, I reached across the aisle and went to the Minister of Health. This is something on which we must act together and in haste. Quebec has passed legislation that forbids payment for blood donations, yet Ontario is about to open the door and allow payments for donation.

Our system relies on voluntary donations and Ontarians rolling up their sleeves. This requires a sober second thought.

SHAFTESBURY


Mr. Bob Delaney: The Legislature welcomes entrepreneur Christina Jennings, a risk-taker who in 1987 founded an entertainment production firm called Shaftesbury. Based in Ontario, Shaftesbury's top-rated dramatic television series are Murdoch Mysteries, CBC Television's most-watched program, and The Listener, broadcast on CTV. They are seen in Canada and in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Also with us are Shaftesbury senior vice-president Scott Garvie, other members of Shaftesbury's management and production team, and Murdoch Mysteries cast members Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy, Jonny Harris, Georgina Reilly, and periodic guest star and Mr. Bisson's spouse Chantal Craig.

Murdoch Mysteries alone has created more than 6,500 interesting, challenging, knowledge-intensive, rewarding, export-driven jobs for talent, production crews, writers, and technical and support services right here in Ontario since 2003. Christina Jennings has made Shaftesbury a thriving business. Viewers and critics have made stars of the cast and decided that Ontario-made shows like Murdoch Mysteries and The Listener are superb, enduring entertainment and award-winning Canadian television art.

Shaftesbury shows students of drama, digital technology, film and television production that a worldwide audience wants stories made about Canada in Ontario. Today is the bright tomorrow that the gang in Toronto Constabulary Station number 4 hope their great-grandchildren live in.

HYDRO RATES


Mr. Steve Clark: I rise on behalf of the residents of Leeds-Grenville disgusted by the mess this Liberal government has made with Ontario's energy sector. No other issue comes close to matching the volume of calls, emails and letters that I receive about hydro. People are angry and they are worried about how they will afford to stay in their homes this winter as the cost to heat them soars. Meanwhile, the energy minister shrugs and says, "Get used to it." Rates are going up for the next 20 years.

But what he doesn't say is that his own billion-dollar gas plant scandal-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Attorney General, will you stop?

Mr. Steve Clark: -and outrageous wind and solar subsidies are to blame.

The Premier gets photo ops with Al Gore; the families and businesses I represent get stuck with the bill.

It's not just the cost, Speaker. The mismanagement extends to Hydro One and its inability to provide basic customer service by giving people accurate and timely bills. People don't get their bills for months, and when they do, the so-called estimates are five to 10 times their usual bill. Hydro's response to my inquiries is to send this new authorization form to further delay real action.

Well, my constituents don't need more forms or an energy minister blaming them for high bills and saying they're energy-illiterate. The problem isn't customer illiteracy; it's Liberal government and Hydro incompetence.

So when he stands up today, I want to hear the minister's plan to put customers first, and if he doesn't, he should just sit down.

PALLIATIVE CARE


Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield: The issue of end-of-life health care needs to be addressed, and what better place than in this Legislature, where 107 constituencies are represented by elected members of Parliament?

It's time to hold a respectful conversation with the people of Ontario. We need to examine the continuum of end-of-life health care. We need to consult medical, nursing, ethical and legal experts. We need to hear from members of the public via public or private submissions. We need to hear their stories. We need to discuss access to high-quality palliative care at home, in hospice and in hospital settings. We need to talk about advanced care directives, the withholding or the withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment. We need to talk about terminal palliative sedation and medical aid in dying.

Are these difficult conversations? Yes, they are. But are they necessary conversations? I say, yes, they are, as well. How often have I heard in my riding, where I've heard from individuals, from parents, from their children: "My wish," "My wish is," "Please listen." "My wish is, please understand." "My wish is, I need to be heard."

TOM THOMSON ART GALLERY


Mr. Bill Walker: I'm pleased to rise today in recognition of a major feat for a small-town gallery in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound that garners national stature in the art world. The Tom Thomson gallery in Owen Sound, also known as the TOM, and home of one of the Group of Seven, recently received top honours from the Ontario Arts Council and became one of just a few to earn the coveted "A" designation in Ontario. This rating will ensure the gallery is at the receiving end of steady funding from the OAC for the next two years.

As a supporter and patron of the TOM, I'm grateful to see the gallery's leadership is paying off.

The Tom Thomson memorial art gallery was established in 1967 as a result of a major gift from the Thomson family. Under the direction of Virginia Eichhorn and a strong team of staff and volunteers, the gallery has become synonymous with innovation and leadership, such as engaging the local community with fine art, establishing itself as a visual arts cultural centre and exploring ways of regionalizing activities.

The gallery has an increasing number of circulating exhibitions. Almost every show in the last year has travelled, whereas in the past it wouldn't have reached an audience wider than Bruce and Grey. Consequently, the gallery is successfully establishing itself as an integral part of the local economic engine.

And last but not least, I would like to also recognize that Ms. Eichhorn, who is currently the director and chief curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery and Owen Sound museums, assumed the role of president of the board for the Ontario Association of Art Galleries just as of last September. Ms. Eichhorn has been on the OAAG board since 2008, and has previously served as treasurer, vice-president and chair of the membership committee.

I again congratulate the TOM on this special milestone and invite everyone here and watching to visit the TOM and see what all this hype is truly about.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS,
AUDITOR GENERAL


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I beg to inform the House that, pursuant to section 28 of the Auditor General Act, I have laid upon the table the audited financial statements of the Office of the Auditor General for the year ended March 31, 2013.

APPOINTMENT OF PROVINCIAL ADVOCATE FOR
CHILDREN AND YOUTH


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I further beg to inform the House I have laid upon the table order in council number 1762/2013, dated November 27, 2013, reappointing Irwin Elman as the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

MOTIONS

SIGN-LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION


Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, I believe that you'll find we have unanimous consent to put forward a motion without notice regarding the use of sign-language interpreters in the House tomorrow.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The government House leader seeks unanimous consent to move a motion without notice. Do we agree? Agreed.

Government House leader.


Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, I move that on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, sign-language interpreters may be present on the floor of the chamber to interpret the proceedings during Minister Hoskins's, the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, ministerial statement on the International Day of People with Disabilities and responses to that statement.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Mr. Milloy moves unanimous consent that on Tuesday, December 3-

Hon. John Milloy: Dispense.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Dispense? Do we-dispense.

Do we agree? Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BUSINESS


Hon. John Milloy: I seek unanimous consent to put forward a motion without notice regarding private members' public business.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The government House leader is seeking unanimous consent to put forward a motion without notice. Agreed? Agreed.

Government House leader.


Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, I move that notwithstanding standing order 98(g), notice for ballot item number 65 be waived.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Mr. Milloy moves that notwithstanding standing order 98(g), notice for ballot item number 65 be waived.

Do we agree? Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

HOUSE SITTINGS


Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, I move that pursuant to standing order 6(c)(ii), the House shall meet from 6:45 to 12 o'clock midnight tonight, Monday, December 2, 2013.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Mr. Milloy moves that pursuant to standing order 6(c)(ii), the House shall meet from 6:45 to 12 midnight on Monday, December 2. Do we agree? I heard-

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Come on. Let me do my job. I heard a no.

All in favour, say "aye."

All opposed, say "nay."

I believe the ayes have it.

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

The division bells rang from 1322 to 1327.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Would all members take their seats, please? All members take their seats, please. That's you.

Mr. Milloy has moved motion number 25.

All those in favour, please stand one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Ayes

Albanese, Laura

Balkissoon, Bas

Bartolucci, Rick

Berardinetti, Lorenzo

Bradley, James J.

Cansfield, Donna H.

Chiarelli, Bob

Colle, Mike

Coteau, Michael

Crack, Grant

Damerla, Dipika

Del Duca, Steven

Delaney, Bob

Dhillon, Vic

Dickson, Joe

Flynn, Kevin Daniel

Fraser, John

Gerretsen, John

Gravelle, Michael

Hoskins, Eric

Hunter, Mitzie

Jaczek, Helena

Kwinter, Monte

Leal, Jeff

MacCharles, Tracy

Mangat, Amrit

Matthews, Deborah

McMeekin, Ted

McNeely, Phil

Meilleur, Madeleine

Milloy, John

Moridi, Reza

Murray, Glen R.

Naqvi, Yasir

Orazietti, David

Sandals, Liz

Sergio, Mario

Wong, Soo

Wynne, Kathleen O.

Zimmer, David


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): All those opposed, please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Nays

Armstrong, Teresa J.

Arnott, Ted

Bailey, Robert

Bisson, Gilles

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Steve

DiNovo, Cheri

Dunlop, Garfield

Elliott, Christine

Fife, Catherine

Forster, Cindy

Gélinas, France

Hardeman, Ernie

Hatfield, Percy

Hillier, Randy

Holyday, Douglas C.

Horwath, Andrea

Hudak, Tim

Jones, Sylvia

Klees, Frank

Leone, Rob

MacLeod, Lisa

Mantha, Michael

McDonell, Jim

McKenna, Jane

McNaughton, Monte

Miller, Norm

Miller, Paul

Milligan, Rob E.

Munro, Julia

Natyshak, Taras

Nicholls, Rick

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Pettapiece, Randy

Prue, Michael

Sattler, Peggy

Schein, Jonah

Scott, Laurie

Shurman, Peter

Singh, Jagmeet

Smith, Todd

Tabuns, Peter

Taylor, Monique

Thompson, Lisa M.

Vanthof, John

Walker, Bill

Yakabuski, John

Yurek, Jeff


The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 40; the nays are 49.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I declare the motion lost.

Motion negatived.

HOUSE SITTINGS


Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, I move that pursuant to standing order 6(c)(i), the House shall meet from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. tonight, Monday, December 2, 2013.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Mr. Milloy moves that pursuant to standing order 6(c)(i), the House shall meet from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, December 2, 2013. Do we agree? I heard a no.

All those in favour, say "aye."

All those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

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

The division bells rang from 1331 to 1336.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Would all the members take their seats, please?

Mr. Milloy has moved motion number 24. All those in favour, please stand one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Ayes

Albanese, Laura

Balkissoon, Bas

Bartolucci, Rick

Berardinetti, Lorenzo

Bradley, James J.

Cansfield, Donna H.

Chiarelli, Bob

Colle, Mike

Coteau, Michael

Crack, Grant

Damerla, Dipika

Del Duca, Steven

Delaney, Bob

Dhillon, Vic

Dickson, Joe

Flynn, Kevin Daniel

Fraser, John

Gerretsen, John

Gravelle, Michael

Hoskins, Eric

Hunter, Mitzie

Jaczek, Helena

Kwinter, Monte

Leal, Jeff

MacCharles, Tracy

Mangat, Amrit

Matthews, Deborah

McMeekin, Ted

McNeely, Phil

Meilleur, Madeleine

Milloy, John

Moridi, Reza

Murray, Glen R.

Naqvi, Yasir

Orazietti, David

Piruzza, Teresa

Sandals, Liz

Sergio, Mario

Wong, Soo

Wynne, Kathleen O.

Zimmer, David


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): All those opposed, please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Nays

Armstrong, Teresa J.

Arnott, Ted

Bailey, Robert

Bisson, Gilles

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Steve

DiNovo, Cheri

Dunlop, Garfield

Elliott, Christine

Fife, Catherine

Forster, Cindy

Gélinas, France

Hardeman, Ernie

Hatfield, Percy

Hillier, Randy

Holyday, Douglas C.

Horwath, Andrea

Hudak, Tim

Jones, Sylvia

Klees, Frank

Leone, Rob

MacLeod, Lisa

Mantha, Michael

McDonell, Jim

McKenna, Jane

McNaughton, Monte

Miller, Norm

Miller, Paul

Milligan, Rob E.

Munro, Julia

Natyshak, Taras

Nicholls, Rick

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Pettapiece, Randy

Prue, Michael

Sattler, Peggy

Schein, Jonah

Scott, Laurie

Shurman, Peter

Singh, Jagmeet

Smith, Todd

Tabuns, Peter

Taylor, Monique

Thompson, Lisa M.

Vanthof, John

Walker, Bill

Yakabuski, John

Yurek, Jeff


The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 41; the nays are 49.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I declare the motion lost.

Motion negatived.


Mr. Todd Smith: Point of order.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Point of order, the member from Prince Edward-Hastings.

Mr. Todd Smith: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I believe that since we have everyone here, maybe we would like to have unanimous consent for an afternoon edition of question period.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Prince Edward-Hastings has asked for an afternoon session of question period. Do I hear agreement? I heard a no.

It is now time for statements by ministries.

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
AND RESPONSES

ENERGY POLICIES /
POLITIQUES D'ÉNERGIE


Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Mr. Speaker, today the government is releasing our updated long-term energy plan, Achieving Balance. Ontario's electricity and energy system has been through an incredible journey over the past two decades and has emerged stronger than ever before. Achieving Balance leverages the strength and diversity of Ontario's supply mix to ensure Ontario consumers, families and businesses will have clean, reliable and affordable power when and where they need it.

Ontario's government is focused on investing in people, investing in infrastructure and fostering a dynamic business climate, and I'm proud to report that Achieving Balance works toward each of these goals.

Our plan is the culmination of months of work, which began the day the new government was sworn in last February. Robust and diverse consultation and engagement efforts underpinned our ministry's summer activities, and I can say with confidence that this has truly been a collaborative effort.

Les Ontariens peuvent être assurés que ce gouvernement fera des choix prudents et responsables visant à maintenir notre réseau énergétique propre, fiable et abordable.

First, our plan imposes a rigorous, needs-based assessment to building new sources of generation as our surplus capacity allows us to defer major new capital investments that would drive electricity prices up. Our government took the steps necessary to invest in both transmission and generation after a decade of neglect by the former Conservative government that resulted in a deficit of supply. That puts us in the fortunate position we find ourselves in today: a stable and reliable system, a surplus of supply, and energy companies investing in the system and creating jobs that drive economic growth.

Moving forward, we will protect these gains and limit our capital investment to what is absolutely required to avoid building capacity we do not need. This will mitigate rate pressures for Ontario ratepayers, rather than create price pressures. The plan predicts a lower level of demand than had been projected in 2010, and private sector energy experts agree.

It is important to note that low growth in electricity demand does not equal low economic growth. Growing economic activity in advanced manufacturing, technology and other sectors are less energy-intensive than traditional manufacturing. In fact, from a power system planning perspective, reductions in demand can be extremely advantageous. If we can continue to support a robust and growing economy with less energy, then overall, Ontario's net productivity will actually increase.

In sum, our plan commits only to what we need and preserves maximum flexibility to respond in the future. Added flexibility will flow from a new annual Ontario Energy Report, starting in 2014, to be issued by the Independent Electricity System Operator and the Ontario Power Authority. This will give Ontarians an update of the energy supply and demand picture and allow the government and others to review progress in implementing the long-term energy plan. The plan will continue to be updated on a three-year cycle, but these annual reports will give everyone an opportunity to monitor progress and understand developments, and enable course corrections that may be required.

Consistent with our Open Government Initiative, our planning will be open, transparent and subject to the highest degree of scrutiny. The annual Ontario Energy Report will do this. Importantly, as we adopt a more responsive and flexible approach, system planning collaboration and more timely adjustments will become the norm.

Second, the cost curve and electricity prices: After years of neglect and underinvestment under the previous Conservative government, our government invested in new transmission and generation infrastructure in the amount of $31 billion over nine years. This included principled action to green the sources of generation, first by closing Ontario's dirty coal plants, and later by integrating renewables such as biomass, wind and solar into the provincial electricity grid.

As a result of the Green Energy Act, Ontario now boasts 31,000 clean energy jobs in communities across the province, while creating a solar and wind manufacturing base in Ontario that is now poised to help supply the world.

Ontario's coal-fired plants cost the people of Ontario an estimated $4.4 billion per year in health, environmental and financial damages. Our $31 billion of strategic investments moved our system from deficit to surplus, from polluting coal to clean energy, and Ontario rates were consequently under significant price pressure as a result of these necessary investments.

However, we are pleased to announce that Achieving Balance projects costs significantly lower than those which had been projected in the 2010 plan. These lower projections are as a result of more modest demand projections and also include strong actions this government has already taken in the last nine months, including renegotiating the Samsung agreement, saving ratepayers $3.7 billion over the life of the contract; changing the domestic content rules in the feed-in tariff program, saving ratepayers more than $1.9 billion over the life of the contracts; deferring the construction of two nuclear reactors, avoiding an estimated $15 billion in new construction costs; introducing dispatching rules for wind generators, saving ratepayers over $200 million annually; and also negotiating lower contract prices for non-utility generators coming up for renewal.

