Monday, December 14, 1987 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. 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?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have for tabling various written answers to questions put by Members of the Opposition regarding housing in Carmacks, Ross River and Destruction Bay.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have for tabling answers for questions asked by the Member for Riverdale South.
Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees. Are there any Petitions? Introduction of Bills? Are there any Notices of Motion for Production of Papers? Are there any Notices of Motion? Are there any Statements by Ministers?
This, then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Agricultural land
Mr. Phelps: It has been brought to my attention that as recently as November 20, 1987, the City of Whitehorse has been telling applicants looking for agricultural land within the city boundaries outside of Whitehorse that Yukon Territorial Government will not be considering applications for at least two years. Can the Minister for Community and Transportation Services tell me why it is taking so long to have agricultural applications considered by this government?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not sure of the intent of the Members question. He made mention of agricultural applications outside of the City of Whitehorse but within the boundaries. I do not know how that can be, but the Yukon government is accepting agricultural applications within the City of Whitehorse and around the territory and will process them as soon as it can.
Mr. Phelps: The Minister makes a good point. I really meant outside of the main city but within the boundaries of the City of Whitehorse. Is it taking two years for the territorial government to consider agricultural land applications?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I hope that it is less than two years. Everyone knows that the government has had difficulty historically handling the backlog of applications that have appeared in the last four or five years. We are making efforts to get the application process speeded up considerably. I would hope that it would not take two years to process a brand new application.
Mr. Phelps: Can the Minister tell us how many outstanding agricultural applications there are at this time?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As of a couple of weeks ago, there were approximately 212 applications outstanding considered current.
Question re: Agricultural land
Mr. Phelps: Can the Minister tell us approximately how many applications were dealt with in the past 12 months?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I can come back with the information.
Mr. Phelps: There must be some huge holdup somewhere in the process of looking over these applications. Can the Minister identify exactly where the bottleneck is?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: A number of things have been attempted to try to improve the situation. We inherited about 300 applications, and there have been approximately 20 or more that have been made in the last year or so.
The government has been trying to address not only the problems associated with the application process itself and the various approval processes in Yukon, but also the land transfer process, which is integral to many applications. We have been seeking some clarification of the process from the feds and the assurance that this process will be speeded up.
Mr. Phelps: How many of these applications get as far as FTLAC, and no further?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: If the Member means how many applications were turned down by FTLAC, I will seek that information and bring it back shortly.
Question re: Contaminated seafood
Mr. McLachlan: I have a question for the Minister of Health and Human Resources. Has the Minister been in contact with any federal Department of Health representatives over the weekend regarding possible shipments of contaminated mussels and shellfish from the east coast or the Gulf of St. Lawrence fisheries areas, which may be shipped to this territory?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have not been in touch with any federal officials, but I did receive something in the mail today that I have not read yet.
Mr. McLachlan: One of the concerns we have is that, in addition to the product which is sold in operations commercially, there are a number of people resident here who are from the east coast and who have care packages sent from friends there at this time of year. Although I fully realize it is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, I am wondering if the Minister has any way of dealing with those types of situations at the moment - or does everybody take a chance?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I understand the seriousness of the matter right now, and if there is a concern, then I certainly will look into it and find out the answer to the question the Member is asking and bring it back to this House.
Mr. McLachlan: I am wondering if the Minister could at least talk to federal counterparts in Whitehorse in the Department of Health, or Fisheries and Oceans if that is the case, to find out whether they will at least be releasing a statement for Yukoners to assure them that there is no danger or that there is danger from the as yet unknown toxin?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I can definitely do that today.
Question re: Social housing program
Mr. Lang: I hope we do not have to go to Newfoundland for an answer to a question on this one.
I want to register some concerns that have been brought to my attention that have to do with the $60 to $70 million program that the Minister of Housing is in the process of putting into place. It has to do with the question, in many cases I would have to say of mismanagement and also perhaps misdirection, that the government is doing in the building of new social housing. There are questions in a lot of peoples minds as to whether it is necessary.
Does the government have a policy in place that gives an upper limit to the number of social housing units that can be placed in a given residential area of a community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I believe the general process for approving more social housing units in a community is to, first of all, integrate it within the existing subdivisions and not ghettoize social housing. That has been done for a number of years now; I believe quite successfully. There is also the proviso that discussion does take place with the municipality involved to speak to issues such as zoning. I believe that has been the case in recent years. With respect to the matter beyond that, demand factors would have considerable effect on how many units would be placed.
Mr. Lang: Maybe I can go back to a new question because he did not answer my first question. I did not ask if he consulted with the municipality, and I did not ask about the purposes of social integration versus certain sectors of the community being blocked off. I asked the following question: Does the Government of Yukon, the Yukon Housing Corporation, have a policy in place that sets an upper limit for the number of social housing units that can be placed in a given residential area of a community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will endeavour to check with the Housing Corporation with respect to what policies they may have for the placement of social housing units in residential areas. If the Member has a concern he would like to express about any particular incidence of placing social housing, I would be happy to listen to it. If there are concerns I will address them with the Corporation.
Mr. Lang: We are very consistent. I ask a question in the House and we have to wait until the next day for an answer. I wish the Minister would start being prepared to answer the questions as they are being put to him. It is a very basic policy issue that has to be addressed.
On the question of consultation, is it the policy of the Government of Yukon, through the Yukon Housing Corporation, to consult with the municipalities prior to the decision of purchasing or building new social public housing in a residential part of the community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes.
Mr. Lang: With respect to the question of the building of houses by the Yukon Housing Corporation, I have a major concern. Is it the policy of the government - by that I mean the Yukon Housing Corporation - that there is continuous ongoing site inspection of the buildings as they are being built by contractors, or are being built by the Yukon Housing Corporation when they act as the general contractor?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: In terms of the construction management, there is a manual that was developed last year with respect to the managing of construction. I am certain they would incorporate features such as the inspection of units as construction is under way.
Question re: Social housing program
Mr. Lang: I did not ask about the manual. I asked about the policy of the government and the Housing Corporation. Is it the policy of the Government of Yukon that there be continuous ongoing site inspection of buildings when they are being built by a contractor or if it is a project managed by the Yukon Housing Corporation?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is the policy of the government and the Yukon Housing Corporation that its many policies, which are outlined in this procedural manual, are not inconsistent with government policies or Corporation policies.
Mr. Lang: I am not going to rephrase the question, but could he bring back a definite yes or no answer to me tomorrow with respect to the question of on site inspections? I think it is an important question and not something to be slid over to some manual.
With respect to Ross River and the two houses that are being built in the community for about $230,000, I raised a concern the other day with respect to local purchase and labour. I asked whether the houses had been prefab units from Prince George, and I never did get an answer, even in the written answer the Minister gave back to the House. Were they prefab units and were they purchased in Prince George?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I indicated in the written answer, the two projects the Member refers to were tendered as stick built projects. The maximum unit price was exceeded in the bids, and the Housing Corporation went instead with prefab units. They purchased those units through Yukon suppliers. Where the units actually originated from may be either Prince George or some other place. But, they purchased them through Yukon suppliers.
Mr. Lang: With respect to the purchasing of houses or the building of houses for the purpose of social housing throughout the territory, if the prices do not come in for the purposes of stick built, is it the policy of the government that the Yukon Housing Corporation can purchase prefab units for the purposes of providing that type of accommodation?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Members should be aware that according to CMHC guidelines there is a limit to the amount of expenditure that the government or the Yukon Housing Corporation can undertake on any given house. After the project is tendered, if the bid prices are higher than those which are affordable under the maximum unit price through CMHC, then alternatives have to be considered. In this case, the alternative of a prefabricated house was considered and was chosen.
Question re: Ross River housing
Mr. Lang: The answer is yes, then, and they can purchase prefabricated housing.
In the legislative return that the Minister provided us with, the Minister refers to two houses. One is not being used and has not been used in the last five years. The other is a house that is being used by the Ross River housing office as an office. That sounds a little different since there is a housing problem and a house is being used as an office.
Those are not the two houses I was referring to. There are two other houses, one of which has been vacant since October. Another has been vacant on and off, amongst the social housing provided in the community. Is it true that the government just sold, through the buy back program, a home in Ross River in the last week or so?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There were two units that were vacant. As the legislative return indicates, both were built in the late 1970s, both were experiencing trouble, and therefore they cannot be used. With respect to one of the houses, there is a house that is being sold in Ross River. The tenders for the house close on December 17, 1987, which is three days away. This house was acquired under the employee buy back program.
Mr. Lang: A lot of people are questioning the necessity for the government going into housing any further at this time. The government is paying $110,000 and $113,000 respectively for the two new houses that are being built in the community. Could the Minister inform this House what is the upset price on the house that they are selling?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will undertake to bring that specific information to the Member.
Mr. Lang: Did the government, in any of its deliberations during the planning that went on for providing housing in Ross River, consider that perhaps the house that they are selling may provide the type of service they want instead of spending $110,000 on a prefab unit from Prince George?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am certain the Yukon Housing Corporation did take these considerations into account. I will bring back the details of the situation for the Members.
Question re: Ross River housing
Mr. Lang: We seem to have a lot of problems with respect to this situation. I hope the Minister gets a full briefing with respect to this so he can answer the questions in Question Period as opposed to having to come back. Perhaps we should have someone from the Yukon Housing Corporation here to answer the questions so we can get some answers.
Following that line, perhaps the Minister can go to the Housing Corporation and verify whether or not there was a stop order put on the construction of these two new plush units being put into the community. Could he verify that the stop order was there because the two houses in question were being built on an existing roadway in the community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Many of the questions that the Member asks are extremely detailed and every effort is being made to provide the necessary information to the Members of the House. I have already undertaken to provide whatever details, whether it is the colour of the paint job or whatever else the Members might find relevant to the discussions or Question Period, but the construction of those two units was delayed for a period of about a week and a half over some misunderstandings about encroachment, and also because the contractor had a personal reason for the delay. My information has it that the delay was for a week and a half and work will be resumed shortly.
Question re: Destruction Bay teacherage
Mr. Brewster: My question is to the Minister of Community and Transportation Services. Can the Minister advise the House as to the total cost of the teacherage in Destruction Bay?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I presume the Member is talking about the house in Destruction Bay, not the teacherage, because the teacherage was built some time ago. With respect to how much it cost exactly I will provide that information. If the Members would kindly provide some advance notice to questions of that kind of detail, it would be sincerely, sincerely appreciated.
The Member for Porter Creek East is asking whether or not I am aware of all the details. It is inhuman to ask that the Minister come to this Legislature with the kind of details the Members are asking for. It is impossible for me to know on a unit by unit basis the construction schedule, whether or not the foundations were compacted, the exact price of the bid, and so on.
Speaker: Would the Member please conclude.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is an infinite amount of detail that could be considered.
Mr. Brewster: Can the Minister please tell this House how much it is now costing the taxpayers of the Yukon for the teachers residence, and who is looking after this building?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The cost of maintaining the building would be the cost of keeping the building heated. The people who would be responsible for the unit would be Yukon Housing Corporations contract staff in the communities and they would be responsible for the unit in Destruction Bay as well.
Mr. Brewster: Has Yukon Housing a person in Destruction Bay who looks after houses?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: If they do not have someone living in Destruction Bay, they will have somebody in the area who will be responsible for the house in Destruction Bay. That is true of houses in Pelly Crossing and Stewart Crossing; there are no permanent Yukon Housing Corporation personnel or contract personnel in those communities, but they do have someone who is responsible in those communities and that person would find it necessary perhaps to travel to the communities to oversee the maintenance of the houses.
Question re: Ross River arena
Mrs. Firth: I have some general questions regarding policy matter, which the Minister of Community and Transportation Services should be able to answer in the House. They are in regard to the Ross River arena.
The Ross River arena to date has cost approximately $1.5 million and they still have no heat, plumbing or washrooms in the facility. Can the Minister tell us who is authorized to be responsible for the management of this project?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Presumably the Member is referring to the ongoing O&M costs of the project. Is the Member referring to the contracting agent? The person who is responsible for the construction is the Government of Yukon, specifically the Department of Government Services.
Mrs. Firth: So we have established that Government Services is the project manager. In my first supplementary, we understand there is a new experimental technique for drilled pilings for this building and it required that a vehicle from Fort St. John be brought to the Yukon at a cost of $33,000, just to get the equipment here. There is some question about the stability of the pilings, and I would like to ask the Minister who is going to carry the financial burden for the failure of the pilings?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member fooled me. She said she was going to ask policy questions, but she has done nothing of the sort. With respect to the question, there is an assumption that the pilings are going to fail. Presumably the Member is an engineer and is secure in her information, but in any case, like all community facilities where there is a failure of this sort, the responsible agent for rectifying the situation would ultimately be the person or the group that would be responsible for rebuilding it, which would be the Government of Yukon. If there were failures, there would be, by extension, some responsibility borne by the engineers and the construction agents if there was any problem with construction.
Mrs. Firth: The Ministers sarcasm does not get him out of the fact that he cannot answer the question. Obviously, the taxpayer of the Yukon is going to have to assume the financial responsibility for this in the event that there is a failure. Can the Minister of Community and Transportation Services tell us if there has been continuing on-site inspection throughout the management of this project?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: With respect to on-site inspection, it is the policy of the government to provide on-site inspection. The Member wants to know how many times and where any inspectors may have been staying, how much time they might have spent actually at the site; I will certainly provide as many of those kinds of details as I can for the Member.
Question re: Ross River arena
Mrs. Firth: There have been tremendous cost over runs with this project. The Minister does not know if there have been on site inspections continuously through the project. The Minister does not know if there have been on site inspections throughout this project. We are talking about an arena that has already cost $1.5 million. It is an unusable building. There are predictions that it is going to cost at least that much more to finish it. What are the projected operating and maintenance costs of this facility?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member asked whether or not it was the policy of the government to have on site inspections. I indicated the answer was yes. It is the policy of the government. If the Member is asking how many times inspectors have showed up at the site, I will have to bring that information back to the House. My memory is not as perfect as the Members would request.
With respect to the project itself, with respect to operation and maintenance costs, the lighting for the arena would possibly be about $5,000 per year, and it would be the responsibility of the community association.
Mrs. Firth: The $5,000 per year for lighting is nowhere near the operation and maintenance costs. The community itself is projecting much higher operation and maintenance costs. What arrangements were made to ensure the community can pay the operation and maintenance costs, and where were these costs before the project went ahead?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is a lot to be provided in an explanation for this particular project. It is not very appropriate during Question Period, but there is not always the audience in debate on Estimates, so I am sure that is the reason it has been brought up. The project has been enhanced to incorporate the community hall in the future. The operation and maintenance costs associated with the old community hall could be transferred easily to the new community hall. Depending on the heating system, which more than likely will be wood heat, as it is the desire of the community club, that cost can be transferred from the old facility to the new facility.
When the mechanical and the heating is designed and put in place inside the arena recreation centre, the community and the government are going to take into consideration what is affordable for the community and what is not.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister does not even know what kind of heating there is going to be in the building. How did a project like this get approved without life cycle or operation and maintenance costs and an analysis for the communitys ability to pay?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The assumption the Member is making that those things were not considered is wrong.
Question re: Contaminated seafood
Mr. McLachlan: Three major issues dominated the news last week: free trade, missiles and mussels. This government was waiting for more information on free trade from Ottawa. They were right up front on missiles, tabling a major motion in this Legislature on Wednesday. The issue of mussels first hit on Friday and, three days later, we still have nothing available to tell the people of the Yukon or this Legislature with respect to what statements the government is prepared to make. Why not?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The information I had is that the problem was in the east and that restaurants in the Yukon used shellfish from the west. I had not considered that there would be care packages coming in for Christmas. I am concerned about it as much as the Member for Faro is. I will have a statement from this government. I will seek one from Medical Services.
Mr. McLachlan: I would like to ask the Minister if she has been in contact with any retail outlets for the supply of the fish products at the wholesale level to the restaurants? Has she done any canvassing, has she asked them what they are selling, or if they have removed any from the shelves.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Although it is a concern of ours, that decision was made by the federal government. I have not been in contact with any restaurants or food sellers in the Yukon, and I will find out whether or not somebody from Medical Services has.
Mr. McLachlan: Although the fact remains that it is an area that is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the contact that most Yukoners have in their day to day life is based on decisions that are right out of this Legislature, not something that occurs from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or from Mr. Epps office, other than what they may see on their television sets. May I ask the Minister if she will be prepared to come back and give a statement tomorrow on the situation as it affects the territory. May we have that undertaking today?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Yes.
Question re: Ross River arena
Mr. Lang: I want to get back to a very serious issue here. I heard the Minister of Community and Transportation saying that he could not expect to have the answers to any of the questions being asked. It has been front page news, and ongoing news that the Ross River arena, for one reason or another, has gone from $750,000 in projected costs to $1.5 million. At the present time I understand there is a stop order on construction. That is fairly significant and fairly serious. I want to ask the Minister why his government mismanaged this project to the point where it has gone from $750,000 to $1.5 million for a building that is not even going to be used this year?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: My information is that there was no stop order put on the project. This project is in fact completed for this year, and completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
With respect to the project itself and the life cycle costing and the assumption of Operation and Maintenance costs, those things were discussed with the Community Association. With respect to the project itself it has certainly been recognized by the government that the design of the facility was not what was expected in the initial stages, nevertheless the project was proceeded with and expended upon to incorporate the community centre itself in order to bring together all facilities into one facility in the community over the long term. Ultimately the operation and maintenance costs for the community could be kept down.
