Thursday, December 17, 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. Penikett: I have, as requested, a copy of the governments Job Evaluation Manual for tabling.
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?
Board of Inquiry into Fuel Pricing
Hon. Mr. Penikett: On Tuesday this week, by coincidence the coldest day of the year, world oil prices fell sharply as OPEC nations meeting in Geneva failed to reach agreement to reduce the current world oversupply of crude oil. For a small northern economy like ours, this should be good news. Much of the energy we consume is in the form of petroleum fuel products such as gasoline, diesel and home heating fuel. Their purchase represents a leakage of as much as $100 million annually from the Yukon economy, according to our import substitution study. It is vital Yukoners pay reasonable prices for these energy supplies. However, Mr. Speaker, our initial assessment suggests we are paying prices well in excess of what is needed to get petroleum products to Yukon consumers and provide a fair rate of return for the businesses involved.
Although our fuel pricing situation is comparable to other jurisdictions, and a number of them have investigated this problem, there are unique conditions here which bear consideration.
For example, three firms sold about 93 percent of all petroleum fuel products in the Yukon during 1985. This is a very high degree of concentration.
Furthermore, most of the petroleum fuel products consumed in the Yukon arrive via pipeline from Skagway, which is the least cost route, but not available to all suppliers. These conditions may contribute to higher prices.
Mr. Speaker, in downtown Vancouver, on Monday of this week, motorists were paying 37.9 cents for a litre of unleaded gasoline with the 12 cents per litre tax deducted. In downtown Whitehorse, meanwhile, a litre of unleaded is 51.2 cents per litre after Yukons 5.2 cent per litre tax is deducted. The difference is 13.3 cents per litre. In Dawson City, unleaded gas costs 69.5 cents per litre - 13.1 cents more than in Whitehorse.
In response to concerns raised throughout the Yukon on the pricing of petroleum products and in light of our own initial assessment, I believe we must gather more information. Today, I am announcing a Board of Inquiry into fuel pricing, under the Public Inquiries Act. A one-person Board will commence its deliberations in the new year.
The Board will have full powers under the Public Inquiries Act to enforce attendance and cross-examine witnesses. All Yukoners will have an opportunity to present their views on fuel pricing either through formal interventions, informal written submissions, or oral presentations. All relevant information will be considered, including research findings from other jurisdictions. The Board will submit an extensive report to the government and make recommendations on further actions.
Mr. Speaker, I believe this course of action will allow us to arrive at a thorough understanding of the facts governing fuel pricing in the Yukon, while ensuring that all parties have an opportunity to present their case before an impartial body. With all the facts, the Yukon Government intends to take whatever action is necessary to ensure Yukoners pay a fair price for fuel products.
Speaker: This then brings us to Question Period
Question re: Land claims
Mr. Phelps: Land claims negotiations are in the news again, and we understand that more land is going to be withdrawn by Order-in-Council in the near future around such places as Teslin and Pelly. Can the Government Leader tell me just how much more land is going to be withdrawn, particularly around those areas where land was already withdrawn as a result of the 1984 negotiation round?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot give a precise figure. Because of a great concern by claimant bands about alienation of land they were identifying for claim - a problem that has become very difficult recently in Ross River - there has been a proposal to provide interim protection to a larger area than will be the amount that is finally permissible in the final selection.
Negotiations have proceeded between the parties, especially with the federal government, as to how that protection can be provided. The idea behind providing interim protection for an amount that is larger than what will eventually be settled, is to allow other interests in the community, including municipalities and other citizens, to comment on the proposed selections and to get public reaction before final negotiations proceed about those selections.
Mr. Phelps: How much more is going to be frozen this way? Are they going to be freezing 100 percent more than they intend to give? Is that the concept?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I know the Leader of the Official Opposition will understand this answer. The federal government, as a matter of negotiating policy, has established a position, which has been given to me in confidence and which I am not at liberty to disclose. The upper limit in the federal mandate will provide a cap as to the amount that can be protected.