Moving forward, Mr. Speaker, our long-term energy plan will continue to put rate mitigation at the forefront of all energy policy decisions.

Achieving Balance now predicts that the total cumulative cost of electricity service is expected to be lower than the previous 2010 forecast by $16 billion in the near term-that's 2013 to 2017-and $70 billion over the life of the plan, 2013 to 2030. This means an average residential customer can expect to pay about $520 less than the forecast in 2010 in the near term and $3,800 less over the life of this plan. The typical large industrial consumer is expected to pay $3 million less than previously forecast in the near term, and $11 million less over the life of the plan.

These are the results of prudent planning and concrete measures our government is taking to put the interests of consumers at the forefront of our planning efforts.

Third, we are leveraging our diverse supply mix to ensure we continue to have a balanced mix of sources of generation in the future. Most importantly, the Ministry of Energy will work with its agencies to ensure that they put an emphasis on delivering on our government's Conservation First agenda. This means we will undertake all cost-effective conservation measures before investing in new generation capital. We will place a high priority on demand response and demand management.

At the same time, we will secure stable, affordable and reliable baseload electricity generation by prudently managing the province's nuclear fleet.

Therefore, nuclear refurbishment will begin at both Darlington and Bruce generating stations in 2016 and will be subject to the strictest possible oversight to ensure safety and value for ratepayers. The refurbishment schedule is phased, and construction deadlines and budgets must be adhered to in order for the next stage of refurbishment to move forward.

On the renewables side, by 2025, the plan directs that 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy will be online, representing about half of Ontario's installed capacity. To meet this target, Ontario will phase in wind, solar and bioenergy over a longer period than contemplated in the 2010 plan, with 10,700 megawatts online by 2021. We will also extend the hydroelectricity target, increasing the province's portfolio to 9,300 megawatts by 2025.

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As well, Ontario will undertake targeted procurements for combined heat and power projects-

Interjection.


Hon. Bob Chiarelli: -including, Mr. Rural Affairs, a new program targeting greenhouse operations, agri-food and district energy.

Fourth, and finally, Ontario will continue to enhance our transmission system's reliability and efficiency by reinforcing the grid with necessary projects province-wide. Of particular note is our plan's strong emphasis on northern Ontario. For the northwest alone, in partnership with regional businesses and First Nations leadership, $2.2 billion will be invested in regional transmission and create nearly 1,700 jobs over the course of the next decade.

Across the board, all aspects of our conservation, generation and transmission planning will pay dividends in the medium and long-term by continuing to add clean, renewable generation to our supply mix. This will be accomplished at a more moderate and measured pace to ensure that we do not overcommit Ontario ratepayers in the near term.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all those who participated in the drafting of our updated long-term energy plan, including industrial experts, private sector leaders, aboriginal communities, municipalities and local distribution companies, as well as partner ministries. This has truly been a collaborative effort.

Finally, I would like to thank Deputy Minister Serge Imbrogno and his dedicated team of professional and diligent staff, without whom Achieving Balance would not have been possible. I'm going to ask Serge to stand up and take one for the team.

Applause.


Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Thank you for the commitment with all of the agencies and all of your staff.

As we set the course for the next two decades, Ontarians can be assured that this government is making prudent, responsible choices to ensure that we maintain our clean, reliable and affordable energy system. For 13 and a half million Ontarians, they deserve nothing less. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Statements by ministries? It is now time for responses.

Ms. Lisa MacLeod: It's my pleasure to rise today and respond to this short-term energy plan on behalf of Tim Hudak and the next Progressive Conservative government of the province of Ontario.

Speaker, this government here has a lot of nerve to come into this assembly today and tell Ontarians that they are not going to be paying as much as they had originally projected, given Ontario's last decade of decline. In fact, I think Achieving Balance should be called "The Decade of Decline," and here's why: Right now, the media is trying to calculate how much this is actually going to cost. Is it 36% more, according to the government's numbers, or 50% more, according to the auditor's numbers? We know this government pretended that they were going to create 50,000 new jobs as a result of the Green Energy Act. How many have we seen? We might as well say zero, because the auditor himself, the previous auditor, said to us that for every job that was created as a result of green energy, we lost three in the province of Ontario.

We have lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in this province. Why? Predominantly because of high energy rates and high costs. Last week, I read into the assembly a very important document. The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association sent to me their quote: "More recently ... a combination of factors-not the least of which is revised policy goals-have converged to make Ontario rates higher than competing jurisdictions." This is important, Speaker: "For example, electricity costs for a typical large scale assembly operation in the US ... Midwest are estimated to be as much as $5 million lower than those in Ontario...."

What does that mean? It means ratepayers in Toronto, those large power users, pay 123% more than in Chicago, 50% more than in Nashville, and 37% more than in Detroit. That is a problem for our manufacturing base, and that is why our manufacturers deserve more than a short-term energy plan by a political minister and need a long-term energy plan from a government that is prepared to make the tough decisions and ensure that we have an appropriate energy supply in the province of Ontario.

According to many of the stakeholders I have spoken to, the LTEP is nothing more than a candy store-something for everyone-procuring 300 megawatts of wind and 140 megawatts of solar in 2014 and 2015, even though the province does not need the power. You only have to listen to the minister when he talks about nuclear. They are going to triple the amount of wind power. I do not have to tell this minister how people across the province of Ontario have reacted to his wind power policy. They are tired of it, they can't afford it, they want it to stop, and that's what Tim Hudak will do.

The 87-page LTEP is a frank admission of this government's failed economic agenda. It abandons any pretense of an economic growth and prosperity plan that we need, to get this province back on track. I moved to this province because it was an economic generator for all of Confederation. They have made it sputter along, based on their industrial policy, based on their energy policy.

This report commits the province to annual progress reports, but the LTEP is silent on who takes responsibility if the targets are not met. Speaker, we have seen time and time and time again, whether it's the $1.1-billion gas plant boondoggle, whether it's the $1 billion at Ornge, whether it's the $1 billion at eHealth, that there is no accountability in this government. They have never met a target that they wanted to miss.

Speaker, I must say-and let's go back to the gas plants-I find it passing strange that this government, on the heels of the Premier attending gas plant hearings tomorrow, would decide to have a major shift in energy policy today, or might I say a minor shift in energy policy today. I think this is a sidestep; I think that this is a distraction. But I can commit to you today, Speaker, that this Progressive Conservative Party will continue to defend the taxpayers in this province and will continue to defend the ratepayers in this province, and we will hold that Premier accountable tomorrow, with or without this short-term energy plan.

Speaker, I want to talk a little bit about what Tim Hudak would do. This is where it really comes into long-term planning for energy in this province. This is where we start to protect consumers of energy, whether it's the single mother in Barrhaven, whether it is the senior in Muskoka, or whether it's that manufacturer who wants to build good Ontario products right here. We have a plan, and let me tell you a little bit about it.

We would end those handsome FIT subsidies. We'd make sure that we aren't paying any more for power that we don't need. We would make sure that we have sensible trade agreements with neighbouring jurisdictions, so we are not being outbid when it comes to getting them to settle here. We have a commitment to nuclear. We're not cancelling; we're not deferring; we're committing to nuclear. And we will make sure that we monetize some of those crown assets.

Speaker, we have a plan. Tim Hudak has a plan. Tim Hudak, when he's Premier, will make sure we implement that plan. Thank you.


Mr. Peter Tabuns: I appreciate the opportunity to address the Minister of Energy's plan that he has presented to us today. I know we're in the presence of many of those who are deeply concerned in and involved with the energy system in this province.

Speaker, approximately a century ago, Ontario's business leadership, its civic leadership and its citizens understood what it would take to build a prosperous economy in this part of North America.

There were huge fights over our energy direction. Coal interests tried to block the development of hydro power from Niagara Falls coming into London, into Toronto, into Hamilton.

Speaker, we understood a century ago that to build an industrial economy here in Ontario, we needed power, offered on a non-profit basis, using renewable energy as its heart. Frankly, Speaker, that was the base for building what became one of the most prosperous, one of the most civilized, one of the most-what can I say? The superlatives elude me, but it was a province that, in fact, was meeting the promise that its people wanted to have kept.

A century later, the Ontario Liberal Party has forgotten about that promise. Instead of learning what it took to build an industrial economy, it has continued with a decade of privatization. It has carried forward the Conservative plan for privatization of our electricity system.

Today in Ontario, people, families and businesses, in each and every hydro bill they pay, are covering about a billion dollars in profit for private power generators. This was an expense that they didn't have to cover 15 years ago.

1400

The Liberals didn't have to continue the privatization plans of the Conservatives, but they did, and we're paying for it. This plan doesn't address the need to go back to public ownership in any new development or any new investment. We could be using Ontario Power Generation as a sophisticated, broadly based corporation to develop new power as we need it and to drive energy conservation, but instead we are continuing with the privatization agenda that the Conservatives and Liberals both find so dear to their hearts. It is inevitable that people will be paying more for electricity than they should and more than they can afford.

With the debacle in Mississauga and Oakville, we have seen that privatization doesn't transfer risk out of public hands; in fact, it means that we are stuck covering risk. We gave up any protections we would have when those plants were cancelled. We got stuck with the costs, including paying 60% interest on penalty clauses for the Mississauga plant.

This government clearly sees private power interests and the interest of getting some of its members elected far ahead of the interests of ordinary families and businesses in this province. In its plan, it shows that conservation is the lowest-cost option, but has ignored that for a decade, and so we carry a higher cost than we should or could have, and still conservation is a sidebar.

Most people in this province will be concerned with the cost, and they have good reason. But I note that this plan, although it is the end of burning coal, will not allow Ontario to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets because we will be burning so much gas as the nuclear plants are being refurbished. That's why this government stopped promoting or printing its greenhouse gas practices, its targets and its performance.

This is not a plan that's going to address climate change adaptation. Maybe it's lost somewhere in the text; I haven't found it yet. This past summer, we lost power in west Toronto because of the flooding of a major transformer station. That kind of extreme weather is going to become more and more common. This government is ignoring that. This plan is not the plan that Ontario needs.

PETITIONS

CHARITABLE GAMING


Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the government of Ontario, through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, levies the Ontario provincial fee on the sale of break-open tickets by charitable and non-profit organizations in the province; and

"Whereas local hospital auxiliaries/associations across the province, who are members of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario, use break-open tickets to raise funds to support local health care equipment needs in more than 100 communities across the province; and

"Whereas in September 2010, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced a series of changes to the Ontario provincial fee which included a reduction of the fee for certain organizations and the complete elimination of the fee for other organizations, depending on where the break-open tickets are sold; and

"Whereas the September 2010 changes to the Ontario provincial fee unfairly treat certain charitable and non-profit organizations (local hospital auxiliaries) by not providing for the complete elimination of the fee which would otherwise be used by these organizations to increase their support for local health care equipment needs and other community needs;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to eliminate the Ontario provincial fee on break-open tickets for all charitable and non-profit organizations in Ontario and allow all organizations using this fundraising tool to invest more funds in local community projects, including local health care equipment needs, for the benefit of Ontarians."

I affix my name in support.

CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETIES


Ms. Soo Wong: I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas there are over 8,000 children and youth living under the care of the crown and of children's aid societies in Ontario; and

"Whereas the Ontario Legislature hosted the `Our Voice, Our Turn: Youth Leaving Care Hearings' in the fall of 2011; and

"Whereas these hearings made it clear that more must be done to support these young people and to raise awareness; and

"Whereas by proclaiming May 14 of each year as `Children and Youth in Care Day,' the province would raise awareness and recognize the unique challenges faced by children and youth living in care; and

"Whereas Ontario's children's aid societies, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and members of the community, including children and youth living in care, want to officially celebrate `Children and Youth in Care Day' on May 14, 2014; and

"Whereas Bill 53, known as the `Children and Youth in Care Day Act,' proposed by MPP Soo Wong, passed with unanimous support on May 9, 2013, but has since been delayed from being called for third reading;

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

"That the Legislative Assembly of Ontario call Bill 53 for third reading immediately; and

"That the Legislative Assembly of Ontario pass and enact Bill 53, the Children and Youth in Care Day Act, before May 2014."

I fully support the petition, and I will give the petition to Payton.

CANCER TREATMENT


Mr. Ted Chudleigh: I have a petition for the Parliament of Ontario.

"Whereas Kimm Fletcher, a mother of two diagnosed with brain cancer, has been prescribed with the drug Avastin to help prolong her life;

"Whereas the Ontario health ministry's Committee to Evaluate Drugs (CED) has indicated that the use of this drug is associated with higher, progression-free survival rates;

"Whereas this drug is not covered under OHIP-but is in other provincial jurisdictions;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"That the Ontario Parliament call on the Premier and her health minister to extend OHIP funding of the drug Avastin, so that Kimm Fletcher, and others like her, can have as much time to enjoy with her family as possible; and to tell the Wynne administration that `Our health care system includes Kimm Fletcher.'"

I sign this petition and pass it to my page.

WASTE REDUCTION


Ms. Mitzie Hunter: "Whereas protecting the environment should be everyone's responsibility, including manufacturing and material producing companies; and

"Whereas it is important to require producers to be financially and environmentally responsible for recycling the goods and packaging they sell in Ontario, and to divert these wastes from landfill to recycling to drive innovation, generate new jobs, and new Ontario-made products; and

"Whereas new approaches are needed that reflect ideas and recommendations from the recycling sector that are designed to improve current recycling systems, to increase recycling and diversion rates, and better protect our environment;

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

"That members of the Legislative Assembly pass Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act, 2013, introduced on June 6, 2013, by the Ontario Minister of Environment."

I will sign this petition and give it to page Jeffrey.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION


Mr. John O'Toole: I'm pleased to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in the riding of Durham. I wish I had been first, because the Minister of Energy was here.

"Whereas Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One) is proposing construction of a new transformer station on a 100-acre site in Clarington, near the Oshawa-Clarington boundary;

"Whereas the site is on the Oak Ridges moraine/greenbelt;

"Whereas concerns have been raised about the environmental impacts of this development, including harm to wildlife as well as contamination of ponds, streams and the underground water supply;

"Whereas sites zoned for industrial and/or commercial use are the best locations for large electricity transformer stations;

"Whereas most, if not all, residents do not agree this project is needed and that, if proven to be necessary, it could be best accommodated at" an alternative location "such as Cherrywood...;

"Therefore we, the undersigned, ask that the Ontario Legislature support the preservation of the Oak Ridges moraine, the greenbelt and the natural environment at this site. We also ask that the Ontario Legislature require the Clarington transformer station to be built at an alternative location zoned for an industrial facility and selected in accordance with the best planning principles."

I am pleased to sign and support this petition and present it to Spencer, on his ninth-last day here in the Legislature.

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OFF-ROAD VEHICLES


Mr. John Vanthof: "To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas a motion was introduced at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario which reads `that in the opinion of the House, the operation of off-road vehicles on highways under regulation 316/03 be changed to include side-by-side off-road vehicles, four-seat side-by-side vehicles, and two-up vehicles in order for them to be driven on highways under the same conditions as other off-road/all-terrain vehicles';

"Whereas this motion was passed on November 7, 2013, to amend the Highway Traffic Act 316/03;

"Whereas the economic benefits will have positive impacts on ATV clubs, ATV manufacturers, dealers and rental shops, and will boost revenues to communities promoting this outdoor activity;

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

"We call on the Ministry of Transportation to implement this regulation immediately."

I wholeheartedly agree and will send it down with page Yong Da.

DISTRACTED DRIVING


Ms. Mitzie Hunter: "To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas `texting while driving' is one of the single biggest traffic safety concerns of Ontarians;

"Whereas text messaging is the cause for drivers to be 23 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle accident;

"Whereas talking on a cellphone is found to be four to five times more likely for a driver to be involved in an accident;

"Whereas Ontario is only one of few provinces in Canada where there are no demerit points assessed under the current cellphone/distracted driving legislation currently in place;

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

"To adopt Bill 116 by MPP Balkissoon into law, which calls for each individual guilty of an offence and on conviction to be `liable to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $700,' in addition to a record of three demerit points for each offence."

I will sign this pledge and give it to page Najat.