Mr. Lang: Once again, the Minister has not answered my question. The question, very basically, is this: the projection given to the people of the territory was that it was going to cost about $750,000. Now, we are at $1.5 million and it is a building that, at the present time, is not being used and, I am told further, cannot be used. I want to ask the Minister of Community and Transportation Services why this particular project was handled in the manner it was, to the point where we have had such a major overrun and yet, at the same time, similar to Teslin, we have a building that is not being used.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I would dispute that the building is not going to be used. With respect to the project itself, the project was expanded in scope through consultations with the community over the course of the last year or so. It is unfortunately not the first project that has come in over original budget, over original plans, and that is unfortunate; it is something that is going to have to be addressed. I remember the first project I was involved in - the McIntyre Recreation Centre, which was the responsibility of the Member for Porter Creek East at one point - and it experienced incredibly significant cost overruns. That was another unfortunate thing, but nevertheless it happened.
Mr. Lang: Once again, the Minister has chosen not to answer the question. I would appreciate it if he would take his job a little more seriously. He has a responsibility to provide answers to legitimate questions that are being asked, and the question is as follows: how did this particular project get to the state it did when it was an ongoing situation that was being brought to the government on an ongoing basis?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have explained that already once, briefly, as appropriate for Question Period. In Committee debate, I will be more than happy to go into all the details of this particular project and other projects of like kind. With respect to taking the job seriously, I do my best to provide the information to the House - much better than the Member for Porter Creek East ever did when I asked questions of him. Further to that, the project itself which has experienced some cost overruns, which is unfortunate, is not unlike other projects which have experienced cost overruns. The government is doing its best to keep cost overruns to a minimum.
Question re: Ross River arena
Mr. Lang: I could say it is the old question, but it is a new question. I would ask the Minister whether or not he has done an analysis of the Ross River arena and what went wrong? Has it been completed?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not sure I understand the question of whether or not the government has done an analysis of the Ross River arena.
Mr. Lang: This is not a new issue; it is a long time issue, so the Minister should have some answers. On October 1, 1987 the Government Leader stated in a public meeting in Ross River that we gave clear instructions to the architects and engineers designing the project that we wanted maximum local input in design and local labour and materials; but the welded metal structure that was built did not meet the wishes of the community. The government will do a complete analysis of what went wrong and who was responsible, and find ways to ensure similar problems do not hamper future projects. Could the Minister provide the analysis report?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I thank the Members opposite for their applause. We experienced problems with the pressure welding that was designed for the building. In a building such as this, there was some expectation that glulam beams could be used in a timbered construction. That turned out to be impossible given the spans that one would have to use to cover the ice rink. A basic metal frame was the only way to go.
The problems with the design of the outer shell occurred when it was realized that the design was a first class form of welding rather than the Butler style building.
Mr. Lang: Is this the analysis that was done?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Part of the analysis is that the building will last longer. Unfortunately, it was more expensive.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order. Is it the wish of the Committee to take a break before proceeding with Bill No. 76? We will recess for 15 minutes.
Deputy Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Bill No. 76 - An Act to Amend the Legal Profession Act
Deputy Chairman: We will proceed with general debate.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will be very brief. The municipalities asked for business licences on a calendar year, and if this Bill is passed it will come into force on January 1, 1988. So if we are going to pass it we cannot pass it before January 1. It is an extremely simple measure which was completed outlined in the second reading of the day.
Mr. Lang: Perhaps I should direct this to the Minister of Community and Transportation Services. My understanding was that over a period of time the Association for Yukon Communities was discussing the possibility of having one business licence for all the municipalities; one collection agency and then they would pro-rate the amount of money that was being generated through the business licence charge. I would like to ask if that has gone anywhere? That measure would directly affect something like this.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I was aware of the situation prior to 1985. It has not surfaced again since that time, to my knowledge.
Mr. Phillips: We on this side have no problems with the principles in this Bill.
On Clause 1
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Clause 3 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I report Bill No. 76 without amendment.
Bill No. 5 - First Appropriation Act, 1988-89
Department of Economic Development
Chairman: We will continue in general debate.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: If you would bear with me my official will be arriving in a second, and I have some information asked for by Members on Thursday. The rest of it is still being prepared, but I would like to circulate that at the outset.
As requested, I have a copy of an organizational chart which does identify capital person years, as was requested by Members opposite; the recipients of monies under the Loan Assistance Plan, as was requested by the Member for Faro; regulations for the Loan Assistance Plan that were revised in August; the guidelines for the Renewable Resource Commercial Development Program; guidelines for the Venture Capital Program. That was information which was requested, and in the case of the latter two programs, I was specifically asked for by the Member for Porter Creek West for information that was being made available to the public to assist them in making applications under that program.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to ask the Government Leader a couple of questions about the Loan Assistance Plan. I ask in general debate because the Minister was talking about the amount being reduced because of improved availability of loan funds from other agencies, including new programs. I assume he meant in this present 1988-89 budget. There was also the comment that several of these programs were fully subscribed in 1987-88. I would like to hear a little more from the Government Leader as to where these other areas are that make that much money available under the loan funds.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I believe I did mention that on Thursday last. Perhaps the two most prominent examples are the money which is available from increased activity of FBDB here. In the calendar year from 1985 to 1986 that increased from $3.9 million to over $9 million being made available in the Yukon market.
There are funds in the amount of $2 million to $3 million being made available from the Native Economic Development Fund that may be available to the Yukon Indian Development Corporation. That money has not yet arrived here, but we are aware of what is in the works on some of those programs.
Mr. Nordling: Another issue is the Renewable Resource Commercial Development Fund. It was reduced because the scope of the loan fund had changed. Obviously there was no more money available under that program that would help reduce the loan assistance money. Can the Minister tell us how that program has been rearranged, or how the scope has changed, so that the monies that were budgeted before are not necessary now?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The scope has changed to allow for funding of renewable resource projects including inventory and working capital. That is something that was not accessible for people who were active in those areas before.
Mr. Nordling: That line item was reduced from $300,000 to $150,000. We were talking about reducing the scope, not increasing it.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I previously answered the question. The new programs that have been introduced fill gaps that were there before in the EDA program and the other one. As well, we changed some of the criteria in the Loans Assistance Program to better match it to what we identify with the rural needs in the community. The total package of all our programs is trying to be arranged in order to meet the needs in the community, particularly in the rural community. Given the increased availability of funds under other programs, including federal programs, we were able to establish the loan fund amount or the business assistance amount this year, at a level at which there would be some demand.
The other day the Member was asking about a factor that has some bearing on lapses. Because RFA does not allow commitments to be made for money that is not in our budget, there cannot be situations where we will make commitments in one fiscal year but not make the actual pay out until the following year. This is what, as lawyers call it, an abundance of caution. It means that we may actually have to be able to provide for that commitment in the current year, even though it is not paid until the next. That too will tend to give the appearance of lapses.
The reason for the money that was established, given a guideline that we were working on under the budget, was that the program was 100 percent ours, and it was established at the level at which we thought there would be need.
Mr. Nordling: I thank the Minister for his explanation with respect to lapses, but my impression from the amount of lapses in this particular department under the Capital side indicates not just an abundance of caution, but an overabundance of caution. Friday, the Minister also mentioned that the Economic Development Agreement was being discussed at the present time. The Minister said our government was actively working to renew the EDA subagreements beyond their present term. I would like to know if the Minister expects any changes, or I would like to hear more about the negotiation and what is foreseen with respect to the renewal of the agreements?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We are not ready to propose any changes yet. I think we are going into the fourth year of what are five year programs. There are evaluations underway now. Plus we are also talking to our clients, and we are also trying to assess the emerging directions in the federal government. We will be taking all those things into account when we sit down to do the negotiations about the extensions or renewals.
Mr. Nordling: We have discussed this issue over the past couple of years. On October 9, 1985, we passed a Motion, which was amended by the Minister of Tourism to read: THAT during its review of the Canada/Yukon Tourism Subagreement the Government of Yukon should give consideration to advocating a minimum of 50 percent of the money set aside under the Economic Development Agreement for tourism development to a revolving fund which would be utilized to provide a low interest loan program for the tourism industry.
We have spent considerable amount of time in this House discussing revolving loan funds, and both sides agreed that that was the way to go. I wondered if in these evaluations and reconsideration that there was consideration being given to the revolving loan fund?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Basically, the answer is that we have made representations on that score to the federal government and they have rejected them. They are not prepared to establish a revolving loan fund. They do argue that part of what we are doing under the EDA is a loan fund, although not a revolving one. I guess apart from what we can do with 100 percent dollars under our own programs, that possibility is not going to be available to us unless the federal government changes its policy.
Mr. Nordling: Well I hope that that is not the end of it. I hope this government will continue to negotiate and pressure the federal government. The Minister of Justice thought that we would put the federal government on the hook by urging them to conduct an investigation. Obviously the Minister of Economic Development does not have as much confidence in our ability to sway the federal government.
I would ask the Minister, too, to make a commitment to discuss this. I am worried about what is happening in the territory with respect to the system of grants. People do not treat grant money the same as their own when they are conducting a business.
There have been and are now, in my submission, a lot of problems in the Yukon with doing business; the grant program under the EDA has been going on long enough that not only are we funding new businesses, but we seem to be stepping on the toes of people who are already in business. I have had numerous complaints about competing businesses getting grants. These people, I am sure, would not complain nearly so long or so vigorously if the competing business was getting a loan that they had to pay back.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member made several points; let me respond to them in order. Prior to June 1 this year, I was much more optimistic about being able to persuade the federal government to do what was reasonable in terms of the Yukon. We have made representations on this subject before; we will make representations again. At this point, the federal government is not looking kindly on the idea of a revolving loan fund. When we get into the renegotiations of the EDAs, we will certainly raise it again and make representations again.
I would say this: if the Member would like at some point - I cannot do it today nor probably tomorrow - but I will bring back information to the House to demonstrate that, as a proportion of the total money going out, there is far more money going out for loans versus grants now than there was in previous years. I believe that is indicative of the right direction, although we have had representations on the other score that there are certain classes of businesses, certain kinds of activities, that do need grants and we will not, in the near term, be able to do away with grants altogether. Part of the representations that the Member is making on behalf of some of his constituents, as he has indicated, have been heard, and we will be taking that into account in the evaluation that is going preparatory to the next round of negotiations in this area.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to hear a little bit more from the Minister about the evaluations. I know we spent some time discussing an internal audit being done by Ken Sherwood and I asked, I believe, for his job description or terms of reference - I do not know whether I have it here or not, but my question is: are these evaluations the Minister talks about under the EDA different to what Mr. Sherwood is doing and, if they are, when will they be done and who is doing them?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As I indicated on Thursday, Mr. Sherwood is doing an organizational administrative audit. The other program evaluations that we are doing are being done on a program by program basis. We are working with the federal Department of Northern Affairs and the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion in assessing all programs for effectiveness and efficiencies towards minimizing overlaps in the cost of delivery and service to the clients. In the EDA, again in consultation with the Government of Canada, we have completed a program evaluation framework with actual evaluations underway for the following subagreements: Renewable Resources, Mining Recovery, Mineral Subagreement and Economic Planning. The evaluation framework for the Tourism Subagreement is in preparation; however, I think federal funding approval is required before that work may be undertaken and that has not been given yet.
An evaluation of Small Business Incentives has not been scheduled, as this program is still too new to require it for evaluation, and the volumes under the program are relatively small.
Under the Loan Assistance Program, evaluation based on the Access to Capital Report, an internal assessment from the Loans Board reports to the Minister and client consultations resulted in the changes that were adopted in the regulations in August. Our plan is that this program will be evaluated again in two years. That will give us an opportunity to see how the new regulations are working and if the program is operating as it should.
There was a federal/territorial evaluation carried out approximately four years ago on the Special ARDA program. With the signing of a further extension, the agreement now expires on March 31, 1989. Canada is currently evaluating, in consultation with the Yukon government, the future of ARDA and the Native Economic Development Program in Yukon. It is too soon yet to say where they will be going.
With respect to the mining programs - the Prospectors Assistance and Mineral Incentives - these programs have been in operation for only two years. So far, the client and staff assessment is very positive. The industry in general has been very supportive of the programs. I am sure the Member knows there have been a number of very positive editorials in mining journals, including The Northern Miner, about those programs.
At the moment, we are drafting the terms of reference for an evaluation of the SEAL program. The Yukon Energy Alternatives Program and the Opportunity Identification Program are two that will be evaluated by the Program Evaluation Committee as their timing and their priorities permit them.
Mr. Nordling: Who is the Minister talking about when he says we? Several times, he mentioned that we were conducting evaluations, we were working with the government. Is he talking about staff in the Department of Economic Development, or have there been consultants or outside people hired to come in and help with the evaluation?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It can be both. In the case of Renewable Resources, for example, that evaluation is being done by a consultant. In the case of the Mining Recovery Program, which is a very limited program, is being done internally by the staff of the Department of Economic Development and Canada. I expect the mechanism we will be using there is to evaluate whether the expected benefits under that program, which only had one client - to put the mine at Faro back to work - have been achieved as projected.
Mr. Nordling: Will these evaluations be made public or available to us on this side once they are completed?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes. After the complete cycle has been completed, including their examination by the responsible Cabinets, they will be made public.
Mr. Nordling: Has the Minister and his department been able to look at the implications that the Free Trade Agreement will have on these programs?
Hon. Mr. Penikett:We have not done that yet, but there is no doubt that the agreement, if it is ratified and implemented on schedule on January 1, 1988, will have some impact on regional policies from one end of the country to the other. There is, right now, a substantial difference of opinion among people who are fairly knowledgeable on the subject as to exactly what the impacts will be.
A number of provinces, including this jurisdiction, have been seeking assurances and indications from the federal government as to the impact on various policies that we have and that are similar to other provinces. The Globe and Mail on Saturday reported that Nova Scotia is seeking reassurances from the Government of Canada that its regional development strategies will not be negatively impacted before it will endorse the agreement. The concern that it will have an impact is fairly widespread. The assessment as to the extent of the impact are very variate at this point.
Mr. Nordling: We sort of expected that there might be a statement on free trade today that would help to clarify the governments position. Does the Minister have any idea when he will know more about it? What is being done to seek assurances?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am a very fast reader, but since I only got my copy at 11 a.m. this morning, it will take me a little longer to read the 2500 pages of it.
Mr. Nordling: I said that we expected it not because I knew the Minister received his copy at 11 a.m. this morning but because I heard the news broadcast at 12:30 p.m. that indicated that the Minister would be coming forward with a statement on free trade in the Legislature today. Will we get it later on in the week?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: All I can say is that CBC missed the House Leaders meeting because I did not know about it.
Mr. Lang: The information came from a very bonafide source. It was either CHON or CBC. It was not at the House Leaders meeting that it was discussed.
Mrs. Firth: Now that we have established that nobody knew about this statement, perhaps the Minister could tell us if there is going to be a statement regarding free trade?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have indicated time and time again that once we have had a chance to analyze the text and to make some assessment of its impact on the Yukon Territory, there will be a substantial statement coming from us. We are not going to be able to do that in a matter of hours, and I suspect it will take days and even weeks before we can complete our assessment of the document. It is a very substantial thing.
Mrs. Firth: I am not quite sure whether to gather from the Minister that something may come before the end of the week or not.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will be in no position to make a substantial ministerial statement on that document before the end of this week.
Mrs. Firth: We are prepared to wait for the new year. We do not have much choice.
I want to ask the Minister some questions about the Renewable Resource Commercial Development Program. That was the program that the Minister was talking about that was going to be used to encourage new occupations for Indian people in the area of trapping and hunting. I believe the Minister talked in terms of a commercial portion and a training portion of the program. Can he update us on the numbers of trappers cabins that were built and the number of training projects undertaken and how successful the program was?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not sure I got the question correct, but I believe it was about the Renewable Resources Program, which has two elements, one which feasibility studies and the other which is assistance on inventory interest.
Mrs. Firth: I am trying to clarify the Renewable Resource Commercial Development Program policy. Is this the program the Minister was talking about the promoting of occupations, particularly new occupations, for Indian people. This was the discussion we got into during the last Capital Budget about the cabins that were going to be built on traplines, and about how part of the program was commercial and part of it was training. The Minister gave us a breakdown of the costs. I would like an update on that program, as to the numbers of cabins built and the numbers of training programs initiated and how successful they were.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not have at my fingertips the number of cabins that were built, but most of them would have been under Special ARDA rather than this program. I can take that question as notice.
Mrs. Firth: I believe the larger portion of the program funds were designated for commercial ventures. I believe the Minister said it was somewhere in the neighbourhood of $600,000 to $750,000 and then another $100,000 for training, so I am asking for an update on the status of that program and a measure of the success of the program.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: This particular program is all commercial ventures. The amount the Member mentions with respect to training is under Special ARDA.
Mrs. Firth: I was of the impression that this was all part of this governments program according to the debates during the last Capital Budget. Perhaps I will bring the debates in so the Minister can refresh his memory. I am simply asking for an update as to the status of the program and perhaps the detailed information could be provided later.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will be happy to do that. I will make this small point. This program, which is not a large amount of money, was meant to fill what we saw as a gap that existed between the EDA Program and the Special ARDA Program, which are joint Canada-Yukon programs. This one is entirely devoted to what we call commercial renewable resource developments.
Mrs. Firth: As I remember it, this was the area where the government was going to double its money, and they were going to do that in commercial activities. They were also going to put some emphasis on training areas. I am interested in knowing how that worked out. The Minister talked about judging the history of the individuals and assessing the programs.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will bring back what performance information I can at this time.
Mrs. Firth: With respect to this new organizational chart, compared to the last organizational chart we received, can the Minister give us a brief outline of what the assistant deputy minister position is required to do and why we need an assistant deputy minister of this department?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: There are two ADMs on this chart. Which one is the Member asking about?
Mrs. Firth: Both of them.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: One is responsible, principally, for finance and administration. The other one is in the area of planning and resources, and has those branches identified in the organizational chart as reporting to him.
Mrs. Firth: Would it be possible to have a copy of the job descriptions of those assistant deputy ministers? Can the Minister tell us when the positions were approved?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I can bring back the information on both those questions.
