Thursday, December 3, 1987 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time we will proceed with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed at this time with the Order Paper.
INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS
Mr. McLachlan: Appearing in this corner, in the yellow sweater and dark slacks, returning to defend his oft usurped title, the middleweight champion of the Meech Lake Accord, Senator Paul Lucier.
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Speaker: Are there any Returns or Documents for Tabling?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have for tabling, a document listing land transfer requests as well as lands transferred since May of 1985, and a document entitled Code of Fair Practice for Land Applications.
Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees? Are there any Petitions? Introduction of Bills? Are there any Notices of Motion for Production of Papers? Are there any Notices of Motion? Are there any Statements by Ministers?
Code of Fair Practice for Land Applicants
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Today, I tabled a very important document for all current and future land applicants, a Code of Fair Practice. The applicants Code of Fair Practice has been developed over the summer with much input from the agricultural industry. It was representatives of that industry who demanded that land applicants be informed about their individual rights, rights that many of us take for granted.
The idea of an agricultural land applicants Bill of Rights was initiated in a meeting last spring with the Agricultural Application Action Committee. The committee brought forth requests for clarification of the application review process, and options available to an applicant should he or she be dissatisfied with a decision on their application. Another major concern was not knowing where their application was in the system or what the status of it was. The draft code was reviewed by the Yukon Livestock and Agricultural Association during an industry/government workshop held on June 27, 1987, to discuss the agricultural application review process.
This government has gone one step further and established a Code of Fair Practice that applies to all applicants regardless of the class of land they are applying for. The fundamental principle is that applicants will be treated in a fair and forthright manner. They have certain rights, consisting of the following:
- right to view their files
- right to be informed of his/her application status
- right to know how and why decisions are made
- right to personally present an application
- right to appeal decisions
- right to withdraw an application
- right to supplement an application with further information detail or modifications
- right to confidentiality of specified information
Some measures have already been taken to implement the new code, others will begin immediately. Applicants are being informed of decisions on their land requests. They will no longer be, as some applicants have put it, kept in the dark. The terms of reference of the Land Application Review Committee are being reviewed and revised to ensure the review process takes into account every aspect of this Code of Fair Practice.
The code will be available to applicants over the Lands Branch counter and form part of application information packages and brochures. Applicants are being encouraged to communicate regularly with the Lands Branch.
The establishment of this code represents another important step in the governments open approach to Yukon land management.
Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: This issue has come to be known around the territory as the Thomson affair. The Minister of Justice held his press conference on Monday morning at 9 a.m. At that time he claimed that the opinion that was received said that rulings made by a justice of the peace, after that justice was over the age of 65, could be legally challenged. I submit that the opinion says no such thing. Would the Minister agree with me?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I made those statements at the time on the basis of information that I had. They were entirely fair at the time. While I am on my feet about this matter. I should advise all Members that over the noon hour I had delivered a letter to the Chairperson of the Judicial Council calling for an inquiry by the Judicial Council into the facts. I determined that course of action was the appropriate and responsible action, after I received word at approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday that the Chief Judge of the Territorial Court would not meet with me.
Mr. Phelps: That is pretty interesting. The Minister is now trying to use the Judicial Council process to save his skin, and it is there to protect the judge whom the Minister made outrageous remarks about when he held a press conference on the basis of information that was false. The opinion does not question the validity of the decisions made by the justice of the peace.
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mr. Phelps: Why did the Minister take this action by making such injurious statements on the basis of false information?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have previously stated why I took the course of action that I took. Any further statement would be merely repetition.
Mr. Phelps: The letter of September 8 states, As I am sure you are aware, the Territorial Court Act provides that a justice ceases to hold office (a) on attaining the age of 65 years. This means that, effective immediately, I will be unable to authorize any payment of sitting fees.
That is from the point of view of the administration and the Minister of Justices department. That is not from the point of view of the Judge, is it?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: As of today, I have asked the Judicial Council to make an inquiry into the facts. The question asked is one of the facts that will be inquired into. In due course, I will receive the report of the Judicial inquiry which, I hope, will establish the precise facts.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: We do not need a judicial inquiry. We need an inquiry into the actions of this Minister.
I understand that the Minister is now saying that he did not learn about the letter of September 8 until September 29; hence, the comments made in the Whitehorse Star article of September 29. Is that the Ministers new position?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have no new position or old position. I have one position. I learned of the letter from a reporter when the matter became public. The matter will be inquired into in due course by the Judicial Council.
Mr. Phelps: The date on which it became a public matter was September 29, as we all know. Is it true that the Minister signed the memorandum to Cabinet, dated September 11, 1987, for the purpose of getting an Order-in-Council to revoke the appointment of Bill Thomson as justice of the peace?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is untrue.
Mr. Phelps: Is it true that the memo, which was signed by the Minister on September 11, 1987, also sought an Order-in-Council for the revocation of the appointment of Sarah Steele as Justice of the Peace?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Specifically, that is untrue - in those specific words. I hope that the Judicial Inquiry will inquire into all these facts. The fact of the matter around Cabinet submissions, which I would submit at the beginning should be ruled out of order, are that I at no time signed any Cabinet submission requesting the dismissal of Justice of the Peace Thompson.
Territorial Court Act
Mr. McLachlan: It may be clear in the Ministers mind what happened, or what did not happen that should have happened - but it is certainly not clear in anyone elses mind. Why did the Minister wait until today, at 12 noon, to refer the matter to the Judicial Council, rather than earlier in the week?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: When I received the letters of Friday, November 27, I immediately sought interviews with the necessary people in order to ascertain the facts. I was told by Judge Ilnicki herself that I could have an interview next week; that information was given to me on Friday afternoon. I had tried to obtain an interview all day Monday, Tuesday and the Wednesday; I received information by a note while I was in this House yesterday afternoon, that she would not meet with me. It was at that point that I ascertained I had no way of effectively ascertaining the complete facts and there was no alternative but to request a Judicial Inquiry.
Mr. McLachlan: That will always leave open the question that had the Minister been able to secure a meeting with the Territorial Court Judge what would have come out of that meeting that would have made things any different than they are now? I guess we will never know.
Is the Minister saying that the only thing that kept him from making the decision to go to the Judicial Council was the fact that he could not secure a meeting with the Territorial Court Judge in question? Is that the only thing?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: Earlier in the week the Minister also made reference to an inquiry under the Inquiries Act, which is covered by statute legislation of this government, which usually implies a wrongdoing of one nature or another. Why has the Minister chosen to go to the Judicial Council rather than a full inquiry under the Inquiries Act?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It was because the Chief Judge of the Territorial Court is involved and the appropriate action to take is to request an inquiry under the Territorial Court Act. I have been asked to do that all week by the opposition and I did it at the most responsible time.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: It feels like an episode from Alice in Wonderland. I am going to ask the Minister once again if it is true that he signed on September 11 of this year a Memorandum to Cabinet, a statutory instrument: As the Minister responsible for Justice I request that the following recommendation be considered by Cabinet. Subject: Justice of the Peace Revocations. Recommendation: Pursuant to Section 41(1) of the Territorial Court Act, the Commissioner and Executive Council revoke the appointments of Bill Thompson and Sarah Steele as Justices of the Peace.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I signed no such document. This is the second time I have reputed that.
Mr. Phelps: Is it true that that was changed so that the revocation was then sought and an Order-in-Council granted for the revocation of Sarah Steele as a Justice of the Peace?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is accurate that the Cabinet made a revocation of an appointment of a Justice of the Peace on the resignation of that Justice. That is true and is on the public record.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phillips: My question is to the Government Leader. I think Yukoners have had enough. This whole issue has been handled badly and at an enormous expense to the Yukons justice system. The Minister of Justice, more than anyone else, knows what the chain of events are when there is a complaint against a judge or justice of the peace within our system.
The Judicial Council was set up to specifically handle such complaints. Only now is the Justice Minister going that route. Does the Government Leader agree that the Minister of Justice erred terribly when he held a news conference criticizing the Judge, when he himself knew that he should have filed his complaint with the Judicial Council first?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I agree hardly at all with any of the statements made in the alleged question by the Member opposite.