TIRE DISPOSAL


Mr. Jim McDonell: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"Whereas the Ontario government has approved massive increases to Ontario Tire Stewardship's eco fees for agricultural tires, increasing some fees from $15.29 to $352.80, $546.84 or" to an amazing "$1,311.24;

"Whereas Ontario imposes tire eco fees that are dramatically higher than those in other provinces;

"Whereas other provincial governments either exempt agricultural tires from recycling programs or charge fees only up to $75;

"Whereas these new fees will result in increased costs for our farmers and lost sales for our farm equipment dealerships;

"Whereas the PC caucus has proposed a new plan that holds manufacturers and importers of tires responsible for recycling, but gives them the freedom to work with other businesses to find the best way possible to carry out that responsibility;

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

"To suspend the decision to significantly increase Ontario Tire Stewardship's fees on agricultural and off-the-road tires pending a thorough impact study and implementation of proposals to lower costs."

I agree with this and I will be passing it off to the page.

DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES


Mme France Gélinas: I have this petition that comes from all over the northeast.

"Whereas the Ontario government has made ... PET scanning a publicly insured health service available to cancer and cardiac patients ... ; and

"Whereas since ... 2009, insured PET scans are performed in Ottawa, London, Toronto, Hamilton and Thunder Bay; and

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

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to make PET scans available through Health Sciences North, thereby serving and providing equitable access" to the residents of northeastern Ontario.

I fully support this petition and will affix my name to it and ask page Niam to bring it to the Clerk.

WASTE REDUCTION


Ms. Soo Wong: I have a petition addressed to the Ontario Legislative Assembly.

"Whereas protecting the environment should be everyone's responsibility, including manufacturing and material producing companies; and

"Whereas it is important to require producers to be financially and environmentally responsible for recycling the goods and packaging they sell in Ontario, and to divert these wastes from landfill to recycling to drive innovation, generate new jobs, and new Ontario-made products; and

"Whereas new approaches are needed that reflect ideas and recommendations from the recycling sector that are designed to improve current recycling systems, to increase recycling and diversion rates, and better protect our environment;

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

"That members of the Legislative Assembly pass Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act, 2013, introduced on June 6, 2013, by the Ontario Minister of Environment."

I fully support the petition. I will give the petition to page Cynthia.

AIR QUALITY


Mr. Steve Clark: I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"Whereas Ontario's Drive Clean Program was implemented only as a temporary measure to reduce high levels of vehicle emissions and smog; and

"Whereas vehicle emissions have declined so significantly from 1998 to 2010 that they are no longer among the major domestic contributors of smog in Ontario; and

"Whereas the overwhelming majority of reductions in vehicle emissions is the result of factors other than Drive Clean, such as tighter manufacturing standards for emission-control technologies; and

"Whereas the environment minister has ignored advances in technology and introduced a new, computerized emissions test that is less reliable and prone to error; and

"Whereas the new Drive Clean test has caused the failure rate to double in less than two months as a result of technical problems with the new emissions testing method; and

"Whereas this new emissions test has caused numerous false `fails,' which have resulted in the overcharging of testing fees for Ontario drivers and car dealerships, thereby causing unwarranted economic hardship and stress;

"Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly as follows:

"That the Minister of the Environment takes immediate steps to begin phasing out the Drive Clean program."

I'm pleased to affix my signature in support and send the petition to the table with page Payton, whose birthday was yesterday.

LONG-TERM CARE


Mme France Gélinas: I have this petition that comes from all over Ontario:

"Whereas there are a growing number of reported cases of abuse, neglect and substandard care for our seniors in long-term-care homes; and

"Whereas people with complaints have limited options, and frequently they don't complain because they fear repercussions, which suggests too many seniors are being left in vulnerable situations without independent oversight; and

"Whereas Ontario is the only province in Canada-including the three territories-where our Ombudsman does not have independent oversight of long-term-care homes;"

They ask the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to "expand the Ombudsman's mandate to include Ontario's long-term-care homes in order to protect our most vulnerable seniors."

I fully support this petition and will affix my name to it and ask our good page Jeffrey to bring it to the Clerk.

TIRE DISPOSAL


Mr. Bill Walker: "To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the Ontario government has approved massive increases to Ontario Tire Stewardship's eco fees for agricultural tires, increasing some fees from $15.29 to $352.80, $546.84 or $1,311.24; and

"Whereas Ontario imposes tire eco fees that are dramatically higher than those in other provinces; and

"Whereas other provincial governments either exempt agricultural tires from recycling programs or charge fees only up to $75; and

"Whereas these new fees will result in increased costs for our farmers and lost sales for our farm equipment dealerships; and

"Whereas the PC caucus has proposed a new plan that holds manufacturers and importers of tires responsible for recycling, but gives them the freedom to work with other businesses to find the best way possible to carry out that responsibility;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to please suspend the decision to significantly increase Ontario Tire Stewardship's fees on agricultural and off-the-road tires pending a thorough impact study and implementation of proposals to lower costs."

I fully support it and will send it with page Morgan.

DEATH OF POLICE OFFICER


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): The member for Scarborough-Agincourt on a point of order.

Ms. Soo Wong: On a point of order: I seek unanimous consent for a moment of silence. I just heard that an officer in the city of Toronto just passed away. I'm seeking unanimous consent for us to have one minute of silence.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Agreed? Agreed.

The House observed one minute's silence.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

SCHOOL BOARDS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ACT, 2013 /
LOI DE 2013 SUR LA NÉGOCIATION COLLECTIVE DANS LES CONSEILS SCOLAIRES

Resuming the debate adjourned on November 27, 2013, on the motion for second reading of the following bill:

Bill 122, An Act respecting collective bargaining in Ontario's school system / Projet de loi 122, Loi concernant la négociation collective dans le système scolaire de l'Ontario.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Further debate?

Hon. John Milloy: I'm pleased to stand today to participate in this debate about Bill 122. I want to take a minute to remind members in the House about where we are in terms of the debate around this bill. It's something that has been discussed quite frequently here in the Legislature, and I just want to share some of the statistics with this House.

This bill was introduced over a month and a half ago. Since that time, the bill has seen significant periods of debate in the House. Thirty-two members, according to our count, have now had the opportunity to speak to this bill; 59 members have participated in the debate through questions and comments. In listening to the debate, it seems clear-


Mr. John O'Toole: Point of order.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Point of order, the member for Durham.

Mr. John O'Toole: This is a contradiction. He called Bill 122, and he is not speaking to the purpose of the bill, so he's really out of order.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Unfortunately, I don't find that there's a valid point of order. I return to the government House leader.

Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, in listening to the debate, and if you review Hansard, you would find that it seems clear that the majority of this House is in support of this bill. Yet the official opposition have been intent on continuing this debate, and their only goal seems to be delay. Only the official opposition continues to put up speakers, and as they continue to put up speakers, they have been playing procedural games, ringing bells, asking for adjournment of the House and adjournment of the debate and then not even voting for their own motions. Surely this signals that there is no true desire to have further meaningful debate on this bill.

This bill has already been debated for some 14 hours, and it is time that it comes to a vote. It's time that it goes to a committee. There is, as members are aware, some time sensitivity to this bill. The next round of collective bargaining in the education sector is fast approaching. Current contracts expire in August 2014, meaning that the collective bargaining process will need to begin early next year. It's important that there is some certainty with respect to that bargaining process-something that this bill, if passed, would create. It is therefore very important that the committee begin its process as soon as possible.

At the same time, the House can move on to debate other substantive matters that are being stalled as a result of the official opposition's procedural games on Bill 122.

For example, Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendment Act: We'd like to be able to conclude third reading stage of this bill.

Bill 83, the Protection of Public Participation Act, an important piece of legislation that aims to tackle strategic lawsuits that curb democratic rights: We'd like to spend more time debating that legislation.

Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act, an important job-creating piece of legislation that we would like to see move into committee-


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I'm sorry to interrupt the government House leader, but he needs to come back to Bill 122 if he's going to participate in debate on Bill 122.

Hon. John Milloy: Mr. Speaker, I will simply say that the list goes on; there are ample examples of legislation that is being stalled because of the excessive debate.

There has been ample debate on Bill 122, and I move that this question be now put.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): This House stands in recess for 10 minutes while the Speaker considers the matter.

The House recessed from 1424 to 1437.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I wish to inform the House that I've come to my decision. We are in the ninth day of debate on second reading of Bill 122; 32 members have spoken for almost 14 hours of debate. This is in excess of previous statistics when closure motions have, in fact, been allowed. Therefore, I am going to allow the motion.

Mr. Milloy has moved that the question now be put. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

I heard a no.

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

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members. This will be a 30-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1438 to 1508.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I would ask the members to please take their seats.

Mr. Milloy has moved that the question now be put. All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at a time and be counted by the table staff.

Ayes

Albanese, Laura

Balkissoon, Bas

Bartolucci, Rick

Berardinetti, Lorenzo

Bradley, James J.

Cansfield, Donna H.

Chiarelli, Bob

Colle, Mike

Coteau, Michael

Crack, Grant

Damerla, Dipika

Del Duca, Steven

Delaney, Bob

Dhillon, Vic

Dickson, Joe

Duguid, Brad

Flynn, Kevin Daniel

Fraser, John

Gravelle, Michael

Hoskins, Eric

Hunter, Mitzie

Jaczek, Helena

Kwinter, Monte

Leal, Jeff

MacCharles, Tracy

Mangat, Amrit

Matthews, Deborah

Mauro, Bill

McMeekin, Ted

McNeely, Phil

Meilleur, Madeleine

Milloy, John

Murray, Glen R.

Naqvi, Yasir

Orazietti, David

Piruzza, Teresa

Sandals, Liz

Sergio, Mario

Wong, Soo

Wynne, Kathleen O.

Zimmer, David


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): All those opposed to the motion will please rise one at a time.

Nays

Bailey, Robert

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Steve

Dunlop, Garfield

Elliott, Christine

Hardeman, Ernie

Hillier, Randy

Holyday, Douglas C.

Hudak, Tim

Jones, Sylvia

Klees, Frank

Leone, Rob

McDonell, Jim

McKenna, Jane

McNaughton, Monte

Miller, Norm

Milligan, Rob E.

Munro, Julia

Nicholls, Rick

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Pettapiece, Randy

Scott, Laurie

Shurman, Peter

Smith, Todd

Walker, Bill

Yakabuski, John

Yurek, Jeff


The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 41; the nays are 28.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I declare the motion carried.

Mrs. Sandals has moved second reading of Bill 122, An Act respecting collective bargaining in Ontario's school system. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? I heard a "no."

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

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members. This will be a 30-minute bell.

I wish to inform the House that I have received a request for deferral from the chief government whip and, as such, this vote will be deferred until tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3, at the time of deferred votes.

Second reading vote deferred.

PROTECTION OF PUBLIC
PARTICIPATION ACT, 2013 /
LOI DE 2013 SUR LA PROTECTION
DU DROIT À LA PARTICIPATION
AUX AFFAIRES PUBLIQUES

Resuming the debate adjourned on November 28, 2013, on the motion for second reading of the following bill:

Bill 83, An Act to amend the Courts of Justice Act, the Libel and Slander Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act in order to protect expression on matters of public interest / Projet de loi 83, Loi modifiant la Loi sur les tribunaux judiciaires, la Loi sur la diffamation et la Loi sur l'exercice des compétences légales afin de protéger l'expression sur les affaires d'intérêt public.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Further debate?

Mr. Steven Del Duca: I always like to begin debate in this House when I have the opportunity to speak by saying that it's a privilege for me to rise in my place on behalf of the people who live in my community of Vaughan, to add my voice to the discussions that are taking place, and I am looking forward to taking some of my time this afternoon to delve deeper or to dive deeper into the discussion specifically around Bill 83.

But I have to say, because at least in part this particular legislation does deal with very important matters of procedure and process around a very important aspect of a strong, fair society, that I know for the people from my community of Vaughan who are watching at home today it must be extremely disappointing to see that at various times this afternoon, as members of this government tried to stand in our places to encourage continued deliberation and debate over the course of the evenings for the last two weeks that the House is sitting before our recess, members of both opposition parties stood in their places to thwart the attempts of the government to continue to do the people's business. I'm sure, for those watching, whether they are from my community of Vaughan or from places all over the province of Ontario, there must have been a great deal of disappointment that we weren't able to come together on the importance of making sure that we keep moving very important legislation through this Legislature. It is unfortunate, but I suppose not surprising, certainly not to those of us on this side of the House, because we have seen over the last number of days, and not for the first time, members of the opposition repeatedly standing in their places to play the procedural games and to sort of open up that bag of tricks to try to delay at every attempt the ongoing deliberation and discussion of very important legislation that is before this House.

The bill that we are here to discuss now, Bill 83, the Protection of Public Participation Act, is something that's extremely important. Right in the title of this bill, "Public Participation Act" again speaks to the fact that we are here with a responsibility and a mandate from the people of our respective communities to move discussion through this place, to have sound, sober deliberation about how we want to move the province forward. When people in my community and in other communities like Scarborough and Ottawa and North York and Ajax and Whitby see members of the opposing parties play these tricks, I know that they're disappointed.

With respect to Bill 83, the bill that is before us today to discuss, I want to say that I am very proud to be part of a government that has sought to move forward on the recommendations of a very important, very influential panel that was struck a couple of years ago regarding this very important matter.

Before I get into the heart or the meat of my particular remarks, I do want to spend a moment to pay tribute to one of my colleagues, the current member from Ottawa Centre, the current Minister of Labour, who, I believe in October 2012, introduced Bill 132 as a then private member. This is an individual who very passionately came forward with a bill that was very similar to the bill that we are debating today around the importance of making sure that we strike that balance within the system. I want to say to the current Minister of Labour and to those watching from his community and also from my community that I think the fact that our government has moved forward with this formal piece of legislation, Bill 83, is in fact a testament to the outstanding work and contribution that our Minister of Labour put into his own bill, Bill 132, back in, I believe, mid to late 2012. I just wanted to say that the Minister of Labour does deserve a great deal of credit for getting this particular item on the agenda and for moving it forward.

Many in this House will know that what Bill 83 seeks to do is to propose or to create a made-in-Ontario solution that would allow courts to quickly identify and deal with strategic lawsuits to prevent the unwarranted silencing of critics and minimize the time and resources spent by plaintiffs and defendants in the courts on meritless claims. I mentioned a second ago that, because our government takes the concerns that gave rise to this particular legislation very seriously, back in 2010, as many in this House and many others watching will know, we struck or convened an expert panel of individuals who we asked to come forward to study the issue of strategic litigation and to make recommendations as to what steps our government could take to address it.

I know that when the Attorney General stood in this House and spoke at first reading on this very important bill, he spoke very passionately and eloquently about the importance of making sure we found a way to strike a very, very important balance on this very important issue. He did point out in debate at first reading that with respect to the mandate that that panel was given back in 2010, our government asked the panel to determine, for example, a test for the courts to quickly recognize a strategic suit. We asked that panel to review appropriate remedies for strategic suits. We asked the panel to look into appropriate limits to the protection of any proposed legislation, appropriate parties to benefit from those protections, and finally, methods to prevent any abuses in the future. I think it's important to note that we gave the individuals serving on this panel that very clear mandate.

Again, as many will know-people in this House on all sides who have watched this process unfold very closely over the last length of time will know that the individuals serving on the panel are themselves all held in very, very high regard in the legal profession and beyond. For example, the panel itself was chaired by Dr. Mayo Moran, dean of the University of Toronto law school, someone who is perceived to be and is, in fact, an expert in constitutional law and private law and civil wrongs. The membership of the panel also included one Peter Downard, partner at Fasken Martineau-this is an individual who has written extensively and has written authoritative legal texts on libel and defamation-and Brian MacLeod Rogers, who happens to serve as an adjunct professor at Ryerson University's School of Journalism.

I point out what the composition was of the particular panel, at least amongst those three individuals, because I think it's important to underscore that this is an issue that our government took very seriously. We wanted to bring to the table the kinds of experts that could provide us with the guidance and the advice and the input so that we could move forward with the exact kind of legislation that we have before us today-yet again, I should say, not unlike the legislation that the Minister of Labour, when he was not Minister of Labour, brought forward in his Bill 132, a bill that is very much in keeping, both in spirit and in content, with the bill that we are debating here today.

As I mentioned before, we asked the panel to take a look at some very specific examples of what was taking place in the system. They provided a report back to the government, and it is from that particular report that those experts brought their expertise to bear and we came forward with this particular legislation.

1520

It's important to note as well that the bill would allow a person being sued-in this case, the defendant in a lawsuit who believes that he or she is being sued for expression on a matter of public interest-we would provide them with the opportunity to have that lawsuit reviewed by a court within 60 days of filing a motion to dismiss the case. The court would review the defendant's motion in three phases, asking three specific questions:

(1) Is the lawsuit about expression on a matter of public interest? The defendant must show that his or her motion will be rejected, probably with costs.

