Tuesday, December 8, 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? Are there any Returns or Documents for Tabling?
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?
NOTICES OF MOTION
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I give notice of a motion that the Yukon Legislative Assembly, pursuant to Section 21 of the Human Rights Act, appoint Percy Henry, Dorothy Lattin, Carol Geddes, Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, Pearl Keenan, Rosemary Trahearne, Betty Toews and Clive Boyd to be members of the panel of adjudicators.
MOTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDER 28
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I rise pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 28. Today in Washington, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev took a very important step towards world peace by signing the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. This treaty goes beyond the limits to growth that previous arms control treaties have espoused and would actually result in the elimination of the existing stockpile of intermediate range nuclear weapons.
I would therefore request the unanimous consent of the House to move the following motion:
THAT it is the opinion of this House that the signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) Treaty by the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is an important step towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons; and
That this House unanimously supports the signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader THAT it is the opinion of this House THAT the signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) Treaty by the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is an important step towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons; and
THAT this House unanimously supports the signing of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This then brings us to Question Period.
Question re: Operation Falcon
Mr. Phelps: Yesterday I tabled in the House a copy of an agreement that was signed on December 2, 1987 between Daniel Nowlan, doing business at the Yukon Game Farm, and the Government of Yukon. It was executed on September 2, 1987, and one of the signatories was the Deputy Minister of Justice. The Minister apparently was not aware of this signing until the document was tabled. Why was he not aware of this? It was signed, in part, by his Deputy Minister.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is confusion here, which is occasioned by the fact that the Member asked a question about a document that was signed on September 2, 1987. It appears in Hansard that the question is on September 2, 1987, and I am aware of the discussions that occurred subsequent to that. I looked at the document that was tabled, and it bears the date, December 2, 1987. I was made aware of that document signed in December.
Mr. Phelps: On November 17, my question did not indicate any date. At that time, I was not aware there was a signed document. On November 17, my question was whether a contract was eventually signed and who signed on behalf of the government. The answer was, I believe that, in fact, no contract is signed.
When did the Minister become aware that his deputy minister had signed this contract?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There were conversations involving many people during the period of November and December. I do not know precisely on what date I was made aware about a specific signature, but I do know - and I was answering the questions precisely, because that is required here - that I was not aware of any signature on a September 2 contract. I believed there was no September 2 contract. I do believe there was a December 2 contract, and I do not know precisely when I became aware of it.
Mr. Phelps: The question was asked of him on November 17. There was no date mentioned. I asked if a contract was signed, and he said no. Who briefed the Minister with respect to Question Period?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The two departments for which I am the Minister.
Question re: Operation Falcon
Mr. Phelps: This is an unusual contract. It is unusual because it sets up an escrow arrangement and makes the Department of Justice a trustee. It was signed not only by the Minister in charge of Renewable Resources, but by the deputy minister of Justice.
On November 17, before I even knew that the thing was signed, I was trying to find out if there was a signed agreement. I asked the Minister of Renewable Resources. His answer indicates he did not think there was an agreement signed. When did the Minister of Renewable Resources become aware of the fact that he misspoke himself on November 17, 1987?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not recall misspeaking myself.
Mr. Phelps: I can read his answer about this, If the Member is directing his question towards the proposed escrow agreement that we attempted to negotiate with Mr. Nolan, which would have permitted him to sell the birds in question, he already has tabled the document. Hopefully he has done so with permission from whomever he got it. With respect to any other proposed contract this is the only contract I know that exists.
His answer indicated that there was not a signed contract. Was he aware of that when he gave the answer?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Obviously there is a difference of opinion here. My answer does not indicate that there was not a signed contract.
Mr. Phelps: My question of the Minister is: Do your officials not read what has happened in Hansard, and would they not twig to the fact that we were told in this House that there was not a signed contract and there was nothing contrary in the answers given by either Minister? Does not somebody brief them about what is going on?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Obviously, at that particular point I did not say there was not a signed contract. There is indeed a signed contract and I think the signed escrow agreement is clear evidence that this government was attempting to make a contract arrangement with the said individual to allow that individual to move the birds.
Question re: Operation Falcon
Mr. Phelps: The point is that I asked if there was a signed contract and all this Minister told me in reply was that there was a proposed escrow agreement and that was it. The document I tabled was a draft agreement that was prepared early on in negotiations. It was not the signed contract and that is why I asked these questions. My question again is: Will the Minister take this up with his officials who are supposed to be briefing him and find out why this House has been misled and why it has not been corrected on the record before this. This is serious.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Obviously, there is a signed document. Although the parties to the negotiations of the proposed escrow agreement did conclude negotiations by way of a signed document, the particulars of that document were never carried out.
Mr. Phelps: The importance of the document is simply that we have a situation where the Minister of Justice took it upon himself to rise time and time again and answer questions on behalf of the Minister to whom the questions were directed, the Minister of Renewable Resources, and he based his answers on fallacies, directly in contradiction with a signed agreement which stated that the Government of Yukon had the sole discretion with regard to issuing the licences in question. That is what is important.
I would ask the Minister of Justice if he would care to stand in his place and apologize to the House for misleading it.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, I do not believe that I have mislead the House. One of the difficulties here is the nature of the questions. We have what is akin to a courtroom cross examination, without the direct examination, without the re-direct, with twisted, aggressively prased questions, and we are doing the best we can to answer.
Question re: Operation Falcon
Mr. Lang: I do not understand. The Members of this House, the people of this territory, asked the Minister of Justice if there was an agreement or a contract signed between the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Game Farm.
Back on November 16, the Minister of Justice said there was neither an agreement nor a contract. Could the Minister report to this House, as humbling as it might be, to the people of the territory - not to us, to the people of the territory - why he chose not to tell this House that such a document was in existence and that it was signed.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I answer the questions, as twisted and torturous as they are to the best of my ability on the basis of the information provided to me in my memory. There is a contract, which was tabled in this House, in which the Department of Justice plays some part as the escrow holder, but is now, in fact, a party or a signatory in the normal sense. That contract was not signed on September 2, it was signed on December 2.
Mr. Lang: On November 7, the Leader of the Official Opposition did not know that there was a signed agreement. The twisted question that was put to the Minister on November 7, was as Hansard states, from the Leader of the Official Opposition: My question is whether a contract was eventually signed, and who signed it on behalf of the government.
Could the Minister of Justice explain to the people of the territory why that was such a difficult question to answer yes or no to?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I believe we were not sitting on November 7.
Mr. Lang: The difficulty we find from this side of the House is that when we do ask a question we get such a twisted answer or a non-answer that the poor public of the territory is left totally confused as to what the government is doing.
I am going from the public record of November 17, 1987, and I would like to ask the question again. Could the Minister of Justice tell the people of the territory why it was such a twisted question that the Leader of the Official Opposition put at that time, which read as follows:
My question is whether a contract was eventually signed and who signed it on behalf of the government? Why could the Minister of Justice not have told us at that time? What was he trying to hide, I guess is the question?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I am not trying to hide anything at all. I am trying to answer the questions to the best of my knowledge and ability. The problem here is that we are yelling at each other in terms that would make the operator of a day care centre blush and we should be intelligently seeking information and giving answers in an intelligent, informed way. We are trying to do that under very difficult circumstances.
Question re: Beaver Creek swimming pool
Mr. McLachlan: I have a question directed towards the Minister in his capacity as Minister of Government Services. Can he advise the House if he has brought back the information today in regard to the problems with construction of the swimming pool at Beaver Creek?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, I have. There were five change orders. The dates were August 4, August 24, July 18, September 2, and November 5. I will give the amounts as well. They fall into two categories: the first three are changes as a request of the client department, and the second are about the site grading and the septic field, and are the result of an error made by the consulting engineer and are recoverable from that engineer.
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please continue his answer?
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister advise if the project is still being worked on to date? Is it still ongoing or has it suffered a similar fate as the highway residents camp at Swift River?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I did not ask that specific question, but my expectation is that, because of the weather, there is no construction ongoing today.
Mr. McLachlan: My information is that the contractor is struggling valiantly trying to get the project completed because of the problems occasioned by the Department of Government Services being late in awarding it and having made five subsequent change orders. The Minister said that he would state the amounts of money on those change orders. Can he do it now please?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes. August 4 was $5,229. August 24 was $552. July 18 was $1,680. September 2 was $6,000. November 5 was $768.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: There is another issue of who has the authority to make decisions about paying people extraordinary amounts. In the case of a justice of the peace who was recently handed a letter dated September 8, there was a new policy that now surfaced in that letter that said, The Department of Justice Court Services Branch would like to offer you three months remuneration. This amount will be three times the average monthly amount you have received over the past year for your duties as justice of the peace.