Mr. Nordling: With respect to free trade, the Minister said he would not be able to make much of a comment for weeks to come. We just received a news release from the Yukon government, headed Government Leader Outlines Free Trade Concerns. It describes in detail some of the effects of the agreement. One example given is that the agreement contains no protection of regional development programs from US countervale laws. It goes on to talk about tariffs on our exports, an increase on imports of food products, needs provisions to perpetuate are worsened, and Yukons dependence on outside sources. On the second page, it goes into detail talking about the forestry industry, that exports of unprocessed minerals will not be affected, and mining may benefit from a two to five percent reduction in equipment costs due to tariff reductions. It then says, However, our Asian customers may react negatively to the new North American trading block. It talks about manufacturing, agricultural and native specialty products and exchange rates.
Has the Minister spent time on it? Has he contacted our Asian customers to see what their reaction is going to be to our free trade agreement? He has sounded the alarm in two pages of news release and, then, comes in and tells us he will not have anything to say about it for weeks.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I know the Member has been clinging to my every word on this subject, but there is nothing in that statement that I have not indicated as concerns in the past and from what we know of the text so far those concerns are still before us; in fact, it is quite possible, even after we study the text, we will not know for sure what the impact will be exactly. Those concerns have all been iterated by me in the past and certainly repeated by our officials in all the trade meetings. Certainly I think every one of them has been the subject of a public comment by me in the run-up to the conclusion of the negotiations.
I am surprised the Member thinks it is a detailed statement because, clearly, to respond substantially to the 2500 page text will require more than a two page press release.
The particular question about Asian customers is that we have been attempting to find out - I think it is too soon to tell but there is some concern that the Member no doubt will know about - that GATT itself, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, may have some problems with this particular agreement. There is an article in the prestigious British publication, The Economist, recently to that effect.
The other points that the Member mentioned, as I said, have all been talked about before. The question of the fortress North America concept, as people have called the North American trading block, is a serious concern to us because, as the Member knows, almost all of our mineral product goes to northern Europe and to Japan and Korea and, if there is some kind of negative reaction to the trade deal in those markets, it will cost us dearly.
Mr. Nordling: I thought maybe there was some point, some reason, for the news release coming today, but obviously there is not.
I have another question for the Minister. Perhaps he can clear up this issue for us too. On December 10, the Minister mentioned reopening the White Pass Railroad and said, I cannot advise the House of anything other than that we have begun some preliminary discussions, not only with Mr. Hougen but also with the Governments of Canada and Alaska. On December 14, a CHON-FM news item said, in respect of the reopening of the railway, The Yukon Government has been involved in the plans for some time. Officials from its Economic Development Department have talked with Mr. Hougen and were also at the Vancouver talks with White Pass. A sale price there was agreed upon a couple of weeks ago but so far it has not been made public.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will say again as I said before, we are not party to Mr. Hougens discussion with White Pass. I think, if the Member looks at the documents we gave him, he will note that we - under, I think, Opportunity Identification - provided a certain sum of money to Mr. Hougen to assist in the preparations for his negotiations. Very recently, Mr. Hougen phoned and asked me if we would play a coordinating role among the three governments of Canada, Alaska and the Yukon in terms of developing a response to his proposals. This we have agreed to do. In fact, there will be a telephone conference tomorrow morning among officials of the three governments. I have had discussions with the Commissioner of Commerce in Alaska about a general approach to respond to the particular arrangements made by Mr. Hougen. I have been appraised of them. Since they are commercial negotiations, I am not at liberty to make them public.
We have indicated, in a general way to Mr. Hougen, the kind of ways in which we would be willing to participate and assist in the reopening of the White Pass Railroad. We have not, I emphasize, entered into anything like negotiations.
Mr. Nordling: Can the Government Leader tell us now in what ways this government is willing to assist?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We are willing to assist in a general way without getting into negotiations or public discussion. We have indicated to Mr. Hougen that one possible way in which we would consider being involved is through YDC as an equity investor. Another possible way is as a government through the exchange of cash for certain valuables and strategic assets. Those are two of the general areas in which we have indicated we might be willing to participate.
We have said this publicly and to Mr. Hougen that an area that we are not considering is a large injection of public funds that would have the effect of being a gift to the White Pass corporation or a grant, which I know the Member opposite opposes. That we will not do.
Mr. Nordling: Is there any time frame that has been established by the Hougen group or by this government?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: White Pass established a time frame that just slipped. It was December 14, 1987, which Mr. Hougen has asked for an extension on. Given the complexity, the sums of money involved and asking for three governments to become involved on such short notice with such sums of money, that deadline was not really realistic.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to go back to the free trade issue for a moment. Does the government have any plans for public discussion, input or information once the government has reviewed the final text?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We will certainly go before the Economic Council with our findings for discussion and reaction from them. I had previously given an undertaking, I think, to the Yukon Chamber of Commerce to discuss the issue with them. The Yukon Federation of Labour has also asked to have a discussion with me on the subject once we know about the text. I now am prepared to make a general undertaking to meet with such other significant groups that may request meetings.
Mr. Nordling: Does the Minister foresee having an outside consultant, or someone outside the government, looking at this agreement as they did when they contracted the DPA Group to look at the concept of free trade?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We have made no such decision at this point. As the Member knows, the DPA Report, which his colleague was quoting the other day, was a report commissioned at the time we were dealing with a hypothetical concept rather than an actual deal. I had raised with me this morning the possibility that we may have need of some legal skills with particular background in trade law to analyze some parts of the text, but I can tell the Member that my decision was that this was premature at this point. I think that we would only seek such advice if there were some clauses or particulars in the agreement that were proving impenetrable from our point of view, or that we had great difficulty in grasping their meaning or their import for us.
Mr. Nordling: So, for the present time, it will be the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Justice that are reviewing the document?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The review will be led by the Department of Economic Development. It will also be reviewed by the Department of Finance, the Department of Renewable Resources, and all the departments whose interest may be touched by this agreement.
Deputy Chairman: If there is no further general debate, we can move to the first program in this department, Energy and Mines.
On Energy and Mines
Hon. Mr. Penikett: At the Members request at the outset, I introduced each of the branches in my opening statement. So, I have nothing to add at this point on each of the lines, except in response to questions from Members.
Mr. Nordling: I think we can go line by line, or program by program, under this at the outset. I would like to now have a little bit more information on the SEAL Program. The Minister indicated there was an evaluation about to begin or that has begun into that program, and I would like to know who is doing it, when it will be available, and what sort of things it is going to consider.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I said that the evaluation of the SEAL Program will be done by the Program Evaluation Committee. It is one of several programs that they are slated to evaluate as a result of a decision by Management Board. That evaluation has not started yet. Unless and until it does, I cannot make a commitment about when it will be finished or how it will be exposed.
Mr. Nordling: We have had the same amount of money in this program this year and this year. The revised Estimates do not change it. Are there any plans to increase the scope of this program, or is it expected that it will begin to fade out?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The substantial increase in scope was done in the previous Capital year, as the Member knows. The only new elements I indicated in my opening statement was the provision to allow for providing an incentive to get pollution free wood stoves, which we thought was a desirable initiative. I do not see the program being phased out for some time. The present estimates that we have from the strategists are that the next oil shock may come in the early 1990s, which would mean, if that prediction holds true, that oil would go through another rapid rise in prices. I expect that people in businesses who have taken advantage of this program and retrofitted their homes would be in a better position to suffer that shock than those who have not. So far, we have been only able to provide assistance to a small percentage of home owners in the Yukon Territory. It should also be pointed out that the program is not working in total isolation. As people build new homes and as we get the R2000 kind of homes that are coming on the market, the newer homes will be more energy efficient - as will newer buildings, both public and private - and the leakage on the energy account, which this program is designed in part to address, will be shrunk.
Mr. Nordling: From what the Minister said, and I would like him to confirm it, the Evaluation Committee has not been given any instructions to look at broadening this program for businesses, making the amount of the loan any higher, or changing it in any way?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. We did do an evaluation that caused a substantial increase in the program in terms of the ceilings and its accessibility by businesses up to $10,000. I think that was in the last Capital Budget. I do not see any changes in that order coming unless we start to see some public demand of that kind. The evaluation does not, in itself, suggest policy changes. An evaluation is more likely to assess whether the program is proving efficacious in terms of the delivery of the policy, or achieving the goals that were originally established, rather than suggesting new goals.
Mr. Nordling: When the Minister introduced the department, he mentioned that the SEAL Program for 1987-88 monies allocated would be used fully to the $600,000 budget. This year it has not been increased. Is that because the Minister does not expect any more? Is it because the program has leveled off?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The demand has, I think, leveled off. We could well have a situation where it goes through another pick up or another increase. We will wait and see, but as of November 1 the commitments under this year were already $580,000.
Mr. Phillips: On the SEAL program again, does the government do all its own accounting? Does someone in the government work out the monthly payments to be made to the government, and ensure they are made?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The computer program establishes this when we issue the repayment schedules for the client and I guess we collect in that way. We have one official in the department who is responsible for that.
Mr. Phillips: The reason I raised that is because I know of some constituents who applied for the program and received monies from the program and, for a while, did not make any payments because they had no bill or were not notified of who they should pay. I am just wondering if people are keeping up with their payments in repayment of the loan, and how many are delinquent, if in fact any are?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not aware of any serious delinquency problem, and I certainly hope it would have been brought to my attention if there had been. Now that the Member asks, I will ask for a report on that question.
Energy Conservation Fund in the amount of $600,000 agreed to
On Yukon Energy Alternatives
Mr. Nordling: I would like to hear a little more detail from the Minister on this item. In the introduction, the Minister said that the funds for this year have already been put to full use. That is $450,000 and again we have budgeted exactly the same amount for the following year.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I did not think I indicated it had already been put to full use. We do expect that it will be, though. This is not like SEAL. We are dealing with larger projects here and, I think, as of the beginning of November, seven had been approved for an amount in excess of $200,000.
Mr. Nordling: To remind the Minister, in his introduction he talked about the Yukon Energy Alternatives program gaining momentum and said, The funds for this year have already been put to full use, assisting with feasibility studies on district communities, et cetera, et cetera. So, maybe I will let the Government Leader respond to that.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As I told the Member, we have applications on file now which meet or exceed the amount of money that we have in the program. They have not been approved yet, so I guess what I am saying to the Member is that I expect the money will all be used but I do not want to prejudge the applications which are in process now.
Mr. Nordling: I am looking at the information that was provided by the Minister at the beginning of the day. I do not see that there was any information on the Yukon Energy Alternatives Program. Is there material available, or do I have it?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I was not asked for it, but I can make that available.
Mr. Nordling: I expected that it was a general request for information on every program so that we would know exactly what they were about and what changes there have been from the past. Could the Minister provide the information on every one of the line items that is a program?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not sure what information the Member is asking for. There have been no changes in the program from last year, if that is what he is asking. Or is he asking for what monies have been approved for this program? I am not sure what the Members question is.
Mr. Nordling: It would be nice to have both, but I was looking more at the program itself to see what changes were made. If the Government Leader does have the list of monies approved under the program, I would appreciate receiving that also.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have it at my fingertips. I can make that available, but the actual program itself has not been changed from the year previous.
Mr. Phillips: Is this the program that the district heating system would come under?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes. The feasibility and the loan money that we provided for that project came under this program.
Mr. Phillips: Is the government taking part in that project? I understand that the Justice Building was to be plugged into that initially and that there are some problems with that now. Is the government still proceeding in that direction?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As far as I know, we are still a client, but we do not have any ownership stake in the project.
Mr. Phillips: That is not what I meant. My understanding was that the Department of Justice was going to run lines to their building to offset their heating costs. My understanding now is that is not going to happen. Is that wrong?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes. It is going to happen.
Yukon Energy Alternatives Program (Y.E.A.P.) in the amount of $450,000 agreed to
On Internal Energy Management
Mr. Nordling: Can the Minister clarify remarks he made last Thursday. In the introduction he stated: The dollars for this activity are transferred from the Department of Government Services. Later, when I asked about the $30,000 versus the $12,000 recovery, the Minister pointed out that the $12,000 came from the Department of Government Services. Could the Minister explain the discrepancy, or what happened to the other $18,000 and how was it accounted for?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I did it better this time than I did last year. We are asking for $30,000 to improve the activity of doing internal energy management, which is doing assessments and audits of buildings. There is $12,000 transferred from Government Services, which is actually money used to pay for the consultants who are doing energy audits in some cases. They are not employees of the government, but contractors.
Mr. Nordling: That is a little clearer. The objects of the program are admirable, so I am prepared to approve that line item.
Internal Energy Management in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Exploration Incentives
Mr. Nordling: Could the Minister comment on the fact that the Budget allocation is exactly the same as last year. It is into its second year. The Minister said it was a popular program, and he was pleased to report that the programs $1 million budget was fully subscribed this season, and assisted the work of 32 exploration companies. Is the Minister not expecting it to grow in popularity next year?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The actual expenditure so far in the program this year is $978,000, so we are not over. We are a little bit under. We are giving preference to Yukon-based companies, and to companies with an established presence here who have offices and employees here.
The Member will understand that, in a program like this, you could have a $20 million budget, and there would be people lined up to apply for it. We think this level is appropriate right now. In fact, the 32 companies that were approved this year were all very worthwhile projects and could lead to something very. very important for the Yukon.
Mr. Nordling: Can the Minister provide us with the names and the amounts received by the 32 exploration companies?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have one copy here, but I will bring that back for the Member.
Mr. Nordling: The Minister mentioned it was a popular program. I am not sure I could write fast enough to take the notes with respect to the evaluation. The Minister might have called it the Mineral Incentives Program, which it was called before. I cannot remember whether he said it was being evaluated at the present time. or was going to be.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes, it is going to be, but not yet. This program is only two years old, and we will be doing an assessment in another year from now or so. It is usually good to have programs going for two or three years. There is plenty of demand for this one, and it is proving very useful. Part of the context in which I will want to look at the program is the situation around flow through shares, which may be changing quite substantially as a result of federal tax reforms.
Exploration Incentives in the amount of $1,000,000 agreed to
On Prospectors Assistance
Mr. Nordling: I would like to ask about the number of applications. In the opening statement the Minister said that there were 22 prospectors helped in 1986 and it was gaining momentum, assisting 26 this year. Projections were in the same order. Was the Minister saying that he expects an increase of four or five? If so, the Minister went on to say that in the current year no qualified applicant was turned down. Is the Minister saying that everyone that is qualified and applies gets this? I would like him to comment on how many prospectors he expects to assist this year.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The number could be as high as 30, but let me say that in 1986-87 we had 30 applicants, and 22 were approved. In 1987-88 we had 32 applicants and 26 were approved. The committee, which includes representatives from the Chamber of Mines and the Yukon Prospectors Association, has indicated to me - or to the deputy minister, anyway - that the present level of funding is appropriate because every worthwhile application we have received has been approved.
Mr. Nordling: Does the Minister foresee any changes in the near future for this program?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Not in the near future. As you know we retooled the program when the federal government dropped it. We did that in consultation with the Chamber of Mines and we think it is basically operating the way it should now.
Prospectors Assistance in the amount of $150,000 agreed to
On the Total
The Total in the amount of $2,230,000 agreed to
On Economic Policy Planning and Research
On Economic Development Agreement
Mr. Nordling: I would like to hear more from the Minister with respect to this agreement. I have talked about some sort of a loan fund to grants and would like more information on the agreement itself and how and when negotiations will take place to renew it.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: There will be some meetings next month, preparatory to negotiations between officials. As I said, this is the fourth year of a five year agreement; the dollars in the budget are set by the agreement. The agreement, as the Member knows, is a series of cost shared subagreements and indicates that in renewable resources, economic development planning and mineral resources the share is 90:10, and in the case of tourism it is 80:20; the mining industry recovery program, which had only one customer, was 100 percent federal funded; the Small Business Incentives program, which is the most recent agreement here, is 70:30 cost sharing. The budgets of course are established as part of the agreement, with approval by Treasury Board. The subagreements are designed to promote activity in priority areas of our economy. While the objectives are to promote economic growth and diversification to benefit all Yukoners, there are identified target groups for individual subagreements. Examples of the range of projects funded are included in the EDA Update magazine, which I am sure all Members of the Legislature receive and which comes out twice a year. The results we expect are a strengthening and a diversification of our economy. The management of the program is by a senior committee of officials, the Policy Committee. It provides general direction to separate subagreement management committees. Funding is primarily on the basis of contributions to eligible applications as a condition of a signed agreement. As the Member knows, a portion of the tourism subagreement places no-interest loans. Administration of the programs is coordinated through the BDO, through staff of this department, in an effort to ensure coordination with other programs, especially Special ARDA, the Business Loans Program and Opportunity Identification.
Mr. Nordling: Have there been any problems identified with the program itself or the delivery that the government is looking at or will be looking at?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not sure what kind of problems the Member is talking about, but, as you know, we did try, through a centralised ministerial system, to improve the delivery of the program. There are some general problems that will come up in the evaluation that have to do with the way the programs are framed or focused. I think the Member himself indicated earlier that we have had some problems with the Adverse Competition Rule. I think all the questions about loans versus grants, all the questions about, particularly, the access to capital in rural Yukon - and the preponderance of the money under this program has gone to Whitehorse rather than outside - those are general problems that we do know about.
Mr. Nordling: In the introduction, the Government Leader said our government is actively working to renew the EDA Subagreements beyond their present term. Who specifically is working on the renewal of the agreement?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: At this moment, we are establishing a committee involving the other departments, which would include Renewable Resources and Tourism, for example. The deputy minister is leading the working group that is doing this. In terms of the really detailed work in this process, much of the work will go to the assistant deputy minister identified earlier in the organizational chart. That is Mr. McWilliam, who is well known to Members opposite.