(2) Are there grounds to believe that the proceeding has substantial merit and that the defendant does not have a valid defence?

(3) Is the harm likely to be suffered by the plaintiff by the defendant's expression so serious that the public interest in remedying that harm outweighs the public interest in continuing that expression?

Those are three very crucial questions I wanted to read into the record. I know that when the Attorney General spoke and also when his parliamentary assistant, the member from Scarborough Southwest, spoke at first reading, they both very eloquently and very passionately outlined why it's important to make sure that as we go forward with this legislation, as we continue to have the debate here in the House, we take into account those three particular questions.

Because I know that my time is drawing slowly but surely to a close, Speaker, I should also point out that in moving forward with Bill 83, Protection of Public Participation Act, we have to remember that this legislation contains many important provisions that support the goal that we should all have here of creating, maintaining and building a fair society. For example, we are creating faster, more efficient civil processes that provide greater clarity for the parties involved; we're addressing perceived and actual abusive lawsuits that can waste everyone's time and tie up valuable court resources; we're protecting freedom of expression and public participation, and I would say we are doing it in a balanced way, taking into account the views of the expert panel, taking into account the work done so earnestly by the member from Ottawa Centre with his private member's bill.

I sincerely hope that over the course of second reading debate, members on all sides will see fit to join with us on this side to proceed and move forward with this legislation to get it to committee for additional consideration.

I thank you, Speaker, for the time that I had this afternoon in the House.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Steve Clark: It's a pleasure for me to provide a couple of minutes of questions and comments for the member for Vaughan-some would say that we share the same barber-

Mr. Steven Del Duca: Some would say.

Mr. Steve Clark: -some would say-and to provide a couple of minutes of comments on Bill 83. The formal name is An Act to amend the Courts of Justice Act, the Libel and Slander Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act in order to protect expression on matters of public interest.

The member talked about SLAPP legislation. I learned about this type of legislation when I had a municipal career. I remember, very vividly, running for office in my twenties and hearing about a court case that the city of Brockville was involved in over one of the particular road jobs-and it became embroiled in a lawsuit between the developer, the city; I think the consulting engineer was involved at the time. Ultimately, after I had been elected mayor, it had been settled, and a judgment came against the city for $353,000. The developer asked that I bring the cheque to him. It was interesting, because at 22, I had barely seen cheques for $350, let alone $353,000. I remember going to the developer's office-his name was Jack Dodge-and he reminded me that it could have been settled under a couple of mayors, before, for $18,000. The mayor who preceded me could have settled it in his council for $49,000, and here I was, giving a cheque for $353,000. So I did some research and really became interested in these anti-SLAPP suits. Although they're not often levied, it's a fascinating situation.

I'm glad we're supporting this bill. I'm glad that the member brought up the panel. I just felt it was appropriate for me to give my own first-hand knowledge of my first foray into the legal city issues.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Michael Mantha: I'm sorry I wasn't here earlier for the speech the gentleman gave from across the way. However, in some of the comments I hope to be making a little bit later on this afternoon-the things that you find most concerning in this bill are actually things that are going to be changing through this.

We want to really highlight the cost of what it means to silence those voices. We need to make sure that those voices have the opportunity to speak up, in that when you don't put in the measures that are required to protect those voices, these are some of the concerns that might happen or that are very concerning to the general public.

We need to look, really, at ways that we're going to be embracing individuals as to how they can get involved, how they speak up and how they get to voice the concerns of not only their neighbours, street members and community members; in larger part, society is what we're talking about here.

We need to make sure that those are protected, and we need to make sure that there is a process to protect those voices. We need to make sure that if people take that step to voice their concerns and actually demonstrate that they have the will-and that's really key as well. When an individual stands up and has the will to talk on behalf of others and really bring something that's important and that is of great value to them, we need to have a process of protecting that so there is no repercussion that can happen to those individuals, so that they can actually endear others to present themselves and speak up.

We should be looking at embracing when people are coming up and being part of the process, which is called democracy.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti: I listened very carefully to the very good speech from the member from Vaughan, and also the good comments made by the members from Leeds-Grenville and Algoma-Manitoulin. I'm looking forward to, hopefully, hearing from them when they get a chance to speak.

Basically, as was mentioned by the member from Vaughan, this bill allows people not to worry when they want to speak out against a developer or any other person or corporation and to not be afraid of getting hit with a lawsuit. The bill basically allows people to speak up and not to worry about a lawsuit when they believe they have a matter of public interest that they want to bring forward, and they can have a lawsuit reviewed by the court if the lawsuit is brought within 60 days of filing a motion to dismiss the case.

As was mentioned earlier-I think the member from Leeds-Grenville mentioned this-a number of us have municipal backgrounds, and a number of municipal mayors brought this matter forward. They wanted this bill to pass, because what happens, obviously, is that sometimes a developer in a city or a town wants to build something, and if there are people in the community that oppose it, those people could be sued by the developer, which is kind of a way to scare people into not speaking out against development.

This bill will present a test so that it's not that easy to suddenly go forward and sue somebody. This test is well done and well spoken about here.

I'm looking forward to hearing from other members here, to hear what their points of view are on this bill.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Jim McDonell: I'm happy to rise to speak to the comments made by the member from Vaughan.

I think that in this society, we expect fair treatment, and this is part of that. Democracy requires that people speak out against injustices without worrying about the court system coming back and penalizing them.

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So of course our party is in support of this. We think that it's a good idea that these protections are put in place. We've heard from the member for Leeds-Grenville about a case in his riding where the court system can be used against people. We want to make sure that doesn't happen. We want to make sure that people are treated fairly. It encourages people to speak out.

We heard the message from the member from Algoma-Manitoulin, talking about the protection of voices in his riding, as well as Scarborough Southwest.

One thing that we're not hearing from this government is, we're not hearing a jobs plan. I think everybody agrees with this plan. We were part of an agreement that would move a lot of this legislation off the plate so that we could actually tackle some of the issues.

We have a long-term energy plan today. I wish they would have given this a vote-whether we could have actually gone back and re-voted on the Green Energy Act, because people in my riding are being really inundated with the cost of this, and we see businesses leaving. To them, that's an injustice that needs to be addressed.

The cost of doing business: We looked at Heinz just a couple of weeks ago, and Caterpillar and Xstrata. People are leaving, and the message is always the same: They can't afford the price of doing business in Ontario.

Sooner or later, if we don't act, we're going to have more people requiring services than we have people who pay the taxes for them. Of course, then it's a mushrooming effect where it just spirals down to the bottom. We're getting dug deeper and deeper into a hole that-people in my riding are starting to question whether, even if things go well, we will ever be able to dig ourselves out.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Further debate?

Mrs. Julia Munro: I rise today as the Progressive Conservative critic for the Ministry of the Attorney General and the elected representative for York-Simcoe to speak to Bill 83, the Protection of Public Participation Act. This bill was crafted to prevent and appropriately dispose of SLAPPs, strategic lawsuits against public participation.

Before I begin my own comments, I would just like to thank my caucus colleague the member for Dufferin-Caledon for her one-hour lead-off speech on this bill. She outlined many aspects that we as a caucus favour in this bill. Most useful were her three examples of SLAPPs, which she delved into to show the different facets of the problem this bill seeks to remedy. As the member from Dufferin-Caledon said, we will be supporting this bill on second reading, and certainly my comments reflect the same decision.

This is a reasonable and effective bill and, what is most important, I would argue: fair. The one caveat, and I think others have mentioned it, is that it has nothing to do with our economy-not that this type of bill should, but Ontarians do urgently need legislation that begins to focus on jobs and the economy. We find ourselves in the position here of looking at something that is important but doesn't look to the dire circumstances we find ourselves in in this province, but I digress.

Ontarians have been waiting for this legislation. For more than five years, this issue of strategic lawsuits against public participation has been present as a hindrance in our legal system. It has marred our public process for considering land redevelopments across our province at the municipal level. It has marred our election process and it has marred public relationships between the media as well as with public servants. SLAPPs are an obstacle to justice for both sides of a proceeding or dispute. They are a legal problem that has yet to be addressed by legislation in Ontario.

First of all, what are SLAPPs? Strategic lawsuits or litigation against public participation are primarily lawsuits filed in court by one party or individual as a tactic for silencing or intimidating the other party. They usually take the form of libel, slander or defamation allegations and are almost always accompanied by an unrealistic and unreasonable request for financial damages to be awarded against the defendant. It is important to remember that SLAPPs do not pertain to any dispute but rather must be about matters of public interest, such as the fundamental rights and freedoms of a citizen, corporation or other organization. I think it's important to underline that it is not about a dispute; it is a matter of public interest. I'll have more to say about that in further remarks.

The point of a SLAPP is to remove opposition, to frighten or bully the naysayers away. The effect, in other words, is a slander chill that silences. The targets of these lawsuits are often not even able to properly defend themselves due to the cost of legal representation, particularly paying for representation in a suit that may last months or years, as is common. But the real intent of a SLAPP is not to go to court. It is to scare and discredit an opponent into submission or silence. SLAPPs aim to remove opposition by removing their freedom of expression and tarnishing their reputation. This is why we support the bill.

The fundamental freedom of a citizen to be able to speak out on a matter of public interest is paramount. Freedom of speech is vital. The fundamental right of a citizen to protect his reputation is also basic. A citizen's right to due process and to be treated equally by the legal system is a primary feature of our civil society. Public participation in public discussions is a cornerstone of a healthy, well-functioning democracy. A fair justice system must balance our citizens' freedom of expression with the protection of reputation and economic interests. Again, a cornerstone of being able to introduce legislation such as this is that it must balance, on one hand, the citizen's freedom and, at the same time, protection of reputation and economic interest. This is why Ontario's legal system must address this issue, and Bill 83 does so appropriately.

The components of the bill require amendments to three existing laws: the Courts of Justice Act, the Libel and Slander Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.

The amendments to the Courts of Justice Act deal with the proposed fast-track review process for lawsuits alleged to be brought for strategic reasons rather than to remedy legitimate complaints. As anyone can understand, if there is an allegation of libel or slander in the context of an ongoing dispute, that allegation needs to be verified before proceedings continue. Under this bill, once a statement of claim is filed with the court, the defendant could immediately file a motion asking the court to dismiss the action as a strategic lawsuit, and the motion would have to be heard within 60 days. If such a motion is brought to court, it would immediately put a stop to the other relevant proceedings, as no further steps would be allowed to occur until the motion was decided.

In order to assess the motion to dismiss the alleged strategic lawsuit, the judge would apply a three-part test within those 60 days. This test, as the Attorney General said in his speech, is geared to balance a citizen's freedom of expression with the protection of reputation and economic interest. Before the three-part test is applied to the plaintiff's action, it will be up to the defendant-the person who is being sued-to prove to the judge that the subject matter is about the public good and not simply a private matter between two isolated parties.

Just to stop at this point to recognize two important things: One is the timing, the notion that this can't drag on; the fact that a decision has to be made within 60 days is very important to maintaining the justice intended by this piece of legislation. We all know that justice delayed is justice denied, and it is as much in this context as in any other legal context.

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The other key objective here is that the dispute is about the public good, and certainly there are variables in terms of how that's defined, and it is up to the judge to make that decision-again, a very important protection to balance the interests.

If the defendant does prove this, then the judge shall summarily dismiss the action if the plaintiff cannot satisfy the three-part test. The onus is on the plaintiff to show (1) that the proceeding has substantial merit; (2) the lack of a valid defence on the part of the defendant; and (3) that the harm is sufficiently serious to outweigh the public interest in protecting the expression.

The few critics of this bill point to this three-part test as being too onerous on the plaintiff. They charge that the plaintiff is put at a disadvantage because this test is applied without the benefit of normal court procedure: without full documentary production, examinations for discovery or oral evidence. Critics say it will be nearly impossible for a judge to decide on a summary basis whether a claim has substantial merit, whether the defendant lacks a valid defence and, finally, what the public interest is in any given dispute. These critics go so far as to state that this bill will give the defendant the ability to bully the plaintiff. In this light, they portray this bill as a draconian measure, saying it restricts access to the courts.

It may be true that the test is onerous on a plaintiff. Also, the three-part test may be onerous for a judge to apply. But is it overly burdensome? After careful consideration of the bill and both sides of this argument, I feel that it does restrict access to the courts, but in a justifiable manner. One must acknowledge that just because a court action can be filed, the action itself may be without merit and may be an example of abuse of process. Abuse of process and frivolous lawsuits are detrimental to the delivery of justice on a grand scale and must be guarded against. Time is a valuable resource, particularly in our court system, and time is money, particularly when it comes to the lawyers and the court system.

Bill 83 gives a mechanism to weed out some of the frivolous claims that confront our legal system. This is the second important reason that our caucus supports this bill. It will free up valuable public resources in our court system and will allow our judges to focus their time and attention on more serious matters. Scarce taxpayers' dollars are grossly misused hearing frivolous cases that needlessly bog down our justice system.

Unjustifiable claims have no business in the system. Their presence is not only an injustice to the innocent but also to Ontarians at large. Abuse of process cannot be allowed to sideline justice, whether it is an endless cyclical appeal process or a strategic lawsuit against public participation.

Another amendment to the Courts of Justice Act that supports the rights of an accused is the proposal to award costs to a successful defendant named in a motion deemed as a strategic action. If a plaintiff brought an action to the court that was deemed as a SLAPP, the defendant would have his or her court costs paid by the plaintiff. Further, if the judge feels the SLAPP was malicious in nature, the judge would be free to award costs for damages to the successful defendant. On the surface, this may seem drastic, but remember, this is an action deemed to be frivolous, with the intent of silencing a person's freedom of expression. I think we can all understand this provision.

Bill 83's proposed amendments to the Libel and Slander Act are an improvement as well. A practical example of the need for reform would be the current law of qualified privilege, when two or more people, even a small meeting group, are having a conversation about a subject of shared concern. The current law considers such a conversation as privileged. Neither party could be sued by another because they share a direct interest in the matter discussed. These conversations are protected by the Libel and Slander Act of Ontario so long as these conversations are without malice. However, when a third party, such as the press, or a tweeter in the social media universe, reports on these conversations, that same conversation by two or more citizens is not protected by law.

As you can imagine, this has a chilling effect as well. People who want to speak their minds in a public forum would be intimidated by this loophole in the current law. To prevent this type of SLAPP, Bill 83 proposes to extend the current law to include privilege for public conversations, even after they have been reported by the media or otherwise.

Vibrant public discourse depends on removing the fear of being sued. This bill does that. Of course, if there is malicious intent, this new law would not protect the defendant from litigation, which is, I think we would all agree, reasonable and fair to both sides.

The third act that this bill amends is the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. In line with the intent to save both the time and money of the courts as well as the time of the plaintiff and defendant, Bill 83 proposes changes on how costs are requested and awarded.

Under the current act, hearings are held to determine if one party should pay the other party's legal costs after the case has been decided. These hearings can be very lengthy and costly in themselves. The changes proposed in this bill would allow parties to make their arguments about how costs should be awarded in written submissions to the administrative tribunal or court as part of the primary proceeding. This should result in faster decisions. This is an area of the bill I would like to delve into further when this bill makes it to committee.

I was pleased to hear from the Attorney General that he welcomes amendments in committee to make this bill stronger. I look forward to taking him up on that offer.

This bill is the result of a 2010 expert panel that was tasked with studying the issue of strategic litigation with an eye to crafting appropriate legislation for the province. The report of the Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel is very thorough, and it has provided the skeleton on which this legislation hangs.

Upon consulting with stakeholders, they have told us nearly unanimously that they support the bill. The Ontario Bar Association supports this bill and stated that, "Public confidence depends on the ability of our justice system to operate efficiently and to enhance democratic principles. Both of these goals are threatened by the bad-faith litigation that this new legislation is designed to curb."

Cities across this province have been requesting this legislation for at least five years. Many other provinces, and most American states, have similar anti-SLAPP legislation in place. With this bill, hopefully Ontario will make up for being late off the mark.

With an eye to streamlining process and recognition of justified urgency, this bill protects freedom of speech, reputation and the economic interests of parties involved. As I stated earlier, the PC caucus will be supporting this bill on second reading.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: I'm happy to stand here today on behalf of the constituents of London-Fanshawe and add my comments to this debate with regard to Bill 83, the protection of public participation.

I think everyone can agree, and we've heard consensus that the Conservatives are also looking at supporting this bill, because I think we can all agree that everyone deserves a voice, especially when they have an issue in their community come forward and they want to participate and speak freely about an issue without having the threat of a lawsuit hanging over their head, because we know that lawsuits are very expensive. Justice should not just be for those who can pay for a court case to defend what they'd like to say in a forum where they can speak freely.