I wonder who would have the authority to issue those instructions and binding the government into this new policy. It was not the person who signed the letter, Mr. Bill Williamson, and it was not the deputy minister who did review the letter, we understand. The authority comes, and is specified in, the Territorial Court Act, Section 42. That indicates that the Minister of Justice, after consultation with the Chief Judge, can prescribe this kind of retirement payment. Would the Minister of Justice agree that the only authority for this stems from Section 42 of the Territorial Court Act.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Absolutely not. The first question is out of order because it not only suggests its own answer, but the Member has stated the answer he wants, which is inaccurate. That clause of the Territorial Court Act sets out the system of prescribing for payment, not authorizing the specific payments. Within the budgets allowed, the authority for authorizing individual payments is with the Court Administrator.
Mr. Phelps: This is a precedent and a new policy. My suggestion is that no person in the civil service worth his salt would dare to prescribe something that becomes a precedent in terms of payments. After consultation with the Chief Judge, did the Minister prescribe the benefits that this particular justice of the peace - and others in later years - would receive on retirement?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Because that is an interpretation of a particular statute, I will answer specifically; the answer is no.
Mr. Phelps: Can the Minister tell us whether or not his officials consulted with the Public Service Commission before the letter of September 8 was authorized and sent?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This whole matter will be inquired into by the Judicial Council. I would submit that the only responsible course of action is to allow the Judicial Council to carry out such inquiry as it deems best and then report.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: We are talking about people making decisions to spend the taxpayers money in a new way. It is a new policy decision. We do not have officials who run around and spend money because they like somebody. There have to be policies and regulations in place.
This is a new one devised for the letter that is dated September 8 and was delivered on that date to Mr. Thomson. Could the Government Leader, who has the responsibility for the Public Service Commission, tell us whether or not that department was consulted with respect to this payment of three months pay to Mr. Thomson?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Not to my knowledge, but I will take the question as notice.
Question re: Teslin senior citizens complex
Mr. Lang: With respect to the senior citizens fourplex in Teslin, it is my understanding it cost in the neighbourhood of $500,000 of taxpayers dollars. Yesterday, I asked the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, In the building of the senior citizens complex in Teslin, how many senior citizens and elders were contacted and identified in order to justify going ahead with the building? Could the Minister answer the question about the fourplex that is presently empty?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: My understanding is that, over the course of the past five years, consultation has taken place with the community - the band, the Teslin village representatives and the Teslin housing association - to provide for housing for the elderly in your community, Mr. Speaker.
Over the course of that five years, there were a number of reasons why the project could not go ahead, but there was an insistence by the community representatives that housing for seniors be built in that community. Unfortunately, during that period, a number of persons who would have otherwise been resident in the seniors complex were deceased. Seniors will be given priority.
Mr. Lang: This is the difficulty for us on this side: we ask a question and the question does not get answered. I would like to know if the Minister could answer the following question, that I raised yesterday: in the building of the senior citizens complex in Teslin, how many senior citizens and elders were contacted and identified in order to justify going ahead with the building? Can the Minister provide us with that information?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The difficulty that I have on this side is that the question that the Member has asked is next to impossible to answer. Clearly, the question, as it is particularly asked, is: exactly how many senior citizens in Teslin were contacted - exactly - over the course of the period that this was being planned. That kind of information is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to receive. What I did try to provide, though, was the information that the Teslin Housing Association, which is responsible for housing allocation in that community, was consulted at great length, and the Village of Teslin was consulted at great length, and the Indian Band at Teslin was consulted at great length - and those people also have constituents who are elderly. Those groups indicated, clearly, that they would like to see a seniors complex built in Teslin. Right up to the time the opening took place they were quite happy to see that that building had been built.
Mr. Lang: The response amazes me. The Minister is standing up in this House and saying that he can not give us a list of people who would be eligible and who would be, more importantly or just as importantly, interested in moving into such a complex.
He speaks of consulting with the Village of Teslin and I would ask him this: two years ago, the Yukon Housing Corporation approached the Village of Teslin and at that time the then Village of Teslin, the representatives, expressed reservations and concerns whether or not there were going to be enough people to warrant building such a complex, because the senior citizens and the elders were so independent in the community.
In view of those reservations and concerns being expressed to the officials of the government, could the Minister tell us why he went ahead with a senior citizens complex that is now empty?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: My information is that the Village of Teslin representatives, the Indian Band, and the Housing Association all indicated that they wished a seniors complex to be constructed in Teslin, right up to the time the construction started. The Housing Corporation informs me that priority will be given to seniors in that community. If it is the case - and it appears to be the case - that the number of seniors, 21 in the last few years, are in fact deceased, who otherwise would have been resident in this community, and are no longer available as residents in this fourplex, then clearly priority will be given to others who are in need of housing in Teslin.
There is no magic between the seniors housing and general social housing. People in need of housing will be provided housing in Teslin and priority will be given to senior citizens.
Question re: Teslin seniors complex
Mr. Lang: There is a major difference between senior housing accommodation and social housing accommodation.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: You are wrong.
Mr. Lang: I am wrong? The Minister of Housing has built a $500,000 senior complex in Teslin and there is nobody to move into it, and I am wrong! Is it the policy of the government to go out and solicit people, who already have adequate housing, to move into housing accommodation such as the seniors fourplex because it is empty?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The point of the matter in repeating the case of Teslin is that there is housing available. Priority will be given to seniors should they decide to move into the housing, but like all housing of a similar sort, if there are not seniors to stay in the housing, priority will be given to others in greatest need. In this particular case the policy of the government was to ask the Yukon Housing Corporation, through the Housing Association in the community, to determine the needs of the community. The needs of the community were expressed and a fourplex was constructed.
Mr. Lang: The Minister states in this House that the next priority are people in need of housing. Could the Minister tell me, and the people of the territory, why officials of his government are going out and soliciting people who already have accommodation and asking them if they want to move into that fourplex?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is an allegation that I am not prepared to accept. There is a waiting list in Teslin for social housing. There were people who have expressed an interest through community grapevines in making use of housing of this sort and in social housing in all the communities. The Housing Association will determine the needs and the allocation for the units in those communities. That is the policy of the Housing Corporation and it is supported by the government.
Mr. Lang: I want to know if it is the policy of the government, and does he sanction his officials in his department, to solicit residents of that community who have other accommodations at the present time, to move into that particular complex? I want to know if that is the policy and if he supports it?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is no good for the Member to shake his finger because the answer is going to be the same. The answer quite clearly is that if the Housing Associations are aware of persons living in substandard housing and persons living in that housing have expressed an interest in finding better accommodation - either formally by being put on the waiting list, or informally - then the Housing Association will let it be known that there is the housing available. I would expect that to be their job.
Question re: Beaver Creek swimming pool
Mr. McLachlan: I want to return to the Beaver Creek debacle. I would like to pursue questions on the problems with the construction of the pool and ask why there is a berm being constructed around the entire perimeter of the swimming pool?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will take that question as notice and supply an answer tomorrow.
Mr. McLachlan: The problem we also have on this side is that we must provide the questions and the answers. The problem simply is that the Minister, who is obviously not aware of it, now has the only swimming pool in the Yukon and probably in North America that drains backwards. The water runs into the pool instead of out of it, and that is a basic construction mistake that has to do with measurement - one example of which we heard about yesterday. The berm has been built to keep the ground water from running into the pool. My question to the Minister is why was the swimming pool built two feet too low?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Again, this is a question about a specific project. I was going to say I could speculate, but I should not speculate and I will take the question as notice and supply an answer in due course.
Mr. McLachlan: I can imagine what the citizens of Beaver Creek are wondering about their pool - if they are going to get one and what shape it is going to be. In order to reassure the good citizens of Beaver Creek that they are going to get an outstanding, first class pool, will the Minister of Government Services consider taking an inaugural swim in the pool on June 1, 1988 when it is finally built and ready?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, and I trust the citizens of Beaver Creek will see fit to invite me. I look forward with great expectation to such an inaugural swim.
Some Member: After the water has drained in.
Question re: Destruction Bay teachers residence
Mr. Brewster: My question is to the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, concerning a teacher in Destruction Bay. Yesterday, the Minister said in Hansard, I can undertake to make sure that the information in here is here this afternoon. When can I receive this information?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The staffing in Destruction Bay was completed in late September and the teacher who was slated moved into the unit for a short time, and vacated it in a dispute over rent. The Yukon Housing Corporation indicated that they wished to rent the unit for $600 per month, and the teacher felt that this was not reasonable.
Mr. Brewster: Did the Yukon Housing Corporation consult with the engineering department to confirm that the present sewer and water system could handle this extra building, as well as the new private dwellings being built in Destruction Bay?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: With respect to the water and sewer system for the particular unit, I will undertake to investigate the allegations made by the Member that the water system was not capable of handling that house and others, or whatever the problem happens to be. I will bring back the information to this Legislature.
Mr. Brewster: The Minister did not even answer the question. Is it true that the sewer lagoon had to overflow this summer because it was over capacity?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will take the question on consultation under advisement and bring back information to the House. I will find out from Municipal Engineering Services if they are aware that the sewer lagoon in Destruction Bay was allowed to overflow and bring the Member back the information.