Mr. Phelps: How can the governments expect to give a whole bunch of land the appearance of being selected by freezing, and then honestly say to the people they are going to be able to take a whole bunch back once land claims is established? Does the Government Leader really believe that the governments are going to be able to freeze a whole bunch of land with an Order-in-Council and then say the claimant bands can only have a portion of those lands?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have said before that I am not going to negotiate the claim on the floor of this House, nor would it be prudent on a matter like this to comment on the positions of the parties. The particular process that is now contemplated is an effort to provide some protection to the bands - especially those who have not yet made selections - against alienation of land that they have identified, and to allow other groups in our community to comment on those selections in the time between now and the final agreements.
Question re: Land claims
Mr. Phelps: I have some real problems with what the government is doing in that respect. I also understand that lands are being frozen and steps are being taken to curtail mining exploration over lands in Yukon. Is the Land Claims Secretariat having consultations with the Yukon Chamber of Mines and the Klondike Placer Mining Association with respect to these steps being taken - the steps that will curtail mining exploration?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am fairly certain that both Mr. Barry Stuart and Mr. Tim Koepke, either separately or together, have met with the bodies identified by the Leader of the Official Opposition in his question, and that the particular subject of todays Question Period has been under discussion with those groups.
Mr. Phelps: For two years I have been asking that the Government Leader table maps that show the claims by outside Indian groups over areas of Yukon. The Government Leader has on numerous occasions said that he would see whether or not there are any such maps in existence, at least held by the Land Claims Secretariat. I would like to ask whether he has made such examination because it has been some two years, and when he will table such maps in the House?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will table such maps when I get them. I believe there were no such maps as identified by the Leader of the Official Opposition at the time he asked the last questions. I gave instructions that inquiries were to be made of Ottawa to see if they had such maps available to us. My intention is to table the maps that he has requested soon after I have them presented to me, and my intention stands.
Mr. Phelps: On the CBC news it was stated that the Dalton Post area is now withdrawn. Does that mean that Dalton Post is being given away on land claims?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not think I am entitled to draw that conclusion. So that I provide the Member with as complete information as I can, I will take it as notice and provide him with a brief on that subject.
Question re: Streetscape program
Mr. McLachlan: I have a question for the Minister of Tourism. Can the Minister confirm if the community of Upper Liard is eligible for funding under the Streetscape Program?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the Minister also aware of an application being received from Upper Liard and, if so, was it approved, and for how much?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have the specific numbers on hand. My understanding is that the community is in receipt of eligibility for planning dollars much like the other communities. The way the program works is that in year one the community is identified, and there are dollars made available. It is planning assistance funding, which enables a community to be able to contract with individuals - or do it in-house if they have the expertise - and basically draw up a plan for the governments consideration as to the details of their proposed Streetscape Program. Then once we have been in receipt of that, presumably, then, they are funded in the following capital year. In this case, Upper Liard is in receipt of an offer of funds to do the planning stage.
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister also confirm whether or not it is a regulation or a condition of this Streetscape funding program, that private enterprise not be the sole beneficiary of public funding under that program, but that the community itself benefit? Is that true?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is definitely the intent of the program. It is to physically change the communitys appearance, to make it a much more attractive destination for tourists generally.
Question re: Yukon Lottery Commission
Mr. Lang: I have a question for the Minister responsible for the Lottery Commission. You will recall that this was quite a debate in the House when the government decided that they would run the lotteries, as opposed to the system that had been set up between the Sports Yukon and the Arts Council, who had responsibility for running the lotteries and also for the purposes of raising the revenues.
At that time, just to refresh the Ministers memory, he assured this House that there would be more revenues coming forward for the lotteries, and there would, therefore, be more money available for organizations to apply for.
My first question to the Minister is as follows: can the Minister confirm, for the coming year, that there will be less revenue available compared to what there was last year?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I asked the Lottery Commission to provide me with a sales comparison of the period over the course of this last year, detailing the revenues that were achieved prior to the transition period, during the transition period, and after the transition period. The Lottery Commission said that it experienced, for a three month period, a slight decrease in revenues during the transition period. Subsequent to the transition period, to date - July 1 to now - they have experienced approximately a 14 percent increase.