It is interesting. I did want to point out a couple of things because I'm not sure if the public at home may have the clear understanding of what a defendant is. A defendant is any person who is accused. So the defendant is charged with committing some kind of an offence. The plaintiff is the party that's known as the complainant or the claimant: the party who is suing that person.

Most of the time, the defendant, the one who is being charged perhaps with saying something that might damage the reputation of an organization or corporation that's doing something in their community that they don't agree with, they're the ones-the defendant is being charged by the plaintiff. Therefore, the defendant has to justify in court that what they're saying is actually for the public good and is going to be a detriment if that corporation perhaps does something-environmentally we'll use, because many times that is one example that's put forward. So it is good to see that "SLAPP" legislation is being presented in the House and that we have a debate on this today.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Ms. Soo Wong: I'm pleased to rise in support of Bill 83. I listened attentively to my colleague from Vaughan, who started up the debate this afternoon, and to hear my colleague opposite from York-Simcoe about this whole bill.

It's three years now that we've brought this bill, this made-in-Ontario bill, in support of freedom of expression, because oftentimes certain individuals are afraid to go to court because of a fear of expressing themselves, but more importantly, in the proposed legislation, if passed, "to discourage the use of litigation as a means of unduly limiting expression on matters of public interest." I believe that many of us in our communities have constituents who are fearful of speaking out because of this limitation.

By having a proposed legislation, this will encourage the expression of matters of public interest, but more importantly, encourage public debate on issues that are matters of public interest. More importantly, this proposed legislation, if passed, would also reduce the risk that participation by the public in debate of matters of public interest will be hampered in terms of legal action, because I heard many times in my riding of Scarborough-Agincourt that residents are fearful to speak out because of fear of legal litigation. This is not what we want to do in terms of encouraging public engagement and public expression of matters that are of public interest.

More importantly, this proposed legislation also has heard from the panel-I think the member from York Simcoe spoke eloquently about the panel and the work of the panel before us. I encourage everyone to participate in this debate, but more importantly, move this debate down the road for more consultation to the committee.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Bill Walker: It's always a pleasure to follow my colleague from York-Simcoe: not only a former teacher but a lifelong student. I'm always impressed that she has done her homework. She gave a very extensive overview of the bill and what she believes this bill will bring, and she always impresses me that she comes to Queen's Park every day with that commitment on behalf of her stakeholders and constituents in York-Simcoe.

Speaker, I really wish we were talking about a jobs plan. The Liberal government seems bereft of a jobs plan. There are a million people in this great province who are out of work and continue to be out of work, without a whole lot of hope that this government is doing anything to change that.

They called for a motion earlier to take the legislation we were debating off the table; I was really hoping they were going to make that the absolute, critical part. At the very minimum, I would have liked to have seen that they were talking about the long-term energy plan, because to me, what they've brought out so far is just a bunch of window dressing as they gear up towards the next election-and unfortunately, that's not the case.

I will come back to Bill 83. I believe it is a good piece of legislation. It brings fairness to the legislation. It removes the bullying aspect. I fully believe that people should not fear the right to express their opinion, particularly in matters of public interest.

It limits unrealistic and unreasonable requests. I think there are way too many of those. I think there are frivolous cases out there where people bring it up and which, again, in many cases-in my riding, there are a number of those types of issues that are limiting employment. They're limiting the jobs ability on things like approvals for quarries in my riding that, again, have met all the requirements. One gentleman right now has been waiting about six years for his quarry approval-very impactful to the people who could be working in that quarry. He's starting to have major concerns about what he's going to do, going down the road.

Speaker, these types of frivolous things bog down our courts. People are being held back, and then those who truly need to get through the court system are not able to. So this builds in some time frame, at least, to have some action, which is nice to see from this government.

At the end of the day, our PC critic from Dufferin-Caledon has suggested, and I agree with her, that we will be supporting this bill when it gets to committee and we'll do some further amendment-and we thank you for that, Mr. Speaker.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Michael Mantha: I'm glad to say that I was here for the entire speech that the member from York-Simcoe gave. I was sitting here, listening to her very intently, and I enjoyed what she started talking about, which is that this government needs to really look at where their priorities are, and she requested that they come out with a jobs plan. When you think about it, that's what we need to focus on-what are the real priorities of Ontarians right now-and unfortunately, we're not doing that. But we're talking about Bill 83, and that is an important issue that we need to have debate about-and I'm getting to that, Mr. Speaker.

I wanted to remind her that my leader, Andrea Horwath, actually tried to bring this piece of legislation a couple of times in the past, and it fell to the wayside, or it wasn't deemed as a priority, and that's really unfortunate, because we wouldn't have to be dealing with this right now.

She did highlight the effectiveness of SLAPPs and exactly what they do: It silences the voices, and it really hurts individuals' freedom to speak.

We really need to make sure, once again, that we embrace those opportunities and encourage people to participate in our processes, to make sure that their voices are heard and that they are truly participating in our democracy.

She also talked about the amount of money that is being wasted in frivolous lawsuits that are being imposed. Those individuals who are putting those lawsuits forward have no intention of following through on them. Their whole intention, their whole purpose for having the SLAPP on, is to silence the individuals who are coming forward and speaking on behalf of neighbours and community members, and that in itself is very effective.

Hopefully, this law will pass this time-from what I hear in the House-and we can get this through effectively so we can focus on the other priorities that we need to do on behalf of our constituents.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): That concludes our questions and comments. I now return to the member for York-Simcoe for her reply.

Mrs. Julia Munro: I appreciate the comments made by the members for London-Fanshawe, Scarborough-Agincourt, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and Algoma-Manitoulin. I think there were some general themes there, certainly one of them being the fact that there's an element of frustration on this side of the House that there are other issues: a jobs plan and the unemployment, and the kind of dire economic state we find ourselves in. However, because Bill 83 is in front of us, we have all given it our attention.

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It seems to me that if I look at the comments and listen to the comments that were made, it's a question of the fundamental principle of justice; that is, deciding on a balance between the arguments on both sides. In this case, I think there has been a very clear plan in place in this legislation to provide an opportunity for that freedom of speech that we all recognize is paramount, at the same time distinguishing between that and what might be frivolous, and the question of balancing what is actually the public need, not issue a challenge on one's reputation or the question of economic interest.

I think this bill, as the other speakers also suggest, is a good attempt at balancing that power-competing issues. I think the 60 days is also going to provide an opportunity for these things to move along in an expeditious way. Certainly that would be consistent with the comments made by others in today's debate.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Further debate?

Mr. Michael Prue: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It's a privilege and an honour to be able to add my 20 minutes to this debate. I'd like to preface some of my remarks-with your latitude of course, Mr. Speaker-and talk, first of all, about SLAPP suits, but to talk about what engenders those SLAPP suits. Mostly, we see that they're coming out of people's reactions to developments. And we know that many, many people in this province dread and fear development applications in their neighbourhoods, because if they oppose them and if those development applications head off to the Ontario Municipal Board, they know it's going to cause them a great deal of grief.

When people ask me about my own riding of Beaches-East York, and ask what the major problems or the major issues are in Beaches-East York, it's very simple. If you live in the north half of the riding and you're in the East York portion, our schools are underdeveloped. Kids are in multi-portable units-40 portables in a schoolyard-and there's no building. Some of them are raccoon-infested and have all the problems of leaking portables.

But if you're in the south half of the riding, the major issue is, and continues to be, development along Queen Street-the Ontario Municipal Board and the developers coming there, running roughshod over ordinary citizens, and those ordinary citizens find themselves throughout at a considerable disadvantage when dealing with developers, and sometimes when dealing with city hall. They are constantly being threatened or reminded that if they don't do things correctly, they could find themselves with a SLAPP suit, they could find themselves before the courts; they could find themselves out of a lot of money. And, Mr. Speaker-or I should say Madam Speaker; I see we've just changed now-they find themselves at a huge disadvantage.

I watched these citizen groups. I watch before they contemplate taking a matter before the Ontario Municipal Board. Even when city council would vote in their favour, they have to do a number of things. First of all, they have to start raising funds. You see these great big developers out there with high-priced lawyers, planners and engineers and all the things at their disposal-they're in it for the money game. They don't mind spending half a million dollars or a million dollars in order to go to the board, and they don't mind putting in the odd little dig and pressure, telling the citizens that they either have to play ball or they'll find themselves out a lot of money and possibly with a SLAPP suit.

So I watch these citizens. I watch what they have to do. I have been to bake sales. The neighbours all get together and bake pies and muffins and sell them. I've been to church groups. I went to a very excellent concert at St. Aidan's a few months ago that was put on by a couple of local musicians. The musicians gave their time free, and the church was filled with people who paid $20 to come and watch the musicians play in order that that money would go to the local neighbours so that they would have money to put on a professional appeal against what the developers were trying to do on Queen Street, and by doing that professional appeal would not find themselves likely lumbered with a SLAPP suit.

I've seen what the community groups have to do. They have to go out and beg and borrow to get one of their own members in the community who might have a law degree or practise law-although not necessarily in this particular field-to give freely of their time. I have seen them raise small amounts of money to try to hire a planner who would argue, either in support of the city or against the city, in order to try to preserve their neighbourhood. I have seen the developers running totally roughshod by saying unkind things, oftentimes those which border on threats. "If you don't like this, we're going to go to the OMB," they say, "and then we're going to see how much that's going to cost."

I've also seen-and this is becoming very prevalent in Toronto-that those same developers don't even give the community or the city a chance to make a decision on a development application, because this government in its wisdom a number of years ago, when doing changes to the Ontario Municipal Board, set timelines that are impossible for communities to meet. There is a 30-day timeline for a committee of adjustment application to render a decision.

You can understand, with hundreds, possibly thousands, of committee of adjustment applications in a city like Toronto, going every month, that it's very often impossible for the city and its committees of adjustment-whether it be Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa or any large place-to actually accommodate the number of applications, and as soon as that 30-day timeline is gone, the developers are in there and go straight to the Ontario Municipal Board, which suddenly gets very expensive and very difficult for a great many citizens.

You also see the same thing even on major planning applications, where you have zoning bylaw changes or where you have official plan changes. They too are limited to 120 days, and it's virtually impossible for a city like Toronto or Mississauga in many cases on a large development to get all of the documentation they need, to have community consultations, to get their own experts and expertise on paper and finished within 120 days.

On the 121st day, you can be absolutely convinced that the developer is there and off to the OMB, and then that puts all of the community groups who were opposed and the city, who may or may not have opposed, on the defensive. They have to go, then, and file their necessary documents. They have to go and be subject, possibly, to SLAPP suits if they're not ready.

This is a very difficult problem that has gone on for too long. Ontario is the only province in Canada that has an Ontario Municipal Board, and we're the only one that puts citizens at risk-with lawyers and developers, with all of the money at their disposal and the threats they have around SLAPP suits-right into the mix. I think we have to, as a province, start treating our citizens more fairly.

I support this bill, Madam Speaker-about to be Mr. Speaker again. We'll wait for the Speakers to change.

I support this bill, Mr. Speaker, and I know my colleagues in the NDP support this bill, because we have to bring some kind of fairness back into the entire process. This is one small part.

If you start looking at what's happened here, as was already said by my colleague in his two-minute hit, the leader of the NDP, Andrea Horwath, two times in the past, has brought forward a motion similar to this bill, trying to do away with anti-SLAPP suits. The government of the day-and this Liberal government, ignored it, I think, because they thought it either wasn't important or wasn't their idea. I'm not sure which one it was; it was probably the latter, because now they know it's important, and now that it's their idea and their bill they seem all gung-ho to go forward.

But we in the New Democratic Party know that this is an important tool for ordinary citizens. No one in this province should be afraid of standing up for their rights. No one in this province should ever be afraid of saying what is the right thing, or for telling somebody when they believe the other side is wrong or that they are imposing a new regime or new idea upon their community or neighbourhood which is going to be detrimental.

The province, in 2010, hired a man from the University of Toronto-I think it's a man-Mayo Moran, to make recommendations. The recommendations that were made and were guided were good recommendations. In fact, the legislation that we have before us has been guided by that which is already in existence in the province of Quebec and an overwhelming number of US states. We all recognize, in North America, the power of the lawyers and the courts and the litigious country, the litigious nature of our society: that anyone, at literally any time, can threaten to take someone to court, and they very often do. They do so not necessarily because they have a grievance that they think will be resolved by the court or because they think that the courts will side with them in the end or that some grievous harm has happened to them, but they do so because they know it puts a chill down the spine of anyone who is suddenly slapped with a suit.

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I would ask my colleagues here if you've ever been sued by someone for something that you knew was frivolous, that he or she knew was frivolous when they were suing you, and all you can do is say, "I will defend myself," get your wallet out, and start spending a lot of money. This is what we're trying to stop and this is what I'm hoping this bill will stop.

Ordinary citizens are afraid to speak up and stand up. If you go back even to the time of the Athenians, Pericles talked about the duty of ordinary citizens to stand up and speak and be counted. That is the whole nature, supposedly, of a democratic society, and it fails when someone with a lot of money, someone with a lot of power, puts the fear that ordinary citizens no longer have a voice.

Although I support this legislation and I will be very happy to support it at second reading and send it to committee, I'm hoping in committee we can toughen this up. It does not reverse the onus. What this does is it allows the developer huge latitude. When they take their lawyers and take an ordinary citizen to court, the onus is not upon the developer to prove at the outset that they are being harmed or that there is something to the suit. They simply have to state that they are seeking SLAPP action. We need to have the onus reversed. The first stage should always be that the developer has to prove, before they go any further in the process, that they have been harmed or that irreparable harm has happened to them as a result of what a citizen had to say.

The second thing this legislation does not have is that you do not have to prove that it's not being brought for some frivolous reason, and I think that needs to be changed.

The last thing: It does not specify the timelines for filing affidavits of defence or by the plaintiff, and it's very important that these things not stretch out for long periods of time, because the longer they stretch out, the more expensive they tend to be. Certainly, especially in the case of the plaintiff, the person who is alleging that wrongdoing was done to them, they need to do it in a timely manner so that everybody knows the case that's in front of them and they do not stretch it out for years and years and file affidavits down the road on and on and on, to extend a case that could normally be dismissed within a little while into years.

I'm reminded, Mr. Speaker, about some of the SLAPPs that I have witnessed over the last number of years in my political life both as a mayor and a councillor and as an MPP. I am reminded of what happened to the good citizens of Leaside when I was the mayor and they took a very large developer to court over some of the land that was being developed. They found themselves at a huge disadvantage as the case wound its way through the OMB, only to lose it in the end and then to be threatened with a SLAPP suit, which would have clearly bankrupted them. They were able to get out of that with some negotiations with the developer, with the courts and with everyone else, but I still remember how it took probably the mightiest ratepayers' group in all of Toronto to task and humbled them ever so quickly.

I am reminded of my own friend who went to the Ontario Municipal Board and was threatened with SLAPP suits in Fort Erie, where he was living at the time, because he didn't like what the council in Fort Erie was doing. He phoned me up in a panic one day because he had been threatened with a SLAPP suit, and I had to advise him not to succumb to it, to go and argue that he was being a citizen, that he didn't have the money for lawyers and planners, when the OMB had asked, "Where's your lawyer and where's your planner?" He was simply there because he objected to the development. In the end, the OMB let him off, but not without a really good scare, and he's not a person who scares easily. But there it was; that was part of his.

I'm looking at the good folks on Clonmore. I see my colleague here from Scarborough Southwest. He will know that issue very well. It's just across the border from my riding; it's actually in his. I see the good folks on Clonmore who tried to go back to the Ontario Municipal Board, tried to reverse a decision that was made by city council some 20 or 30 or 40 years ago, when the Scarborough expressway was going to be built, and then, when it wasn't built, the land was sold and the developers went in and they were talking about 10 or 15 or 20 50-storey buildings.

Well, you can imagine, the neighbours on the south side of Gerrard and Clonmore were a little bit upset when this was revisited. They wanted to go back to the city and to the Ontario Municipal Board in order to see whether a decision made 40 or 50 years ago-or 30 or 40 years ago, I guess-was still valid. Some of them were threatened by the developer that they were going to be charged with legal costs and everything else, because they had a decision which they had never acted on in all that period of time and which they held sacrosanct. I remember them coming and asking me some questions, and I'm sure my colleague from Scarborough Southwest as well. In the end, I think, they had to succumb, because they were too afraid of the costs.