Question re: Day care policy
Mrs. Firth: The Minister of Health and Human Resources has made some comments in the media and in her Ministerial Statement about people who will not benefit from the federal child care policy. Can the Minister tell me how many children, who have special needs, will not be helped by the policy?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: That is impossible to answer right now. There are individuals who will not benefit, but I do not have an exact number.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister made the comment. Can she tell me how many people will not be helped?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I would love to answer these questions off the top of my head, but right now it is impossible to have those kinds of numbers at my fingertips.
Mrs. Firth: Why is the Minister making vague and general allegations if she cannot substantiate them with facts? The Minister has said in the Ministerial Statement that there will be people who will not benefit from this program. I would like the Member to come back to the House with some facts to substantiate the allegations that she is making.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I will do that for the Member.
Question re: Destruction Bay teachers residence
Mr. Lang: As we all know, the government has made the decision to go ahead with a $60 million housing program throughout the territory. I was listening with a great deal of interest to the question raised for the Member for Kluane regarding the new house built in Destruction Bay. Could the Minister responsible for housing tell me if we now have an empty senior citizens fourplex in Teslin as well as a brand new house that is empty in Destruction Bay?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The capital program for the Government of Yukon is determined on an annual basis, and the spending commitments for the government are outlined in the Capital Main Estimates in November of every year. The five year program has not been outlined or approved for this year.
It is true that the staff unit is, at this time, vacant. That is largely because the teacher in Destruction Bay has refused to pay the going rate for staff housing in that community.
Mr. Lang: I direct this to the governments planning for the year 2000. Was there any discussions or consultations with the teacher who was supposed to go into this new accommodation and pay the dollars that the Minister has outlined to the House?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am somewhat surprised at the question, given the Members experience as a Minister in the government. The Government of Yukon does not build for specific teachers; it builds for teachers. There was known that there was to be a need for a teachers residence in Destruction Bay late in spring, given the student projection of approximately 19 or better students in the Kluane Lake School.
The hiring of the teacher was undertaken. The need for the house was expressed, and the teacher, while waiting for the unit, stayed in the local motel. The unit was constructed at the end of September, rents were struck as per government policy, and the teacher refused to pay the rent. By that time, the teacher had enough understanding of the community and sought room and board in another location. Nevertheless, the going rent for YTG staff is approximately $600 per month for that class of unit.
Mr. Lang: I recognize the difficulty the Minister has standing up and justifying to the public of the territory why we have spent $600,000 of taxpayers money for accommodation that, at the present time, is vacant and the taxpayers are paying the heat necessary for the water pipes not to freeze.
What does the Minister intend to do with the house?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The first priority is to offer it to government employees. If no such government employee exists, then the obvious offer is to the general public, if they are prepared to take on the unit. That is the existing policy. We try to keep the units filled and we give priority to government employees. If a government employee refuses to rent it on the basis of a dispute over rent, the government does not automatically cave in and provide whatever the offered rent is by the renter. That is not the policy of the government, and will not be.
The unit in Destruction Bay will be rented to the first government employee who is interested in it. If there are no government employee takers, the general public will be offered the unit.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Bill No. 11: Second Reading
Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 11, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 11, An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act be now read a second time.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 11, entitled An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act be now read a second time.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is a relatively simple amendment, but it is by no means a simple situation that gives rise to this particular Bill. The cause of the situation arose specifically in April of 1983 when the government of the day - the Minister was Mr. Ashley - proposed a Bill which established a mandatory retirement age. That was when the mandatory retirement age was established. That date is significant because it was after the passage of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All Members in the House today who were Members in April, 1983 voted for that Bill and nobody mentioned the problem of mandatory retirement at that time.
The next events in the saga here are that a particular Justice of the Peace reached 65 years of age and continued to sit. Subsequent to that, about eight months later, we passed the Yukon Human Rights Act which had a paramountcy section which applied both in the future and retroactively. There is presently, as Members know, a lawsuit which involves the interpretation of those Acts, specifically those three Acts that I mentioned; the Territorial Court Act as it now exists, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Yukon Human Rights Act. There are those who say there is no inconsistency among those three Acts and all three of them can co-exist. If the lawsuit continued we may get a judge to say that, but it is the policy of the government to - if we can now, and we can - propose to the Legislature that we fix the uncertainty, or we abolish or remove the uncertainty in the interpretation of the laws as they exist today.
And it is also the policy of the government not to maintain a mandatory retirement based on an arbitrary age, which is the law now for judges; both justices of the peace and territorial court judges and, incidentally, also for Superior Court judges, or federally-appointed judges - and that is established in the Constitution at age 75.
The policy here is as I have stated: we should not have an arbitrary, mandatory age, and the question is: what should we put in place to replace that? And that is where the difficulty comes in. I am sure that thinking about the relative ages of the three lawyers in the House, perhaps the oldest of the three of us will remember most vividly the spectacle - if it occurred in his practice - of the judge either in advanced senility, or approaching senility, sitting on the Bench, and the public ridicule that, in fact, occurred in the past.
Mandatory retirement ages for judges have been brought in relatively recently, certainly within my career as a lawyer, and have been generally, almost universally, accepted as a good reform. The problem in determining the fitness of a judge to sit is that it involves judgment calls that of necessity involve questions about their judgment in particular cases. The public policy, which I believe is now uncontroversial in the country and I would suggest in the western world at least, is that it is good social policy that judges be mature people but not be people of a very advanced age. And that, in fact, is a policy which is not stated particularly in statutes, but is clearly followed by the appointment processes of modern nations around the globe. It is appropriate to have that kind of policy, without fixing an arbitrary, mandatory age.
The best way to achieve that, I believe, and the government is proposing, is to establish a term appointment. Now, as Members are aware, there is another Bill on the Order Paper establishing, or proposing, that the term for justices be up to five years on the initial appointment - but there should be, in the statute, provision for reappointment for additional five-year terms.
The policy of term appointments is a good one because a term appointment establishes the principle of judicial independence and avoids, for the most part, practically speaking, the problem of judges on the Bench refusing to retire who have become incapable of adequately performing their duties.
So, the principle of a term I expect will be uncontroversial.
The next question, of course, is how long should that term be? The governments proposal is ten years, and the Oppositions proposal is up to five years on the initial appointment with additional appointments of five years.
The government proposal is purposely silent about the prospects of reappointment, and I will explain why that is. The period of ten years was chosen because of the particular experience in the Yukon over the last, approximately, 15 years. We have found that there are many JPs, and in fact the majority of the actively sitting JPs - especially those in rural areas - who sit for longer than five year periods, and, in fact, slightly longer than seven year periods. There are one or two who have sat for longer than ten years. There is a peculiarity in our history in that, in 1982, all of the existing JP appointments were revoked and the majority of the sitting JPs were reappointed. That occurred in 1982, and there have been appointments subsequent to that, but it is true now that the oldest appointment we have, in the sense of the least recent appointment, is 1982. The consequence of this Act, if it is passed, is that no JP whomsoever would be retired. The proposal in the private Members Bill on the Order Paper has no transition provision, which is a flaw in that Bill.
The question of reappointment was purposely left out; this has the effect of allowing for reappointments and it is our expectation that, if this Act is passed, reappointments will occur on occasion and any question about the independence of the judiciary generally should not centre around the provisions of the Act but the provisions of the practice of establishing of reappointments. The reappointments would occur in exactly the same way under this proposal as under the proposal made by the Opposition critic.
That is on the recommendation of the Judicial Council, which is now the practice.
There is one remaining provision of the Bill, and that involves the uncertainty of what has happened in approximately the last 18 months. It is deemed most prudent and a service to the litigants in the court - or the people who have been in the court - to establish that it is clear that the Act applies to the individuals who have reached their 65-year birthday prior to this Act being passed. It applies to decisions any such individuals may have made on the Bench. So, the uncertainty is removed. I would suggest that these principles, which are contained in this Bill, remove the problems that we have experienced. For that reason and, most importantly, for the reason that it removes an arbitrary mandatory age, I would commend this Bill to the attention of all Members.
Mr. Phillips: I rise today in response to second reading of this Bill. What is the old cliche? Too little, too late; closing the barn door after the horse is out? I am sure there are many to describe this one, but the one that describes it the best is: you will do it my way, or the highway.
We on this side will be supporting the principles in this Bill, but I would like to take everyone back in history, as the Minister of Justice did, and describe the chain of errors that has led us to what the Minister describes as a relatively simple amendment.
On July 1, 1987, the Human Rights Act became law. It is clear to every fair-minded Yukoner that, on that day, the mandatory age requirement of age 65 became a thing of the past. The Territorial Court Act, as in all other Acts in the Yukon - unless specified, and it was not - was superseded by the Yukon Human Rights Act. I found the comments from the Minister of Justice rather amusing when he said those who say all these three laws can co-exist. That does not make sense.