Mr. Phillips: Is the Government Leader recommending then that any member of the public who has a complaint against a judge or a justice of the peace in the Yukon do what the Justice Minister did and call a press conference and air his complaints publicly about that judge or justice of the peace?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: If the Member opposite had done his homework and considered the question properly, he would realize that the law is that any member of the public may make a complaint against a judge to the Judicial Council; that includes me and the Leader of the Opposition. The responsible course of action before making a complaint against a judge is to ascertain the facts in your own mind first
Mr. Phillips: Let us not get talking about who has not done their homework in this case. It is the Minister of Justice who has been totally, absolutely irresponsible in this case. My question, again, is to the Government Leader, and not the Minister of Justice. The Government Leaders Minister of Justice has politically interfered in the judiciary and the operations of independent, or semi-independent societies. I will give you a few examples...
Speaker: Order, please. I would like to remind the Member of our guidelines for Question Period. A one sentence preamble is allowed in each case of supplementary questions and I would like to ask you to get to the question now.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phillips: New question. The Minister of Justice has continually interfered in the justice system in the Yukon. In the dismissal of the Yukon Native Courtworkers Society, he criticized the makeup of the Judicial Council...
Speaker: Point of Order to the Minister of Justice.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Mr. Speaker, you interrupted the Member for Riverdale North and asked him to get to his question. He has totally ignored your ruling and he is making a mockery of the Chair by refusing to follow the rules.
Mr. Phillips: On the Point of Order, I was on a new question, and it should be allowed to continue.
Speaker: There is no point of order. Does the Member wish to continue with his question?
Mr. Phillips: The Minister has criticized the makeup of the Judicial Council. He has refused to appoint JPs. He dictates to the Judicial Council who they can appoint. He has fought the Public Legal Education system. He is still embroiled in the crest controversy. He was involved in a $20,000 judge versus judge suit, and he is up to his ears, and many people would say, over his head in this issue. Enough is enough. Will the Government Leader now accept his responsibility and ask for the resignation of the Minister of Justice?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. I can think of absolutely nobody in the community who I would take legal advice from less than the Member for Riverdale North even though he sat on the Judicial Council. He has demonstrated in this House and elsewhere absolutely no respect for the fundamentals of justice or the principles of fairness anywhere in his public life.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Lang: I have major concerns about the Legislature and what it stands for. One of the basics of the Legislature is truth. The Member for Old Crow may think that is funny, but when a question is put forward by people of the territory, they deserve a truthful answer. We have had the Minister of Justice, on three occasions, give facts to this House, and then in three or four days tell us that those facts are not true.
Why did the Minister of Justice on three occasions tell this House that he became aware of the dismissal of Mr. Thomson on September 8 or 9, and today he tell us that it was on September 29, 1987?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I became aware of the letter of September 8 when it became public. I was informed of it by a media person. The facts around that are part of the facts of the whole situation, which will be inquired into by the Judicial Council.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister of Justice give me a yes or no answer? Is it not true that this issue became public on September 29, 1987?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The facts around this issue will be inquired into in appropriate form by the Judicial Council.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Lang: The Minister of Justice, on November 18, 1987, said to this House, Mr. Thomson received a letter signed by a Mr. Williamson who is the Director of Court Services. That individual, in his job description, has a dual reporting relationship. He reports to this government on administrative matters and to the courts, that is specifically the resident judge of the Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the Territorial Court, who is also the Chief Judge of the Justice of the Peace Court by statute.
He went on at great lengths to tell this House that his administration had nothing to do with respect to the dismissal of Mr. Thomson. Could the Minister tell us why, on July 21, the Deputy Minister of Justice, who reports to the Minister of Justice on a daily basis, was directly involved with respect of procuring a legal opinion that we spoke of earlier?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is the Member for Porter Creek Easts characteristic ploy to set up a false fact and then attack it. I have not said that the Ministry of Justice - in the sense of employees in the department - has had nothing to do with this affair. I have outlined some of the things that have occurred. Now, the appropriate course of action is for the Judicial Council to determine the facts in an independent way. That will occur and is now the appropriate course of action.
Mr. Lang: The Minister has not answered my question. According to the Director of Court Services, he was the only individual involved from the administration with respect to the request he claims came from the Chief Judge. Why was the deputy minister involved to the point that he was even writing memorandums?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Member for Porter Creek East has made statements about what I have said or done. In the preamble to the question, those statements are not accurate.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister just tell the truth? Is it true the deputy minister reviewed the letter sent September 8 to Mr. Thomson prior to it being sent?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are many facts or occurrences around this issue. The appropriate course of action now is for an inquiry to be held to determine precisely what occurred. I have requested that that happen, and that is where it now lies.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: The Minister did not answer the question; let me answer the question. Yes, the deputy minister authorized the letter. Yes, the department authorized the letter. Yes, the letter came from the instructions of the department and the right hand man of the Minister. Yes, the Minister knew about this before September 8. All the evidence points to that.
If there is to be a judicial inquiry, or an inquiry of any sort, will he give us the undertaking ...
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Point of Personal Privilege.
Speaker: Order, please. Point of Order to the Minister of Justice.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is a Point of Privilege, Mr. Speaker.
I have made statements of fact, or the facts as I believe them to be. The Leader of the Official Opposition has asserted now, essentially, that I was lying. I would challenge him to withdraw that statement or refer it to the Committee on Rules, Elections and Privileges.
Mr. Phelps: I would like, first of all, for the Minister to apologize publicly to the Judge. Secondly, I would like him to explain all the inconsistencies in what he has called facts, when it has been proven that the facts are not there.
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please speak on the point of privilege?
Mr. Phelps: I would like to know exactly what he is referring to when he is suggesting that I called him a liar. Would he quote back where I said that?
Speaker: Order, please. The Chair will take this under advisement.
Mr. Phelps: I know that the Minister will resist. It would be improper for him to intimidate any of his employees who might be called to give evidence before an Inquiry. Would he agree with that?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, I agree with that. I would further state that I have been asked by employees about speaking to the media, and I have specifically instructed them to act according to their conscience.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: Would the Minister admit that when he went to see the Judge on Friday - preceding the letters - he went there, spoke in a loud and angry tone and shook his finger at the Judge in the presence of witnesses?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I did not speak in a loud and angry voice.
Mr. Phelps: Did the Minister shake his finger at the Judge at that time?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have no specific knowledge or memory on that; I do not remember if I did or not. The particular facts, of course, will be inquired into by the Judicial Council.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Lang: It is common knowledge that, within at least some sections of the Public Service, there is a fear at times of retribution by the political arm of government if they do not toe the line of the government.
I have a question for the Minister of Justice. If an employee or employees state publicly what has occurred with respect to this very messy and uncalled for situation that has developed, is he prepared to say on the record that there will be no fear of retribution by himself nor his Cabinet colleagues, nor the Public Service Commission.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Coming from that Member that is a perfectly delightful question. The answer categorically is yes.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Brewster: My first question is to the Minister of Justice. On October 16, 1985 on page 161 on Hansard the Minister stated, I would remind the Member that there was a report into the independence of the Canadian judiciary done some years ago, called the Dechesne Report. That report substantially embarrassed the Yukon Territory, because it mentioned specifically the past problems here, and criticized the executive arm of government in the past as to the interference that had occurred with the proper independence of the judiciary. I am very sensitive to that. I do not have a personal axe to grind, but I think it is appropriate to be very sensitive. Does the Minister remember making that statement?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes I do, and I totally agree with it now, as I did then.
Mr. Brewster: My supplementary is to the Government Leader. Since what may have been a problem before has now become a sorry mess, would the Government Leader now ask and accept the resignation of the Minister of Justice?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No, especially for two thoughts that do not even have the vaguest logical link.
Mr. Brewster: To the Government Leader, I agree with the statement made by the Minister of Justice in Hansard on page 38, on October 23, 1983, This is a denial of judicial independence, the most basic and fundamental of the judicial functions. Will the Government Leader ask for the resignation of such an incompetent minister? Will the Government Leader please accept the request of the Minister of Justice?