Mr. Nordling: Back in September, I had a concern about the deputy minister compromising his relationship with the business community for remarks he allegedly made to the Western Report. Can the Minister give assurances that this has not happened, or give us a report on that issue?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The letter, or public comment, made by the Member opposite was brought to my attention. I sought and received the assurance of the deputy minister that he had not made the remarks attributed to him in that publication. Given that and other facts surrounding that particularly unfortunate event, it was my judgment that he had not compromised his relationship with the business community.
Mr. Nordling: In my mind, the issue was not whether or not the remarks were made, it was the effect they had on the business community. Did the Government Leader have any feedback or input from the business community, or discuss it with them?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The general response from the business community is that the particular deputy minister happens to be the hardest working, most energetic, most effective official they have ever encountered in government.
Economic Development Agreement in the amount of $4,445,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The agreement expires on March 31 of this year. We had previously had indicated to us it was not going to be renewed. As Beaufort activity is underway again, there is some discussion in Ottawa that some form of NOGAP may be continued but, at this point, my judgment is it prudent to operate on the basis that the money is going to dry up March 31. The $1.00 vote is intended to allow us to have a line to act if the federal government does renew the program in any form.
Mr. Nordling: Do we know when the renewal will come or if it will come? Is there a date on which we can say that if nothing has happened by it we know that it has expired and gone or will this program remain on the books for years to come?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We have written to the federal government and attempted to ascertain exactly when a decision is going to be made. If, during the course of this fiscal year, we come to the conclusion that the program is essentially defunct, then the line will disappear from the Estimates.
NOGAP in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Community Economic Development
Mr. Nordling: While I am looking for the comments the Minister made in his introduction, we do not have any information on this program either. I do not believe it was handed out to us. I wonder if the Minister has the guidelines for this program.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am prepared to table the guidelines. I have one copy here.
Mr. Nordling: In the introduction the Minister pointed out that it was only the second year for the program. His comment was that the program will be funded for the same amount in the fiscal year, $150,000. That was the only comment. I would like to hear a little more about how successful the program is and how well subscribed it was over the past year, and with what confidence can the Minister budget the same amount this year?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As the Member knows, it was a new program last year. So far this year only $36,000 has been approved under the program, but there are other applications before us. I could not promise that all the $150,000 will be used but it could be. As I indicated to the Member before, one of the problems with new programs is that it does take awhile for them to reach their market, and for people to apply for them.
Last year, it was utilized by several communities to prepare economic development plans. Ross River, Faro, Carcross, Kwanlin Dun and the Kluane Tribal Council were only able to proceed with their projects because we indicated that if the federal lapsed programs were not reallocated or that federal monies appeared to be drying up we would be prepared to assist them under this program. So it has had that utility even though money was not eventually called upon from the program.
Mr. Nordling: We will just have to wait and see what happens with the program.
Community Economic Development in the amount of $150,000 agreed to
On Applied Technology Research and Development
Mr. Nordling: The Ministers opening comments on this line were also quite brief. I would like to hear a little more about the program, what is seen for it and how well it was subscribed to in the past year. We do not have the guidelines for that program either.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I can make those guidelines available. We have been talking to the Science Institute and other people and they continue to tell us that we need something like this. People also tell us that this was a serious gap in our programs, but we have not funded any projects yet. There are a number of people who have come to us and discussed the possibility of projects; for example, from research into local materials for building purposes, engineering applications for construction and permafrost, developing appropriate silviculture techniques, and custom milling or new bio-technology in processes of mining. There are people who have had ideas about new, clean burning energy-efficient woodstoves, ideas about placer mining, food production, solar power telecommunications, alternate methods for extracting pine and spruce seeds from fir cones, small portable dredge technology for placer mining, new placer mining technology, new design for wood heating devices and processed animal foods. As yet, we have not approved any applications.
One of the things that we want to continue to talk to the Science Institute and to others about, is that we have not marketed this program well and it is not reaching the people who are likely to benefit from it. That is something that we will have to take a harder look at the end of this year.
Mr. Nordling: Has there been any consideration given to turning the money over to a body like the Science Institute to administer? What will the government do? If it is not subscribed to, will the money lapse or will it be put into another program that may be over subscribed?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: At this point, we are not planning to put it into another program, nor are we planning to turn over the money for administration by someone else. I have had discussions with executives of the Science Institute about administration of other programs, but not this one.
Apart from doing some better communication about the program, we are just going to have to wait and see what the uptake is. If we do not get the demand, I do not want to see the money spent just for the sake of spending it. I will not be redirecting to other programs without the proper approval.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to echo the Government Leaders words. Yes, we will all wait and see.
Economic Policy Planning and Research in the amount of $4,695,000 agreed to
On Small Business
Deputy Chairman: General debate?
Mr. Nordling: I am prepared to move on and discuss it one line at a time. We do have some material that was given to us by the Minister. In view of the time, I would suggest we take a couple of minutes, and that would give us the opportunity to look through the material that we have.
Deputy Chairman: Is it the wish of the Committee to take a 15 minute break at this point?
We will now recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Continuing with the Small Businesses Branch. General debate continued.
Mr. McLachlan: On the data that has been passed out under the Loan Assistance Plan, some of the programs are clearly mentioned as loan. Others are not. If it is not mentioned as a loan, is it other than a loan - a grant?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As far as I know on the Loan Assistance Plan, all of the items on the sheet handed out are loans.
Mr. McLachlan: Where a percentage is not given - that the committed funds are as part of the program - are we to assume then that the amount of money loaned is 100 percent of the total cost of the program?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. You cannot assume that it is 100 percent. But in those cases on the sheet where it does not list a percentage, I will be quite happy to bring back the information to the Member as to what exactly the percentage is. Under the new regulations the maximum is 80 percent.
Mr. McLachlan: The amount under last years Capital Budget was $3.25 million. If, in fact, this listing is up to approximately November 30, can the Minister advise if there is still approximately $1.5 million worth of applications in the drawer, ready to be approved? Will we come close to the $3.25 million or is this one that is liable to be revoted less money on the Supplementary?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot at the moment tell the Member how many applications there are on file that have not been approved, but as I indicated earlier, I believe the amount we have budgeted will be sufficient; hopefully, not too much in excess of the requirements.
Mr. McLachlan: What is the minimum amount, the low end of the scale that the government will consider its involvement?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We do not have a minimum as such, but I would guess that if someone was coming in to ask for $100 loan we probably would not entertain it very seriously.
Mr. McLachlan: That is not the case at all as I understand it. The last guidelines were changed and it was $20,000, of which the government would do 25 percent, thus making a low end commitment of $5,000. That is the type of information I am seeking.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We do not have a floor as such, but I will double check and confirm that.
Mr. McLachlan: That information is important because I know of a case where someone was after government assistance, but because the minimum the government would be involved was $5,000 or a 25 percent sharing, that meant that the applicant had to be in for a total program commitment of $20,000. Some smaller projects are reluctant to be involved for $20,000. They could conceivably do it at $10,000 or $12,000. If there is a 25 percent government portion that put him down at $3,000 - well under the minimum that the government wanted to be involved at - it was causing some problems in that direction.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We do not have the minimum on this program. DRIE has a minimum of $20,000 on its programs still.
Mr. Nordling: There was a sheet handed out on the Department of Economic Development:Mines and Small Business, 1987-88 program information to November, 1987. The second line, Silver Trail Inn, Ltd. committed $80,000 as a loan for 25 percent of capital costs to erect an 80x 46 log building. Does that mean that $320,000 is being spent on that log building?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It will be $320,000 or more. In that case, I think it is much more.
Mr. Nordling: I am looking forward to seeing the Karpes and Pugh Yukon river boat that is going to be worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of $600,000. I am talking about the item, $90,000; loan 15 percent of costs for a river vessel. I expect it will be quite some river vessel, perhaps even travelling down the Yukon River to Dawson City.
I am a little concerned with the Loan Assistance Program and what is happening with it. For the year end, March 31, 1987, the revised appropriation had $1.6 million allocated, and there were actual expenditures of only about $375,000. This year, by the end of November, we have $1.7 million, and for 1988-89, we are budgeting $2.7 million. What data has the Minister used to decide that we will need as much as $2.7 million for the year 1988-89?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I understand the Members point. According to the territorial accounts, there was $1.255 million lapsed. Of that, there was an adjusted carryover of $460,000 dollars that was for commitments made in that program year, and it ended up showing here. We are not allowed to make commitments that are not within our budget even though the expenditures, in this case, turned out to come under the following year.
Substantial changes were made to the regulations in the program in August of this year. They were made because the program - we found from clients - was too restrictive and had too low a rural uptake. In order to make the program more effective, the regulations were amended in August. Combined with our efforts to make the program more accessible to rural people, we believe the uptake will be substantially higher this year. I cannot promise, for all of these reasons, that we will get to 98 percent or 99 percent of the budget. We have made an estimate that is reasonable given our experience and given the new regulations. Unfortunately, because the regulations are new, time will tell how much impact that has on the uptake.
Mr. Nordling: The Minister mentioned this program when he was listing those that were being evaluated or were going to be evaluated. Was he talking about an evaluation that is to come or the evaluation that resulted in the changes to the regulations that took place in August?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I did say that the evaluation on the program was based on the Access to Capital Report, which is public. Internal assessments from the Loan Board reports to the Minister and client consultations resulted in the changes that were made to the regulations in August. We do not anticipate this program to be evaluated again for two years, until we have some chance to get some valid experience based on the new regulations.
Mr. Nordling: Did the Minister, in the evaluations and the changes that were made, see any conflict between this program and the EDA? My concern is that the Loan Assistance Plan is not being used as much as it could because of the grant money available under the EDA.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: That is possible. We obviously have to be concerned about the meshing of the two programs. I assume that this Loan Assistance Program, or some version of it, will continue as a 100 percent territorial funded program for some years to come. I think it is not unreasonable to assume that it will probably outlive the present EDA arrangements by many, many years.
Mr. Nordling: I am pleased to hear the Government Leader say that. I think it is a good program and, as I said before, we will just wait and see.
Mr. McLachlan: Almost all of the loans given out on the information provided to us are actually physical activities, that is building or constructing something, except for the last one. Is this also the particular program that money would come out of to purchase inventory? I see no loans for purchasing inventory here, yet the Minister did say that would be an allowable expense under this new expanded program.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I did. We have approved no applications of that kind, yet. That is the only answer I can give. It is too new an instrument.
Mr. McLachlan: In the case of some of the construction projects that are seasonal - I am thinking about hotel expansions - if an hotel applies, and is given permission, for a program and they do not get it off the ground by the time weather closes in on them, may they automatically reapply in the new year and be considered again for another one, two or three hundred thousand dollars?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Once we have made the commitment, if such an event happens, if the Member misses a construction season, they would not have to reapply. The money would still be available for them to proceed in the following season.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the truck stop at Watson Lake now operational?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not know that for sure. I can check.
Mr. Nordling: Perhaps the Minister can save me from reading the regulations and guidelines. Can the monies given under the Loan Assistance Plan be used in conjunction with other programs? I used the Silver Trail Inn as an example previously. I understand that they could get an $80,000 loan under this program and also apply under other programs, like the EDA, as part of the 75 percent capital costs that are not listed here.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes. As I explained last year, the procedure is we always insist that it has to go in this order of priority: private sources first, the banks, then capital, then loan, then contribution, then grants - in reverse order in terms of the applications.
Chairman: Anything further in general debate?
On Loan Assistance Plan
Loan Assistance Plan in the amount of $2,700,000 agreed to
On Special ARDA
Mr. Nordling: I would like to hear a little more detail with respect to the amount being allocated. The Minister did give us a very brief outline in his opening remarks. For 1988-89, the indication was we would assist approximately 45 applicants to leave about $700,000 of additional investment?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: That is correct. That is our estimate. The approvals to November this year are $965,000. The applications forecast for this year to be received are 90, with half of that approved, or 45. We are looking for a similar kind of uptake in this fiscal year projected for these estimates.
Mr. Nordling: Is the Minister satisfied with the way this program is being handled? Is it doing what it is supposed to be doing?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It was evaluated by the federal government and has been extended. The program has been debated a lot, but I have to say, frankly, that there are some things that can be done under this program that cannot be done under any other. I expect that something like it, if not this, will be required for some years to come in the Yukon Territory.
Special ARDA in the amount of $1,045,000 agreed to
On Opportunity Identification
Mr. McLachlan: I sometimes have problems in flipping back and forth between Opportunity Identification Program, and the Applied Technology, Research and Development. If I may illustrate with this example. I see a particular project that I can get into by melting down glass, so I think I have something in melting down glass. I apply for funding under Opportunity Identification and, in the process of doing that, I find I need some help with my research. Then I must revert to the other program and apply for the Applied Technology and Research money to help with what I think is an excellent idea.
How does the government differentiate between this type of problem that seems to flip back and forth?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Because they are administered through the same people the distinction is not hard to make. In the first place, the Member was looking at whether he could do cut glass, melted glass figurines or something like that, or gold nuggets, for the sake of argument, then the Opportunity Identification Program would fund a feasibility study to find out if there was any market or potential for such a project. If he was now planning to use solar energy or laser technology to actually cut the glass and figure out if there was some cheap way he could do something like that, he might be able to apply for some funding under the Applied Technology and Research Program for that. That would be for the new technology or for the innovative research rather than for the commercial feasibility, which is what the Opportunity Identification Program is designed to facilitate.
Mr. Nordling: I have one more quick question about the amount that is being identified. Again, in the introduction the Minister said that this program was a popular one, with 70 percent of the years funding already committed as of October 1. Does the Minister not see any increased need for 1988-89 or are we expecting approximately the same level of subscribers next year?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Part of the reason why 70 percent is already used is for reasons I explained earlier, in terms of the carry over, the commitment was made in one year for the next. The $32,000 of the money that we have already expended under this program for the current year is in fact a carry over from the previous year. As of this point, the latest information I have is that $111,000 has been committed or approved under this program. Given the seasonal nature of the program, I feel that there will be sufficient funds for it. I did indicate to the House earlier that it was possible that I would be looking at having to make this program more flexible if some of the federal programs had dried up. That did not happen, our worst fears were not confirmed there, so we do not have to, if you like, test the limits of this program.
Mr. Nordling: My same comment: we will wait and see.
Opportunity Identification Program in the amount of $250,000 agreed to
On Renewable Resource/Commercial Development
Mr. Nordling: We have talked about this particular program to quite an extent, both in general debate and before we got to the line items. We have the guidelines. I would just like to know if the Minister could give us a list of who has subscribed and what amounts. In the introduction there was no detail in that regard.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Actually, we were late getting the program regulations established because we consulted with more people than perhaps would have made an expeditious decision and we have not, under this one or the next one, approved a single dollar yet.
Mr. Nordling: We will just wait and see what happens with this program.
Renewable Resource/Commercial Development in the amount of $300,000 agreed to
On Venture Capital
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister advise how much has been committed under the current year, since we are operating under the same $500,000 limit.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As I said a minute ago, not one dollar yet. We were late approving the regulations under this program and we are just now getting the information out, advertising and informing the people, doing the marketing of the program, and we have not committed any dollars under it yet.
Mr. McLachlan: May I further ask, then, how, in doing the estimating, the Department arrived at the conclusion that the figure of $500,000 would be appropriate here? For example, if I were going to buy a railroad, half a million dollars would not go very far.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Let me just deal with that example. If, for example, this program were to be tested, if you like, in the case of trying to reestablish a railroad - I do not know that that is a possibility, but if it were - I guess the answer is, in extraordinary circumstances like that, one would have to come back to the House to ask for some more money. If the proposal that came to us seemed sound to employ this program for that kind of purpose, we would have to come back and seek further approvals.
Mr. Nordling: Was the $500,000 figure arrived at because it was the figure used in the budget last year or was there something more substantial that the Minister had to go on in setting that figure?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Basically, the judgement was made that it was large enough to get the program started; it was small enough not to get us into serious trouble. Some programs as we have taken a look at in every other jurisdiction have had problems with excessive open-endedness and that is something we wanted to avoid. Even given the late start of the program, I think this will provide enough to see if it meets the needs and the demand. Next year, I should have a better idea of the actual demand.
Mr. Nordling: We have a lot of programs in this department that we are going to wait and see what happens with them, and this is another one. Before we clear the final amount, I would like to again express my concern with the budgeting process and the speculation that we seem to be dealing with. Only time will tell how successful we are with these programs and how much they will do to stimulate the economy. The only redeeming factor is that a lot of this money that is being spent or proposed to be spent in these areas will be returned from the federal government. There is a substantial percentage of recovery, so it is not Yukoners money that is totally at risk. Others in Canada share it.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I take note of the Members comments. I appreciate them, and I hope I can respond substantially to concerns the next time we have an Estimate.
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister has provided information on the Venture Capital Program, the Commercial Development Program, and regulations on the Business Loans Program. Is there nothing other than a one of two line item describing the regulations pertaining to inventory? Are there any kinds of inventory that are not eligible for the program? It would take very little to run up a $100,000 inventory on a clothing store business. It would take very little to run up $100,000 inventory on a mining supply business.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Loan Board looks at applications with a very sharp eye. The level of inventory would have to be rational in terms of the operation of the business. If the Member is raising a concern about the definition contained in the program guidelines, I am willing to have a look at that to see if it needs tightening up. I had not thought of that issue myself.
Mr. McLachlan: What does the government take for security on loans for inventory?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Loan Board makes different decisions depending upon different cases. It can take personal guarantees, chattel mortgages, or any of the other usual securities that lending agencies require.
Venture Capital in the amount of $500,000 agreed to
Small Business in the amount of $4,645,000 agreed to
Mr. McLachlan: I would like to point out what I believe is an error in the budget book on page 27. Under Small Business, the data specified here under Loan Assistance differs from the Auditor Generals report for the Government of the Yukon year ended 1986-87. The business development assistance loans are over a ten year term on 20 year amortization schedules. None of them are repayable over five years. One of these line items has to be wrong, either what is in this budget book or what is in the year end audit.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I seem to remember a kind of very exotic accountants discussion about that issue. I would like to take that question as notice and come back with a written answer. There is a perfectly sound reason for what is stated here, as I recall, but I cannot remember at this moment what it is.