Six months have passed, and the Minister of Justice finally, on December 7, after all this inaction, brought a Bill forth that is not much different from the Bill we introduced. The Ministers department knew of the problem early in July. I submit that, if the Minister had accepted the responsibility of his job, he would have known of this problem as well and would have instructed his officials to prepare this Act a long time ago.
On September 8, a letter was sent to Mr. Thomson dismissing him, because he had reached the age of 65. This is where the facts become confused. The person responsible for this - the Minister - cannot remember the exact date in September when he first heard about the letter, but it was in September. The Minister now claims, in a press conference, that the Chief Judge of the Yukon Territory has not told the truth. That is a very serious charge.
More than anyone else in the Yukon, the Minister of Justice should know that if there is a complaint against a judge or a justice of the peace, his own Judicial Council is the body that complaint should be filed with - not in a press conference on a Monday morning.
I suggest to all Members of this House that if the Minister had followed the rules set out by his own Territorial Court Act he would have taken this complaint against the judge to the Judicial Council in the first place and could have avoided all the embarrassment. The Minister, in the eleventh hour, finally called on the Judicial Council to make an inquiry into the affair, a little too late. Now, six months after his officials new to the problems in the Act and only after we have had to force his hand, he has brought the Act into the House.
The Minister of Justice has totally embarrassed the Yukons justice system again. He has, at one time or another, pointed a finger at everyone but himself and amazingly today pointed the finger at the Justice Minister of 1983. He has called into question the credibility of the Yukons Chief Judge, Mr. Williamson, Mr. Byers, and last but not least, the most innocent victim of this, Mr. Thomson. This irresponsible Minister has now reluctantly brought forward this Act.
There are some explanatory notes in the Act that I would like to comment on. The first explanatory note says, This Act is to remove the mandatory retirement for justices of the peace. That, I submit, was already done on July 1, 1987 by the Human Rights Act, which states, You cannot discriminate on the basis of age.
Second, the Minister puts in a clause, and tries to solve the specific Bill Thomson problem, and yet, at the same time, this government plans to proceed with a court case with Mr. Thomson, costing him all kinds of grief and money. This is from our Minister of fairness. My foot.
Third, the Act removes the mandatory retirement of judges of the Territorial Court. The Minister could have gone further with this one and made judges subject to the same review as justices of the peace. We are glad to see the Minister has finally been forced to wake up and accept his responsibilities. This has been like trying to pull teeth on a chicken. The damage is done, and the whole truth is yet to be told. The whole blame for the whole mess lies directly in the lap of the Minister of Justice, who has been totally irresponsible in this action.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: The Chair must point out that the content of Bill No. 102 is included in Bill No. 11, which has just received Second Reading. Following the established practice of this House, I would rule that Bill No. 102 may remain on the Order Paper, but may not be further proceeded with unless Bill No. 11 is withdrawn. Once a final determination has been reached on Bill No. 11, it will be my responsibility to order that Bill No. 102 be dropped from the Order Paper.
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 do now resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Bill No. 3 -Third Appropriation Act, 1987-88 - continued
Chairman: Before we proceed with Bill No. 3, Third Appropriation Act, 1987-88, we will recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
We will continue with Third Appropriation Act, 1987-88, Government Services, Operation and Maintenance Expenditures, general debate continued. Mr. Kimmerly?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I took a number of questions as notice and I will provide the answers to most of them now. Before I do, I should mention that there was a discussion about bringing the old Yukon College up to code, and I mentioned a figure of $1.5 or $2 million. That figure is, in all probability, low, and the estimates of the real figure are still very vague. When the work is all costed, I will report it at the next convenient opportunity.
I was asked about leased vehicles and, specifically, if any were leased for a year or longer, and I said I would check. I was right; there are none. The maximum term has been eight months and the average term is 30 days, and additional information is that in 1986-87 there were 131 separate rentals. Some of those were only for a period of a day or two. In 1977-88 a total of 200 is projected.
I was asked about the dollars spent for outside travel for the air fares and the figures are as follows: 1986-87, at the year end, was $940,000; to Period Seven, of which I can compare this year with the last two, the end of Period Seven was $477,000. The estimate for 1987-88 is $1,105,000; that is for a year-end estimate. We are not asking for a Supp about that and the actual for the end of Period Seven is $595,000.
I was asked about the feasibility study for the old Yukon College. The feasibility study for the space was $36,000 and some of that work is rejected because it was a specific for a proposed use and most of it is useable for the presently intended use and it is impossible to break that down entirely.
There are additional costs to have the conceptual design for space of the departments, and we are estimating $35,000 for specifically the Renewable Resources and Community and Transportation Services phases of study.
I was asked about the inclusion of the parts of Renewable Resources all in the old Yukon College and I was accurate in my statements. However, I did not mention that the table and outdoor storage, which is presently in Marwell, will stay in Marwell.
I was asked about the comparison of the usable square metres at the old Yukon College and the architects inform us that there is 5,400 square metres of usable office space in the old Yukon College. The premises which will be vacated by Community and Transportation Services totals to 2,815 square metres and Renewable Resources has 1,776 square metres, for a total of 4,591. So there is more space than what the two departments now occupy, which is not to say the space will not be used.
I was asked about the person years and why the person years were not identified by the Government Leader. They were not because we are reporting a state of knowledge which exists at a future time - or to put it precisely, what we have authorized today are not person years. They are not authorized person years and that is why they were not identified. I am informing the House because they will be part of the staff establishment of the government and there are three positions which are affected; but, there are not three new people, there are two new people. The job classifications are presently with the Public Service Commission. We expect the classifications to be an AR7, an AR9 and an AR11, but we are not guaranteed that at the present time.
I was asked about the breakdown of the $170,000 on the staffing component.
The staffing component, as it was authorized by Management Board, was $105,000. Because the actual recruitment will take place, we expect in mid- January, the money is not now expected to be spent exactly as it was authorized by Management Board. We are expecting the salary component to be a total of $87,000 from the time of recruitment to April 1, 1988. The additional costs are promotion and printing for $30,000, and this I identified as advertising, not printing. We are expecting an independent report on the effectiveness of the policy and this is part of the process I identified yesterday as the ongoing monitoring of the business incentives and value added. We have determined that, as part of that whole process, it would be prudent to have an independent report. We had authorized some time ago, by Management Board $35,000 for that. Our present plans, because of the delay in implementing the whole process, are that we will probably actually spend only $15,000 of that amount before April 1. There is an additional present plan to expend $29,000 on primarily contract work and materials supplies and computer hookups which are not actually covered by the capital, to computerize the records for the business incentives and value added. That is the present breakdown of that $170,000.
Those other questions I can answer immediately. There were some others where it was specifically said that I would be asked the names and I am continuing to have the additional questions researched.
Mr. Lang: The more we look into this, the more interesting it gets. I will deal with the business incentive policy first. When was the decision made to put $170,000 into Capital Mains for the purposes of this business incentive program?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: May 26.
Mr. Lang: When was the final call called for the Supplementaries that are before us, for the purposes of the Management Board making a final decision on them?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not specifically know, but it was after May 26. The figure authorized on May 26 was included.
Mr. Lang: My point is that we are told it will cost $170,000 on an annual basis for the program outlined by the Minister. I am assuming it is for a 12-month period. Is that not correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are some one-time costs. The continuing costs will be identified in the Operation and Maintenance Mains. I do not know precisely what that figure is today. We are not asking for that now. It will be determined in the 1988-89 Mains.
Mr. Lang: My understanding of what the government has submitted here is that they are asking us to vote $170,000. The Minister has reported to this House the actual expenditures planned are approximately $87,000, plus $15,000, which is going to be $112,000, and maybe $140,000. First of all, we are voting you more money than what you are going to need.
How can the Minister shake his head? He just told us $170,000 of that amount was for this program and outlined that, because of the time of the year, the whole $170,000 is not necessary. Is that not correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, that is not correct. There were some monies originally identified for salaries that will not be spent on salaries, but will be spent on the computerization of the program to put the records and the program on a computer basis.
Mr. Lang: What information will be on the computer? Obviously, it is going to keep a monthly update with respect to where it is. What is the idea of it?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not have that specific information but I can find it. I will provide it as soon as it is available.
Mr. Lang: The Minister is asking us to spent $29,000 on computerization, so we should have some idea of what is going into the computer if this is a priority of the government. I will take it that the Minister is giving us notice on that and that he will provide the information in the Main Estimates.
If the hiring of these people is in mid-January, how are we going to spend $87,000 on salaries?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The people will be hired in mid-January. The salary breakdown for the three individuals will be $24,000 for one, $26,000 for two inderterminates to start in January and $37,000 for an existing term that we already have.
Mr. Lang: I am totally baffled. We are going to have an individual hired in mid-January for February and March. Are we going to pay one of them $24,000 and the other and $26,000 for two and one half months work?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. There are two people. The money that we are expecting to spend for these people from January to the end of the year is a total of $26,000.