Mr. Lang: It is going to cost approximately $250,000 to pay for the administration of the lotteries. Will that mean there will be less money available for organizations, once that money is discounted from the amount of money that is available?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I cannot vouch for the actual expenditures for the administration. I will check the exact figures. My information says there will be more money projected for future grants, on the basis of the way it is normally funded or should they choose to core fund organizations.
Mr. Lang: There was an agreement with Sports Yukon and the Arts Council that there would be core funding available to them in view of the fact that the Government of Yukon decided that they would take over the lotteries. Then core funding would no longer be available from the revenues received for running the lotteries. Is it now the governments position that, when the agreement between these two organizations runs out, it will be up to the Lottery Commission to decide if these organizations will receive core funding.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The government did not assume control of the lotteries management. The Act delineates who is responsible for lotteries management. Up until the spring of this year, the Lottery Commission, which is the proper authority as outlined in the Act, decided to contract the management of the lotteries to a contractor. Sport Yukon and the Arts Council won the bid. The Lottery Commission will be holding a policy meeting in January to discuss the issue of core funding for the Arts Council, Sport Yukon and other organizations. This is a result of the public consultation that they undertook this past summer and fall in concert with the old contractors and groups in the community. They will be making some recommendations on decisions shortly thereafter. For the period of the next year and three months, there will be core funding as per the Transition Agreement.
Question re: Mammography unit
Mrs. Firth: Yesterday, when I asked if representation had been made to BC Health Services, she said that we are in the discussion stages at this point in time. Could I ask the Minister who is representing the Yukon Government in the discussions and negotiations?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Yesterday in my answer I talked about discussions that we were having. There have been ongoing discussions between myself and my department, there have been discussions going on between my department and the Womens Directorate, and there have been discussions ongoing between my department and the Yukon Medical Health Association.
Mrs. Firth: Is the Minister telling us that she brought wrong information into the House again when she said they were in discussion stages with the BC government? The Minister looks puzzled; I will quote from yesterdays Hansard, We are in discussion stages at this point in time, but I have not had any personal discussions with anyone in BC. Is that a wrong statement then, and there really are no discussions going on with BC Health Services?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: That information is wrong.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister did not come into this House and correct that wrong information. I would like that noted on the record.
The Minister said they are having internal negotiations with herself, the officials, and the doctors. She said that in Hansard yesterday - with the doctors and with the Advisory Committee for the Status of Women. Can the Minister explain why then at 8:45 a.m. today, when I phoned the Yukon Medical Association and spoke to the president, he told me that the Medical Association was not presently having any discussions with any officials of the department, nor had they been invited to have any discussions with anybody in the department regarding the mobile mammography unit.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I did not say there were discussions with the Medical Association by myself. I said doctors. I had a discussion with a doctor that belongs to the Yukon Medical Association. Get the facts straight. My department has had discussions with somebody from the Yukon Medical Association. I did not bring wrong information to this House.
Question re: Mammography unit
Mrs. Firth: I want it noted on the record that in the House yesterday the Minister said, We have had discussions internally with doctors, and with the Advisory Committee for the Status of Women, and if there is a unit that could be available then we certainly will look at the possibility of having it come up here. For the record I say that this morning at 8:45, I contacted the president of the Yukon Medical Association - who would be the representative of the doctors, who would have discussions with officials and the Minister - and no discussions have been held, nor has there been an invitation.
Later in the morning I contacted the Advisory Committee for the Status of Women, and I was told at that time that they have not had discussions with the committee and the Minister regarding the mobile mammography unit. In fact, the individual called me back to say that the minutes had been checked and they had simply told the Minister it was an issue, but there had been no discussions regarding the mobile unit and the possibility of it coming through the British Columbia government. Can the Minister tell me why that information that I have presented today is totally inconsistent with the wrong information that she brought to this House yesterday?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The Member has a habit of phoning people and asking for information, such as she did when she asked for telephone numbers on our health records in our department. I am aware that she phoned the Advisory Committee to the Status of Women.