Mr. McLachlan: I have no other choice but to agree.
Recoveries in the amount of $7,857,000 agreed to
On Grants, Contributions and Other Transfer Payments
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister will pardon my academic accounting, but should not the amount under Grants, Contributions and Other Transfer Payments be exactly the same as the Recoveries. Why is one $7,857,000 and the other $7,940,000?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Is the Member asking for the difference in the two columns between the two totals in the 1987-88 Revised Estimates and the 1988-89 Estimates?
Mr. McLachlan: No. I am asking about the total of contributions under the 1988-89 Estimates, versus the total Capital Recoveries on page 23 of $7,857,000. They are different by some $83,000.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will have to go back and check with that. I am not sure what the difference is off the top of my head, but I will come back with a written response for the Member.
Chairman: Refer to Schedule A, the Department of Economic Development: Mines and Small Business.
Department of Economic Development: Mines and Small Business in the amount of $11,570,000 agreed to
On Executive Council Office
Chairman: This appears on page 7 of the Estimates book.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I should have some breakdown on these two figures - what the $90,000 and the $70,000 are - but I appear not to have it. Perhaps if a page could run to my office and get the material, I will be able to have the material that has the detailed break-down on these figures. The figures are actually $80,000 for the Public Affairs Bureau and $79,000 for the Bureau of Statistics. I can give some explanation on the Bureau of Statistics.
The money here is basically proposed to replace the activity that was funded under NOGAP. Members will recall that there were three Capital person years that were approved under NOGAP, which were used to establish the Statistics Branch as it now is.
The NOGAP funding, as I previously explained, we expect to die as of March 31, 1988. The funding here is to allow the Bureau of Statistics to continue to carry out some of the functions that it was previously doing under the NOGAP money. It will permit the Bureau to augment increasingly vital Yukon data, and to expand, update and refine the statistical data base by integrating contract staff - which this money would provide - into ongoing agency activities. The Bureau then can preserve the usefulness of the research begun under NOGAP, systematically broadening the base of statistical data available in the Yukon government, and continue to provide the statistical research services which are required by other departments. This work includes continuing work on the Yukon Economic Accounts, developing input-output tables for the Yukon, further refining the Yukon Employment Survey, working with Statistics Canada on the work history survey for the Yukon, construction of population projections for the Yukon, and developing various and valid community information, and updating and supporting various other projects.
I may have, if you give me a moment, some of the line information abut the expenditures under Public Affairs and the Bureau of Statistics.
Perhaps I could see if Members have any questions while I wait for the detailed information.
Chairman: General debate for this department.
Mr. Lang: I want to explore the access to the information being provided through the Public Affairs Bureau and the Bureau of Statistics with respect to information on file. This basically confidential information includes, for example, birthdates and things of this nature. Does the Executive Council Office have direct access to that information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I certainly do not. I believe that we are governed by some protocols which basically emanate from Statistics Canada. It is they who really set the national standards with respect to two questions. One is the privacy of individuals information, and commercial information, or commercially valuable information. The second category is aggregate statistical information, on which the general policy is that it should be published and made available to all citizens. As the Member will know from his time in government, this branch also gets asked from time to time to do either special projects or to do special analyses of situations from other departments. The officials in the branch may have access, I am not sure of this, to some relatively confidential data for those processes. I do not know a case where they have had, but there may be some cases where that happens. That access would extend only to the researchers, I assume, who are actually working in the Statistics Branch - not to the supervisors or to anybody else.
Mr. Lang: I do not quite understand drawing in Canadas Bureau of Statistics. My understanding is we do not have an agreement with them. Is that not correct?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We work with them very extensively. What we do not have here is a statistics act, which means that some information from Statistics Canada is not accessible by us. Their standards, in terms of public access, protection of privacy and issues like that, are ones of such high international repute that they tend to be observed by all the people in Canada who are working in that field.
Mr. Lang: The reason I am asking these questions, quite frankly, is because I think at times - I do not if it is the Executive Council Office or where - there are becoming more and more signs that access to information is being made for other purposes than why the information is provided to the government. What I refer to specifically, for an example, is in the Motor Vehicles Branch. It came to our attention in respect of the issue that was raised about surveillance of the day cares. We were told, and we have no reason to doubt this, that there was a number of unlisted phone numbers that the government somehow got hold of, and it is suspected that they were obtained through the Motor Vehicles Branch. What is alleged to have taken place is that peoples licence plate numbers were taken down and then somehow they got to the Motor Vehicles Branch and got the names and phone numbers of the people who had stopped at these particular homes. My concern is that I see that as an abuse, quite frankly, of information, if that in fact took place.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I think the relevant point is: if that did in fact take place. I, of course, cannot respond to the particular question about the Motor Vehicles Branch and I am sure the Minister responsible would be happy to do so. The information I have been provided by the Minister of Health and Human Resources in terms of the unlisted phone number about which we have heard allegations is that that number had previously been provided to the Department by the person in question, who had made application under a program and had given the Department that number. What investigative mechanisms were used in respect of their vehicle licence numbers or anything else in terms of that case, I have no personal knowledge of, but I am quite sure that the Minister responsible could respond to this specific question - if not now, later.
Mr. Lang: I am just using this as an example. At a later date, if we want, we can carry on debate with respect to that particular issue, but my concern is with the information once again, and maybe I could direct this to the Minister of Government Services or perhaps wait for that debate in respect of the question of privacy of information as provided to this government. I do not care who is at the political helm and in charge at any given time. There is a wealth of information there and we, as legislators and parliamentarians, have to be very concerned that there is no question, and no question in anybodys mind, that this information will not be utilized for purposes other than for what reason it has been given to the government. It concerns me when I see the very sophisticated computerized system that we are getting in government from the Executive down, with respect to all the government and all the information is there. We did have a commitment from the Minister of Government Services that he was going to be looking into this area to see whether or not legislation of some kind could be brought forward to ensure protection of the individual who, for one reason or another, has given the information to the government under certain circumstances.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am glad the Members have noted that commitment. I am sure we will be following up on it. The question of the privacy of individuals in the security of such information is shared on all sides of this House. I can say for myself that I have had no access to such information, nor have I requested any.
Mr. Lang: This issue was raised approximately one year ago, and there was a motion on the Order Paper that never got to the stage of being debated, but we discussed back and forth the question of privacy and what was going on. With modern technology, we are moving so quickly, it sometimes seems to be controlling us as opposed to the other way around. It is an area the government should be looking at for the purposes of some legislated measures to ensure at least confidence in the general public.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: A significant development has occurred, primarily on the federal front, about legislation. It is apparent that if any legislation is to be effective there must be federal legislation, as well as provincial legislation. A federal committee has reported recently, and I will send over a copy of the report. On the debate concerning computers and computerization, perhaps we can follow up this issue.
Mr. Lang: Like we said, we raised the issue about a year ago. I see there have been developments on the federal side. I am looking for some initiatives now from the government here with respect to the information we have and how we are going to ensure that those individuals can ensure their information is going to be used judiciously.
As you can see, we just had a result of a misuse of information being provided to the tax department. I do not know if anyone was listening to the news this morning, but there is a substantial penalty, and justified, if everything is true the way it has been transmitted through the air waves. It was a real abuse of information for some personal gain.
Mrs. Firth: With respect to the policy within the department of the Executive Council Office when it comes to statistical information and who makes the final decision as to what is going to be approved, I have some questions in the context of the two controversial issues we have had in the media recently. One was the controversy regarding the student enrollment form where the parents were asked to identify whether their children were native or non-native and what religion they were.
The other is the form, Physicians Notice of Live Birth or Stillbirth, where the same kind of question was put. Who sets the policy? With both of these instances, officials admitted that they made mistakes, and ultimately the onus is on the government to respond to those questions that were asked. Could the Minister tell us what the policy is? Quite often they have said that the Bureau of Statistics requested that this information be compiled for various reasons. Some had even said that they consulted with Legal Services Branch, which, when I checked, had not really happened.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Minister to whom the Member will have to direct the question about the policy on forms in the Department of Education is the Minister of Education. As far as I know, the Executive Council had no hand in developing that questionnaire. I have no information that the Statistics Branch was involved.
As a matter of policy, there are a number of groups in the community that are asking us to try to develop better statistical data on a number of factors in our society including the factors of gender and race. As there was a tendency to want to not take into account that factor in looking at either problems or quantifications of different features of Yukon life, we have one report that we had on education and training employment. That basically reached the conclusion that to ignore the factor of race, for example, was to ignore a large dimension of reality as it was experienced by many people in the Yukon Territory.
It is true that we will increasingly be under pressure from policy makers and local citizens to try to develop valid information about those features of our society. There will be questions asked in various studies, beyond just the census, that have to do with those features of citizens and our community. However, with respect to the questionnaires identified by the Member opposite, I do not believe that they have anything to do with the Capital Budget here or with the department under review.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister may feel that way but I gather from some of the comments made by officials within the department that the Bureau of Statistics - which keeps all the statistical information on government - had in some way been consulted, and that the questions and forms had been up made in consultation with the Bureau, which said they were the ones that wanted the information. I think it is relative to the debate since we are talking about the Bureau of Statistics in the Executive Council Office. Perhaps the Minister could tell us what the policy of the government is going to be with respect to asking these questions. After the comments that the Minister made, is the government going to move in the direction that they will require that people answer these questions for the statistical information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Where relevant, where appropriate, we may seek this information, but as I indicated earlier we do not have a statistics act in Yukon which compels people to respond to such questions. We do not have it and I think my views are a matter of public record on that score. I am sure the Member will understand that for certain issues, such research and such analysis is very, very important.
Mrs. Firth: I am sure none of us would disagree with that kind of research is important, but I want to know if this government is going to make it a policy to ask for that information? Or is it their policy now to ask for that information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Where it is relevant to the research of the particular task at hand, and where appropriate, I am sure those questions will be asked. If not in the form or the particular text the Member is asking about - I know nothing about that - but certainly that is a dimension of Yukon life that we will be attempting to establish some facts about, in some cases.
Mrs. Firth: Do I gather from that comment that the student enrollment form and the Physicians Notice of Live Birth or Still Birth certificates are going to continue to have those questions regarding race on it?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I did not say that, because I do not know. I have no particular knowledge of those particular forms and I personally had no hand in them. I do not know what the involvement of the Statistics Branch in either of those two forms or questionnaires was. I have taken that question as notice and will try to find out what the policy will be where it is relevant and necessary. To try and get that information, obviously we will try and seek it in whatever appropriate way we can.
Mrs. Firth: Perhaps the Minister could tell us, in his capacity of Government Leader, who would take the lead role. Obviously the departments have gone ahead and put this in and said they have done it in consultation with the Bureau. Who sets the policy? Is it going to be set in the Executive Council Office as to the kind of statistical information that will be gathered. Is Justice going to do it or can all the departments just go ahead and do what they want?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: If there is a scientific gathering of research being done by the Bureau of Statistics for some branch or some agency in this government - if they are supervising the project - there are some established guidelines and procedures. In terms of every questionnaire that may emanate from a school or the Department of Education - which may or may not be a scientific research project - I do not know that they will have consulted with the Statistics Bureau. If they had, it might come to my attention or I might have no knowledge of it whatsoever. In the two particular cases the Member is asking about, I will find out if they were consulted and if they had a hand in designing the questionnaires.
Mrs. Firth: I have had lots of representation made to me by non-Indian people who were very displeased with the questions, and even more so by Indian people. When I phoned Council for Yukon Indians, they were unaware of the forms and the questions that were being asked. What kind of consultation, if any, has taken place with the Indian community with respect to this governments policy to ask these questions?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: One of the substantial criticisms we have heard from the Indian community, time and time again, is that in the time we have been in office is that this government has refused to recognize the reality of the Indian community in doing our research and doing our investigations. For example, one of the early criticisms was that we did not even know how many Indian employees there were in YTG. It took some cooperation between CYI and the researcher working on behalf of this government to try and get that information.
Mrs. Firth: Not to be argumentative, but I would submit to the Minister that there are many people within the Indian community who are very distressed about this kind of information being collected. They do not understand why, and they do not see the necessity of it. That indicates to me that there is not the discontent that the Minister is bringing forward. Perhaps he had better reassess his governments position to make sure he is not representing a very small, selective voice, as opposed to what the Indian people themselves really want.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot respond to that except to say that, as a general proposition as a citizen, I agree with the Member in saying the people who are being interviewed in the course of some research project are entitled to know what the project is for, and why the questions are being asked.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The $8,000 being requested here was to provide for ongoing replacement and upgrading of cameras and lenses and to cover the cost of replacing Yukon Archives equipment. As Members may know, the Archives is working towards the establishment of their own in-house darkroom to help cover the high demand for public orders and carry on with their preservation work. This is equipment to enable the Public Affairs Bureau, which as you know has a very significant and very important photographic operation, to continue their work.
Mr. Lang: I just had a further question with respect to that particular area, and the governments policy on utilising private photographers as opposed to their own, and whether or not we could see an expansion of use of people who are in the business as opposed to increasing the government.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: This item is for replacement equipment. The contract photographers are used quite extensively; I do not know how large the list is but I know I have, from time to time, seen evidence of many private photographers throughout the territory being used by Public Affairs because they could not possibly meet all the demands with the one or two photographers they have on staff.
Equipment in the amount of $8,000 agreed to
On Bureau of Statistics
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The first of the budget, the $9,000, is to buy microfiche information from a private supplier in order to store Statistics Canada data, which is being farmed out to us.
Mr. Phelps: The Government Leader first of all said something about three person years that we had under NOGAP and that that had something to do with the figures under this column. I am just wondering where those three person years come into the equation.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: This budget goes into effect April 1, 1988; the funding for the three NOGAP person years expires on March 31, 1988. The item in the following line, the $70,000, is to provide for contract work to continue the work that was being done by those three Capital NOGAP person year researchers. If any of those person years were being converted into term or indeterminates for ongoing work of the Department, the application and consideration of that would be made by Management Board in the run-up period to the new year and they would, because of the ongoing nature of the work of the Department, more properly be O&M person years rather than Capital person years, but they would actually have to be new O&M person years if they were approved or if there was one approved or two approved or three approved or none approved. They would appear in the O&M budget. This is operating on the assumption that no approval has been given for new person years, that the NOGAP person years will expire on March 31, and that we need a certain amount of contract funds to continue the work which was being done by those people in the previous years under NOGAP.
Mr. Phelps: They are not reflected at all on page 4. Do the three person years carry over from last Budget?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Now that the Member has asked the question, they should not be. That may be a typo, so I will check it. As I previously explained, the positions expire. The NOGAP funding dies on March 31, 1988, and the three person years associated with it have received no approval for continuation.
Mr. McLachlan: Does the Government Leader have any explanation as to why it takes so long for second quarter statistics to be only released in the month of November? Is any of the money voting under Capital programs? Could anything be done to speed up the publication of the reports on the first, second and third quarter statistics?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not competent to answer the technical question about why it takes as long as it does to turn the statistics around. I take the point with the Member that they are only marginally interesting by the time they become public if they are not published sooner. I would like to take that question under advisement and talk to the officials in the branch about it. I may be able to provide a more substantial response on the departments estimates.
Mr. McLachlan: When the second quarter statistics were released last month, and before the MLAs had them, an unbound draft report had been issued to the press prior to anybody else receiving them. They were able to report second quarter statistics on the radio and in the newspapers before anyone else had access to that information. Why?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not know if it was published or unofficially published, as sometimes happens. The procedure that we have for a publication usually involves them going to the Economic Council, where there is a presentation done by people from the Statistics Bureau explaining what the data is, and the Council makes some commentary that gets published along with or about the same time as the statistics. MLAs should get them about the same time as the press does in the normal course of things.
Mr. McLachlan: That answer only fits in the pretext if the Economic Council happens to be having a general meeting at the time statistics are available. Let me phrase it in another question. Once the quarterly statistics are finished at the Queens Printer, is it the policy of the Executive Council Office to issue them in unbound form to the media before they are available to anyone else in government, be it the MLAs or the other departments? That is what appears to be happening.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not think so, but I will check and find out. As I understand it, with anything that is released to the media from my department, I have to sign if off. In the normal course of things, when it becomes public I will know about it and, as I say, the related event of the Economic Council and their commentary should happen about the same time. I do not know how many days difference there is.
Chairman: Any further general debate?
On Research Support Material
Mrs. Firth: The Minister said that this was for microfiche information from a private supplier for Statistics Canada data. Can he elaborate on that? What kind of data is it? What are we getting for this $9,000?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: This is basically for purchases of information that we make from Statistics Canada and from Micromedia Corporation, which is the Crown corporation run by Statistics Canada that provides information on microfiche. It provides such information as the census data on magnetic tape and other data that comes on microfiche. These are what they call hard copies, I guess.
Mrs. Firth: Would this be demographic data? Is that what it is?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It would be demographic and other data. If I remember the kind of stuff that comes out of Statistics Canada, there is everything from demographic data, educational levels, birth rates, death rates, that kind of information that Statistics Canada gathers nationally and distributes to the provinces and regions.
Mrs. Firth: Are there any policies in place to protect this information? Following up on what the Member for Porter Creek East had questioned, say one of the Ministers wanted all the demographic data on some particular part of their portfolio, or one of the private Members wanted demographic information regarding their constituency, is there a process or policy that that information would be denied them? Could they just phone the department and get that information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: There are two ways to answer the question. One, there is a large compilation coming out soon of statistical data on the Yukon Territory, which is a great, fat book and will be public to everybody. The kind of private information the Member and I are concerned about protecting is under by the Statistics Branch Director who, I understand, takes a special oath of secrecy with respect to that kind of information and cannot disseminate it to anybody.