Mr. Lang: Where did the $24,000 come from? The Minister gave us a figure of $24,000, one of $26,000 and one of $37,000.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is for a person who is already in place and is an auxiliary employee.
Mr. Lang: Is there not already money for that position?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is not money for the Yukon business incentive policy and value added.
Mr. Lang: Did the position get transferred from another part of the government? If so, did the dollars not transfer with the position?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There never were any dollars identified prior to this. It was funded prior to this Supplementary from general unused salary dollars, but it was never identified in the government budgets.
Mr. Lang: Is it not safe to say that we are talking three people to run this program, then?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Lang: So we are paying the salary of the one individual who is onstream. Is it safe to say that he makes $37,000 a year? If not, I would like to know how much.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, with benefits. That is an accurate figure that covers the salary and benefits.
Mr. Lang: I just want to follow this through further. You have given me a figure of $26,000, from mid-January to April 1. That is going to pay the salaries of both those individuals who are going to come onstream for this program. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Lang: I am just going to follow this through because I think that it is important that we understand what we are doing here.
That amounts to $63,000. Now you indicated that you have $87,000 for salaries. Could the Minister outline to us where the other $24,000 is going to be spent?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is an additional $24,000 for an auxiliary person who is already in place; that is the salary for that person. There are startup costs here that will not persist and we are expecting, in the long term, three not four, but there will be, from the period January to April, I expect, four.
Mr. Lang: Why did the Minister not just come out and tell us four people? I am sitting in here trying to play a mathematical wizards game with the Minister, to try to find out, on behalf of the taxpayers we all serve, how the money is being spent. And I feel, quite frankly, that I am being played for the fool.
Now if the Minister checks the record, he started out by saying two people were going to be in this program, and now, after half an hour of everybodys good time in here - and I have other things that I can ask questions on, I do not have to stay in this area - it finally turns out that there are four.
Why is the Minister forcing us to take the time of all the Members of the House, trying to lead us down the garden path, and not giving us information?
All he had to do is stand up and say there are four people now in the program.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Well, I am sorry if I have confused the Member opposite, but I am doing my best to answer the questions that are put. There are going to be two people hired in January and I was addressing the attention of the House to the new event, which I thought the this was about, but I am answering the questions as they are put.
Mr. Lang: Quite frankly, I think it is going around and around and around. I would move to another area, and that is the independent report. The Minister has indicated $35,000, and it is going to cost $15,000 for the purpose of this year. Obviously he is asking for $20,000 more than what is necessary for this year, but that is a separate issue. Could he tell me whether this independent report has been commissioned? If so, with whom?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is no, it has not been as of yet.
Mr. Lang: I am not quite sure what the purpose of the independent report is. What is it going to do that one cannot do internally with the staff that you now have, and are adding to?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are many clerks and administrators in the department but there is a shortage in the policy area for people with specific expertise about policy and evaluation. Specifically, about this program, we have decided that it is a good idea to monitor it well. Part of the monitoring will be the obtaining of a report by an independent person with substantial expertise, to tell us the real impact of the program - not on the government but on the economy of the territory and the general impact.
Mr. Lang: Are these people, or this person, going to be that qualified and have that distinct expertise, that we are talking about people that are coming from outside the Yukon to do such a report? That is my first question.
How long will it take to do this report and have some solid information in the hands of the government?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I believe there are individuals in the territory who do have the expertise and I will not know who gets the report or the time frames until the tenders or proposals are actually concluded. When it is available I am sure it will be made public. I will speak more succinctly and say it will be public, eventually.
Mr. Lang: I like the way he threw in the eventually. It could be 1990, who knows?
You have not answered my question. We are going to have a report for $35,000. We are going to have four people in this program costing $105,000 total in salary, plus fringe benefits, I would imagine. What time frame is the Minister going to be putting on this report: six months, two months, three months?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The final completed product will probably take a year.
Mr. Lang: I would ask a further question. Yesterday the Minister provided us with the number of construction contracts that had been let to local Yukon contractors versus outside contractors, and there were 12 that went to contractors from other parts of Canada. Of the contracts totally given in the construction area, could the Minister tell us how many of those contracts required the northern preference clause to be brought into force over that period of time? Was it one, was it five, was it six times, or what?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have already thought of that question and it is being researched now in connection with yesterdays questions and we should know soon.
Mrs. Firth: I was of the impression that the Minister told us that this independent report was being done. Do I understand the Minister now, from his comments, that it has not even been contracted out yet? That he has to put a tender out on an independent report being done?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The monitoring process is being done. The independent report is not yet started.
Mrs. Firth: Has it been contracted out?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No.
Mrs. Firth: When will it be contracted out?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Likely in January or February.
Mrs. Firth: When was the decision made to do an independent report?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: May.
Mrs. Firth: The independent report is part of the monitoring process. What else is part of the monitoring process?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I took that question under advisement or as notice yesterday and I will provide an answer.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister told us that there was a committee for the Contractors Association and that they were doing some consultative process for recommendations to the concept. What is going on with the consultation process with the Chamber of Commerce?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no continuing, ongoing process with the Chamber as there is for the Contractors Association.
Mrs. Firth: Did the Minister ask the Chamber to make some comments about the policy?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mrs. Firth: Has the Chamber made those comments officially in writing to the Minister?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not remember, specifically. I will research that and answer in due course.
Mrs. Firth: They have not, and I would like to know why the Minister is saying he has consulted with them, yet they have not brought back their comments, and he is proceeding with the policy. Can he answer that question?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We have decided, and announced previously, that we are proceeding on this policy. There are negotiations about the details, and they are ongoing. That is the policy of the government as a result of a Cabinet decision.
Mrs. Firth: This Minister has a track record of not consulting and not negotiating and just telling people what they are going to do. I object to the Minister coming in here and telling us there is a fair, elaborate consultative process going on when the Minister comes forward here with the policy, asks us to approve funding for person years that have not even been approved in his government yet, and gives us some story about some committee that is formed to consult the contractors, tells us he is consulting with the Chamber when, all along, he is just going ahead with the policy as it is.
It is really less than honest to say that they are going through the consultative process. What the government is really doing is saying this is going to be the policy, you can make some comments if you want, but this is going to be the policy, whether you like it or not. The Chamber has raised concerns about the exact things that the Minister is coming here and asking us to approve today.
To top it all off, he will not tell us what the proposal is; he will not give us the policy so we can review it. Why do we not just be open and honest about this, that this government is just going to move in this direction and do it, and they are going to have $30,000 to promote the program and to have some printing. Let us tell is like it is. There is no consultation here. There are no opinions being asked for. It is a dictatorial kind of attitude.
Mr. Lang: If, in the wisdom of the business community, they find that in view of the information that has been provided them they feel it is not necessary to implement a policy of this nature, is it the position of the government to go ahead and implement the policy in any case?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is an impossible, hypothetical question. The policies of the government are made by the Cabinet in light of the consultations that occur, which are numerous and continuous. We do not follow every recommendation made or every objection made by the Economic Council, or the Contractors Association, or the Chamber of Commerce, or the Chamber of Mines. We consider all of those points of view and decide on the policy of the government. I think that is clear.
Mr. Lang: I have to express my view then. This is the government that stands with a great deal of fanfare and says they are here to listen to the people of the territory. The Government Leader says that they did consult on this and I can tell you that there are some very serious questions being asked about the principle of the policy, whether or not it is valid and whether or not it should be implemented. The question I asked was very clear. The question I asked was very clear and I think it merits asking this: Since nobody has a final copy of the proposed policy that is going to form the basis of spending $170,000, I asked a question, and I asked a very legitimate question. If the Contractors Association, in their wisdom, says that maybe a policy of this kind is premature, maybe it is not necessary, and if the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and the Yukon Chamber of Commerce similarly take a very hard look and say maybe this is not necessary, I want to ask the Minister of Government Services if it is the position of the government then that they would not implement the program?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is the position of the government that we would consider that new information if it occurred and analyze the situation as it exists. The Members opposite are being willfully blind here. We have consulted. We have consulted in numerous forums on many occasions. The Members opposite are obviously stating that some people disagree. I am not arguing about that. The question is: does the Opposition agree or not. They are refusing to state that. What we have here is a proposal that is not fleshed out in the final detailed policy and when it is it will be made public. It will undoubtedly be made part of a regulation and will be made public then and the debate on the detail can occur then. It cannot occur now because it is being formulated.
Mr. Lang: The government is planning for the year 2000, and is asking the people of the Yukon territory - the taxpayers of the Yukon - to give them authorization for $170,000 for a policy that is not even in place, that cannot even be debated in this House. That is arrogance. We talk about making the Legislature totally irrelevant. I know it must be very difficult for them to come to this House and actually have to answer to the people of the territory on their actions. It is an affront to the House, to the Parliament of Yukon. However, this does not surprise me one iota, coming from this Minister - and this government.