But I think the granddaddy of them all-and I spoke about this in the Legislature a number of years back-was the people from Geranium Corp. versus the Innisfil District Association. I know my colleague who just spoke immediately before me is very familiar with this. This was the Geranium Corp. versus the Innisfil District Association. Geranium was the developer behind the proposed Big Bay Point mega-marina and resort on Lake Simcoe.

In responding to multiple lawsuits and an unprecedented claim of $3.2 million in OMB costs against the Innisfil District Association and its lawyers, one defendant swore in an affidavit to the OMB-and I want to read what this defendant said, because I think this is what comes to the crux of the problem. This is one sworn affidavit on one SLAPP suit, but I think it captures it all brilliantly.

The defendant stated in the affidavit, under oath:

"I feel threatened, harassed, and intimidated by Geranium's legal claims, and fear exposure to lawsuits and the costs associated with defending them.

"I do not write letters to the town, county, province or local papers in fear of repercussions from the Big Bay Point developers, Kimvar Enterprises Inc., and Mr. Earl Rumm. From fear of being implicated in a lawsuit myself, I would not write a letter or voice my personal opinions about the project in any way whatsoever.

"I do not have the funds or means to defend myself in a lawsuit, which increases my fear of publicly speaking out as an individual. I would not testify at an OMB hearing with the lawsuits pending and the threat of new legal actions. I would not be able to defend myself financially from such a wealthy developer."

Mr. Speaker, this is the problem that ordinary citizens find themselves in. This is why this bill needs to pass second reading and go to committee. Is the bill perfect? I've already said three areas where I think it could and must be improved, but it needs to be done fairly rapidly.

If I can only speak on behalf of the citizens of Beaches-East York, there are a number of cases pending before the Ontario Municipal Board as I speak, some that have already started the proceedings, some that will start over the next few weeks. In every single case, it is David against Goliath. In every single case, it's developers with huge pockets against citizens who have only the love of their community and neighbourhood in their hearts. That's all they have. They have bake sales. They have concerts. They have fundraising in the park. I don't know how many things I've gone to. This is all that they have, and they cannot, in the end, be threatened with having SLAPPs brought against them. They cannot think that they're going to lose their home or their livelihood or any other number of things that are often stated indirectly to them.

I think as a matter of living in a democratic country, as a matter of having people feel that they have the right to voice their opinion and to have that opinion heard in an unbiased way, we need to protect each and every one of those individuals.

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So I'm asking all of the members of the House to debate this as strongly as you feel is necessary, but I am also asking at some point that this not drag on too long. There are many, many potential lawsuits out there, and every day that we let this pass, every day that we argue it and don't send it to committee, every day that it takes too long to actually become law, there are more and more individuals entrapped by the process. We do not have a fair process before the Ontario Municipal Board. If I was the minister, I would make a hundred changes tomorrow on that body, probably even abolishing it. In the meantime, please protect the citizens of this province who have no other recourse except to go there. You will be doing them a favour while we sort out the whole mess that is known as the OMB.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: I'm glad to join the discussion today on Bill 83. I wanted to commend the member from East York for his comments on this bill-and that's true: Those of us who have had a life at the municipal level all saw these big developers suing the poor neighbour because they were objecting to a development and they were objecting to them destroying their quality of life. So I'm very much in support of this bill, and like the member who just spoke, I'd like this to go to committee as soon as possible and, if it's possible, come back before Christmas so that we can vote on this bill and protect those who are objecting to what they believe is an infringement on their quality of life.

The court has to answer questions before saying yes or no, but what is also very important is that while a motion is pending, no steps may be taken in a lawsuit. That's very important. It stops the process and helps one of the two parties to make sense of what's going on.

So let's move this as quickly as we can and resolve a problem that has been pending for too long.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Steve Clark: I want to commend the member for Beaches-East York. As a former municipal politician, he certainly has kicked off his 20-minute rotation, talking about an issue that-anyone who has ever been involved in municipal politics knows that issues around development are ones that we all remember, long after we have had the chain of office, in your case, around your neck. It was great to hear some of the issues in his riding, in the north and in the south. I'm not very familiar with his riding, so it was nice to hear that local example. I'm also glad that he brought up the Big Bay Point development, which is something that I think many of us were aware of. Really, when you speak about Bill 83, you have to also acknowledge that particular case, because many of the things that happened on that case are why we're here today.

I want to take the opportunity, because I didn't have a chance in the member for York-Simcoe's speech, to congratulate both her and the member for Dufferin-Caledon-our present critic and our previous critic-for their words on this bill. As they both put on the public record, we are supporting this piece of legislation. I'm glad to hear that the member for York-Simcoe has some ideas for some amendments because I think it's important, as the Attorney General said in his one-hour leadoff, that the government is open to amendments.

We had Bill 122 collapse because the government House leader moved a motion to close the debate. I know that in a few moments the member for Durham is going to get to speak. He really wanted to speak on Bill 122, given his education background as a former trustee. I know he's going to have the enthusiasm that he always brings to this place, when he speaks on Bill 83. I want to congratulate him, but I also want to acknowledge the member for Beaches-East York for a wonderful address.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Ms. Catherine Fife: It's always a pleasure to comment on the very experienced member from Beaches-East York.

As he mentioned, actually, in his previous comments, this legislation has already been introduced by our leader, Andrea Horwath, in the past. The anti-SLAPP legislation-she has actually introduced it twice. So, obviously, we are going to be supportive of this piece of legislation.

We do share some of the frustration that has been expressed by members of the government that it has taken so long. But we in turn could say to you, "Well, what took you so long as well?"

That said, the member from Beaches-East York has pointed out that, once again, while this legislation is reflective of the panel's recommendations, there are still ways to make this legislation stronger, which always begs the question: Why not address these key issues in the legislation as you bring it forward? But we will be looking at three key areas that are not addressed in Bill 83.

This piece of legislation does not reverse the onus of proof. The party initiating the suit does not have to prove that the suit is not being brought to silence public participation. It does not specify timelines for filing a responding affidavit by the plaintiff or mention anything about the defendant filing additional affidavits, as per panel recommendation in 2010. These are two issues, for instance, that could have been addressed as the Attorney General has brought forward this piece of legislation. We, of course, as usual, will be looking to make these changes at committee, as is our responsibility to do so. The member for Beaches-East York has accurately outlined that.

I look forward to the rest of the debate today.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti: I listened to the entire speech from the member for Beaches-East York. I think, as usual, when he speaks, I learn something. He has had a long history as mayor of East York-the last mayor of east York. I had an opportunity to sit on city council with him as well.

I think he brought into the discussion the very essence of the purpose of this bill, which is to help ratepayers to be able to move forward-well, not just ratepayers but other people in the community to move forward against those who may have more money, in cases where they feel that the matter is of public interest, and speak out against it.

I think he summed up, basically, what we all want to do around this Legislative Assembly today, and that's to get this bill moving. I think this kind of debate is good; it's healthy. I think that once it gets to committee, it will even be better at that point. I'll be representing the Attorney General, as his parliamentary assistant, when it gets there, and I look forward to the discussions that will come forward at that time.

There are some really good points that were brought out by the member for Beaches-East York. Other members here have spoken very well, with some interesting possible changes to the bill. I don't know which ones will go through. All three parties will have a chance at the committee to speak to this bill.

There's some concern that it took a long time to get here. I think we've had some long discussions on some other bills. There are a lot of items before the Legislature right now. I understand the point that was brought up earlier, that there probably were more speakers on Bill 122, I believe it was. The problem is, we only have so much time to get all this legislation through.

But getting back to the member for Beaches-East York, I hope he'll come to committee and bring his thoughts forward. They're excellent thoughts. I look forward to this bill going to committee.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): That concludes the time for questions and comments. We go back to the member for Beaches-East York for his reply.

Mr. Michael Prue: I would first of all like to thank the Minister of Community Safety and the members from Leeds-Grenville, Kitchener-Waterloo and Scarborough Southwest for their comments. I really appreciate the comments, because it was clear to me, in listening, that it was nobody talking about something other than what I had actually spoken about. Oftentimes, people use the two-minute hit to, you know, put the party platform forward or something else. But I want to thank you very genuinely for actually having listened to what I said and commenting on it.

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For the Minister of Community Safety, I know we have tangled in the past over how rapidly things should be debated in this House and when they should be sent to committee, but it seems to me that I am in some agreement with her, the member from Kitchener-Waterloo and the member from Scarborough Southwest that this should go to committee fairly rapidly. I don't know what my colleagues in the Conservatives, in the official opposition, will want to say on the bill, and I welcome any new thought process at all, but it seems to me quite clear at this juncture that they, too, want it to go there.

The member from Leeds-Grenville, bringing up the issue again and commenting about the Big Bay Point development-this still sticks in my craw, even though it was not in my neighbourhood. To see the people of Innisfil-to see the people fighting against one of the largest development projects ever to be imposed upon them by an outside developer, right in their neighbourhood, and the profound impact that may or may not have had on Lake Simcoe and the cottages and the recreational use of that property, and then to see the SLAPP suit, was very disheartening.

Last but not least, to the member from Scarborough Southwest, thank you for your comments on sending it to committee. We've been colleagues for a long time. I genuinely appreciate your listening to what I had to say today.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Further debate?

Hon. Mario Sergio: I have to say, what a refreshing, good afternoon, Speaker, first with a good rendition and an in-depth account by the member from York-Simcoe, and then from the very much experienced-I would say the voice of experience from Beaches-East York. You could see, Speaker, that as a former mayor from the former city of East York, he brings a lot of experience on planning and local issues.

I have to say, really, that at the end of his speech, the member said, "Don't wait any longer. Move this bill forward. It's long overdue." We should have had this bill some 30, 40 years ago. Indeed, we would have saved a lot of aggravation for a lot of people. But it's finally here, and I totally agree with the member from Beaches-East York to get on with it as quickly as possible.

I know we are doing second reading. I know that this is going to travel to committee. I heard some of the other members saying that we could make some changes and improvements and make it better, and I said so be it, but let's not take six months to debate it. Let's make whatever changes we feel will make the bill better, and then let's bring it to the House for approval. I think the public expects us to move quickly on a piece of legislation that is good for the people, that protects the rights of the people, that protects democracy. It adds to it, and I think we should not delay it any longer.

I'm pleased that the Attorney General finally-and when I say "finally," it's because the bill has already received quite extensive consultation through the various stakeholders. So even though we have received so much consultation, the bill is here for debate today. We want to move it on and, yes, even though it has received the consultation, maybe there are some areas where we can improve the bill.

The bill calls for the protection and the rights of our citizens, of individuals. I want to give a bit of perspective, even though I don't have too much time, Speaker.

I have to go back to my municipal years as well, and they were extremely learning years. In 1978-79, if you can think of the downtown city of North York, there wasn't a downtown in those days. Then what happened slowly was there were, among the many, two very particular developers that were competing on who would buy the most and build the most, to create this downtown, and then application throughout the city as well.

Then these two wonderful developers, I have to say-because it turned out to be good as well-they had the best planners and best lawyers you could afford in all the entire country. But the way they were going about getting their development or redevelopment-it was day and night. It was so much learning. One of them would come to local community meetings-we would call them preliminary meetings. We would hold those meetings usually in the evenings to give local residents, community ratepayers, the best time, the best chance, to come and express their views. Depending on the time and the application, we would have one lawyer who would sit quietly and listen and say, "We'll do our best to accommodate you." Then he would come to council and beg the mayor and the council and say, "This is what I would like to have. This is what I would like to propose to the community and make them happy so you don't hold me back and waste time and whatever." And most of the time, this would work, Speaker.

Then we had the other lawyer, representing a great developer, say, "I was at the meeting last week, and I know how these people feel, Mr. Mayor, and I have to tell you that we have already applied to the Ontario Municipal Board," when the city didn't even have a chance yet to hear the applications. This constituted taking a lot of time of our council, a lot of time of the community and ratepayers, and it constituted a long delay of the application as well. So they were getting all rattled up. This didn't work well with the community and was working against the community.

Then we would have the other lawyer that would come and say, "Members of council and Mr. Mayor, we want to give a majority representing on this application here. We want to give the minority"-meaning those residents in there-"the opportunity to be heard. We believe that it is important that, for democracy to survive, the majority has to give the minority an opportunity to be heard." He was going about it in a total different way.

I have seen too many times, too many applications, too many residents, too many ratepayers' organizations not speaking what they wanted to speak about for the fear of a very strategic lawsuit. We were all intimidated.

This is a good piece of legislation. This is about time that we do it, to protect the rights of our citizens. After all-is my time up, Speaker? No, not yet. After all, if we don't protect the rights of the taxpayers, we cannot leave it to the interests of greedy developers. I have seen that time and time again. The fact is that developers, in most cases, if not in all cases, come in, build, take their profit and run away. They go elsewhere to do the same thing over and over again. The ones that have to deal with that particular application that was perhaps unsuitable to the mix of the existing community are the ones to live with it.

The plan in principle, in a way, is very simple. I would remember that some of the good planners came to us and said, "This application is good because it improves. It does something better to the existing community." The others would say, "This is the application. This is what we want and this is what we want." And they would force their way through. The principle of planning is what improvements that particular application brings to the local community. This is what we should be looking for, because when something is done, that community has to live with the consequences.

We should support individuals and individual organizations that want to come out and speak their mind. We have courts of law that say that that if you're not within your democratic rights, you may suffer the consequences. I think this goes for both. But when developers become bullies and have expensive and well-oiled and well-spoken lawyers and they face individual taxpayers, it's very difficult. I think we are here to do the right thing.

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I'm truly pleased to see that all the members who have spoken have spoken in support of this piece of legislation. Late as it may be, let's not wait any longer. We are doing second reading. We want to move it over to committee-and I hope this will get further input-and bring it back. But I believe this is the type of legislation, especially when it meets all members' approval, that we should move forward. It's one of those pieces of legislation where the public will benefit, and aren't we all here to do that?

Also, Speaker, most importantly, it will send a message to the general public, including developers, including the professional field-lawyers, planners and developers-that they should think twice about running roughshod over local communities, individual citizens and organizations, solely because they think they are entitled to get what they want and not what is the best thing they can do for that community, and so that that application that they represent does not infringe on the local community. I think it should improve on the local community and not get what they want by force.

Speaker, my time is up, I can see, but it has been a pleasure speaking on-


Mr. Steve Clark: You've got 10 minutes.

Hon. Mario Sergio: Ten minutes, yes. I've been told I can do 11 if I want, but I'll leave 10 minutes for the next one.

Speaker, I was very pleased to have been allowed a few minutes, especially on a bill that I have a lot of sympathy for. I have seen too many times the situation where citizens were run down by developers and their lawyers. I hope that we can push this through soon and finally bring some closure and pass this legislation, which will do good for all the citizens throughout our province-not just in my riding or my colleague's riding or the others, but I think it's good for all the province of Ontario. I thank you, Speaker, for your time.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Steve Clark: It's a pleasure for me to respond to the minister responsible for seniors and his comments that he put on the record regarding Bill 83.

I really liked his speaking style this afternoon, where he brought back memories of my days in municipal politics. He talked about those meetings where you got together, you worked on a development and you sat down with the lawyers and the planners and the developers and the residents and really had that type of discussion-those were the times that you felt the process worked. I'm sure that anyone who's sitting here who has that municipal experience can drive or walk through their communities and be able to point to the developments that had that consensus, had that discussion, had that give and take; and, just as easily, we can walk by those developments and say, "Those were the knock-down, drag-out fights that ended up going to the OMB or involved litigation."

When the process works, it's pretty sweet. It's pretty satisfying, as a politician, to go through a development process as a member of council and have something work, have the concerns and the questions of the residents being taken into consideration. So I really appreciate the minister's comments today.

I do want to quote from the bill, because I think it really talks about the essence of what we're debating this afternoon. It's section 2, where it says, "The act is amended by adding the following sections:

"`Prevention of Proceedings that Limit Freedom of Expression on Matters of Public Interest (Gag Proceedings)....

"`Purposes

"`137.1(1)....

"`(a) to encourage individuals to express themselves on matters of public interest;

"`(b) to promote broad participation in debates on matters of public interest;

"`(c) to discourage the use of litigation as a means of unduly limiting expression on matters of public interest'"-Speaker, thanks for your indulgence-"`and

"`(d) to reduce the risk that participation by the public in debates on matters of public interest will be hampered by fear of legal action.'"

That's the essence of the bill.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. John Vanthof: It's an honour to be able to stand once again and speak on behalf of my constituents in Timiskaming-Cochrane in response to the minister on Bill 83.