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Nordling: Yesterday the Minister of Justice said he rushed to the media, because after speaking with Justice of the Peace Thomson Friday night, he knew that this matter was going to be a very public matter. The public matter was going to be Mr. Thomsons reinstatement, not the private and confidential letter from the Chief Judge to the Minister of Justice. To go straight to the media and denounce a judge is a cowardly and irresponsible act from a lawyer who knows perfectly well that judges are not free to defend themselves. This Minister is the chief law administrator in the territory and has sworn an oath of office to act responsibly. He has done just the opposite. If he cannot accept the responsibility of his office I would ask if the Minister is prepared to resign?.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The denouncing of the Judge has come from Members opposite. The actions I have taken are as a result of information obtained by me through a conversation with Mr. Thomson. The matter must come out. We must get to the bottom of it. That is what I am trying to do and the next step is for a judicial inquiry to occur. It will occur.
Mr. Nordling: With no consideration for the judicial system, the Chief Judge, Mr. Williamson, or Mr. Thomson, the Minister has fallen all over himself trying to run away from this crisis that happened within his department, for which he is responsible. If the Minister had an ounce of integrity -
Speaker: Order, please. I would like to remind the Member about guideline seven: a one sentence preamble will be allowed for each supplementary question and I would ask the Member to get to the question now.
Mr. Nordling: Thank you, Mr. Speaker; one sentence. If the Minister had an ounce of integrity, if he had an ounce of honesty, he would get up in this House and resign, now. Will he do that?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is, I would submit, ludicrous, and it detracts from that Members credibility to say that I have tried to run away from this issue. I have faced it square on and I have taken the responsible course at each turn.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mrs. Firth: I have a question for the Minister of Justice. The Minister of Justice has made comments in the media that, personally, he is going to come out of this unscathed - the whole justice system is not, but the Minister is going to come out of this unscathed.
A Minister of Justice who runs out to the media, trips over his own feet getting to the media to call a judge a liar, is not going to get out of this situation unscathed. I would like to ask the Minister of Justice, when he signed a memorandum to Cabinet to revoke two Order-In-Council appointments, two -
Speaker: Point of order to the Minister of Justice.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: My point of personal privilege, is I have made categorical statements about signing that document this very day. To say that I signed them is calling me a liar, and I challenge the Member for Riverdale South to withdraw that statement or refer it to the Rules, Elections and Privileges Committee.
Mrs Firth: On a Point of Order.
Speaker: Order, please. On a Point of Order to the Member for Whitehorse Riverdale South.
Mrs. Firth: If the Minister had let me finish my question, he would see that there is no Point of Privilege. My question was worded in a different context, and I would like the opportunity to complete the question without being interrupted by the Minister so that he can give me an appropriate answer.
Did the Minister sign a memorandum to Cabinet to revoke two Order-in-Council appointments for justices of the peace - one for Sarah Steele and one for Bill Thomson? Just before it physically got into Cabinet, did he withdraw it and submit a new memorandum with the revocation of only one Order-in-Council appointment for that of Sarah Steele?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will take the most charitable course of action that I can, and I will interpret that question as a withdrawal of the earlier statement of the assertion, which will appear in Hansard, that I did what she is asking if I did. The answer is no.
Mrs. Firth: Did the Minister sign a memorandum of Cabinet for the revocation of an Order-in-Council appointment for a justice of the peace named Sarah Steele?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is a matter of public record. That revocation did occur.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will recess for 15 minutes, at which time we will return and deal with Bill No. 16.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Bill No. 16 - Private Investigators and Security Guards Act
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: For the Members, I should introduce the gentleman beside me. He is Mr. David Dornian, the Director of Consumer, Corporate and Labour Affairs. During the second reading, there were several questions raised. I will answer them all at the outset.
The first question was why locksmiths were left out of this Act. The answer is that, on an original draft of the Act, locksmiths were included. They were excluded at their request. We reviewed the provincial statutes, and the majority did not include locksmiths with private investigators and security guards. However, most jurisdictions have separate regulatory legislation for locksmiths. The locksmiths in the Yukon have not requested legislation regulating their industry. That is the reason why they are left out.
I was asked what mischief the Bill is designed to remedy. I would repeat the statements I made in the second reading speech: this is a regulation of the industry, supported by the industry, for the protection of the public and, secondarily, for the protection and the enhancement of the reputation of the responsible businesses who are acting in this industry.
I was asked if the territorial government employees would be under this legislation as investigators. The answer is no, that is covered under Section 2(5).
I was asked if the Act was drafted from a provincial statute. The answer is no. However, the government reviewed the law around the provinces, and we have borrowed some principles from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, but there is no particular Act that this is modelled after. It is a Yukon Act.
I was asked about costs in the person year or budgetary implications - there are no person year implications - and there will some be some very minor administrative costs, the printing of licenses, for example, and they will be absorbed in the consumer services section.
I was asked a question about compulsory finger printing. This requirement was requested by the industry. The first consultation draft was forwarded to the industry without it and we added it after input from the industry and we consulted with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Yukon Human Rights Commission about specifically that.
I was asked who the registrar would be and the registrar will be a member of the public service. There is a specific section, Section 3, which we can discuss specifically.
I was asked about colour of uniforms and I would point Members to Section 11(1) of the proposed regulations about that and the concern here, of course, is the confusion with the law enforcement agencies, specifically, the police.
I was asked the competency of the persons who carry firearms. The answer is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police issue firearm permits and specifically deal with competency of individuals in considering the permits, so the question of competency for firearms is, in laymans language, delegated to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Those are the questions that were raised. I will answer any additional ones as they come forward.
Mrs. Firth:I do not believe I asked why locksmiths were not included in the Act. I just recognized that they were not and that it was at their request not to be, because previous legislation had been drafted including them. I had constituents come to me with a concern about that. They wanted it on the record that they were not included. I fully understood the reasons why they were not included.
The Minister made comments about government employees and made a quick reference to the Clause. If he prefers, we can deal with that when we get to the line by line. I would like a little more explanation because as I read it, it would not only apply to government but to other employers who had agents permanently employed by them. I will be looking for some further clarification when we get to that section.
Mr. McLachlan: How many different security companies are presently registered with the government?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are four.
Mr. McLachlan: Which positions in the civil service will be registered?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We have an individual, Ms. Vicki Hancock, who has the title of registrar of numerous functions under 48 Acts.
Mr. McLachlan: Of those four different security companies that are registered with the government, how many people will they employ in this type of business? Is it a small or very large number?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will take an educated guess and say it is approaching 24.
Mr. McLachlan: I have exactly the opposite comment from the Member for Whitehorse Riverdale South on the locksmiths, because they are included in other Acts. The concern was that once a locksmith had worked on the front door of a persons house, that locksmith had - if he or she so wanted - permanent access to the house, or at least a dishonest one would. What is the rationale for having them in the Act or not having them in the Act?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We decided to take locksmiths out of this particular Act as a result of the consultations. It may be that there will be a particular Act for locksmiths. There is some discussion with locksmiths as to how that should occur - who wants it and who does not want it. That review has not concluded.
Mrs. Firth: How many private eyes would we have in the Yukon?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: At the moment we believe there are none.
Chairman: Are there any questions concerning the definitions under Clause 1?
Mr. McLachlan: I believe a number of businesses as well as the schools within the Yukon Territory have burglar alarm systems and/or fire prevention systems that trigger an alarm. Often those people who service them come to the territory from Edmonton or Vancouver to work on them. Must they be licenced as part of this Act if they come from out of the territory to work on these systems?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mrs. Firth: The way I read this definition, private investigator means a person, who for consideration, or in the hope or expectation thereof, investigates and furnishes information and includes a person who, does the following things.... The way I read it, this could include people like political researchers, or consultants. Does the Minister agree with that analysis. Our political researchers, who for consideration of the MLAs, investigate and furnish information - and they do that as to character and actions of people, Ministers, businesses - I would submit that consultants also provide that same kind of information.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is not the way I read it, and it is absolutely clear that that is not the intent. I would suggest that perhaps, in almost every job, there would be some element of finding something out; that is not being a private investigator. The task for the legislative draftspeople is to make the definition wide enough to cover all the people involved in the field and narrow enough to not catch, for example, students doing research projects at school or political researchers, or the like. The definition here is consistent with other jurisdictions and I would submit to all Members that it makes good common sense. I would invite any alternate definition, but I think this is clear on its face.