It is becoming more and more apparent that when the government talks about consultation, they are talking about policies that are their policies and that their people are going to like. We are going to spend a lot of money on educating the people of the territory, anybody who is thinking for themselves. It is becoming more and more difficult for this side to ask questions, to try and get answers, so that we can obtain information that is necessary in order that the people of the territory can examine what this government is doing.
It is very difficult to stand in this House and continuously ask questions, continuously badger the government side, to provide information so that the people of the territory can be given information on money that is being spent. It is almost as if the side opposite views this money as their own and that they have no reason to answer to the people of the territory. I do not understand, when we are discussing an area of this magnitude and the ramifications of this kind of policy on an individual in business, why the Minister could not provide us with - out of the number of contracts that have been let - how often northern preference had to be evoked.
The premise on which this policy is being introduced is that it is to ensure that there will be northern business and local hire. Yet, when we ask a specific question on this issue, we are told that we may get the information sometime in the session. It is an insult to this side. More importantly, it is an insult to the people of the territory. Things sure have changed since the government got a majority.
Mrs. Firth: I am just following the chronological order here so that I can determine and clarify exactly what this government is asking us to do.
First of all, we come into the Legislature, and the government makes a big announcement about this bold new initiative that is going to come forward at this sitting of the Legislative Assembly, and the Government Leader goes on about how it is not going to be controversial and so on. Then we start talking about this bold new initiative. First of all, the Members in this Legislative Assembly cannot get a copy of it - not only the Members of the Opposition, but I do not know if the private members of the government have been able to get a copy of the policy either. So there is no copy of this policy for us to know what the government is talking about. Then, when we question a little further, we find out that the government has not even finalized the policy, so they do not know what they are voting on either. Then we find out that the Minister is really going to help out because he is going to have an independent study done about this bold new initiative, and we will have to wait about a year for that to come forward. Then we find out we are going to hire four people in the meantime - and one is already there - to implement this unknown policy. Then we find out there is $30,000 in funding to be spent on promotion and printing. Then we find out, when we make a few phone calls, that this consultative process that was supposed to have been taken, consists of some kind of committee - where the Minister has the department official go to the executive meetings of the Contractors Association and discuss the principles with them. The Chamber has not even returned their official recommendations, which the government had requested. Yet the government is saying we should just be coming in here and agreeing to this, and if we do not agree with it, the Government Leader mutters in his chair that we do not agree with the policy.
We do not even know what the policy is. Obviously, neither does the government, because it is not completed yet. Really, the Minister must see how silly and absurd that is. It is just a disgusting attitude and approach to take - to think that you can demand that of the public and fool them in some way to accept this as some kind of normal procedure.
The Minister is always jumping up and talking about intellectual dishonesty and throwing down allegations to this side of the House. Really, who does he think he is dealing with here? The public is not going to accept this. You cannot just come forward and shove this down peoples throats under the guise that if they do not agree to it, then they are not in favour of it or they disagree with the principle or the concept. The public of the Yukon has a right to know what this policy is. We, as Members of the Legislative Assembly, have the right to know, before we are asked to vote this Appropriation for which the Minister is asking.
He is effectively coming in here and saying: Give us the money and we will take care of everything. That is just not the way it works. That is not even what the whole Parliamentary process is about and what the Legislative Assembly is for.
It is worse than the accusations that the Government Leader used to make about the previous government making decisions in Cabinet. What is this government doing? They are making a decision, coming in asking for the approval of funds, and not telling anybody what the decision is that they are making. It is just dreadful, and I think the public has a right to know that this is going on and I hope they find out about it. I will certainly do everything I can to make sure they do find out about it.
Mr. McLachlan: In the area of the salary dollars that the Minister referred to, the $105,000, as for the one person that is on staff now, the auxiliary, when did that person come on staff?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It was either in March or April. I will check as to the precise date.
Mr. McLachlan: Is that person drawing a salary of $37,000 per annum, with fringe benefits?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, the figure for that is $24,000.
Mr. McLachlan: So that would account for $24,000 of the $105,000 that the Minister has quoted as a salary cost, on an annual basis, for this program. No matter how you cut it, there is no way you can spend the remaining $81,000 for two and a half months, at the beginning of 1988, for two people.
I am just following up on the questioning of the Member for Porter Creek East because the mathematics do not add up: $81,000 for two and a half months for two peoples salary. Twenty-four thousand is the salary for the auxiliary who has already essentially been on staff since April 1 of 1987. Where is the balance of the funding?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are four people: one auxiliary, one term, and two indeterminate people who will start in January, 1988. Those two indeterminate will be continued in the long term as permanent. The salary dollars for the two indeterminate are $26,000, or $13,000 each, roughly; the one term, $37,000; the auxiliary, $24,000; so the three figures add up to $87,000.
Mr. McLachlan: On an annual basis, I agree it adds up to $87,000. That is the only thing so far that does add up. Is that $87,000 from January 15?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, those are salaries for the whole year. The confusion may be sorted out in the spring Mains, where the salaries for the continuing people will be known and are now identified in the next years Mains.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the term person on staff now? The auxiliary obviously is at $24,000.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Lang: This particular policy of the government, or lack thereof, is going to be debated at some length in the Main Estimates. I am not going to belabour it any further. I am amazed at the arrogance that is being exhibited.
With respect to the $115,000 to the M&R Building, could the Minister give us a break down of how much more space was acquired in that particular building?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I am advised that there will be no additional space for the M&R Building.
Mr. Lang: Why did the Minister inform us yesterday afternoon that the $115,000 that we were being asked to vote was not only for an increase in the rental but also for additional space?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The confusion is that I thought I was being asked about what additional space there will be. I believe that was the wording of the question. We are not expecting, as of today, to move into more space in the M&R Building. As to the expansion that has occurred since April 1, I will provide that number in square metres.
Mr. Lang: Could he give me an outline for the $115,000? I was asking about the $115,000 you are asking us to vote. The information we were provided with yesterday was that it was primarily for additional space. In order to be able to substantiate the money you are asking for, surely the Minister has that information available.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not remember saying primarily, but I do remember being asked that yesterday and I will provide that information in its specific when I have it.
Mr. Lang: This is like getting blood out of a stone. I find it amazing, and I go on the Record again, and I think it is time somebody on the other side started doing their work. You come in here asking us to give consent to the use of $115,000 of the taxpayers money and nobody has the answer, just: More space, just another building; $115,000 is a lot of money. Surely somebody would at least have done enough research to say that we rented another 400 square metres of property in the M&R Building and then we could discuss whether or not we should have 400 square metres. Right now I do not know if it is half a square metre, 500 square metres or 5000 square metres. I want to say again that, on behalf of the people of the territory whom this Legislature represents, the people are being played as fools.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We have in the M&R Building 15,927 square feet of space rented. There are two leases, one of them runs from October 1, 1986 for three years and the other one runs from May 1, 1987 for one year. As to the specific times of moving into that space, I will provide that information. I do not have it with me.
Mr. Lang: We have two leases. One that we obviously voted for in the Main Estimates on October 1, 1987. You knew what the prices were on that one. The government has gone into a new lease and the new lease has to say how many square metres in addition is rented with this $115,000 Supplementary.
Chairman: Would you like to repeat your question, Mr. Lang?
Mr. Lang: I just asked the question: there are two leases. One lease I understand. The second lease obviously was taken in May of this year, as the Minister has outlined. My question is: how much more additional space was leased in that particular area? Does he have the information?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The lease signed on October 1, 1986 was for 4,727 square feet.
Mr. Lang: So do I take it then that on May 1 of this year we went out and leased roughly an additional 12,000 square feet of space?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I believe so, yes.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us who moved into that area?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Building Maintenance Branch of Public Works.
Mr. Lang: Was there a reason why we only went into a one-year lease as opposed to a three-year lease?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes. The building they moved out of is being renovated as a result of asbestos insulation, which was in the old building in the Marwell area.
Mr. Lang: Do I take it that we will be moving out of this building, back into that building, as of May 1, 1988?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That specific decision has not been made by the Management Board, but somebody will be moving into that building. I would expect yes, but the specific decision has not been made by Management Board.
Mr. Lang: Is the Minister telling me that when they made the decision to rent an additional 12,000 square feet, because that particular department had to move out of a building to have it renovated to meet todays standards, that that decision did not contain the direction that the lease would lapse and they would move back into the building they had vacated?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Not specifically. It depends on the renovations of the old building. That is a fair conclusion as to what will happen.
Mr. McLachlan: One of the things that we often hear - the street-wise rumour - is that people can see the government coming and the rate that is charged for the square footage is judged according. Can the Minister tell us what the rate for square foot is on the three-year and the one-year contracts?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The calculation is being made, and I will provide it in a minute.
Mr. McLachlan: I would like to find out if the government is paying a comparable rate for square footage, than any other commercial operation would be paying in a similar situation?
Chairman: Do you wish the Committee to recess until the information is ready?
We will now recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I can answer the question with regard to the base rates. The base rate for the office portion of the M&R Building is $8.65 per square foot. For the shop portion, which is where Building Maintenance is - that is 11,200 square feet I referred to - is $7.05.