Before I begin my short comments, it sounds a bit like old home week for former mayors and councillors, because they have a lot to do-


Mr. Steve Clark: It brings back memories.

Mr. John Vanthof: Yes, for us all.

For me, the memories of SLAPP suits are a bit more recent. I'm happy that the one we were involved with in Iroquois Falls has been dropped, and I'd like to thank the Minister of Health for her work.

I'm glad that she's here. I'd like to thank her for her work. We don't always agree on everything, but I think we worked well together on this issue. I think the things that should have happened, happened, and I'd really like to thank her.

The SLAPP suit thing hit me very personally. In Iroquois Falls, it struck a personal chord, and I hope I get more time to speak on this, if we have enough time for us all to debate it. One of the reasons I got started in politics-I was a councillor-was because I was a victim of a SLAPP suit. The first time I ran for provincial politics was out of desperation to try to get out of that SLAPP suit. Four days before the writ was dropped, the suit was dropped. Hopefully, I will have more time sometime to go into more detail.

This bill is very important to people who have been involved in this, because it strikes at the core. I almost lost my business. People who are threatened by these, who are part of the process-their whole lives are torn apart. This is a very important piece of legislation, and I hope that we can move it through the process.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Bill Mauro: I want to thank the minister responsible for seniors, Mr. Sergio, the member from York West, for his comments this afternoon on Bill 83.

I think that, at first blush, most people who are following this debate, which is a piece of legislation aimed at preventing people from being muzzled and being able to participate in public discourse, probably might not view this as a consumer protection piece. We've brought in several pieces of legislation over the course of the last year or two dealing with consumer protection, things like water heaters and energy retailers going door to door, who, by and large, were taking advantage of seniors. We've brought in consumer protection legislation around cellphone bills and making sure real estate rules are clear so that people have to see written offers and that sort of thing. But I would say this particular bill before us, Bill 83, which is referred to as anti-SLAPP, is no less a consumer protection piece than any of those other examples I have just listed.

It's often phrased and characterized here in the Legislature as being-without, I don't think, anybody actually saying it-more of a big-city, big-developer, OMB kind of issue, where folks walk into city halls around the province and have these development proposals and want these to move forward, and they're lobbying the local politicians and the like. If things don't seem to be going their way or if they are receiving some opposition from NGOs, public groups or just individuals, then the lawsuit comes in and they try to muzzle them. People tend to think of these things as primarily big city, but I can tell you that's not the case.

There's a great example in my neck of the woods that I'm looking for an opportunity to talk a little bit more about. I'm hoping I'll get 10 or 20 minutes over the next couple of days to talk a bit more on Bill 83 and bring a bit of a local, smaller-town flavour to exactly why this particular piece of legislation, Bill 83, is very important.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Mr. Jim McDonell: It's a privilege to rise on the comments made by the minister for seniors.

There's no question that this bill has all-party support. I think the question that came is why it took so long. This bill has been before us in a few versions before, now picked up by the government, finally, after I guess many years.

Maybe the question might be, "Why now?" There are lots of issues before this province. We see lots of people, even in my riding, who are suffering from job losses, and we're looking at something that's been around for many years and something that we were hoping would have more meat on the table now coming ahead.

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Speaking of my former days as mayor of South Glengarry, we also had issues with frivolous-I wouldn't say lawsuits, but referrals back to the OMB as a way to stall things, stall projects that really had public support. Sometimes we see, as you go on, people being bullied and muzzled through ways of somebody else getting their way or trying to stop an action that really is in the best interests of the public. So as I say, this legislation is surely needed. We've seen it around and we need to put something through.

Some of the issues I remember-it brings back memories-it's almost comical with some of the charges brought up. You look back, but they're affecting people. No matter how small the charge is, when it's affecting people who maybe don't have the most financial resources, it is a worry, it is a lawyer, it is a big bill. So we're glad to see something through that actually stops this sort of action and allows people to live a normal life.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): That concludes our time for questions and comments.

I return to the minister responsible for seniors.


Hon. Mario Sergio: I want to thank all the members for their generous contributions to the debate this afternoon: from Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Timiskaming-Cochrane and, as well, Leeds-Grenville. It's good to see that we are bringing a particular piece of legislation such as Bill 83 and moving it forward.

It came to my mind at one particular event that-again, when you have dealt with such an issue that had and continues to have a very deep impact on local communities, I have witnessed what happened in my own community over the years and today we are suffering the consequences, I have to say, because of what happened in the past with some of those applications.

I remember one particular application, Speaker, on Don Mills-I want to mention this one because I think the developer who really worked with the community ended up getting not one building but ended up with two buildings. What happened was the other builder and the other lawyer and a planner who were really forcefully pushing something on the community that they didn't want, they had two buildings recommended by staff and then they ended up getting one particular building. That shows, Speaker, that it does not pay to be a bully, especially when you're dealing with a massive application where it infringes upon the existing community. I say, and I've said before, that democracies work when the majority gives the minority an opportunity to be heard.

This bill has already received considerable input. We have debated it in this House; it's going through second reading. But I'm saying that whenever we send it to the committee, I would beg the committee members sitting on that particular committee to do their diligent work, make recommendations, improve the bill in whatever way, and then bring it back because this is something that we want to do, and our communities and our people expect us to do it.

Speaker, I thank you, and I thank all the members for their contributions.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Further debate?

Mr. John O'Toole: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for an opportunity here. The reason I say this right now-I'm asking, again, for indulgence-is because I did definitely want to speak on Bill 122. I had spoken to people involved in education this week and in anticipation of speaking I certainly want to make remarks that:

-the chair of the board for the Durham District School Board is Joe Allin, as well as the director Martyn Beckett;

-the chair of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, in my riding, is Diane Lloyd, and the director of education is Rusty Hick, who was actually the principal when my children were in high school;

-the separate board chair is Granville Anderson-who's from my riding, of course, and I represent him effectively as I would anyone-and Barb McMorrow is the director of education for the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board, and a brand new school director from the Toronto board, I believe;

-Karen Valentine is the board chair of the Durham Catholic District School Board, and Anne O'Brien is the senior director of the Durham Catholic District School Board. So there it is, on the record.

Bill 122 is a governance issue, and I will eventually move on to the current bill, Bill 83. But I want to put it on the record that I was shut down today by the House leader-cruelly, I would say-having been silenced. I wanted to speak on it, and I mean it passionately, but I am moving on to Bill 83.

Bill 83 is another bill. It's ironic, really, if you think about it. Bill 83 is the SLAPP bill, which is really made up of three statutes dealing with the court system. It's dealing with the Courts of Justice Act. It's also dealing with the Libel and Slander Act. It deals with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. Here's, really, where the irony is: It's silencing dissenting voices. That's exactly what this government is doing: trying to silence me, because I'm not particularly in agreement with some of their positions. But my duty is just exactly that. I'm a member of the opposition, respectfully, under the leadership of Tim Hudak. This is the irony, that they would call this bill-it's what I call symbiotic justice almost, if that's an appropriate term.

Anyway, getting on to the bill, some of the finest remarks-I want to put this on the record. The finest remarks I heard were last Thursday afternoon in the quiet solitude of this place, because there was virtually no one here. I shouldn't say that, of course. The member from Bramalea-Gore-Malton, who is the NDP critic on this file, did a remarkable job. I would say to the viewers here: It's worth looking it up. He is a trained lawyer. He gave a very informed, I would say, and compassionate speech for an hour. Can you imagine speaking on this bill for an hour?

Interjections.


Mr. John O'Toole: Was it two hours? It seemed like two hours. But, no, honestly, it was a very, very coherent speech. I'm sure he did it from the time he was in court. But I did ask him, in the two-minute rebuttal: Had he ever sent one of those-when he was practising law-intimidating letters? That's the real issue here.

Like others, I served for a number of years on council in the local municipality in the region of Durham. It was great experience, because there there are no shackles by belonging to some party where you have to toe the party line. Our line is pretty-we're pretty conservative on this side of the House; they're very liberal on that side. They have, really, no standards. We have pretty solid standards. You can always trust where we're coming from.

But here's the issue here on this particular bill: Force and power can change people's ability to exercise their freedom. And that's fundamental to this whole process that we're in here today. That's the very premise of the democratic system. In fact, I believe one of the inscriptions here is, "Hear the other side." If I'm not mistaken, it's inscribed here. I know you know all these arcane pieces of information, but it does say, "Listen to the other side." So I encourage the government to listen to the points of view of not just ourselves but the NDP.

I would say that there are a couple of provisions that I heard while listening to the member from Bramalea-Gore-Malton, as well as, I'd say, more recently, the minister responsible for seniors, the member from York West. He's a very genuine person. He has been here quite a while as well. But our critic from York-Simcoe did a very, very exemplary job in terms of representing our position on this, with all due respect.

Again, the use of force in this system, I can say this-for the record, it's important, because this is on the transcript. Some years ago, I would say-let's see now. I think it was before I was here, so that's about 20 years ago. It seems so long. Is it really that long?


Interjection: You're so young. You look so young.

Mr. John O'Toole: I must have been elected when I was 10. No. But my mother-in-law and father-in-law had a place right at the opening of Big Bay Point Marina. They had a cottage there on the corner. There's a little peninsula as you go into the Big Bay Point Marina. They had the cottage right on the corner. Eventually, for particular reasons, they sold it. I'm pretty sure they sold it to the original developers, Geranium Corp. I followed it, because it was quite unusual. I was disappointed that they didn't keep the cottage, because we used to go there for free. What's wrong with that? But it was probably fairly expensive.

They kept the boat at the marina. It was quite a pleasant marina and all that stuff, but they gave up cottaging because it was just really too much work and none of the kids would do any of the work. They only wanted to come there and have all the meals prepared for them.

The reason I say that: I did follow it, and there was a clear case there of bullying-I say that in the protection of where we are-where the proponent-I wouldn't say this outside of here, or I'd be in a SLAPP. I'm liable to be slapped around, but that's what this is about.

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You will find that our side always puts justice first, because doing the right thing is the right policy. Quite honestly, even listening to the LTEP today, the long-term energy plan, the three-year plan-they've been here 10 years and the thing is a mess. The whole energy file is completely destroyed. Imagine paying somebody 80 cents a kilowatt hour for solar power and selling it for five cents. What's wrong with this business plan?

But I will stick to Bill 83, because I usually get criticized for not doing it.

One of the strongest provisions in this is important. When it's a trivial accusation or a vexatious accusation, there are provisions under the Courts of Justice Act for early dismissal, so that the judge can listen quickly and dismiss the case very early. But what can happen, and has happened-I can tell you of a case when I was a councillor. I shouldn't, but I may use names. There was a very well-respected developer in the town. This well-respected developer was Mario Veltri. In fact, I had known the gentleman for a number of years. He had been very generous with the town, a smaller, kind of mid-range developer. He tried to put a development in near the ski club where I was actually a member. It's called the Kirby Ski Club, a nice, quiet little ski place for modest families like mine-five kids, and we skied for virtually nothing. Here's the issue. He wanted to build a couple of condos there. You look at Blue Mountain. This is a success story. Guess what? All the lefties-I shouldn't say that. All the lefties came out and hassled the guy to the point where he was almost bankrupted because he had so much tied up in money and the development.

So there are two sides to this. Remember: If you have people who have the money that Greenpeace and other organizations have, they can delay, deny and dither, and guess what's happening? The poor person who's trying to create jobs, build homes, do plumbing, electricity and all these things, is being set aside. In all fairness here, I'm just putting forward the other side.

You'll get a mayor or regional chair who is a bit bullied, and they want to see things go their way. The official plan states that certain types of developments are in order, and somebody makes an application. Oops, wait a minute here. They want to build something that's 15 storeys high and in the bylaw it's 14 storeys. Well, all of it-shortage of affordable housing-can be held up at the will of a council that's a bit confrontational on a particular development.

I'm going to bring a case in point. This one is just a recent OMB decision. This decision was in the municipality of Clarington. The community within that is called Courtice. In Courtice there are no high-rise developments, okay? The developer was an in-fill application in a fairly dense location-they're mostly townhomes and link homes. They were putting up a four-storey apartment building. It's close to transit; it's close to urban convenience shopping and that. The council supported it, without too much controversy and debate. Well, the neighbourhood broke into a kerfuffle about it and were opposed to it. But this shows that their voices were heard.

I watched it, because having been a councillor there at one time, I was quite interested in it-boy, I wish I had an hour. Anyway, the fact is that I watched it, and this very modest couple-I did meet them, I did speak with them; I gave them some advice, as is my wont to do. I encouraged them to challenge it. Now I'm going to interject a small bit of additional information here; my colleague from Leeds-Grenville would probably know. I go back to the 1980s, when I was a councillor, so it's not relevant history, really. There used to be intervener status. In other words, if you were to establish intervener status, you got funding to challenge the SLAPP or the lawsuit against you.

Now, during the mid-1990s, that was cancelled. It was cancelled because it was seen to be abused. I think it was abused, and I think you need a bit of a clearing house. Even today, as I go back, those people who were challenging the developer of that mid-rise-I wouldn't call it a high-rise-won on their own, I think, just speaking for themselves before the Ontario Municipal Board.

Now, at one time I knew the chair of the municipal board-very well, in fact. In fact, she was the mayor of the municipality where I served. She was the first woman chair-I'm giving her a bit of a shout-out here-of planning for Durham region. She is a very competent lady. She had been the mayor of the lower-tier municipality. Her name was Marie Hubbard. In fairness, she was appointed to the Ontario Municipal Board because of her experience and her professional acumen, really. She was a nurse, but she was a very thorough, unbiased person.

She eventually became the chair of OMB and eventually served as an interim chair under the McGuinty government as well. I gave her a shout-out. That's a tough job, listening to the applicants from both sides and trying to do the right thing, following the rules and not making them up as you go along.

She was involved in a number of very high-level commercial cases about how much commercialization is done in a subdivision or in a plan, where there is a certain amount of capacity for so much space allocated for commercial and economic development things.

Right today, the members here should know that the current Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has a discussion paper right now that's out there. It's developing three things: reviewing the Ontario Municipal Board, which they promised they would do-which they haven't done. There was a report done in 2010 on this very subject, the SLAPP, the strategic lawsuit stuff.

So I don't trust them. I don't like to use that word. It's not a personal thing. The government and their agenda is a bit shifty; it's sort of like walking on sinking sand. That's where I don't trust, because they've got this thing out-we've got this bill. I hope it goes to committee.

I hope the findings that she's undergoing right now in her public consultation on Ontario Municipal Board reform-and the other part of that is another thing that the viewers of Ontario should be aware of. The other part of it is they're going to adjust the lot levies, the development charges.

Well, guess what? Do you know what the development charges are now? The NDP don't get this, because they contradicted my input on it the last time, and I'd expect them to withdraw and then resign. But, after that, what I'd like them to do-no. Right now, on a regular single-family development, the actual development charges are between $30,000 and $40,000. When the builder goes in to get the building permit-here are the plans for the house; he hands it in-they write a cheque-he or she writes a cheque-for $30,000 or $40,000.

Now, that's important. That $30,000 or $40,000 is put into a reserve fund to build future infrastructure: libraries, fire halls, skateboard parks, water parks and things like that for children and youth-and adults, for that matter.

Interjection.


Mr. John O'Toole: Yes, I am.

But I would just say, that $30,000 or $40,000 does not come from the developer. It comes from the young homebuyer, their first home. Let's put some numbers around it: $30,000 or $40,000 added to the end of your mortgage. Let's say the average house is around $250,000 to $300,000. That added-

Interjection.


Mr. John O'Toole: No, this is how it works. If they want to contradict me in the two-minute, try and defuse my comments.

About $40,000 is added to the very end of the mortgage. You're paying the last dollar off on a 30-year mortgage at about the last 25 years. You've had that $40,000 for 25 years at, say, 5%. Interest is going to go up; it's probably going to go up 2% within about 15 months. Imagine what you pay for that $40,000. That $40,000 over 25 years is probably costing you $200,000. Then we talk about affordable housing. How absurd. But I digress.

This bill here doesn't have a lot to do with that, but there is a discussion on the Ontario Municipal Board reform, which should be brought to the committee, I think, during deliberations on this bill. I put that to the minister on the record here today, that during the hearings on Bill 83, which will probably occur right after the election next year in May, the report from the committee should be brought forward at that time.

So I am in support of it. I have concerns, as all of us would know to do, because anything where power is used to intimidate another person's behaviour is completely unacceptable in a democratic process.