Mrs. Firth: Do I understand it then that a person could make the request and it would be up to that individual to determine whether that information could be made available?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am sorry, I did not catch the first part of the question.
Mrs. Firth: The question was that, if an individual wanted that information, it would be the person the Minister mentioned who would make the determination as to whether that information could be made available? Is that what the policy is?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As a general rule, yes, but most of the information that people are making inquiries about is information that is public. Often, as the Member will understand, you get raw statistical material that is not easy for lay people to understand. Judging from my own experience in my shop, it is often necessary to go to the Statistics Branch or somebody else and ask for some explanation about what some public information actually means, rather than just asking for the raw material.
Mrs. Firth: I am sure the Minister would not deny the fact that, if the correct statistical information were requested and was made available, that quite a detailed analysis and accumulation of data concerning demographics of areas could be identified. I am sure the Minister would also agree that that could be very useful information to help a Member of the Legislature to better know their riding.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Most of such research where there are requests from Ministers or from others simply involves a library search of existing data that is already public information. The people who are in the Statistics Branch would be uniquely well equipped to know where to look and how to find and extract the kind of information that people are seeking.
Mrs. Firth: I am looking for some policy direction from the Minister. Who makes those decisions? I will give the Minister an example when information was asked for, and I am sure that it was available in some form or another. If there was a list of people who had received some special recognition and there addresses were requested, that information is not made available. Who makes that policy determination? Is it the Government Leaders office or the Bureau of Statistics?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member will have to be more precise about the question. I do not understand the question.
Mrs. Firth: Pertinent information on employees of government would be confidential. If the Executive Council office had similar information about the public, for example, address or phone numbers, would that be available?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. The Statistics Branch does not keep that kind of information. If we wanted a list of business information, we would go to public directories, the same place anybody would.
Mrs. Firth: When the questionnaires are sent out to the business community requesting information, is that coded in the system? Is the Minister saying that the government does not keep that kind of information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not believe they keep on file information in the form such as the Member is indicating, but if the Member could indicate to me the particular survey she is asking about I could respond; I could refer the question to the Department and ask them exactly information they keep and exactly how they keep it.
Mrs. Firth: There was a recent survey sent out regarding numbers of employees and questions about wages paid. I would like to know how that information is being compiled and what the purpose of that survey was.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will take that question as notice and bring back the information.
Chairman: The time now being 5:30, we will recess until 7:30.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
We will continue with general debate on the Executive Council Office.
Executive Council office
Mr. Phelps: When we left off this afternoon we were discussing the issue of secrecy and confidentiality of certain kinds of private information. There were a number of questions about this; it is not the first time the area has been canvassed. Would the Government Leader think it advisable for the government to come forward with a public policy with regard to the safeguards of this kind of confidential information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As a matter of fact, apparently the administration in this branch has been doing some work in this area, but it has not come to Cabinet yet. I am not quite sure when it would be, but the background work in this area is under way and there is something going to be coming forward to me in the near future on this subject.
Mr. Phelps: If there is a policy developed from that information will the Government Leader make that policy public so the members of the public can feel satisfied about the confidentiality of this kind of information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Absolutely.
On Research Support Material
Research Support Material in the amount of $9,000 agreed to
On Statistical Support
Mr. Phelps: Is more information forthcoming or does the $70,000 just relate to the contract positions?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The information I have is that which I gave earlier and I included the work that I hoped would be done in that area. In answer to the question asked by the Member earlier about person years, I believe I have to refer to my earlier answer where I explained that some of the person years identified in this Capital Estimate may not be renewed. The period in which we will be addressing the person year situation is in the run-up to the new fiscal year in the new Operation and Maintenance. I did indicate to him what is an absolute case at this point, that there has been no approval of those person years - that were NOGAP person years - under a new umbrella.
Statistical Support in the amount of $70,000 agreed to
Bureau of Statistics in the amount of $79,000 agreed to
Executive Council Office in the amount of $87,000 agreed to
On Department of Community and Transportation Services
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Our total Capital Budget is $46,048,000. It is offset by $15,962,000 in recoveries. Although the budget represents a decrease in the projected capital spending from the current fiscal year, it also represents an increase of $1.5 million over 1986-87 funding levels. The emphasis in the budget presented to you today is on continuing to direct available funds to obtain the greatest possible benefit to Yukoners.
Our communication program of $1,018,000 represents a direction of expenditures to an area of critical interest to all Yukoners. We heard, through the Yukon 2000, that an effective communications network will have significant social, cultural and economic impacts. Our communication initiatives will improve safety and enhance the quality of life for all Yukoners. To accomplish these objectives, the budget provides for a much needed upgrading of the existing VHF mobile system. Television and radio services provided in the communities will continue to be improved through the conversion of the television translator units to television receivers placed at road accessible locations. I hope to make a comprehensive statement on our communications policy in the Legislative Assembly in the not too distant future.
The total transportation program budget of $25,091,000 includes $9,099,000 for highway construction; $2.5 million for the Regional Resource Roads Program; $2,260,000 for facilities and equipment; $9,687,000 for highway construction under the Engineering Services Agreement; and $1,145,000 for airports.
Projects included in this Budget are designed to address the issue of more effective integration of various forms of transportation. In the past, the development of roads has been the focus of transportation activities. The government believes, and the Yukon 2000 process has confirmed, that integration of all forms of transportation and long-term planning is critical maintaining and improving infrastructure support. Road links can not and will not be ignored, but cross-sectoral transportation planning is imperative.
In highway construction, we are committed to continuing the upgrade of the Klondike highway as the priority. This road link is essential to the economic health of the Yukon, particularly to the tourism and mining sectors. In 1988-89 the department will begin preliminary work for the reconstruction of the Robert Campbell highway. Upgrading and BST surfacing of the Silver Trail will continue and so will reconstruction of the Tagish Road. The Takhini River bridge on the Klondike highway will be strengthened, and the reconstruction of the north approach to the bridge will be completed. As well, this Capital Program will see the initiation of a new, rehabilitation program for Yukons bridges. Construction of a new road to Crow Mountain, from the Old Crow village, will begin. Work will begin on the reconstruction and gravel surfacing of the Freegold Road. And upgrading of the Annie Lake road surface will also be undertaken during the year. The Dawson Dome road project will be completed through the application of the BST surface and hydroseeding. Less emphasis will be placed on recreational roads.
The Regional Resource Road Program will be continued to support and stimulate resource development in the mining, tourism, agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors, and other economic sectors. 1988-89 will be the third year for this successful applicant-based program. We anticipate continuing our substantial effort on the Casino Trail through this program.
Our commitment to upgrading the maintenance of camp facilities throughout the Yukon will continue, as part of our facilities and equipment budget. Major projects will be undertaken in Drury Creek, where the staff quarters will be replaced, and in Ross River, where a new garage will be built. As well, extensive renovations to the central workshop will be undertaken to improve working conditions and operational efficiency.
Extensive highway construction activity will be undertaken through the Engineering Services Agreement. Reconstruction and BST surfacing on the south Klondike highway in the Carcross area will continue, with some spot reconstruction of the highway nearer to Whitehorse. Riverbank erosion protection for the Dempster Highway will continue to improve safety and reduce maintenance costs. Reconstruction of the Top of the World highway, now included under the Engineering Services Agreement, will continue as part of our effort to upgrade all sections of the highway to a consistent 80 kilometres per hour design.
At the end of the fiscal year, I hope to bring forward a new transportation policy that promotes economic development and provides an integration of existing and planned emergency airstrips with Arctic B and C airports. The 1988-89 projects include an upgrade of the Tuttle emergency airstrip at Eagle Plains in cooperation with other agencies, and continuing the upgrade of the MOT airports in Old Crow and Faro, as well as smaller projects in Mayo, Haines Junction, Burwash Landing, Beaver Creek, Ross River and Teslin.
Our commitment to increasing the availability of affordable land is reflected in our continued funding support for the Land Development Program. In 1988-89, we intend to spend $5,025,000 in this program. Our recently concluded Northern Land Use Planning Agreement, involving this government, the Government of Canada and the Council for Yukon Indians, will assist us in maintaining an overall framework for sound, long term decision making. Our commitment to local involvement in the land planning and development process will be maintained.
Due to the shortage of industrial land in Whitehorse, planning will begin in 1988-89 for an industrial subdivision at McCrae. Our primary focus in residential land development will be the Granger Neighbourhood in Whitehorse. We will begin planning in 1988-89 for residential lots in Keno City and in Ross River, and will be undertaking work in Teslin and Watson Lake.
We will continue to be active in the planning and development of rural residential lots. Rural residential lots will be developed in the Dawson Dome area in 1988-89. Planning, including extensive public consultation, will be undertaken for lots in the Annie Lake Road and on the Takhini Hot Springs Road. We will continue our Homesteader Program, selecting appropriate sites and constructing minimal standard access roads in response to the desires expressed by Yukoners for this form of land development. Development of commercial lots will be supported in Beaver Creek, Carmacks and the Kopper King area in Whitehorse.
Recreational lots will be developed in the Pine Lake area, adjacent to Haines Junction, and in Mayo. Planning will begin for recreational lots at Lake Laberge, Watson Lake and Morley Bay in Teslin. Yukoners have told us that support of the agricultural sector is important to them, and we expect this industry to continue to develop. Agricultural land development is planned for the Flat Creek area and Watson Lake/Liard areas, among other locations.
The Budget also includes funding for quarry projects, which will restore abandoned pits to a safe and environmentally sound condition and for new quarry site analysis and development. A strategy for implementing the community plan will be finalized for the Hootalinqua North area.
Our Community Services Budget of $14,914,000 represents a commitment to a continuing level of support for communities, while recognizing their express desire to have more local control over decision making. We are committed to assisting communities in planning and implementing their community visions and to adhering to the concept of development by the community expressed so strongly by the Yukon 2000 participants and other Yukoners.
A $4,883,000 will be spent in the Public Health and Safety area. The construction of a three bay garage for Old Crow will be completed. This garage will house the water, sewer eduction and fire trucks and will include a training room for firefighters.
A water truck will be purchased for Burwash Landing. In addition, funds have been identified to review and make improvements to the water and sewer systems in various Indian communities. An extension of the sanitary sewer system to the Teslin Indian Village will be undertaken in 1988-89, and the planning and design work will begin for water and sewer systems in the Haines Junction and Mayo Indian Villages. Predesign work on providing a piped water and sewer system to the Mayo Indian Village will begin as will design of a piped water and sewer system to the Haines Junction Indian Village. The Mayo water supply system will be upgraded to correct existing inadequacies and provide appropriate flows for fire fighting. Construction of a new sewage lagoon in Old Crow will be completed.
A number of garbage dumps and septic disposals will be created, relocated or upgraded in 1988-89, in communities such as Canyon Creek, Klondike Valley, Golden Horn, Lorne Mountain, Carcross, Beaver Creek and Pelly Crossing.
To improve the level of flood protection in the Yukon, more work will be done on the Mayo and Dawson dikes including landscaping.
A new fire hall will be constructed in Pelly Crossing to replace the existing deteriorating facility. A new fire truck and equipment will be purchased for Upper Liard and a fire department training facility will be added to the Destruction Bay Fire Hall. Fire alerting systems will be upgraded in Beaver Creek and Carmacks.
Additional communications equipment will be purchased for the Golden Horn Fire Department volunteers. Fire protection equipment will be provided in Canyon Creek, which currently has no fire protection.
Funds are also provided for ambulance replacement and related supplies and equipment.
Cemetery improvements will be carried out on the Carmacks Indian Village.
A total of $1,283,000 will be devoted to community roads and streets. A number of communities will benefit from these projects including Carcross, Ross River, Elsa, Beaver Creek, Keno City, Carmacks Indian Village and Burwash Landing.
In addition, 1988-89 will see the completion of the paving of Mountainview Drive in Whitehorse.
One million, one hundred fifty-four thousand dollars has been provided for community recreation and planning, development of community recreational facilities and continuing the Rural Electrification Program.
The Carcross Community Recreation Plan will be completed and a community recreational plan will be developed for Beaver Creek, and the Burwash Landing Community Plan will be updated. A community centre will be constructed in Burwash Landing. Design will begin for a new community recreation centre in Carcross. Construction of the Elsa Curling Rink facility will be undertaken. The Ross River community centre arena complex will be completed. Other projects are planned in Old Crow, Ross River, Upper Liard and Tagish.
In 1988-89, the Rural Electrification Program continues to assist rural property owners with the installation of primary power.
Capital block funds of $7,594,000 will be provided to communities as municipal infrastructure grants in accordance with the Municipal and Community Infrastructure Grants Act. This represents a slight decrease in total funding from 1987-88. In that fiscal year, the current year, additional capital block funding was provided to communities over and above the normal base to assist in the transition to this method of funding. We have found that the block funding method is of significant benefit to communities in assisting them to meet their express goal of increased local control.
As Members will note, I have also passed out a map that visually delineates the major highway projects in the area, and I have available a community by community summary, which I understand is probably already in their possession, but was developed by Community and Transportation Services and perhaps in this slightly different format outlines what is available on a community by community basis and I can make that available to Members if they wish.
Mr. Lang: I appreciate the comments by the Minister. I know he is the only one over there who makes an honest and sincere effort to give as much information as he can possible give to us, which, on the record, I appreciate. I may disagree, at times, with some of the things that he does, but I appreciate his obvious effort and his respect for the House.
As we get through this, there will be a number of areas that will need further justification regarding the governments plans. I expect to see an Operation and Maintenance cost for these facilities. We are getting tired of the side opposite saying that they have a handle on all of the ongoing costs, but then we find out, for example, that in one arena the lights alone are going to cost $5,000 a year. The Minister then says that the community association is going to pay that. That all sounds good in theory, but the reality of the situation is that at times a community association is put into a position that they cannot or will not pay the money. It is often too easy for the government just to ignore an ongoing debt or an outstanding revenue.
There has to be a lot more attention paid to what the ongoing costs are going to be to the people of the territory. The message that I am getting from talking to people about the massive binge that the government has been on for the last two years is that they feel the government is, in many respects, irresponsible. They have not been able to justify who is going to pay for all of these facilities when they are finished. Therefore, when we are going through the line by line items of the capital expenditures, we expect the Minister to outline how the Operation and Maintenance costs are going to be paid.
One of the tragedies that is occurring is that we are getting away from the basis of cost sharing for some of these capital facilities. It is very difficult for a municipal council, in any community, to turn something down when it has been given holus-bolus 100 percent with no responsibility for direct contributions. Some consideration has to be given to ensure that there is contribution by those receiving the service. There must be respect for what is being done. There must also be assurances that the will is there to get the project finished instead of government knocking on the door and making it a fait complete.
The government is putting people in a position where they cannot say no. The long term implications, politically, socially and economically, are not going to be nice in five, six or seven years down the road.
There are a number of areas that we do have concerns about. Some of them have been raised in Question Period, and rightfully so. It goes from the management of the government. The government has a responsibility to manage. The government has a responsibility to have an idea, at least in general terms, of where it is spending its money. In Question Period, we are getting quite tired of the Minister standing up and saying it is a detailed question and he cannot answer that. For example, we asked how many homes were being built in Ross River, and it is a mystery to everybody on that side of the House. I do not know if it is a mystery as to whether or not they know where Ross River is. The government has a responsibility with the hired help they have to be briefed and walk into this House with some answers.
We saw it today when we saw a project grow from $750,000 to $1.5 million, and they cannot even use the facility. That is embarrassing for the front bench and for everybody in the government. The tragedy of it is that they are not even going to get artificial ice.
As far as the type of construction, where we are going and what we are doing, I believe that a government has a responsibility do cost accounting and to look at these projects and see what is going to be the final outcome.
With respect to the question of land development. Since this government has come to power, we have heard how they are providing land to the people of the territory. The Minister of Community and Transportation Services is just there to serve you. We are getting into a bind as far as land is concerned. We are getting into a situation that, if housing continues on in the Whitehorse area, there are people who are going to be held up because they cannot get serviced lots. The combination of that factor and the obvious holus-bolus social policy that the government has, makes the people ask why they should buy land over here when the Housing Corporation is going to be building social housing close by or next door. Those are concerns that are being raised by people out there who are working for a living - yes, working for a living; they are not going to the government for the dole - paying the bills for the government to function. At the same time, they feel like they are being oppressed by the government when it says it is going to go over there and change the whole social fabric of their community and, on top of that, serviced lands - as far as water and sewer, and the other amenities that are required for the government to give out serviced property - are going to be curtailed for at least another year.
There is an area of concern here, and it is something that will be explored further when we get to the line items.
There are a number of other areas that have to be addressed. The government goes out for tenders and, in many cases, they are being canceled at the last moment for whatever reasons, whether they be technical or financial or whatever. There seems to me there should be an onus on the government that, if they are going to go out for tenders and it is going to become a practice of government - almost as if it is getting a feel out there for what people are willing to work for - to not go ahead with these projects, perhaps some method for recognizing the costs that are incurred by those that are tendering should be considered.
I have contractors come up to me whose contracts are held in abeyance for 60 days or 30, when they have put down good money - and we are talking thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars - for the purpose of deposits and things of this nature, but when the final bell rings, the contracts are canceled. Anybody who is tendering a contract puts in not only hours, not only days and sometimes weeks, to come up with a price that they feel is reasonable for the work that they can do, and at the same time is competitive.
Now, the other thing that has come to my attention is that, in many respects, as far as tenders are concerned, a number of the contractors are beginning to observe that they feel that the specifications are becoming so tight that it is causing the contractors to come in with prices that appear to be high to the governments side. In other words, when you call for 100 percent compaction on a building in Dawson, for an example, and if the inspector ensures it is 100 percent and not 97 or 98 percent - as you are floundering around for those extra two weeks trying to get that 100 percent, those are costs that are being incurred by the contractor - and they have to protect themselves. So you have to wonder - not wonder, you can see why - the prices are coming in as high as they are in some cases.