Mr. Lang: I am not going to belabour it. There are a number of outstanding policy issues that are going to be pursued in the Main Estimates and I hope the Minister is better prepared at that time so we can be done with it quite expeditiously. Quite frankly I hope the Minister is more open.
Mr. Phillips: Which department is going to move into the Parks building that will become vacant?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That has not been determined.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister said that he was going to be coming back with other questions that we had asked, particularly with the schedule of moves. Can he give us a commitment as to when he will be bringing that information?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Certainly before the Capital Mains. I hope tomorrow.
Administration in the amount of $400,000 agreed to
On Supply and Services
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister was going to give us some indication as to the additional Hansard cost increases and the reason why.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Hansard contract is a three-year contract ending in 1988 for $256,000 per year. The way the budget is compiled for the government is that the Yukon Gazette contract and Hansard are in the same activity. The Yukon Gazette contract is $56,000 per year, so the total of those two is $312,000 a year. What we had budgeted in the Mains was Hansard $174,000, Yukon Gazette $138,000 and the mailing costs for those items $6,000, for a total of $218,000.
The $94,000 is the difference between the $218,000 that was budgeted, and the $312,000 that will be the cost for the whole year.
Mr. McLachlan: We had a contract for a fixed price. We need a substantial amount more to take it up to $312,000. What is the reason for the overage? Do the MLAs talk too much, or did the department just under budget?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The specific reason for this one is that the department did not budget originally for the costs that we now know will be pursuant to the contract of $256,000 per year.
Mr. Lang: Is the $256,000 a fixed amount of money?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is the base on the contract. By the terms of the contract, there could be extra costs and, perhaps, lower costs. That is the base. The realistic expectation is that it will be $256,000 in this fiscal year.
Chairman: Anything further on Supply Services?
Supply Services in the amount of $570,000 agreed to
Mr. McLachlan: Is the gas for $60,000 just for the rental fleet, or is it for excess to all vehicles?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: For all vehicles.
Mr. McLachlan: There is $78,000 for additional photocopying, another one million copies. That is government wide?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Total of Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $970,000 agreed to
On Capital Expenditures
Chairman: Any comments on the Capital Expenditures listed on page 21?
Mr. Lang: Now that we have bought another building, it should be a matter of debate, but I think it would be in the Department of Justice.
Whitehorse Facilities in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Energy Conservation
Mr. Lang: I would like to know how much money is being spent on this building. Is this where the money is coming from for the energy audit that identified that the roof had to be redone?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will provide that information. There was a retrofit of the roof on the building, and I will provide the cost for that tomorrow.
Energy Conservation in the amount of a reduction of $82,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of a reduction of $32,000 agreed to
On Department of Education
Chairman: Before we continue with the next department, we will return to the Department of Education, the capital votes on page 17.
On Yukon Place
Yukon Place in the amount of $500,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $4,569,000 agreed to
On Department of Health and Human Resources
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I brought back the wrong information from my office. I apologize.
On Department of Justice, Operation and Maintenance
Chairman: General debate, Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will anticipate some of the questions here. The Members will be aware that we voted $32,000 in the Mains and this is an additional $233,000, for a total of $265,000. That is a made up of payments to the Commission, that is, in a grant to the Commission of $196,000. In order to be precise, I should say that it is $195,962, and the additional monies were the start up costs and the salaries that occurred in the department prior to the taking over of the operation by the Commission. The largest part is in the recruitment or the removal costs for the Director, who was an outside hire. And those costs are normally in the general budget for PSC, but because the PSC has no legislative authority for the Commission, we are asking for that money separately and specifically, and it is contained in this Supp.
The monies spent in the department are for salaries: $18,400 for the recruitment of the director and the relocation and moving expenses, for a total of $29,500-odd; for travel and expenses for the Board members, a total of $3,790; for the volumes one to eight of the Human Rights reporter, $1,500-odd; office expenses, $200-odd; for advertising, which was primarily on the recruitment, and telephone costs, there is a total of $8,000 - primarily for advertising, which was $6,800; for membership in the Canadian Human Rights Association, $500; and for contracts for training of the adjudicators and the commissioners as a start up cost, $7,000.
So those are the costs of the Department and the amount paid to the Commission.
Mr. Phillips: Can the Minister give us a better breakdown of the relocation costs, $29,500?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Travel for all of the applicants, $3,398, accommodation expenses for the applicants, $548.00, the successful applicant was treated exactly as the PSC treat new employees, and there was a house hunting trip for $3,497, relocation expenses for the family of $3,513 and the moving expenses $18,592.
Mr. Phillips: The house hunting trip for $3,497 seems rather high. Can the Minister explain what that involves, or how many people that involves?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We followed the policies followed by PSC that after a person has been made an offer and accepts it, they are eligible under the PSC guidelines to come here and stay in a hotel and to look for a house. There are particular limits to the expenses and we treated it exactly as the PSC treats all new employees who move here for employment.
Mr. Phillips: Can the Minister elaborate on the advertising and recruitment costs? He gave us a figure of $6,800.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There were telephone costs of $1,200, advertising $6,800, a membership for $500, which I mentioned, and two contracts that were personal service contracts, one to Cathy Cross for $2,560 and one to Shelagh Dae for $4,500.
Mr. Phillips: Were there any Yukon applicants for the job of Human Rights Commissioner or Human Rights Commission executive director?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, there were. I know, because I spoke to one applicant myself. I believe there were a number of applicants. The Commission made a short list; they brought up three people from outside and also interviewed on the shortlist at least one local person. I am not sure precisely how many.
Mrs. Firth: I know that the discretion was left up to the Commission to write the job description of the executive director and to interview the individuals. I wonder if we could have a copy of that job description and the reason why the local applicants were not considered suitable for the job.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: On behalf of the Legislature, I will specifically ask the Commission for that information and provide it.
Mrs. Firth: Can the Minister tell us what the annual salary will be for the executive director of the Human Rights Commission?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: We will know with precision when the Commission reports its financial statements to the Legislature, as it will. The amounts budgeted for salaries, which was the basis of the grant, were as follows, and this is the budget for July 1 to March 31, or nine months. The salary budget was a total of $68,000. The directors budget was $42,000 and this was classified, as it related to government, as an MG6; for an intake counsellor, the budget was $26,000, which was classified as an AR10, analogous to the government. So it is $68,000 for nine months.
Mrs. Firth: The intake counsellor serves the function of the clerical or secretarial services as well - the Minister is shaking his head, nodding his head at me, in agreement. I would like to know what the annual budget is going to be for the Commission. Is the government going to set an annual budget for it or is it going to be just like the Minister said, that it is going to spend money and then, when it reports its financial statement, that is the amount of money it will have spent and we just accept that?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, it will not be that. The Commission is independent, as everyone knows. Consequently, it will not ever be allowed to go over the amounts the government allows, and the budget will be determined annually. The process that I am expecting is that a communication or consultation or negotiation will occur between the Commission and the government annually, and the government will, in due course through the Management Board, establish a figure. It is the responsibility of the government to establish the figure and propose it to the House. The proposal that I am making now is for a part year and is a total of $196,000 which, it is expected, includes some costs that are start up costs. That will change, because the budget includes money for rent. Subsequent to the grant made for rent, a decision was made to purchase a building and to provide the building to the Commission. In future years, there will be a figure for that building maintenance, and we will establish it. That is not for rent, because they will be in their own premises.
Mrs. Firth: I gather that this $196,000 is for nine months operation. That is what the grant has been. When we were having this debate in the Legislature in January of 1987 - the debate on the Human Rights Commission and the operating costs of the Commission - at that time, the Minister was asked about the costs and the budget and was very vague with his answers and gave all kinds of silly comments about the worse scenario with no staff and so on, and it was going to be for $5,000. The worse scenario would be in the neighbourhood of $200,000. I guess we are finding out now that what is happening is worse than the worse scenario. We are looking at $196,000 for nine months. I know the Minister is going to talk about start up costs, but part of the purchase of the building - the $82,000 - was a Capital cost and is separate from this $196,000, so he cannot include that as part of the start up costs. I imagine we will be looking at an increase of cost for the salaries of $42,000 for the director of the Human Rights Commission and $26,000 for the intake counselor for nine months.
Could the Minister give us some idea of how much money the government is prepared to authorize for operating and maintenance costs for the Commission? Are they prepared to authorize above $200,000 for annual Operation and Maintenance costs?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: For this year we have authorized $196,000, and the appropriate figure for a years operation should best be for next year because there will not be the start up costs, and it will be for the full year. I am unable to give that now, for obvious reasons, because it is not established. The Management Board will establish the budget for the next year and we will debate it, I am sure, in April and May of 1988. For the current year, the figures are as I have given them.
Mrs. Firth: The $82,000 for the Capital Expenditure, is that just for the purchase of the building?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, the building was purchased for $80,000 and there was an additional $2,000 for closing costs and minor expenses around the closing.