Mrs. Firth: I do not believe the Minister when he says he would invite an alternate definition because I brought two amendments to another Bill and the Minister hardly even wanted to consider them after he said he would consider them. This is a concern. This is a very broad definition and, because it is so broad - our researchers are there specifically for finding something out; that is their job - and because of the broadness of the definition and its not being specific enough, I feel that it includes particularly our political researchers, not just for the Opposition Members but for the government Members as well. I think it could be interpreted that some of the consultants in town who are doing this kind of research work would also come under that category and therefore would have to become private investigators and be licenced under the terms of the broad definition in this Bill.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The definitions here are people who search personal character and search for offenders against law and search for missing persons or property. That is pretty clear to me and I think it is good common sense.
Mrs. Firth: The particular clause I am speaking about is (a). Even the media carry out these functions, and I am sure they are not going to run out and become private investigators because they are investigating and furnishing information about personal characters or actions or characters of businesses or occupations. It is an extremely broad, sweeping, all-encompassing definition.
Mr. McLachlan: Further to the questioning of the Member for Riverdale South, a lot of the information defined in (a) is the type of information that is sought when one is applying for a job. The Public Service Commission does it as a matter of routine for the Yukon Territory. I am just wondering if the Minister has any further comments on that?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The interpretation is the consideration for these functions. You could read it as the job being primarily for these functions. The question is: what is a private investigator, and it is absolutely clear that almost all of us - well, I would suggest all of us - in the course of our lives do investigations, but that does not make us private investigators. We are not holding ourselves out for hire, or accepting fees for particular investigations, and that is the difference here. This definition is consistent with the definitions in other jurisdictions, and I can assure Members that there is no problem around the country about including everybody as private investigators.
Mrs. Firth: When I was a little girl, my mother used to say to me when I came home and said to her, Mum, I want to do this because everybody else is doing it, she used to say to me, If everybody else ran and jumped in the lake, would you want to run and jump in the lake too?
I think the Ministers everybody else is doing it is running a little thin and I hope we do not have to hear it too many more times. The Minister is kind of winging it as he goes along. He thinks up some new little thing about a fee for investigation and they are all doing it for some consideration, it is their primary job, well, why does it not say that then? Why is it not more specific? I am just simply raising a concern here, irregardless of what everybody else is doing, and not creating a problem. It is not specific, it is very broad, and I see that it could be interpreted to include all kinds of people who we all know are not private investigators, but who work for money and do all of the functions that are included in the main body of the definition and in (a). If the Minister is saying that it is because of their primary job or if they do it solely for these purposes, or primarily for these purposes, why has he not stated that in the Bill, so that it is at least a little more specific?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I would point to the other sections of the Bill here for an interpretation and the essential element here is the phrase, who, for consideration. Now this is a consideration for these specific things and that includes, under burglar alarm agency, security consultant, security guard.
You can argue that the Opposition researchers sit in the office and consequently are security guards to protect the files in the office. Well that just offends common sense. Researchers do research, they are not security guards, although there is a small element of their job that involves security.
There is a sense of their job involving investigation and a whole lot of other things that are regulated. The Member opposite accused me of winging it. The questions appear to me to be dreamed up and hardly reasonable, and I am simply responding to them.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister stands up and give credence to the argument we are presenting. We know that the researchers are not going to be referred to as security guards. If it is their primary function to do something, why does he not say that?
The exemptions include the example of the security researcher being the security guard, and addresses my concern about the broad definition. The exemptions include certain aspects. But, what is the Minister saying? If he is saying that it is exactly what their function is, to say that this is their primary job, why does it not say that? Why is it so vague that it can be interpreted to mean that a political researcher is going to have to become a private investigator? It does not make sense.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I would point the Member to the exemptions, specifically Section 2(4) and 2(5), the one about lawyers and policemen, as well. The intent here is perfectly obvious. There is no legitimate concern here for mischief. We know what private investigators do, and this is a very good statement of the functions of private investigators. It could not be simpler.
Mrs. Firth: I have a feeling I am leading the Minister around through his Bill. I get the feeling he did not even know what the exemptions included. I read the exemptions, and I still maintain that the definition is too broad. The Minister has stood up here said it means the primary job, yet his legislation does not say the primary job.
The Minister is standing up and saying one thing, yet another is written in this legislation.
Mr. McLachlan: A large department store will normally employ people to do exactly this type of thing. Do the definitions in (d) and (e) apply only to those who are not in an employer/employee relationship, that is, if this were a special contracted service by the large department store for someone to do this? I believe they do it on a regular basis anyway.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is yes, and I would point to the exemption 2.(5) on page 3 about employed people.
Mrs. Firth: Perhaps I can use an example here for the security consultant. Say I went to Beaver Lumber and asked if they could tell me ways to secure my home, and they recommended ways that I could secure my home. Does that mean that Beaver Lumber has to become a security consultant because they are advising me on a security system - and they are not private investigators, or security guards, or burglar alarm agents, but they are going to tell me about security devices that I can put on my home.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is that the clerk in the store is not covered under this legislation. The definition is a person who, for consideration, or who gets a payment for a particular service; that clerk would not be included. I would also point to the definition of a security consulting agency, which is related. The person, friend, or salesperson of these items that can be purchased in a store, is simply not included.
Mrs. Firth: If I go and on the advice of that salesperson, who recommended a particular security device to me, and I buy it and pay for it and purchase it - then he has acted in the capacity of a security consultant, and by buying the product I have in a sense complied with what the Minister is saying about the for consideration. Again, perhaps it should say whose primary or sole function it is, or whatever the Minister has referred to or means.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I simply disagree with Mrs. Firths interpretation. It just could not possibly be interpreted that way.
Mrs. Firth: It can be interpreted that way and the Minister knows very well that it can, and there will be people who will interpret it that way. There will, and I do not care why he is shaking his head, saying: no, it will not happen. It can happen. The same thing can happen if you look at the definition of security guard. I have asked my neighbours to look after my house, and I have brought them back a gift for doing it. To me that complies with the definition of security guard as well. The definitions are extremely vague and very broad. If I am interpreting it that way, it is because others have brought it to my attention, and others will interpret it that way, too. Some of the shopkeepers are asking about it.
Mr. McLachlan: If the Member feels that there is a definition not there that should be there because of relevant Clauses in the Bill to come up later - what do we do? Must the government go back and insert a definition? There is no definition of a peace officer in the Bill.
Chairman: An amendment is always possible. Now that that is raised, would the Minister like to comment on that?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is unnecessary to define a peace officer because it is defined in the Criminal Code.
Mr. McLachlan: Does a peace officer carry a gun? Is that the fine line?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The question seems to be, what is the definition of a peace officer and does it hinge around carrying a gun? It is primarily irrelevant here, but being a peace officer entitles a person to carry a gun. There are other requirement within police forces about who may carry a gun and when. Not all peace officers carry guns at all times. Simply carrying a gun, even when that is sanctioned, does not make a person a peace officer.
Mr. McLachlan: I raised the issue of the definition of a peace officer not being here because of the item under exemptions - member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or a peace officer - because members of the Kwanlin Dun police force are not members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. There are bylaw control enforcement officers employed by the municipality. What is their status under this Bill? What is the status of the Kwanlin Dun police force under this Bill? What is the status of the tribal police under the motion we discussed yesterday, under this Bill.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is that nobody is a peace officer unless there is legislation making that person a peace officer. For example, if the Wildlife Act states that conservation officers are peace officers, then they are. If it does not state that, then they are not. It is possible to determine of any person acting in any capacity whether they are or are not a peace officer, and any listing here would merely be repetition.
Mr. Nordling: I would just like to ask the Minister if, when these definitions - private investigator, security consultant, security guard - were written, whether it was considered to use the expression includes a person, for example, whose primary job includes or whose primary function is? It was decided not to use that expression. Was it considered at all?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The general answer is yes, but the term of reference of the draftspeople was that the way it is stated in fact means that. That is a drafting practice that is simply accepted.
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Mrs. Firth: In subclause (2), why can it not just say to a lawyer instead of to a barrister and solicitor? Do we not have a legal definition for lawyers?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Legal Professions Act as it now exists speaks in terms of barristers and solicitors, and I agree that at some point it would be a service to the lay public to change the expression barrister and solicitor to lawyer.
Mrs. Firth: It could probably come back in the Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act at some future date.
Mr. McLachlan: I am still not sure of the status of the Kwanlin Dun police.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I believe the Kwanlin Dun police would like to call themselves peace officers, and the RCMP are objecting. There is a term of their agreement, that the band police members are not police officers but would be, if so designated by the chief superintendent of M Division, Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The present status is that the chief superintendent has made a designation through an agreement that terminates in either 1990 or 1991. At the present moment, though, there are no employees who are designated peace officers for Kwanlin Dun.