The other area that is of concern, and that the Minister touched on, is the television and radio policy - or the lack thereof - and I hope the Minister is in a position to be able to elaborate further than he did, in saying that he hoped he would be able to say more in the Legislature soon. I always hate it when someone says soon, because that could be 1995. It depends on whom we are talking to, and in what context it was given. And I think the government has a responsibility to give a further outline or direction of where they are going, because they are the ones who have tabled the Capital Budget - they have had a year, ten months I guess, to look at the policy that was tabled last Session, and see what they can bring forward, as far as alternatives are concerned.
There were a number of studies done last year, at a great deal of expense - and if I recall correctly, it was hundreds of thousands of dollars - and the hopefully the Minister will update us as to where those policies are i.e. the question of the motor vehicles, the question of motor transport, all the airports, all the various policy papers that were being prepared at a great deal of expense to the general taxpayers - and I guess making a lot of people in Toronto, and I guess further east maybe, fairly financially secure when it was all finished.
Now, the other area that is of concern that I would like to raise - and hopefully the Minister is in a position to elaborate further on it because we had an in-depth discussion during the last Capital Budget, I believe - and that is the state of the Yukons bridges and where we were at with respect to the federal Department of Public Works and their responsibilities, vis a vis the Government of the Yukon Territory. If you will recall, at that time I raised the question - I believe about the Pelly Crossing River outside of Faro - just exactly what had to be done to that structure to ensure the safety of the travelling public.
The Minister, at that time, assured me that everything was fine. Now he is talking about the rehabilitation of some bridges. I would like to know what he means by that. This question is one that I would like to talk further about. The policy on the Roads to Resources is wide open, and I wonder about the standards that are required for these types of roads. Overall, it appears that the program is working successfully, but I was hoping that the Minister could elaborate further on the Roads to Resources Program road standards and to give an idea of what is expected of the contractors.
There is also the question of policy on firewood roads. Now, I want to give the Minister his accolades. This fall, I brought to the Ministers attention the rough condition of the firewood roads behind the Takhini Hot Springs. It took a little while, but there was some action. Now those who are using the main firewood road arteries are very happy with the work that the government has done. I would like to know what commitment the government has on an ongoing basis for keeping the condition of the roads to a minimum standard. It is an area where some work has to be done, and it is not going to cost a lot of money.
I am hoping that the Minister can give us more of an outline on how one gets a fire truck. As far as I can tell, if someone writes a letter, they can get a fire truck. How does he decide who does and who does not get a fire truck? I would like to know if the Minister is getting any sort of commitment from the municipalities for servicing areas outside of their boundaries with the fire trucks they have there. That has been a bone of contention with water delivery as well as with providing some sort of fire protection. The municipalities, in many cases, are not prepared to go outside their boundaries to provide that service. That may be because, in some of the communities, this is not feasible. In the past, however, Watson Lake has provided that service, and they were looking for some agreement with the Government of the Yukon to help with the financing.
The Minister talked about the rural residential lots and what is available. What is his intention with the Flat Creek lots, in view of the furor created on that issue?
As he knows there was some major opposition to the plans of the government and I would like to see what decisions have been made. With these comments I am sure we will have a lively debate for quite a few minutes ahead of us.
Mr. McLachlan: I have a few brief comments, but will save most of it for line by line. In his opening remarks the Minister referred to three projects in the native villages of Teslin, Mayo and Haines Junction. I want to ask the Minister if some of those water and sewer programs are already covered under the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is a good deal to respond to from the Member for Porter Creek East and I will go through the points methodically one by one.
Let me deal with the Member for Faros question first with respect to projects in native villages. The Department of Indian Affairs has historically provided some funding for what are ostensibly native Indian villages, but certainly not to the extent that has accorded them the kind of services that other communities regard as being the norm in the territory. This government has taken the policy position that irrespective of whether or not you are a native person or live in an Indian village, you are accorded attention by this government. We have, as a consequence of that decision, undertaken projects in Indian villages, or what would otherwise be called Indian villages, including in this case Teslin, Mayo and Haines Junction. The Department of Indian Affairs quite often cost shares projects on a 75:25 or 90:10 basis for many projects in Indian villages, but their capital budget is relatively limited and the Indian Affairs section has to spread its budget out among all the native communities in the Yukon, as well as three bands in northwestern British Columbia.
The Department of Community and Transportation Services looks upon a resident of the Yukon as being a resident of the Yukon and the need for services is based objectively on comparison with other communities and the needs they express themselves as residents of certain villages. So we have undertaken projects in the past, and are intending to undertake projects in the future, with Indian villages if they demonstrate a need. We look for some participation from the community if at all possible in terms of a cost sharing relationship through agreements that are struck prior to the project being undertaken. The decision was made some time ago that we were going to accord Government of Yukon attention to villages irrespective of who lives there.
The Member for Porter Creek East brought up a whole series of points that we should spend time with. I do not think we will do them justice by simply sitting here pontificating for an hour and a half.
With respect to the issue of operation and maintenance costs and the associated costs in communities, as a matter of policy a decision was made some time ago that operation and maintenance costs would be discussed with community groups during decision making with respect to new facilities or upgraded facilities. In the current year, there has been a concerted effort to discuss the costs associated with those facilities and a determination of responsibility for those costs.
It is interesting to note that, in the Community and Transportation Services Budget, largely due to the Capital program on the Highways side on the surfacing of highways, there is a net reduction of operation and maintenance costs to Yukon as a result of the Capital program. It is largely due to BST surfacing on roads. That is one of the few Capital works that really proves quite successful in reducing maintenance costs, primarily in the summertime, but also in terms of the retrofitting of community facilities, which is also responsible for a net reduction of operation and maintenance costs. There has been an effort, at least starting in this current year, to discuss operation and maintenance costs with all parties concerned with a particular Capital work. That has always been considered in the life cycle costing of the Highways Capital program.
With respect to recreation facilities and providing various facilities to communities, I do not apologize in general terms for the policy that this government is in part responsible for. It is also a continuation of a policy that had been undertaken prior to this government coming into office. This is the policy of bringing recreational facilitiesto, and improving the quality of life in, rural communities. It is a reality in many rural communities that people only regard their time of living in most communities as time spent waiting to move to a city such as Whitehorse, where the facilities and the availability of services is considered to be quite great. At the same time, while living in Whitehorse, people are able to take advantage of the wilderness opportunities that rural people experience as well.
Clearly, unless the government takes a concerted stand to improve the quality of life in rural communities, there is going to be a trend that will be difficult to counter, which will see more people moving to the urban areas and out of the rural areas. Rural people are deserving of the projects that we provide to them, in concert with them.
The Member for Porter Creek East suggested that the government had abandoned cost sharing with municipal and community groups, which is not the case. The government has not abandoned the cost sharing principle with community groups. With respect to the Municipal and Community Infrastructure Grants Act, it is quite obviously the case that the block fund is provided to municipalities and they are no longer cost sharing the processes with the Government of Yukon. In other Capital works, there is every effort to have community groups provide some contribution toward projects, whether it be sweat equity - the labour from their own backs - or some financial contribution.
The principle of 90-10 percent cost shared is very alive in the projects that we undertake in rural Yukon, with some exceptions, for example, road surfacing and that sort of thing.
The Member expressed frustration at not having all of the detailed answers for him when we come into the House. One easy remedy for that could be for Members to provide notice to detailed questions. That is one sure fire way of ensuring that the answers are received when questions are put to the government side. There is a wealth of detail in this department alone that would boggle the imagination. If the Members are going to try to test my memory, it will be quite an academic exercise, but it will not produce much in the way of results unless proper notice is given. There will be an attempt to give the information, and I may be able to surprise some Members with my grasp of certain details, but not all details.
The Member mentioned that the Ross River Arena could not be used. That is news to me. It can be used and intentional flooding has already started.
I think we should have a good discussion on land development. The Member made one short comment, and I think it would be worthwhile to have a thorough discussion on that subject. The government has undertaken some residential land development in Whitehorse. The major reserves of residential lots in Whitehorse that we once enjoyed, or perhaps suffered depending on the point of view, were given up in the Kwanlin Dun relocation. At one time it was the opinion of almost everyone concerned that the lots and land inventory in the McIntyre area was considered an unreasonable burden because there were a lot of lots that had been developed that could not be sold.
When the Kwanlin Dun arrangement was brought forward, it provided for the sale of the vast majority of lots on that site that did two things. It brought down the inventory that was considered a relief in those days. At the same time it meant that the vast quantities of residential lands that Whitehorse had been inadvertently used to dried up immediately. Through Porter Creek and Riverdale as well as rural residential development in Whitehorse in the past year, the government has tried to provide for residential lots, and we will, in this Budget, attempt to provide approximately 110 to 113 lots in the Granger subdivision.
The Member for Porter Creek East also made mention of the cancellation of tenders. We should properly discuss which tenders were cancelled and the reason for cancelling them in order to do this subject justice.
I do not regard it as necessary that when the government tenders a project that we automatically accept the lowest bid no matter what it is. I am fully aware of the costs associated with bidding on projects. I am very sensitive to that, and have expressed as much on a number of occasions to contractors and contractors associations. As a result when the bids come in, if they are only marginally over what has been budgeted, considerable efforts are made to find the resources beyond the budgeted amount in order to undertake the work. I must say that if we were simply to take whatever bids came in irrespective of what we had budgeted I think it would be a wrong move to make. I can think of a number of projects now where the tender was canceled because the bids were too high. It would be simply unreasonably to ask this Legislature or the public to accept those projects simply because people took the trouble to bid - considerable trouble, nevertheless, but it was something the government could not accept. I am thinking particularly of the Keno City Fire Hall for example that was budgeted at $325,000 and came in at over $500,000. There is simply no good reason in my mind to proceed with that particular project when it was clear more reasonable prices could be had if the tendering were to be put off until the next spring.
The Member mentioned specifications in tenders being too tight and that being the reason for tenders coming in high. I would not mind some elaboration on that point.
With respect to our TV and radio policy, and I hope to announce it in January, is resulting from considerable public consultation. It is more of a general communications policy and not a specific TV and radio policy. The policy behind the Capital Budget expenditures on TV and radio is to bring down the Operation and Maintenance costs and make the service more reliable in those communities that are currently served by inaccessible sites. That is the policy and that is the policy behind the expenditure.
The Member mentioned something about bridges, the role of the Department of Public Works and the Pelly River Bridge at Faro. I recall the assurance I have given the Legislature with respect to the solidity of that particular bridge for the loads that were going to be put on it. The bridge engineer, who we have on staff, is as interested as the government and I am in ensuring that the bridges are safe to operate on.
It does not always mean that there is a crisis situation that has to be rectified immediately. But it does mean that preventative reconstruction or maintenance on the bridges is something that we should do something about. We have not ever had a bridge maintenance policy or capital upgrading policy. We have generally taken a more ad hoc approach to bridge maintenance and we would like to move to something that is a little more deliberate. With respect to the bridges that we are talking about here, we are talking primarily about the decking on the Takhini River bridge and providing some bridge spans for loan to the Regional Roads to Resources Program. But the bridges for the ore-haul route, according to the engineering analysis that we have done, are perfectly capable of withstanding the GVWs, which can operate on them.
With respect to firewood access roads, the Member has made a good point with respect to the role that they play in providing fuel sources to Yukon communities - I am thinking not only of the roads in and around Whitehorse, but also the roads around various communities. There is certainly a desire to ensure that there are decent firewood stands adjacent to communities and there has been a concerted effort under RRRP to consider the construction and upgrading of firewood access roads near communities, so that there might be a sure supply of firewood fuel for all who need it.
With respect to the fire trucks. I guess the question how you get a fire truck - let me just say this, that under the Incorporation Agreement between the Government of Yukon and the municipalities, there was an agreement struck that was to ensure that there was to be upgrading of fire halls and fire equipment in all organized municipalities. And in order for the municipality to assume control of the fire hall and the fire equipment, there was an agreement that the equipment had to be upgraded. That was the reason why Haines Junction and Mayo, for example, were the latest to receive the fire trucks, as per the agreement upon incorporation.
With respect to other municipalities, the capital standard of course, is what sort of facilities are provided by the government. Some communities and rural districts have taken more of a proactive stance in providing fire protection services to their region. Areas, for example, around the Hootalinqua district, have undertaken to upgrade, as a result of their own labour, their facilities and their ability to respond to fires.
In some cases, the contribution by the Government of Yukon has been quite minimal to ensure that they are able to undertake certain kinds of projects, such as the construction of a firehall or the provision of a tanker truck for firefighting.
There is a long standing issue between municipalities and the Government of Yukon with respect to the protection of peripheral districts around municipalities for the purposes of fire protection. The government has had discussions with various municipalities - Whitehorse, Dawson, Watson Lake, Mayo - with respect to the agreement that municipalities with firefighting equipment agree to fight fires within commuting distance of their municipality. That issue has not been resolved in most communities, but it is something that the Community Services department has continued to discuss with municipalities in the hopes that agreements can be struck.
The Member asked about the fate of the Flat Creek agricultural district. The short answer is that the Flat Creek area is on hold pending a recommendation from the North Hootalinqua District Planning Steering Committee on the best use of this particular site. As Members will recall, we got an agreement from the federal government to have the land transferred for the purposes of agricultural development, and it was going to be the first incursion into agricultural subdivision development for the territory.
There has been considerable desire on the part of some people who live adjacent to the Flat Creek site to have that used for what historically has been grazing purposes, and there has also been a desire from people around the Hootalinqua district to avoid further subdivision development. Agricultural subdivision development is really no exception. The government has undertaken to hold in abeyance any plans and ceased work on development of the site until such time as the North Hootalinqua Planning Steering Committee responds to the governments desire to have some direction with respect to developing this particular area. That is the short, quick answer to get things going.
Chairman: It is the wish of the Committee to take a brief recess. We will recess for ten minutes.
Mr. Lang: I appreciate the Ministers sincere effort to try and respond to some of the major concerns that I outlined. It is not my intention to take unfair advantage of him with respect to the debate. In his comments, the Minister talked about the Operation and Maintenance costs of these facilities to the communities, and he said that he discussed it with them. There is a big difference between discussing and getting an agreement about who is going to pay for what. I would like to know exactly what kind of agreements he has for Operation and Maintenance costs for the community centre in Pelly Crossing or the arena in Ross River. I would like to see the projected Operation and Maintenance costs, and I would like to see the agreements that have been reached for who is going to pay for them.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Normally, there is a user agreement struck between the community groups for the facility, whether it is a swimming pool or an arena. The facilities are still owned by the Government of the Yukon in most cases, and the community groups undertake the operations of the facilities. In most cases, there is support on the Operation and Maintenance side for existing programs for the operation of certain kinds of community facilities. In the case of Ross River, the projected lighting for the arena is projected to be around $5,000 per year, or $700 per month. I am not kidding. The idea is that when the arena is not in use, the lights are not kept on.
The power cost could be covered, either through user fees from the community or through the recreational grants that the community and the recreation association receives. That probably would be in the neighbourhood of $11,000 or $12,000 per year.
In any case, the operation and maintenance costs of Ross River arena are the responsibility of the Ross River Community Association, and they know that quite clearly.
With respect to each individual project, I do have a break out of operation and maintenance costs associated with every project. Some of them are rough estimates, with respect to such things as surfacing the roads. Anyway, I do have a break out of operation and maintenance funding for the projects in this Budget, and I would be happy to go through what the operation and maintenance expectations happen to be for each of those. In some cases they are the responsibility of the Government of Yukon, - such as fire halls for example - and in other cases they would be the responsibility of the community, in the case of a different kind or class of facility.
That is generally the approach that the government takes with respect to facilities and projects in the communities.
Mr. Brewster: I think that maybe the Minister, or somebody in his department, had better sharpen their pencil when it comes to the cost of these arenas. The one in Haines Junction is running over $10,000 and that was only for part of a year - because they did not get started until way after Christmas. So they do not really know, and it is suspected that it is be $17,000 to $20,000 when they run a full year.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I cannot vouch for what is happening in Haines Junction or the reasons for the costs associated with that facility - whether or not they heat all the facility, heat all the non-arena portion of the facility, whether they keep the lights on a lot, whether they have greater usage of the Haines Junction arena than will be projected for Ross River, I cannot vouch for those figures. Our projections for the Ross River arena are approximately $5,000 per year.
Mr. Brewster: We do have town council out there and we do have mayor, and they are very conscious about what the taxpayers have to pay. The lights certainly are not on all day, and that arena is a better equipped arena, from what I hear is in Ross River. This is what it costs, and as I have said, this is only running because they did not have skating until after January last year. This year they were skating by the end of November, so they have November and December to add on to this. This is the projected cost-out they have given me and what they are budgeting for this year.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not know why the Member insisted that the interpretation of my remarks was a slight on the Haines Junction municipal council. There are all kinds of reasons why lights might be on longer than they are on in Ross River. It may be greater usage, it may be a number of things, but the projections for lighting in Ross River, as I say, are $5,000 a year.