I sat at a meeting with the Advisory Committee to the Status of Women. We had a dinner meeting that lasted almost two hours. There was discussion on every single item of concern. One of them was the mammography machine. There was a discussion.
If the Member is accusing me of lying, let her get up and say so.
Mrs. Firth: I think the facts show whether the information is accurate or not. Is the Minister saying that the individuals who spoke to me are lying?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The individual just said that she had given me the information on an item that was an issue with them. We spent time talking about it, and they brought me up to date on their issues that they were talking about since. They have since had other meetings.
I did not bring wrong information to this House. That Member better get her facts straight.
Mrs. Firth: There were no discussions about the mobile mammography unit, I was told by the individual who I spoke to. The Minister very specifically came in this House and said they had had discussions with the doctors and with the advisory committee. She also said they were in the discussion stages with the British Columbia government.
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the question, as our Guideline 7 states a one sentence preamble for each supplementary question.
Mrs. Firth: I would like a new question, please.
Question re: Mammography unit
Mrs. Firth: The Minister started out with her responses yesterday in Question Period by first saying: we do understand that they do have a travelling unit and that is a possibility. That is in reference to the British Columbia government, which, incidentally, does not have a travelling unit. That is what the discussions are about, whether they are purchasing a travelling unit. So, that is a wrong statement.
The Minister said they were in discussion stages at this point in time. She cannot confirm that today. I have been in touch with the hon. Peter Duecks office, and I have been advised that there are no interprovincial/territorial negotiations going on with respect to the mobile mammography unit. The Yukon Medical Association is denying any discussions with this government with respect to the mobile mammography unit, and the Advisory Council of the Status of Women has said they have not discussed the mobile unit.
I think the facts speak for themselves. When is the Minister going to make representation to the Government of British Columbia Health Services Department regarding this very important and critical issue, at which womens lives are at stake here in the Yukon?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: There is no question in my mind, or anyone elses in the department, that it is a priority. The Member has stood there and she has called me a liar. I was at that meeting - the Member was not. And there was discussion on a mammography machine. I said that I had not had any discussions with anyone in BC. That is also right there - it says so, right there. I have proof that my officials have talked with members of the Yukon Medical Association. I have proof that I had discussions with the Advisory Committee to the Status of Women, and I will bring that to this House.
Mrs. Firth: I guess the questions is when? The question also is, again, is the Minister accusing the president of the Yukon Medical Association and the Womens Advisory Council of lying? That is what she is doing.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: This is crap. It is crap, Mr. Speaker. She has already stood there and called me a liar, and I object to that. I object to that. Nor am I calling the president of the Advisory Committee to the Status of Women a liar. She did tell the Member that we spoke about the mammography. They told me about the issues that are at hand right now; there was a discussion. There have not been any other discussions since the last meeting, but I did sit at a meeting for two hours at The Cellar, and there was a discussion about it. And there have been internal discussions with a member of the Yukon Medical Association.
Mrs. Firth: The Status of Women Advisory Council advised, after checking their minutes, that they had said that it simply was an issue, that they had not had discussions regarding the BC unit. That was what was said.
The president of the Yukon Medical Association said the Medical Association had not been invited by the officials to speak. I have to report what these people told me. The Minister said, We are in the discussion...
Speaker: Order, please. Will the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mrs. Firth: I will have a new question.
Speaker: New questions to the Member for Whitehorse Riverdale South.
Question re: Mammography unit
Mrs. Firth: The Minister stood up and very emphatically said, We are in the discussion stages at this point in time, and even said that she had no doubt that a letter had been sent regarding this mobile mammography unit to the government of British Columbia. She said that, I have not had any personal discussions with anyone in BC. But she said that they were in discussion stages at this point in time.
The office of the hon. Peter Dueck does not confirm that statement. I am simply trying to find out whether the Minister has done anything about this or not. The facts that have been presented would conclude that she has not.