Our leader has made several points that, on several times, he has said to the Premier. Premier Wynne, we cleared the decks. We've given you a number of bills, of which 105 is one of them. And yet, they have no jobs plan. That was a two-party deal. This was a deal made-not behind closed doors; we've been open about it. We allowed them to get several pieces of legislation. Some of them were important, things like tanning beds and things like that, not smoking on balconies-what's that about? But anyway, we gave them what they wanted. We wanted jobs and the economy.

Our whole raison d'être is about jobs and the economy. I look at the young pages here, in their second-last week. What are the jobs of the future for you? You can't all be teachers. You can't all be nurses. You can't all be politicians. Everybody can't work for the government, so what job would you choose in another sector? A trade would be a good thing, or a computer specialist, an animator or something, but you've got to have skill sets to translate into, "I do this for you; you pay me that amount of money."

This bill itself-I think we are in general agreement, but there's always more to be said. I think that at this point in time it doesn't seem like a lot of people are listening to me, so I'm going to adjourn the debate.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Mr. O'Toole has moved adjournment of the debate. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

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

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

I return to the member for Durham, who still has the floor.


Mr. John O'Toole: Well, in that case, I'm going to be very, very firm about this: I'm very disappointed. Those members who are sitting out back here should be fired. They're supposed to be on duty. They should be here. I thought, for instance, that there were some people here-I'm not going to name names, but Bailey is here, Clark is here; there are some that aren't here, and I'm somewhat disappointed.

But here's the point: They weren't paying attention, so I introduced a little bit of flavour here. I could say this to you-

Interjections.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I'm going to ask the House to come to order. The member for Durham has the floor, and I need to be able to hear him.

I return to the member for Durham.


Mr. John O'Toole: I'm going to attempt once more to adjourn the debate.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I'm advised that the member can't move a motion to adjourn the debate twice during once speech.

Mr. John O'Toole: I'll adjourn the House, then.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Mr. O'Toole has moved the adjournment of the House. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

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

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the nays have it.

Call in the members. This will be a 30-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1713 to 1743.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Will the members please take their seats?

Mr. O'Toole has moved the adjournment of the House. All those in favour of the motion will please rise and be counted by the table.

All those opposed will please rise and be counted by the table staff.


The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): The ayes are 1; the nays are 44.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I must declare the motion lost.

The member for Durham has the floor.


Mr. John O'Toole: I'm somewhat overcome by the lack of support. However, it has never stopped me.

If I had time, I would comment on the three important aspects of this bill. I am against intimidation and the use of force to change people's rights to express themselves, and this is why I really support the bill.

It's funny that this government is actually using sort of a time allocation motion, which is almost like a SLAPP motion, to stop debate on Bill 122. So the contradiction is far too obvious, in my view. I originally wanted to speak on Bill 122, and I've been truncated. I cannot speak on a bill that I'm very passionate about, and that's what this bill, in my opinion, is about. It's a contradiction. Bill 122 and Bill 83 don't fit on the same day-


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments?

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: Speaker, it's very apropos that I should actually do the questions and comments right now for the member for Durham, because he really wants to speak on this bill, and so did I. My rotation was next, yet he presented a motion-the first motion was to adjourn the debate. Their party didn't have enough people to stand behind him, and therefore he tried to bring another motion to adjourn the debate when all his members came running into the House, and then that didn't work because one member cannot bring the same motion. Then he wanted to adjourn the House. Surely, 30 minutes go by-I'm still disappointed that I did not get to speak on this bill.

Speaker, the games people play-it's just unbelievable. The Liberals want to extend the House till midnight; these guys want to adjourn the House early.

Let's get down to the business of the people and get results for them. Let's get debating this SLAPP legislation so we can get on to other priorities that people are expecting us to talk about, which is a jobs plan; it's health care; it's affordability; it's accountability-a Financial Accountability Office for this government.

We are here to work. New Democrats have been working right from the beginning. We're working in a minority government. I just want to say, let's stop playing games on the Liberal and the Conservative sides. Let's take the example of what New Democrats do: Roll up our sleeves. Let's do the hard work. Let's make sure we have health care, a jobs plan and affordability for the province of Ontario. The people deserve us to be here and actually speak on their behalf and make sure it gets done.

Interjections.


Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: I want to say thank you to the member-what's your riding?

Mr. Bill Walker: Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound-for the backup. He's my doo-wop girl.

Thank you, Speaker.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I must remind members that the two-minute responses are intended to relate back to the member who gave the speech.

Questions and comments?


Mr. Steven Del Duca: Speaker, I think that's going to be a hard act for anyone in this House to follow, especially-that's the first reference in my 15-or-some months to a doo-wop or a doo-wop girl that I've heard here. Maybe we can get a clarification for what that is.

I had the chance a little bit earlier today to speak to this particular bill. It is a bill that deals with process and procedure and fairness. I think the one thing that is clear from some of the-and I said this in my remarks earlier today: that it is unfortunate that we've seen both opposition parties here today take advantage of process and procedure in this House to try to thwart this government's attempts to move forward with the important deliberations and debate and discussions here that the people of all of our communities expect us to deal with. So I would really call on all members, with the opportunity that they have left for debate today and in the coming days, to focus on the issues that matter to the people of our respective communities.

This particular legislation, Speaker, is extremely important to individuals who have worked very, very hard, from the panel itself that brought forward the recommendations, to the government that has helped create this bill.

Speaker, in listening to the member from London-Fanshawe, what struck me in her remarks this afternoon was that she stood in her place and made it seem like the games-playing has only occurred at the hands of the official opposition. Earlier today, when the members of the third party, the members of the Ontario NDP, had the chance to work with us to extend debate so that we could be here tonight working hard for the people of Ontario, working hard for the people of Kitchener and working hard for the people of London, they chose not to participate. They chose not to be positive. They chose not to be constructive.

1750

So it's a little bit rich for that member from London-Fanshawe to stand in her place and accuse members of the Ontario PC Party of playing games when today, in this House, people watching at home, people from all of our communities, had a chance to see singular expertise in games-playing on the part of members of both parties, the Ontario PCs and Ontario NDP.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): I will say again that the questions and comments are supposed to relate back to the member's speech, in this case the member for Durham's speech.

Questions and comments?


Mr. Bill Walker: It's absolutely a pleasure to stand up after my colleague from Durham. I've never seen a guy who rises to the occasion to ensure that he puts fact on the table-to hold the government's feet to the fire at every opportunity, and this is one of those occasions.

Ms. Catherine Fife: Doo-wop.

Mr. Bill Walker: But I do have to defer just a little bit, Mr. Speaker. The honourable member from London-Fanshawe called me the doo-wop. Well, I'm quite proud to be a doo-wop, as opposed to the flip-flop, because in the first budget, they sat on their hands and they didn't show up for work. The second time they had the chance to prop up the government, they voted in favour of this government to keep them up, and yet they call them corrupt every day in this House. So doo-wop, what-up, but let's not be part of the flip-flop.

We've been consistent in our ideals. We've been standing on our principles, saying that government has challenges, that government has run us into the ground, that government has doubled the debt, that government has no party plan for jobs. At the end of the day, I'm happy to be whatever they want to call me. I'm okay with that because I stand on principle and I'm consistent with all of my colleagues. Our job is to be the official opposition, the Queen's opposition. We'll always stand here and truly defend the people of Ontario, the taxpayers who are fronting the bill for every decision that's made in this House.

We're not going to prop up that party that has decimated this province, that has brought in the highest energy rates in the province and is running people out of this province at every opportunity. The only jobs plan they have is for moving companies to move people to the United States. That's the only increase in employment that I have seen.

Mr. Speaker, this bill needs to happen, but at the end of the day, we should be debating jobs, jobs and more jobs, and not the ones going south of the border because of their foibled energy policy. Today they brought in a long-term energy plan, and all it was was more smoke and mirrors. They're going to increase the hydro bill by 30%. We will not accept it; we do not accept it. I will not flip-flop. I stand behind my word.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): Questions and comments relating to the member for Durham's speech on Bill 83?

Mr. Michael Mantha: I think we know why we don't have debates until the 12 o'clock, early evening hours now. My friend from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, my flip-flop, doo-wop colleague, I really enjoy always hearing you talk here in the House.

I was actually here to listen to the member from Durham. Unfortunately, last week he wasn't ready for 83, so he was "slapped," and this morning he was ready for 122 and unfortunately he was slapped again and he couldn't speak to it.

Now, he tried this afternoon to adjourn the debate and he was slapped once more, but then he decided to adjourn the House, and one last time-he was even slapped by his colleagues. So it's really interesting.

We have debate and, in all due seriousness, the one thing that he did bring up in his speech this afternoon was the comments that were made by my colleague the member from Bramalea-Gore-Malton, and I'll try and bring those points quite quickly, within the last minute that I have.

One of them was on the cost of speaking. The second one was on protecting those rights for the cost of speaking. The third one was on the process, a process so that we don't discourage and we empower individuals in having the ability to talk about the things that are concerning to their neighbours, to their communities. And the other that we were talking about was also levelling the playing field so that if there is a suit that is going to be submitted, there is going to be an opportunity where people aren't going to be silenced, that they won't have the fear to speak up, and that we as legislators, who have the ability of bringing in the right pieces of legislation-that we bring these people in, that we embrace their opportunity to speak.

So in all due fairness and likeliness, I really enjoyed the last hour that we've just been in here in the House, and I always enjoy being in the House when the member from Durham is speaking.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): The member from Durham has two minutes to respond.

Mr. John O'Toole: I feel somewhat saddened, actually, and disappointed. There was a vote today, and I felt it was the House against me.

Interjections.


Mr. John O'Toole: But it's true; I'm trying to do the right thing. This is what you call being slapped, and this bill, the SLAPP bill-I think all of the comments were not related to the specifics. With all due respect, Speaker, I thank you for standing up for me, because I was defending the people's right to say what they think is right. The government is trying to bully me into submission here by not allowing me to speak.

The real fact here is that we agree with the right of encouragement of Bill 83. We intend for it, of course, to go to committee. In committee, I would expect that they would finally file a report from the Ontario Municipal Board. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has a discussion paper out there now with the municipalities about reforming the Ontario Municipal Board, which is central to the debate on Bill 83. They've promised, like they've promised many things, to reform it, and have done nothing. We'll see what they really mean.

This bill-we'll see if they even call it. I'd be disappointed, because I'm suspicious right now, because I've lost trust with the government, especially today. The long-term energy plan turned out to be a short-term energy plan. It's going to get them through the next election.

Our leader insists that we continually refer to what we're doing here about creating jobs and a strong economy. That, to me, is the most important part. This bill, in my opinion, is a bill that speaks to people's rights, and I want to make it very clear that that's precisely what this side supports.

We particularly like two parts. The early-dismissal provision-when it's frivolous and vexatious, the judge can rule immediately and, on top of that, can assign costs.

Now, when the member from Bramalea-Gore-Malton was speaking, I asked him: Did he ever write one of those intimidating letters that he referred to, the $6-million letter that says, "If you don't shut up, you're going to pay up"?

Thank you very much.

Second reading debate deemed adjourned.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): It being close to 6 of the clock, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 9 a.m.

The House adjourned at 1757.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS / PRÉSENTATION DES VISITEURS

Mr. John O'Toole 4793

Miss Monique Taylor 4793

Mr. Bob Delaney 4793

Mr. Monte McNaughton 4793

Ms. Catherine Fife 4793

Hon. John Gerretsen 4793

Mr. Ernie Hardeman 4793

Ms. Peggy Sattler 4793

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4793

Hon. Brad Duguid 4794

Ms. Mitzie Hunter 4794

Ms. Lisa MacLeod 4794

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson 4794

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac) 4794

ORAL QUESTIONS / QUESTIONS ORALES

Manufacturing jobs

Mr. Tim Hudak 4794

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4794

Manufacturing jobs

Mr. Tim Hudak 4795

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4795

Hydro rates

Ms. Andrea Horwath 4796

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4796

Hydro rates

Ms. Andrea Horwath 4797

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4797

Hydro rates

Ms. Lisa MacLeod 4798

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4798

Darlington nuclear generating station

Mr. Peter Tabuns 4798

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4799

Public transit

Ms. Mitzie Hunter 4799

Hon. Glen R. Murray 4799

Chris Mazza

Mr. Frank Klees 4800

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne 4800

Hon. Deborah Matthews 4800

Chris Mazza

Mme France Gélinas 4800

Hon. Deborah Matthews 4801

Health care

Mr. Phil McNeely 4801

Hon. Deborah Matthews 4801

Hon. Jeff Leal 4801

Manufacturing jobs

Mr. Monte McNaughton 4802

Hon. Charles Sousa 4802

Hon. Eric Hoskins 4802

Long-term care

Ms. Andrea Horwath 4803

Hon. Deborah Matthews 4803

Underground infrastructure

Mr. John Fraser 4803

Hon. Tracy MacCharles 4803

Automotive industry

Mrs. Jane McKenna 4804

Hon. Eric Hoskins 4804

Prescription drugs

Ms. Peggy Sattler 4804

Hon. Deborah Matthews 4805

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS / PRÉSENTATION DES VISITEURS

Mr. Garfield Dunlop 4805

Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield 4805

Mr. Bob Delaney 4805

Mr. Jagmeet Singh 4805

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS / DÉCLARATIONS DES DÉPUTÉS

Interprovincial trade

Mr. Rob E. Milligan 4805

Automobile insurance

Mr. Jagmeet Singh 4805

Jagdish Kaur

Mr. Vic Dhillon 4806

Major William Halton

Mr. Ted Chudleigh 4806

Blood donation

Mme France Gélinas 4806

Shaftesbury

Mr. Bob Delaney 4806

Hydro rates

Mr. Steve Clark 4807

Palliative care

Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield 4807

Tom Thomson Art Gallery

Mr. Bill Walker 4807

Financial statements, Auditor General

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac) 4808

Appointment of Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac) 4808

MOTIONS

Sign-language interpretation

Hon. John Milloy 4808

Motion agreed to 4808

Private members' public business

Hon. John Milloy 4808

Motion agreed to 4808

House sittings

Hon. John Milloy 4808

Motion negatived 4809

House sittings

Hon. John Milloy 4809

Motion negatived 4809

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY AND RESPONSES / DÉCLARATIONS MINISTÉRIELLES ET RÉPONSES

Energy policies / Politiques d'énergie

Hon. Bob Chiarelli 4809

Ms. Lisa MacLeod 4811

Mr. Peter Tabuns 4812

PETITIONS / PÉTITIONS

Charitable gaming

Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette 4812

Children's aid societies

Ms. Soo Wong 4813

Cancer treatment

Mr. Ted Chudleigh 4813

Waste reduction

Ms. Mitzie Hunter 4813

Environmental protection

Mr. John O'Toole 4813

Off-road vehicles

Mr. John Vanthof 4814

Distracted driving

Ms. Mitzie Hunter 4814

Tire disposal

Mr. Jim McDonell 4814

Diagnostic services

Mme France Gélinas 4814

Waste reduction

Ms. Soo Wong 4815

Air quality

Mr. Steve Clark 4815

Long-term care

Mme France Gélinas 4815

Tire disposal

Mr. Bill Walker 4815

Death of police officer

Ms. Soo Wong 4816

ORDERS OF THE DAY / ORDRE DU JOUR

School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2013, Bill 122, Mrs. Sandals / Loi de 2013 sur la négociation collective dans les conseils scolaires, projet de loi 122, Mme Sandals

Hon. John Milloy 4816

Second reading vote deferred 4817

Protection of Public Participation Act, 2013, Bill 83, Mr. Gerretsen / Loi de 2013 sur la protection du droit à la participation aux affaires publiques, projet de loi 83, M. Gerretsen

Mr. Steven Del Duca 4817

Mr. Steve Clark 4819

Mr. Michael Mantha 4819

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti 4819

Mr. Jim McDonell 4820

Mrs. Julia Munro 4820

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong 4822

Ms. Soo Wong 4822

Mr. Bill Walker 4823

Mr. Michael Mantha 4823

Mrs. Julia Munro 4824

Mr. Michael Prue 4824

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur 4827

Mr. Steve Clark 4827

Ms. Catherine Fife 4827

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti 4827

Mr. Michael Prue 4828

Hon. Mario Sergio 4828

Mr. Steve Clark 4829

Mr. John Vanthof 4830

Mr. Bill Mauro 4830

Mr. Jim McDonell 4831

Hon. Mario Sergio 4831

Mr. John O'Toole 4831

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong 4834

Mr. Steven Del Duca 4835

Mr. Bill Walker 4835

Mr. Michael Mantha 4836

Mr. John O'Toole 4836

Second reading debate deemed adjourned 4836

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