Mr. McLachlan: For further purposes of clarification, are the Kwanlin Dun people excluded from being security agents under this legislation by reason of being strictly employed in the service of the Kwanlin Dun Band?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
On Clause 2
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We have already spoken of this Section 2(5). It is meant to apply to employees of businesses or functions that are not security guard agencies or private investigating agencies.
Mrs. Firth: This applies, then, to other businesses that may have security employees, security guard employees, so they would not have to become licenced, is that correct? They would not have to abide by this legislation, like government? And would that apply to say one to five, or can they have only one employee and be exempt?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is yes, and it would apply to any number of employees.
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Mr. McLachlan: While we are on the subject of the registrar, and registration of same, what I would like to point out to the Minister is that there is a national Canadian standard for security guards. I have copies for all of the Members to peruse.
My question is: will this legislation have any validity whatsoever with registration in Canada if the Bill that we are passing today has not, in fact, been checked with the Canadian standard. How do we know if it is valid as far as the rest of Canada is concerned and the standards that are passed setting out basic requirements on the following: people, citizenship, communication skills and literacy, uniforms, deportment, appearance? It is a standard on people, not product. Does the Minister have any comment?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The two things are quite separate. This Bill, the registration Bill, will take effect within the geographic area of Yukon, and not outside it, and that is the most we can ever do. The Canadian General Standards Board is an entirely different body, and registrations under the two bodies are entirely separate and should be seen as entirely different issues. Registration under the Canadian General Standards Board is voluntary, not a matter of law; however, the registrar could certainly be guided by the industry rules through that body.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the Minister saying that it is solely within the jurisdiction of the employer to request that the contracted security company meet the standards accepted by the Canadian General Standards Board and that the government, which is passing legislation, then is not subject to having to meet a certain standard? I cannot rationalize that.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Canadian General Standards Board is, as I understand it, a regulatory agency, but it does not have statutory authority, and that body, or membership in that body, although it is well accepted in the industry and is generally considered as desirable in the industry, is akin to membership in voluntary industry associations. It should be considered separately from this Bill.
Clause 3 agreed to
On Clause 4
Clause 4 agreed to
On Clause 5
Mrs. Firth: Subclause 2 is a mouthful, but the Minister is going to say that it is absolutely necessary. I can see the principle in it but would have thought that it could have been stated in fewer words. I see Mr. Chairman is appreciating the humour in it as well.
Clause 5 agreed to
On Clause 6
Mr. McLachlan: Is it within the power of the registrar to issue the licence for both the agency and the security guard employed by the agency? That is, does simple issuance of the licence to the agency and then allowing the agency to hire the guard qualify?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The proposed regulations, clause 3, clarifies that precisely. There are many categories of licences. The answer is yes, there are separate licences and they are all issued by the same registrar.
Clause 6 agreed to
On Clause 7
Mr. McLachlan: On subclause (2), does the Minister have any indication of how many people can provide this service? It is my understanding there are now people and businesses resident in the territory that can provide this service. What the Minister has done now is impose another level of licensing, because people have to get a business licence to carry on, and probably have to get an electrical contractors licence to carry on. Does this now mean that they must purchase yet another licence to carry on the business of a burglar alarm agency for installations? Does the Minister also know how many people there are, here in the territory, employed in this type of work already?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The only one I am aware of is Oscars Electric.
Mr. McLachlan: In answer to the first part of the question, is that affirmative or negative?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The first part of the question is: is a licence required? The answer is yes, and I should say that I have personally spoken with the owner of the business and he welcomes this requirement.
Mr. McLachlan: Was that before he found out what the fee was, or after?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have had several conversations, and I am sure the Member opposite has also, and he is probably the person who raised with him the Canadian General Standards Board because he did the same with me.
Clause 7 agreed to
On Clause 8
Mrs. Firth: On subclause (1), we may as well find out how many security consultants there are in the Yukon, too.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are none resident here, but it is a big industry outside. Work undoubtedly goes on here, probably for the large employers - for example, the big mines.
Clause 8 agreed to
On Clause 9
Mrs. Firth: With respect to 9(1), can the Minister tell us why the office of the agency has to be approved by the registrar? Does that mean a physical examination of the office, followed by approval?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, not specifically. It is not contemplated that the registrar would physically inspect any offices. The requirement here is put in to ensure that there is an office and a responsible person in charge.
Mrs. Firth: What does approved by the registrar mean? The Minister is saying it does not mean a physical approval, but I think it could be interpreted that way. If that is the way the registrar decided to interpret it, I would object to that kind of an interpretation.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The purpose here is to avoid a shack with no employees being called an office, or a registered office at a lawyers office or an accountants office. The purpose is to ensure that there is a Yukon office. Otherwise, there will not be a Yukon licence.
Mrs. Firth: Would that not be covered when they get a business licence? Why should the registrar have to approve it? If I was a private investigator and was operating out of my home - as far as I am concerned this means that the registrar is going to have the authority to come into my home and inspect my office, just to make sure I have one - before they would approve that I have an agency. I do not think it is necessary. If I am going to run a business, I am going to have to have a business licence, and the concern the Minister raised would be taken care of.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The requirement here is for a Yukon licence, and we wish to ensure there is a Yukon office with a responsible person in charge. A business licence does not ensure that. This principle ought to be considered along with Section 5(2) on the top of page 4. The consideration here is people doing occasional business here, and the local industry. The intent here is that the local people will be licenced, as is their request, and they will not be able to get a licence unless there is a legitimate office here. The only thing we are wishing to establish is that there is a legitimate business office here. Otherwise, they should come under Section 5(2) or not operate.
Mrs. Firth:If a private investigator wanted to get a business licence to operate in the Yukon, I am sure that the government has the ability to make sure that that person has an office here before the licence is issued. Businesses are inspected for the Business Incentive Program to make sure that offices exist. Why would this have to be here? It is just a repetition in giving authority to the registrar that is not necessarily going to be needed.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: When the territory sells a business licence, they are not concerned whether or not there is an office. That is the case for all of the municipalities as well. The municipalities are only too pleased to take the money and grab the licence. They are unconcerned if there is an office, if there is anybody at the office, or anything of that nature. There is no power here to search or investigate. It is a protection for our Yukon industry and a protection for the public, in that we need to know where the agents can be reached, where the office is and that there is someone in charge. I may say that the industry did not raise the concern that is being raised here.
Mrs. Firth: What industry are we talking about? We are talking about one burglar alarms company, zero private investigators, zero security consultants and 24 security guards.
Under this Clause, the registrar can interpret it the way they want to. I understand it to mean that they may require a physical presence or they may not. That means the registrar has the authority to physically inspect to see if the office is there before the application is approved. It does not say that they will not be doing that. It says that the person must have an office for the agency in the Yukon approved by the registrar. The phrase approved by the registrar is up to the interpretation of the registrar. Is that not correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The assertion that this Clause gives the registrar the power to inspect is not accurate.
Mrs. Firth: Why not? Where does it say that they will not inspect or cannot inspect?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is the same concern that we had under the Change of Name Act. Registrars only have the powers that are granted in the Act. Otherwise, they have only the powers of a natural person or a common citizen. In order to grant the legislative power for a registrar to inspect a premises, it must be in the Bill, and it is not in this one.
Mr. Brewster: Maybe the Minister can explain to me why, when he talked about the community clubs, they had to have a physical place to put their licence and where their mail went. Now you turn around and tell them that, as taxpayers and licenced people, they are not inspected to see whether they have an office or not. I presume they can have a mailbox. I do not know why we should accept things like this. They do not have to even have a mailbox for a community club, but the Bill we just passed has to have a physical house and, yet, that is a charity.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The purpose of this Section is to ensure that there is a real office, a real premise, here. That is a protection for our industry here in the Yukon, and it is a protection for citizens in that, if there is a complaint, we will know where to go with it.
Mrs. Firth: Could the Minister tell what the registrar will be looking for when they are looking to grant approval?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: They will be looking to see that there is a physical premise and a responsible person in charge who is actually on the job here in the Yukon.
Mrs. Firth: Why does it not say that instead of approval? It sounds pretty simple and understandable.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Members must accept that, no matter how restricted the registrars power of interpretation is, there will always be some degree of discretion in interpreting what the requirements are.