Mr. Lang: I would like the Minister to table the projected Operation and Maintenance costs on all these projects because I find it difficult to believe that the power alone will only cost $5,000 per annum. You will have to prove it to me. I do not understand when you have an arena such as the one in Haines Junction, when they project the costs as indicated by the MLA for Kluane, that is on hydro power as well as the one in Ross River, and I do not understand why there would be such a discrepancy between the two. I hope he is right. I find it very hard to believe and will watch it very closely. The point is that with a lot of these facilities there does not seem to be a lot of rationale or awareness of what the Operation and Maintenance is going to cost the community. Are there plans in the Operation and Maintenance for somebody to take care of the arena? Somebody who is responsible for the ice or the ongoing daily maintenance that an arena requires. I would like to have all these projected costs tabled to ensure that when the facility is completed that the ongoing Operation and Maintenance costs are identified and we know who is going to be paying for what.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member assumes that all the work that is now done by volunteers in Ross River is going to be paid work once the arena is completed. That is not an assumption that I share. The Ross River Community Association knew what they were undertaking with respect to the construction of the arena. There is a power bill that is associated with the arena. It is not artificial ice, as Members know, and will require somebody, a volunteer, going out there late at night to flood the ice. That is what it will take. It means that when people have scuffed up the ice, kids will have to go around and scrape off the ice. Somebody will have to go in the middle of the night and redo the ice. That is what volunteer life in the communities is all about. That is not going to cease because there is an arena there. There will remain a responsibility that is very much part of community life. In Haines Junction they may pay somebody to clear the ice, they may pay a good and decent wage, but in Ross River and Elsa and other communities it requires the work of volunteers to get the job done. That is the way we will continue.
I do not know what the reasons are for the costs of electrical power for the Haines Junction Arena. Our projections for the Ross River arena are for $5,000 per annum.
Mr. Lang: Is there an undertaking or an agreement with the community organization with respect to what responsibilities they are taking for this facility? Could he table such an agreement or arrangement so it clearly identifies the various responsibilities and what the projected Operation and Maintenance costs are?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: My understanding is that, right now, there is not an agreement, but there is certainly an understanding as to who is responsible for what - like there is for all other community facilities in the territory. There have historically been understandings about whose responsibility Operation and Maintenance costs are going to be. There are existing programs, through Community and Transportation Services on the Operation and Maintenance side, to provide for funds for the continued operation and maintenance of various facilities.
Mr. Lang: Just so I understand it, all costs for that arena are projected with the best capable knowledge of the engineers in the department and the Minister, that the total cost on a 12-month basis for operation and maintenance for running of that arena will be $5,000 a year. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The best projection at this point for the power costs and lighting costs for that arena is $5,000 a year.
Mr. Lang: Does that mean such benign things as fire insurance are covered in the $5,000, or who is going to pick that up?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will check with the department how much the insurance might be and who is responsible for it.
Mr. McLachlan: For the Ministers consideration, the operating cost of the arena at Faro is $104 an hour, based on the operating hours between October 15 and March 31. Granted, that is with a highly paid Operating Engineers Union person who would operate it between 2:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. If you subtract $15.00 per hour off that, you are still down to about $89,000, and that is only for the five month season. That is with insurance, oil, hydro and power. The power costs were quite reasonable. It has a demand metre and has three phases. I am not sure what Ross Rivers would have. It has been my experience that $70.00 an hour is not unreasonable for operating hours in the almost 12 hour day in Faro. I know the amount of lighting it takes with the large fluorescent lights. I think that $5,000 comes out to about $1,000 per month for a five month period. I question whether that is going to be enough.
Ours is probably one of the higher cost arenas, and we are running at $104 per hour.
Mr. Lang: I want to confirm what the MLA has indicated. For example, the operation and maintenance community hall in Ross River is costing about $10,000 per annum. I question the validity of the statement by the Minister that the thing will cost $5,000 per year. If it does cost $15,000 or $20,000, who is going to pick up the difference? Will it be the community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is a hypothetical statement. The question was prefaced with: if it is much greater than what has been considered so far, who is going to pick up the difference? That is a hypothetical question. The responsibility for the operation and maintenance costs at the receipt level will be the Ross River Community Association. There are programs that the government does provide for recreation funding of one sort or another. There is support for the operations of community halls. There is a general recreational grant that Ross River is entitled to. These are under existing programs of the Government of the Yukon.
For other things such as swimming pools, there is a special grant. It does not cover the whole cost, but it was never meant to cover the whole cost. It was meant to contribute towards the cost. It is not going to be anywhere near the operation costs, particularly of the Cadillac operation in Faro. Someone will have to flood and scrape the ice. The will have to pull their volunteers together. This is apart from the costs for the power and lights in the arena. Our projection for the power and the lights in that arena is $5,000.
Mr. Lang: What is the policy of the government, if by a remote chance, if these projections are off and come in significantly higher? What has the Minister put into place as safeguards if there are overruns or major costs accrued that were unforeseen by the government?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are programs on the Operation and Maintenance side whose increases have not been reviewed over the last few years. There is some latitude there through the existing program structures to provide increased funding to municipalities for a variety of recreational purposes.
That is the current program and the policy, but that is obvious. That is what I say, in terms of the overall territory-wide policy. With respect to the Ross River situation, there is going be some obligation on the part of the residents of Ross River to keep the power costs down because there is no blank cheque for that facility, or for any facility. There is no blank cheque for anyone, in terms of the operation and maintenance costs that this government will provide. That is the reason why there are existing programs in place that provide funding on a fair and equitable basis around the territory but that are not open ended. Our best predictions at this point are as I stated.
Mr. Phelps: I would like to get a better handle on these projections. First of all, the projections that you have given us are $5,000 for power. What I would like to know is exactly where and when that was calculated. Was it calculated by the people responsible for designing the facility?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It was calculated by the engineering staff either in the department, or in concert with the staff in the department, and the architects, planners, designers.
Mr. Phelps: Was that calculation made prior to the go ahead of the actual construction of the building?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am sure the ball park understanding of the figure of what the cost would be was made prior to the decision to go ahead.
Mr. Phelps: Would that kind of a decision be made and in writing on file somewhere before the tender would be put out and the building constructed?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not know. I have not done a file search myself but it may have been noted in writing. I do not know.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am interested to ask as to whether the only calculation on the operation and maintenance side would have been the power. I take it the power included the cost of heat. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is incorrect. The heat associated with the facility would either be through a wood burner, until such time as the community hall formally moves into the arena itself and undertakes it, in which case the community hall costs would move from the existing site to the new site.
Mr. Phelps: So would there then have been an operation and maintenance figure calculated for the heat of the phase one completed building, and phase two? And if there was such a figure calculated, when would that have been done?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not know when it would have been done, specifically, or whether it was put in writing, or anything else. There is always the assumption that in phase one there will be heated change rooms - heated by a wood stove with wood that is chopped for that purpose and for the last number of years there has been in that community a change room which has been heated by wood.
Mr. Phelps: All I am trying to get a handle on is whether or not there is a calculation of cost of heating in Phase I, the change room, and whether or not it requires heating, and if so when that calculation had been done by the Department.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The current outdoor rink has a heated change room and is heated by virtue of the fact that it has a wood stove and is supplied with wood. That facility would be in kind transmitted to the new facility and the change rooms would be heated with wood. The Community Association already bears that cost, there would be no additional cost to be associated with the heating of the change room. This is meant to be a low cost operation.
Mr. Phelps: There was no calculation done, then, it was just an assumption that the same heating would be required.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not know whether that assumption is correct or not, all I am saying is that there should be no additional costs associated with the new facility over the old facility in terms of heating the change rooms.
Mr. Phelps: In a facility such as this there is a cost associated with repairs, and in operation and maintenance, generally, there are assumptions made that various parts of the facility will have to be replaced from time to time because of damage done by players, or things wearing out, or whatever. Can the Minister tell us whether or not there was any kind of life cycle accounting in terms of what repairs would be required and whether that was budgeted for?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It would not be budgeted for, but would be part of the ongoing Capital Program of the Government of the Yukon. There was a community hall built in Keno City many years ago and repairs to that have had to be made from time to time. Some of them might be anticipated, I guess, in general terms over time, and some of them were entirely unanticipated. Nevertheless the government, according to funding priorities, would allocate funds to make repairs or not. That is the way the system currently currently operates and that is the way the system will operate in the future, until such time as there is a community taxation authority and they can make decisions on their own.
Mr. Phelps: Does the Minister not understand the problem here? If this were a private facility, if it was a tender that went out and was leased back to the community, whomever was building the building, if it was an all-in kind of lease, would be concerned about these things. For example, they would want to know pretty darn close exctly what the power rates would be, whether they were likey to go up, whether this was the most efficient way of lighting the facility. They would want to know about the heating and how much that would cost each year. They would want to know what kind of repairs and maintenance would accompany certain kinds of structures. They would have to build those kinds of projections in before they could really come up with an economic rent, unless it was ludicrous, if it was some kind of tendering project. The concern is simply this: when we keep asking if you have thought about operation and maintenance and you say yes, you have, and we get to a situation like this when there is some rough guess about $5,000 for heat. There is nothing in here about repairs and maintenance. There is nothing in here about whether or not the plan is the most efficient over the long term. There is nothing that has been said that gives us any confidence that government has directed its mind to those issues.
You would not do it in private business.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I resent the accusation that none of these things have been thought through at all. There have been extensive discussions with the community association and with the architects and planners with respect to the design and the costing of the design. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you want to look at it, one of the benefits of this particular facility is that it will bear the test of time. It is, no question, a premier facility in terms of the construction type. It it will withstand a lot of beating as a building.
If Members want certain details about this particular project I will undertake to find them and bring them to the Legislature, but I have indicated to the department our wishes with respect to Operation and Maintenance costing some time ago. The department is well aware of the issue of life cycle costing. There are certain costs that the community association is going to have to keep down in its own best interests, but that is not unlike what other communities have to bear in like situations. That is something that will continue to be the case. I do not know what more I can offer the Members with respect to this matter.
Mr. Lang: I do not have any further questions on this. I am going to move on to another area of overall concern, and that is with the Capital block funding. In 1987-88, there was $9 million through the Capital Block Funding Program. This year, we are dealing with $7.5 million. There is $1.5 million difference. Can the Minister account for the reasoning for the decrease in this particular area?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The $9 million last year was comprised of two items. First of all, the Capital Block Fund grant, as per the legislation, was one percent of total municipal assessments, and a one-time initial start-up grant to bring it up to a total of $9 million. This year, the communities are going to get what they are entitled to under the legislation, which is one percent of total municipal assessments. The one percent has climbed from last year, but that is because the municipal assessments have increased over the course of the last year. As a base, we take the total municipal assessments as of the end of the last fiscal year.
The total block fund for municipalities has dropped, but it has dropped commensurately with the total of the governments net expenditures in this Budget. So, the communities block fund will drop, but it will drop commensurately with the total government expenditure drop.
Mr. Lang: The Minister touched on the area of tendering. He said that a number of programs had to be canceled, one of those being Keno City. There were a number in the Highways Branch that had to be canceled. The Minister made the assumption that if the prices were high, we could not go ahead with the project. Maybe the reason for them being so high is that the specifications are so rigid, and the contractors bid accordingly. It is hard to believe that for a fire hall in Keno that was budgeted at $325,000, the lowest bid was for $500,000. There is a $175,000 difference, but we cannot automatically assume that it is the contractors fault. Why are the tenders as high as are they are? Was the building overspeced? Were they asking for such things for the building that were over the projections?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are a number of reasons why bids might come in over the budgeted amount. Sometimes, the original budgets are not realistic, and that is the problem that we have had to address in the last couple of years. The original budget projections may not be as tight as one would want. These estimates form the basis of the budgeting process. That can account in some cases for the differences between the bid prices and the budgeted amount.
Another reason can be the date that the project is tendered. If a project is tendered at the beginning of the spring instead of at the end of the summer, it can face differences in bids. One of those differences is winter construction, which is always more expensive. Secondly, it could be that the contracting community is less lean at the end of the summer than they were at the beginning of the summer, since they are less competitive. There are a number of reasons for that.
The government should and does recognize the cost associated with putting forward bids. If the projects come in high, we should not feel obligated to accept the lowest bid.
The Member may have made a good point with respect to specific specifications. That is something the government is going to have to look out for. That ought to be accounted for in the original budgeting. The budgets should be aware of the kinds of specifications that are being called for. Even in terms of classified estimates, we should account for that. When the bids come in, they ought to be reflections of what was originally conceived as being the project itself.
We have been speaking as though all bids have come in over budget - and many bids have - when there have been probably an equal number of bids that have come in under budget. This is particularly in the road construction area and in paving, which demonstrated that either the budgeting was out in the initial phases or there was a very competitive bidding process amongst the private sector producing the service. In certain projects, paving around the City of Whitehorse, for example, came in considerably under budget from the projections. There are examples of that as well.
Mr. Lang: I want to use Keno City as an example. Going back in background, we have built, over the course of many years, quite a number of fire halls. It is not a new and unique experience to Keno City. The plans that were developed, for example, in the community of Ross River - we just completed a brand new fire hall there three years ago - did we use the existing plans from another fire hall for the purpose of going out and saying these are the specifications of what we need?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There was an attempt to use the same plans, given this class of fire hall, for both Pelly Crossing and Keno. They were two bay fire halls for one fire truck and one water truck for water delivery purposes - no ambulance bay. There were ongoing discussions in the Keno City case that lasted a considerable period of time. Certain details took some time to discuss through the community consultation mechanism, which could not be resolved in the short term. In Keno Citys case, it would have been nicer to tender the project early in the summer, so there could have been summer construction. But they were still finalizing designs well into the summer, which made an early start impossible.
Mr. Lang: The Minister never touched on the number of studies that had been completed by the department. In his response he referred to the radio and television policy that may be announced in January. Does he have the studies that were undertaken last year? Are they completed, and if so which ones were completed and which ones is he in a position to table? There were quite a number of them.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I did not come prepared or armed with that information because that is clearly an Operation and Maintenance expenditure. The reason I mentioned the air transportation policy is because I was alluding to the capital side, which was the subject of these discussions and the rationalization of emergency air strips in the B and C program, which has a clear capital side.
There are some studies that have a capital component. The Old Crow Transportation Study is finalized and that can be made available. That has a capital component to it. I can find those listings. I simply do not have the information with me because it is an Operation and Maintenance expenditure.
Mr. Lang: I take it the Minister is going to see what he can provide with respect to those areas. I take it as a commitment.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will do my best to find the information with respect to capital studies. If the Member wants, I will remind him of the Operation and Maintenance studies that were undertaken and if copies are available to be made public, I will make them public.
Mr. Lang: Another area of concern that is coming up with respect to the capital side of the budget in this area as well as Government Services is the matter of tendering projects through other agencies, whether it be community organizations or Indian Bands. When we give an allocation of $200,000 or $250,000, are these particular organizations made to follow the tendering procedures of the government?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Now with capital block funding municipalities do not. If it is a CAP agreement, historically the community group has not had to. Under the LEOP project, they are not obligated to, if we contract with them to do a particular job of work. In all those cases, we do provide them with information about common tendering procedures and there was some discussion with the Association of Yukon Communities with respect to a single construction bylaw that they could adopt, which essentially lays out common, useful tendering procedures that they could use.
Mr. Lang: I appreciate what the municipalities are doing. If this government, if this Legislature, is allocating multi-millions of dollars to junior levels of government or organizations, there should be a requirement, that something be put in place with respect to the tendering procedures, so that we are not getting into the situation - especially in the smaller communities - where it seems to me that it is becoming more and more apparent that you have to be related to be a friend to a friend, in order to ensure that you get a piece of the action. And that is why those contract directives and those regulations are so vitally important - not only that these monies be allocated fairly, but just as importantly, that it be perceived to be done fairly. And I think that in some respects, quite frankly, that we are putting too much onus, and asking maybe too much of some of these organizations - where these people go to these meetings night after night in a community where you have a population of 150 or 200 adults, and there are two or three people who are prepared to put in the time and the effort. And all of a sudden they are put into a situation, as far as the tendering and that type of thing are concerned, where they do not have the administrative component within the organization to be able to successfully put these particular jobs, capital or otherwise, out for tender. I can see some very, very major problems creeping into our system. Three years ago, or longer, there was very little question, if any, with respect to the perception of how tenders were let - they were perceived to be fair.
The Minister has mentioned a couple of times that he does not necessarily believe that when a project is tendered that it should necessarily go to the lowest tender. I am here to submit to the Minister that he had better have a good reason why not to give it to the lowest tender, because if you do not have a good and legitimate reason, it better go to the low tender - or what is the point of having a tendering process. I want to ask the Minister further as to whether it is the governments position that we are just going to allocate to an organization, or whatever the case may be, hundreds of thousands of dollars and discuss with them the possibility of putting out tender, but it really does not matter?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: A couple of points must be given at the outset. First of all, with respect to the acceptance of lowest tender. I think the point to made here is that the government should, as a matter of general principle, award a contract to the lowest bidder who can do the job. It is not always the case that the lowest bid can do the job. And that is something that, at the administrative level at least, has to be determined, technically, on whether or not the job can be done. I think it is the governments obligation to ensure that they do not simply provide the lowest bid work, irrespective of whether they believe the work can be carried out.
If I have made any remarks respecting lowest bidding, they have been made in that context. There are many people who work very hard to provide services in their communities. They are also fair minded people. If they are not administratively competent to undertake a job, they are not accorded either a Canada Assistance Plan agreement or a LEOP agreement, because both of those programs insist that the administrative capability is there in order to be granted a program. It is more than tendering that has to be done. There is the management of the people working the job, the purchasing of materials and the management of the construction site. There are a number of administrative details at the local level to ensure that the project goes ahead properly.
My assumption is that the people in the communities are fair. If they do not have the basic administrative wherewithal, then serious consideration will be given to ensure that they will not be accorded the capital projects or the LEOP projects.
I move that the Chairman report progress on Bill No. 5.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I now call the House to order.
May we now have a report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 76, An Act to Amend the Legal Profession Act and directed me to report the same without amendment. The Committee has also considered Bill No. 5, First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 and directed me to report progress on same.
Speaker: You have heard the report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. 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 9:30 p.m.
The following Legislative Returns were tabled December 14, 1987:
Rural and Native Demonstration houses in Carmacks (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 231
Use of local materials in Ross River (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 231
Local material and labour reconstruction of staff house at Destruction Bay (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 231
Yukon Housing Corporation housing in Ross River (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 231
Use of Ministry of Transport houses in Destruction Bay (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 231
People who will not benefit from federal child care policy (Mrs. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, p. 218