Mrs. Firth: Where did the money come from for the purchase of the furniture, and the renovations and the carpets? What other energy efficient renovations were done on the building? Where did that money come from?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There was no energy retrofit as such, but in the same context, the government started the Commission out with a building. There were costs associated with the preparation of the building, to make it suitable, and they involved: a new paint job, a new carpet, renovations to the existing washroom, to make it wheelchair accessible, which was primarily an expansion of the door, and a ramp. I will determine exactly the figure and get back with that figure. We are not asking for money to do that. I will answer the question of how much. I do not know the precise amount but it was in the Capital Maintenance Program, in Government Services.
Mrs. Firth: We would like to know how much. I would also like to know how much the furnishings for the building cost.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will supply that as well.
Mrs. Firth: On quick calculation, when you figure out that $196,000 is the budget for nine months, that would estimate approximately $270,000 for the year. Is the Minister anticipating that those could be the likely Operation and Maintenance costs for the Human Rights Commission for a year?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I would expect it would be less than that. The precise amount will never be known until the next years Operation and Maintenance budget is set.
Mrs. Firth: Is the government setting some kind of limit or are they just telling the Human Rights Commission to come up with what they want and if it does not look reasonable they will not get it, and if it looks pretty good they will get it?
They must have made a determination by now of how much they are prepared to spend for the Operation and Maintenance of the Commission.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are certain guidelines in that we have determined, and it was determined in the debate on the legislation, that the government would fund two staff positions and we will fund the salary in accordance with the Public Service Commission guidelines for those jobs - they are an MG6 and an AR10. That establishes an effective guideline for salaries. The guidelines for travel will be the government travel rates, and we will put in a figure for honorariums and for travel for the Commission and the executive director. Those rates are all set by policies generally, and there will be a determination - which I am unable to announce now because I do not know it - for the budget for public education and research. That research and public education could be expected to be higher in the first year in order to establish the plans.
Under the present budget, the budget for publications workshop presentations, advertisements and public education is $40,000. For research, which I am expecting will be into pay equity, is $30,000.
Mrs. Firth: In the quick calculation that I did, I would like to change the $270,000 to $245,000. That is still a lot of money. I am guessing that the government will ask for another $250,000 for the Operation and Maintenance of the Human Rights Commission, not $70,000, $80,000, $4,000 or $5,000, as the Minister indicated in January, 1987. At that time we were trying to get the specific figure on what the cost of the Commission would be and what this government was prepared to pay. I guess we know now that they are prepared to pay an awful lot.
When it comes to the Minister bringing back the job descriptions and the reasons why the local applicants were not eligible, could he also bring me the salary range for the MG6 that he has made reference to for the position of Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission?
The advertising budget is for $6,000. We have all recently received posters from the Human Rights Commission. Could the Minister elaborate on that whole process? Was this commissioned by the Human Rights Commission? On the poster, the printing was done outside by some Calgary firm. Did the Executive Director commission an artist to do this especially for the Commission? What was the cost of the whole process?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That cost is not included in the government cost. It is the Commissions cost under its budget. I presume it is under the $40,000 allowed for public education, publications and materials. I will ask the Commission those questions and bring the answers back on behalf of the Legislature. The Commission commissioned Jim Logan to do the art work, and produced the posters themselves out of its monies.
Mrs. Firth: We had better get something straight right now. It is not their money, it is our money; it is the taxpayers money. The Minister has to be accountable for the expenditure of those funds here in the Legislature and to the taxpayer. It is our money we are spending.
The Minister has talked about this $40,000 of the Commissions money under their budget. Where does that $40,000 appear in the breakdown that the Minister gave us? It is obviously part of the $196,000 grant, but what is the rest of the breakdown. What is the delegation of that $40,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Perhaps the best way to answer is to go through the Commissions budget and give the precise amounts.
For salaries, $68,000 - which I have already broken down into $42,000 and $26,000 for the two staff.
For rent, $9,560, which was based on a calculation of 750 square feet at $17.00 per foot. A different accommodation for space was made and that rent figure will obviously change.
For maintenance and repairs of office furniture and phone, which includes the phone subscription and long distance, $2,850.
For office supplies and postage, $825.
For the rental for purchase of equipment - this is typewriter and photocopier and miscellaneous office equipment - $5,000.
For accounting charges and bank charges based on an annual audit, which was a figure estimated by a quote from McKay and Partners, $1,500.
Insurance charges, library materials, publications, et cetera, $600.
Out of territory travel, $2,000.
For in territory travel - there is a breakdown for three visits to each community for one staff member, and travel and accommodation expenses for rural commissioners to attend meetings in Whitehorse. The total travel costs are estimated at $11,627.
For staff training, which we estimate as a start up cost and not a continuing cost, $12,000.
For honorariums for the commissioners and legal counsel for the Commission, a total of $14,000.
For public education, as was previously given, $40,000, for research, $30,000. That all adds up to $195,962.
Mrs. Firth: Are the research funds for consultants?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: The first figure the Minister specified when he started the debate was $18,400 for salary. What was that salary?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Those were the salary costs for the person who was on staff, not as a permanent person year for the government, but on staff during the development of the legislation and from the period April 1, 1987 to July 1, 1987. It came to $18,400.
Mr. McLachlan: None of this adds up to $238,000. There is $196,000 plus $18,400 for salary, $29,500 for recruitment, $3,790 for travel, $1,500 for the human rights reporter, $200 for the office, $8,000 for advertising and telephone, $500 for CHR Membership, and $7,000 for training of adjudicators, is not $233,000. When you add $196,000 to that.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It adds up to $264,962, and $32,000 was originally in the Operation and Maintenance Mains.
Mr. McLachlan: The amount of $18,500 is a long haul in a moving van. What province did the director come from?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Ontario.
Mr. McLachlan: Why was the decision made to buy the house rather than rent at $9,500 per year. We could have had the office for eight years at that rate. Why buy, especially with all of the office space becomes available?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The government rented a space in the Royal Bank Building, Yukon Place. That was leased on the month to month tenancy as temporary accommodation. The Commission looked for space and considered various opportunities. The government assisted them in looking. That was not a financial expense. They determined that they had a requirement for space that was not in a government building, so that people would feel comfortable about the independence, and that was wheelchair accessible. They looked at all of the available space in Whitehorse. There was some space available at a very large rental fee that would have been way beyond their budget. They determined that it was cost effective to move into a small, older building, and they found the building at 205 Rogers Street, just around the corner. There was a discussion with me about changing the plan to rent, to a purchase plan. I took it to the government and got a decision to transfer the capital monies, to purchase the building and give it as a gift to the Commission. That ensures their independence, and it is excellent office accommodation for them. In the long term, it will certainly be cost effective.
Mr. McLachlan: Whether it is a good deal or not, I guess MLAs can go to their open house in two days and see for themselves if it is a good investment.
What I want to ask the Minister is: he has referred to O&M, of which of course there will be heat and light and power and property taxes and the lawn to cut and the rug to clean and insurance to pay. Is the operational cost per year of the house going to be less than what we would have paid for rent?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Lang: I intended to stay out of this but I am finding it more and more difficult and I have to rise. Talking about the travel expense of $18,500, that is a lot of money. What I do not understand is why we spent so much money paying for someone to move to the Yukon to tell us how to live.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I totally agree. It is a lot of money and it is an approximately average moving cost for all of our outside hires. That is why we are moving, as a general policy in the government, to spend much more on staff training and less on removal costs. That has historically been a high cost and this is about average for these kinds of moves.
Mr. Lang: Do we just accept that it cost $18,500 to bring our new man in from Ontario? Like I say, he has received more publicity than the whole front Bench here in the last two months. Are we just supposed to sit here and say that in the years ahead we will save the money by staff training? I do not understand why we even hired somebody from outside.
As to the hiring of this individual, can the Minister tell me how it directly relates to the local hire policy that the government is so good about talking about? Did he come under some criteria for local hire?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have previously undertaken to supply the reason for that hire and I will do so.
Mr. Lang: When the Minister heard the new Lone Ranger was coming to the Yukon, did it not occur to him to ask somebody why this guy had to be hired from Ontario? I am serious. We have this guy here and he is telling me and everybody else in the territory what to do and there are a lot of people who resent a lot of the things he is saying. I want to pass that along to the Minister. The people of the Yukon Territory paid $18,400 on top of his salary to get him here. Did the Minister ask at that time why there was not anybody locally who was capable of doing this job?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Commission advertised and developed a short list. They communicated with the government about the possibility of an outside hire. We determined that it was appropriate that the Commission would hire the person who they felt was most qualified. If that was an outside Canadian hire, we would pay the costs in accordance with the Public Service Commission guidelines.
In view of the time, I move that the Chair report progress.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
Could the House now have a report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 3, Third Appropriation Act, 1987-88 and directs me to report progress on 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.
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.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The House adjourned at 5:30 p.m.