The Members opposite are trying to restrict this, which is contrary to the interests of the local industry. The local industry wish a degree of protection from the occasional outsider, and this is one of the ways to get it.
Mrs. Firth: That is exactly my concern. No matter what you put, it is going to be open to the interpretation of the registrar, which could be anybody - anybody who comes in and, all of a sudden, becomes a registrar. We prefer that there are some guidelines set and, obviously, the government is prepared to give the registrars total authority, approval or interpretation as to what they want to interpret as being approved.
If the Minister means one thing - physical presence and a person being there - then he should say that instead of leaving it wide open to interpretation. He uses it as a concern himself.
Mr. McLachlan: I have a question under Section 9(1)(b) as to the rationale that the person be a Canadian citizen.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The potential for security checks is the primary consideration. The security checks are spoken about in the later sections of the Bill.
Mr. McLachlan: If a person were a citizen of the USSR, I would understand. Is the Minister saying there is only provision in Canada to check security checks on Canadian citizens? Do we have no international agreements that allow us to check outside the country?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, I believe there is a procedure to go through Interpol, or an agreement with the Americans specifically, or something like that, but there are also considerations about who is allowed to work here. This is consistent with the employment and immigration laws and consistent with most other legislation.
Mr. McLachlan: Further to the eligibility for an agency licence if you are a Canadian citizen, does this refer only to the company when we say agency licence, or does this refer to the individuals as well?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This applies to the company, but there are other sections that apply to individuals.
Mr. McLachlan: That is my problem. Does it also say that the individual to be registered under this Act must only be a citizen of Canada?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not specifically remember. I think we will come to that, but the policy would be to follow immigration determinations. If persons were allowed to work here, they would be capable of being licenced, I am advised. The principle here is that the company is licenced and the individuals are licenced. In the Section here, the company - whether it is sole proprietorship or a partnership or a corporation - needs to be a Canadian citizen.
Clause 9 agreed to
Chairman: Before continuing, shall we recess for 15 minutes?
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will come to order.
On clause 10
Clause 10 agreed to
On Clause 11
Clause 11 agreed to
On Clause 12
Clause 12 agreed to
On Clause 13
Clause 13 agreed to
On Clause 14
Clause 14 agreed to
On Clause 15
Mr. McLachlan: On the issuance of a licence to an agency or individual, the previous clause asks the applicant to declare whether they have any convictions under the Criminal Code (Canada) or Narcotics Control Act (Canada). Would the registrar, as a matter of standard policy, run a check anyway through a police computer?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, once the fingerprints are obtained.
Clause 15 agreed to
On Clause 16
Clause 16 agreed to
On Clause 17
Mr. McLachlan: Are the licences issued only on an annual basis?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: Well that is just great. How does anyone ever, in contracting our services to a major employer such as a mining company, have any assurance that the contract will ever be renewed beyond the first year? Therefore there is no continuity to the business.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is continuity as long as the individual or the company abide by all the laws. It is exactly the same for dentists, doctors, lawyers and all the other businesses that are regulated.
Clause 17 agree to
On Clause 18
Clause 18 agreed to
On Clause 19
Mrs. Firth: Can the Minister tell us what the inquiries that the registrar can make include?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Some of the things the registrar would want to know are: the history of the complaints, the history of non-performance of contracts, the history of bad debts, the history of criminal activity, and those concrete indicators of competence.
Mrs. Firth: So the concrete indicators of competence, as the Minister calls them, include a police check? Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is provided for, yes, that could happen.
Mrs. Firth: On (2) can the Minister tell me what further information or material would be required, after they had been through the first subclause, which would give anybody their whole life story.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: If the first inquiry or the application itself revealed a problem, the registrar could require further details about that particular problem, or progress about any particular concern. This is not under Clause 2. It is not enabling the registrar to do further things, it is contemplating material to be submitted by the applicant - and the registrars only power is to not grant the licence unless the proper material is submitted.
Mrs. Firth: Could the Minister give us a list of examples that would be considered legitimate for denying the licensing?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: For example, if there were criminal convictions under the Narcotic Control Act or something like that, and the additional information was about reformation or rehabilitation, there is a possibility the licence would still be granted. Similarly with past performance of contracts or bad debts.
Clause 19 agreed to
On Clause 20
Clause 20 agreed to
On Clause 21
Clause 21 agreed to
On Clause 22
Clause 22 agreed to
On Clause 23
Mr. McLachlan: If there was an agency that wished to have it people licensed under it, but, because of the nature of the work that the private investigator may be employed in may not want it known to the public that Joe Smith is engaged in undercover work, how does this legislation protect the agencys ability to keep some of the work that their people may be doing confidential?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is a similar situation, for example, for lawyers. Clause 26 is a confidentiality clause and states that there is a positive duty of confidentiality.
Clause 23 agreed to
On Clause 24
Mr. McLachlan: People in corporations file income tax returns for a very good reason. I am trying to visualize what sort of a return the registrar would ask for of the private investigation agency that she has not already asked for in the application for a licence?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The primary concern here is the dismissals of employees and the reasons for them. The primary concern here is for the dismissal of employees who are caught stealing.
Clause 24 agreed to
On Clause 25
Clause 25 agreed to
On Clause 26
Clause 26 agreed to
On Clause 27
Mr. McLachlan: Are people who collect debts licensed under another Act? What is wrong with private investigators saying they are acting on behalf of Woolworth?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is a Section that is common in other jurisdictions. The problem we are getting at here is collection agencies using a licence as a security guard or a quasi policeman as a threat in the debt collection process, which has occurred as a problem elsewhere. This is a protection against that kind of abuse.
Clause 27 agreed to
On Clause 28
Mrs. Firth: In a general sense, can the Minister tell me how many armored car services we have in Whitehorse and how many of the security companies carry firearms?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are two companies that we know of. Their business is transporting gold from the mines in the territory.
Mrs. Firth: Can the Minister answer my other question about firearms? How many of the four security companies that we have in town and the two armored car services carry firearms?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We are not sure, because there is no regulation at the present time, except the requirement under the federal legislation administered through the RCMP for firearms permits. We understand that there either are, or will be, security agents carrying firearms while accompanying very valuable items.
Mrs. Firth: Why would Subsection (2) be there? Why would it not apply to individuals employed by an agency carrying on the business of an armored car service?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is to allow individuals accompanying an armoured car to carry firearms as part of the protection or security of the armoured car service.
Mrs. Firth: Could they do that now? Why would we have to have this in the legislation. I am pretty sure they could do that now if they wanted to.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, they can now, subject to the RCMP permits. It would not be necessary to have (2) if we did not have (1). Subsection (2) is to maintain that.
Mrs. Firth: I am interested to know why (3) is here, Where the registrar is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest, the registrar may impose conditions and restrictions regarding the carrying of firearms... I do not believe the registrar has any authority to do that, that is the authority of the RCMP. This would be a redundant clause.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is not redundant because this is in addition. The purpose of the whole Section 28 is to say that these licenced people shall not carry firearms except - and the places where they can are spelled out. It is essentially for armoured car services. The reason is the safety of the public, to not have persons who are not properly instructed to be carrying firearms.
Mrs. Firth: Again I think the Minister is winging his answer, because this is the jurisdiction of the RCMP. The RCMP are going to allow people who are not properly trained to be out there carrying firearms? What the Minister is effectively saying is that the registrar is going to be second-guessing the RCMP, and in some way the registrar is going to know better. It says very specifically that the registrar may impose conditions and restrictions regarding the carrying of firearms.
I would like to propose an amendment to Bill No. 16, stating:
THAT Bill No. 16, entitled Private Investigators and Security Guards Act be amended in clause 28 at page 10 by deleting 28.(3) and 28.(4)(b).
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The problem here is that the statements made by Mrs. Firth about the redundancy, or usurping the role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is just simply not accurate. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police role here is clearly specified in Section 28(4)(c), which we will get to. The problem is twofold, essentially, but the most important is that there are some kinds of firearms, for example a shotgun, that might be carried in a situation like this pursuant to a general permit, which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police might grant, and the person is not particularly instructed in its use in particular situations. There are also firearms that are riot guns, in essence, or tear gas things, which need additional regulation. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police grant a permit for handguns, not for rifles, and it is necessary to have a control over the use of these weapons in these particular circumstances, in addition to the general Royal Canadian Mounted Police permits.
