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Ontario Hansard

Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Ontario Hansard
May 30, 2006

Statements by the Ministry and Responses - Police Services

Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North): I'm pleased today to respond to the remarks made by the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services on the OAPSB annual Queen's Park lobby day. On behalf of our leader, John Tory, and the members of our caucus, I want to welcome all the members that are here joining us today. I want you to know that we are on your side.

I heard over and over again -- I had a meeting this morning, and listening to the minister's comments, you'd actually think he had made some progress. However, there are a number of issues that are outstanding, and I'm not hearing any leadership coming from the minister and from that government, the same as we're not seeing any leadership at Caledonia.

Bill 103, for an example, the Independent Police Review Act: The Ontario Association of Police Services Boards requests that the ministry consider their concerns as part of its review before Bill 103 proceeds to second reading. We haven't heard of Bill 103 or where it's come from ever since it was introduced by the Attorney General a while back.

There's a lot around police recruitment and training and also on provincial responsibility for mental health patients. The OAPSB recommends that the government of Ontario should provide progress updates on its mental health strategy to address concerns raised by OAPSB and other policy stakeholders regarding responsibility for mental health patients. There has been no movement in that area.

The base-rate increase for the victims' crisis and referral service, the VCARS program: OAPSB believes that all VCARS should receive an immediate base-rate increase.

We hear this each day in our ridings, and we're looking for leadership from the minister and from this government on a number of issues that have been addressed here today by this board. I look forward to hearing other comments, and I look forward to this government actually taking action on these issues.

Oral Questions - Native Land Dispute

Mr. Robert W. Runciman (Leeds-Grenville): A question to the Acting Premier: We learned today that Superior Court Justice David Marshall has summoned the Attorney General of Ontario to court to answer why your government continues to ignore the court order to enforce the law in the Caledonia situation. This extraordinary action was taken by the judge, in his words, "to ensure that peace in the community is maintained under the rule of law." In non-legal terms, it would seem that His Lordship would like to know why your government is incapable or unwilling to enforce the law. Can the minister tell this House the answer to that question before the Attorney General is hauled before the court to do so?

Hon. George Smitherman (Minister of Health and Long-Term Care): The minister responsible for aboriginal affairs.

Hon. David Ramsay (Minister of Natural Resources, minister responsible for aboriginal affairs): I know my colleague across the way knows that when you have an action before the court, it's inappropriate for the government to comment on that. The only comment I can make is that the Ontario government will be present in that court on Thursday.


Mr. Runciman: If you won't answer the question in this House, hopefully you'll answer it before the judge. I describe this as extraordinary; "extraordinary" is probably an understatement. This is the first time in memory that an Attorney General has been called on the carpet for not discharging his constitutional responsibilities. This is ultimately the Attorney General's responsibility, and I ask you, why is he, as the chief law officer, not enforcing his responsibility? Why is that occurring?

Hon. David Ramsay: I think it's fair for the member to tell the House that, of course, the judge is calling all parties to the previous court hearing to come before him, including the Attorney General of Ontario. As I said to the member, Ontario will be there at court and will represent our position there.

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