Mrs. Firth: I think that that is not accurate, what the Minister is saying. I am not going to call it trashy or tripey, or whatever, it is just not accurate. Section (4)(a) covers the competency of use. If there is an armoured car service that is carrying shotguns, they are probably going to be some form of restricted weapon anyway, so they are not going to be able to carry the weapons unless they have permits from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the registrar is going to have no authority to impose any conditions or restrictions regarding firearms. They are just not going to have that authority. The clause is just redundant, it does not make sense. The registrar of this government, in the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act is going to have no authority to say whether or not people can carry firearms in the line of the duty of their job.
All we need is subclause (4)(c), possesses every licence or permit relating to the firearm required by law. I submit it is the RCMP who are going to make that determination and once they do that there is going to be nothing left for the registrar of this Act to do. So, for it to say that the registrar may impose conditions and restrictions is absolutely redundant. They just will not have the authority to do that, and they should not have the authority to do that. The authority should remain where it is, which is with the RCMP.
Mr. Nordling: Before the Minister gets up, maybe he can tell us whether this government plans on training Vicky Hancock in the use of firearms and weapons so that she is more expert than the RCMP?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: A very common restriction which is made under this kind of power is that armoured car services in rural areas or mines may carry a shotgun - but within an urban area, for example the City of Whitehorse, they may not carry a shotgun as a weapon with an armoured car service. The reason is the potential danger to innocent bystanders, which is different in a city than in rural areas. If this clause were deleted, the registrar would not have that power to look after the public safety. That is why this clause is needed, to grant the registrar that power. Those are the kinds of public safety reasons which come up in this area.
Mr. Brewster: As I understood the Minister to say, they can use a shotgun in the rural areas but they cannot use one in Whitehorse. My question is: what does he do - throw it away when he hits the City of Whitehorse? That is rubbish.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The way to do this is to regulate how the person will carry it. It will be in the vehicle but not carried. The problem for public safety is its use, not its presence in the car or something like that.
Mr. Brewster: I always thought that the rural people were a little more honest than the city people as far as coming and going around the block is concerned. This is absolutely amazing. You are telling me that they pick up the gold and they have firearms to protect themselves - well, of course, moose and bear run around there; maybe they are going to get it. Then they get to the city limits and he puts the gun where he cannot get it, to get it into the area. I have never heard such rubbish in all my life.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Surely, the Member can understand that at Mount Skukum Mine guarding gold, it may be appropriate that an armoured car service person physically carry a shotgun, but in the Qwanlin Mall or on Main Street, they should not. Surely, that makes common sense.
Mr. Brewster: More people and more armoured cars are robbed in cities than they are ever are in the rural areas. The government is telling me that a banker travelling to Haines Junction or Faro who carries thousands of dollars cannot carry a gun until he gets outside of Whitehorse because nobody will touch that money in Whitehorse. That is rubbish.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is contemplated that at all times and in all areas that these people will carry a revolver. That is very common. There are additional weapons and additional things that require, in this kind of use, an additional consideration than what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police carry for permits.
Mr. Brewster: In other ways, we shoot people in different ways; when we are in the rural areas we shoot them with a shotgun, and when we get into Whitehorse we shoot them with a revolver. This is getting a little peculiar.
Mrs. Firth: The arguments that the Minister is putting forward are ridiculous. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have this responsibility, and that is where it should lie. The arguments that the Minister has brought forward are quite silly.
When the Minister gives the registrar all the powers that they will have no authority to fulfill, will the registrar monitor this too? That would certainly be part of the function of imposing conditions and restrictions. Can the Minister not see how silly this is that he would include this and give this authority, which he cannot give, legislatively, to the registrar because it is the authority of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police? It does not make sense. The Minister, being a reasonable individual who has dealt with the justice system, should be able to see that.
Mr. McLachlan: There is one fallacy in the Ministers arguments. The gold is not moved by road. For the very reasons that we are talking about here, it is moved by aircraft, so the legislation does not apply in that way. It is moved by unscheduled helicopter to protect the security of the operation.
Chairman: Order, please. We have a question.
Mr. McLachlan: With consideration that the armoured car service and the protection by guns is a long extension of the legislation- we are normally talking about security guards packing firearms to protect the shipment of whatever is in the truck - is there no federal legislation covering what is allowed to be carried in an armoured car? The weapons that are used on those trucks are much more powerful than shotguns.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer to the specific question is no, it is provincial jurisdiction. Perhaps it is a good idea to stand this amendment and the clause and continue on. We can come back to it after we have reflected on it for some time.
Mrs. Firth: Maybe the Government Leader would like to tell us why he figures this is so significant and should be put in here?
Chairman: Are we agreed that we will stand over (3) and (4)?
Mrs. Firth: No. Perhaps the Minister did not have his hour to read the Bill like he usually does, to refresh his memory, but the points we are raising are valid points and surely the Minister, along with his official, can see that.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I think it is productive of the Committees time to stand this clause and I would ask you to stand this clause and proceed to the next clause.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to know if the Minister is saying that he has not researched this clause carefully and that is what he needs time to do. He does not know whether or not it is absolutely necessary, and if that is his reason for standing it over then we may not have objection. We want to admit where we are at in this discussion.
Chairman: Order, order.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have considered this at substantial length, but to avoid the spectacle of a ten-minute filibuster, I move that you report progress on Bill No. 16.
Chairman: You have heard the question are you agreed?
Some Members: Agreed
Some Members: Disagreed
Chairman: I think the yeas have it.
All those in favour please rise.
All those contrary please rise.
The count is seven for and seven contrary.
We will continue.
Order, order please.
Mr. McLachlan: Point of privilege. I have every right to vote on a motion to continue debate, whether some Members like it or not. I do not necessarily agree with the amendment. That is the point I was making to the Minister when I said that there are more restricted weapons than shotguns in the vehicles.
I believe in carrying on the debate, at least until the time allowed.
Chairman: Is there anything further on the Point of Privilege?
Mrs. Firth: If I just may come to the defence of a Member of this Legislative Assembly, when the Government Leader points his finger at a Member of this Assembly and yells, sick, I am going to come to the defence of that Member, whether they are of the same political stripe as I am, or whether they are agreeing or disagreeing with me, because I think that is totally inappropriate. It is against the privileges of that individual, who has a right to express their beliefs and views in this Legislature.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: On the Point of Privilege, I will defend to death the right of Members to express their views in this House, even though I have heard some of the most despicable and underhanded attacks from that Member during this session that I have ever hear in all my years here. One of the oldest conventions in Parliament is that, when a Member enters a pairing arrangement, they do not vote when the pair Member is absent. That is one of the oldest conventions of the British parliamentary tradition. It is not one that can be enforced by the Chair. It is enforced by a code of conduct understood by parliamentarians in the British Commonwealth system around the world. That rule has never been broken in my time in this Legislature or during my time in the service to the House of Commons. When it is broken, it is a very serious event.
Chairman: Mr. Lang, on the Point of Privilege.
Mr. Lang: On the Point of Privilege raised by my colleague from Faro. The motion we are voting on is whether or not debate could continue, the free flow of debate that the Government Leader just referred to and would defend to the hilt. It is not a question on whether or not the government is going to fall, or whether the government is going to continue.
In defence of my colleague, the Member for Faro, he has every right to express his views, get up and continue on the debate, because one of the rules of this House is that we are supposed to be sitting until 5:30. Therefore, I would submit to the Government Leader that he is not accurate in what he says, and that the Member for Faro has the right and privilege of any other Member in this House, and he has the right to ask for the continuation of debate on an issue that is before this House and brought forward by the government for the purpose of discussion in this House.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: On the Point of Order, which is a clearly unrelated question of privilege, the Member opposite is wrong about the tradition of pairing.
Never in this House - and I have sat here a long time - has the request to stand a Clause on the basis to give further consideration ever been refused before. For the Members opposite, a new Member who knows nothing about parliamentary traditions, as he demonstrates every day ...
Chairman: Order please. We are getting off the Point of Privilege.
Is everybody sitting down? I rule that there is nothing in our Standing Orders that suggest that a pairing arrangement is binding. It is an understood code of conduct, therefore, there is no Point of Privilege and, because there is a tie vote, our Standing Orders suggest that we will continue with debate.
So, we are now continuing. Debate is continued on the amendment.
Mr. Lang: I have a question for the Minister with respect to what has brought this particular section forward. Have there been active discussions and recommendations brought forward by those people who are directly affected by this - I mean primarily those who are dealing in gold and transporting large amounts of gold at some given time - whether it be by road or by air or whatever other manner of transport is used?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is yes; all the agencies doing business in the area were contacted. After this change was made, they were given a draft, and I would quote from one of the companies: We believe security guards should be licensed to carry a firearm on certain occasions but only under strict guidelines. This is especially necessary in the remote locale of the Yukon. The RCMP have particularly looked at this section, and have assured us and have spoken to me personally and have sent a letter, saying that these sections meet their concerns.
Mr. Lang: Following up further on this, the Minister refers to agencies. When he talks about agencies, exactly what are we talking about? Those who are security guards in that kind of business, or are we speaking of such people who are located, for example, in Dawson City, whose business is to buy and sell gold?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, we are not dealing with buyers and sellers of gold.
Mr. Lang: Are they not the people who are transporting, at one given time or another, these amounts of gold of which we speak?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. If they are transporting their own gold, there is no regulation, of course. These regulations cover an armoured car service which would be, for a consideration, transporting someone elses gold or precious items; perhaps money.
Mr. Lang: Why are the people who are buying and selling gold - and I would assume the Minister is technically correct in stating that they are not agencies per se, but they do have large quantities of it at some given - why they were not contacted and specifically asked for their thoughts on this. They are ones who are up on Hunker Creek and Bonanza Creek and whatever other creek, primarily in the Member for Klondikes area. Why were they not consulted on this to see how they could benefit under legislation of this kind?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: If people are securing their own property they are not affected by this legislation. If a gold miner extracts the gold and transports it, they will take what security arrangements they wish and there is no requirement to be licensed at all under this legislation. This is licensing people who perform a service for hire to transport those precious materials.
Mr. Lang: I know that the House Leader has indicated that they have asked for the Commissioner to come in at 5 p.m., or shortly thereafter, so I do not want to belabour this, but I would ask that if we are going to leave this Section, if the Minister could make the necessary inquiries and see whether or not there are things in here, or if there should be other sections in here to apply to that situation, because in most parts - and I may stand to be corrected but I believe in most part - the majority of gold transported is by those buyers and sellers that have very little security - I believe they are even by themselves at times, I do not know how it is done - but I think it is something that should be looked at to see how they can also come under legislation of this kind, because if that is the purpose of the Section, it should apply in totality, as opposed to strictly one aspect of it.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I am surprised at that comment because it is asking to regulate, or to investigate, the possibility of regulating what measures people take to secure their own valuables, and that would be quite a departure from practice and it would be considered by most people who have valuable property as a substantial interference, I would think. The regulation here is to regulate an industry, not to regulate how individuals or how companies secure their own valuables. That would involve a very, very substantial implementation cost, for one thing, and is just simply something that we have not seriously considered, for obvious reasons.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to ask the Minister if there is a training program planned or contemplated for the registrar. While I am on my feet, I would like to answer the Government Leaders remarks about never setting aside a clause for careful consideration. That was exactly our point. The reason this clause was to be set aside was because the Minister was tired of the debate. If the Government Leader had been paying attention, then he would not have made the large fool of himself that he did; and I have never seen such abuse of legislative procedure and decorum as from the Government Leader, almost every day in this House.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The reason why I asked it to stand, and later asked to report progress, was to avoid me filibustering until the time we rise - which all Members know I am perfectly capable of doing. I can be very boring at the best of times, and at the worst of times I can even be more boring. The reason I was doing that is not at all because I am not prepared, it is because after yesterday we are not sure of the votes that will occur - so I am protecting the Bill.
Members appear to want to continue and we will do that. The amendment here would remove the power of the registrar to impose conditions about firearms; conditions which are over and above permits for firearms that are registered pursuant to the federal firearms legislation and administered by the RCMP. The policy of this section and the Bill is to recognize, firstly, that firearms can only be carried if they are legally carried under the federal legislation; in addition, there will be regulations about the use and the carrying of other firearms, or of those same firearms which are permitted.
The reasons are that the federal legislation does not speak about situations or uses, and the industry has asked us to be very careful about firearms and to restrict their use, and their use is restricted in other jurisdictions. The fundamental policy is the protection of the general public from people carrying firearms - in certain situations absolutely - and to consider the training and suitability of particular weapons handled by particular people in particular situations.
The question of which kind of firearm is appropriate is a very important question. The Member for Faro indicated that people carry a lot more than shotguns, and that is the truth. There are weird and wonderful contraptions that do all sorts of things, which various people carry at various times, and it is appropriate to protect the public safety and regulate those. The registrar will always be relying on expertise possessed by the RCMP and our advisers on these sections have been, in large measure, the RCMP. The RCMP, as all Members know, have a national information network and are quite capable of considering the problems in large centres and small. In close consultation with the RCMP, we have proposed a measure here to control the use of firearms in particular situations. I hope I have convinced Mrs. Firth that it would violate the legitimate interests of public safety to deny the registrar from having this kind of control. I would hope she is convinced by the position of the RCMP and the industry who have expressed a position on this important matter.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister said that his intentions were to set it over so that we could examine it. All of the concerns about security guards carrying arms are addressed in Clause 28(1), which states very specifically that no person licensed under this Act will carry a firearm during the course of business. It says that no person carries one.
Subsection (2) says that that does not apply to the business of the armoured car service, and the Minister explained that that had to be there so in the event that they were to carry a firearm under the proper Royal Canadian Mounted Police authority, they could. Clause 4 talks about the competency and possessing every licence or permit relating to the firearm required by law. That is all this section needs to cover all of the concerns about public safety that the Minister has raised.
Should the registrar have to make a decision about whether or not an investigator or an armoured car service was to carry a firearm, they would not be able to give that authority on their own anyway. They would have to consult with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They do not have the experience to make the decision, and they will not have any guidelines to make a decision. The authority is properly with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
I appreciate the research that he has done, but I have done my own and have come to a conclusion based on that research that the Clause about the registrar having the ability to impose conditions and restrictions is redundant. It is not necessary. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police would do that anyway.
I am sure the Minister can understand that. Some of his colleagues must be questioning this and are wondering why this government would want to give authority to an unqualified registrar to make these kinds of decisions. It does not make legislative sense.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: First, about qualifications, I have some news for Mrs. Firth. The gentleman beside me is as qualified as anyone in the country to consider these questions and is the administrative supervisor of who would likely be the registrar. There are other members of the territorial civil service who have similar qualifications. Aside from that, I do not accept that the qualifications or the expertise does not exist within this government. Aside from that, it is inaccurate to say that the RCMP could do it. The RCMP only have authority and will only act where they have legislative authority to do certain things. Their authority enables them to issue permits. It does not enable them to issue conditions about other uses, and does not enable them to speak about devices that are not within the scope of the federal firearms legislation.
The Member is not seeing this particular problem. I would recommend, so that the business of the Committee is facilitated, that we stand this Clause for the time being and, due to the time, I would now move, Mr. Chairman, that you report progress on Bill No. 16.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes Chair
Speaker: I now call the House to order. May the House have the report from Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 16, Private Investigators and Security Guards Act, and has directed me to report progress on the same.
Speaker: You have heard the report of the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
I now wish to inform the Assembly we will now receive the Administrator to grant Assent to Bills that have passed this House.
Mr. Administrator enters the Chambers
Speaker: Mr. Administrator, the Assembly at its present session passed a number of Bills, to which in the name and on behalf of the Assembly I respectfully request your Assent.
Clerk: Public Libraries Act, Change of Name Act, An Act to Amend the Municipal Act. An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, Act to Amend the Assessment and Taxation Act.
Administrator: I hereby Assent to the Bills as enumerated by the Clerk.
Mr. Administrator leaves the Chambers
Speaker: I now call the House to order. May I have your further pleasure?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until Monday next.
The House adjourned at 5:22 p.m.
The following Sessional Papers were tabled on December 3, 1987:
Lands Transferred since May 1985; Land Transfers Requested (both as of December 1, 1987) (McDonald)
Code of Fair Practice for Land Application (McDonald)