I would like to ask the Minister when she is going to be in touch, herself, if this such a high priority, with the BC Ministry of Health regarding this matter?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: On a point of order.
I am sure the Member opposite knows that to, in effect, call another Member of this House a liar is out of order. I am sure the Member knows that she is bound to accept the word of another Member of this House - unless she is prepared to make a substantial charge otherwise. If she does, you will have to rule on that, and it will be referred to the proper committee. The Member cannot continue to bootleg accusations against other Members during Question Period. That is clearly a violation of our rules, and I would call upon you to enforce them.
Mrs. Firth: On the point of order. I have heard the Government Leaders speech before on the point of order. I have raised another issue regarding a day care matter with the city in this House, regarding information that the Minister had brought forward at that time, upon which the Minister had to stand upon a point of privilege and correct the information. I have presented today some facts that were given to me in this House, in an effort to obtain at what stage this government is in negotiations with the BC government.
That was the question I asked, and that was the representation I made yesterday on behalf of the women of the Yukon, and those were the answers that the Minister gave me. I checked those answers, and I checked with the individuals who would have been involved in the discussions, and the information I bring back is from those individuals.
Speaker: Order please. On the point of order that has been raised. I find they are just allegations of facts. I would like to remind Members that any time there is discussion in this House, Members should respect other people and accept them as they come.
Mrs. Firth: Could I perhaps ask the Minister if she could answer the question that I have come to the House today to ask? At what stage are they negotiating with the Government of BC, and who is the representative for the Government of the Yukon Territory? I would like an answer to the question.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have already answered her numerous questions - I do not know how many times. I have also indicated in here that I have not had any contact with anybody in BC. I have never at any time said that my government and the BC government were in negotiations. I talked about negotiations that were going on, period.
Mrs. Firth: On the CBC news this morning the interpretation of the Ministers comments in this House yesterday led them to report to the public of the Yukon that she says her department is negotiating with BC on this matter - although she has not talked to the provincial Minister about it.
Speaker: Would the Member please get to the supplementary.
Mrs. Firth: The impression is out in the public that this government is negotiating with BC. I would like to know who the Yukon representative is.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have already answered her questions.
Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I rise as the Member for Whitehorse South Centre. Could the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments tell me when the Committee is expected to report next?
Mr. Webster: I am Chairman of that committee. I want to thank the Member for his question, which has caught me completely off guard. I will have to bring that answer back to the House.
Question re: Whitehorse Correctional Centre
Mr. McLachlan: I learned this morning with some dismay that a former resident of Faro lost his life last night while under the care, control and jurisdiction of this government. I understand that the circumstances of that death are still being investigated. Is it the case that those items that may inflict self injury on prisoners in the Whitehorse Correctional Institute are removed when they are admitted?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is the case. The facts are already released to the media. There was a death last night, which is an apparent suicide by strangulation with a bed sheet. There will be an inquest into the facts of that incident.
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister confirm that a psychiatric examination is done on those prisoners who are confined for a long term stay in the Whitehorse Correctional Institute, for example for six months or longer?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no specific rule around the six month term, but the facts of this very unfortunate incident are that the person was seeing the chief psychologist here as late as last Friday. No alarming symptoms of immediate suicidal fear were evident about this person.
Mr. McLachlan: Are regular night time checks not made on the prisoners? If so, at what frequency?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The policy is that checks are made every hour or sooner, unless there are particular circumstances to alarm the officials, at which case it is generally the policy to check every half hour, unless there is a particular case that is under constant, or 24 hour, surveillance. The policies were followed in this particular case.
Question re: Whitehorse Correctional Centre
Mr. McLachlan: Is the Minister saying that this particular individual was inspected on half hour intervals? Can he confirm if that is the case?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Question re: Judges suit
Mr. Phillips: I asked a question on November 16, 1987, and the Minister said he would get back to me. I will repeat the question as I asked it in Hansard of that day. Could the Minister of Justice give us a break down of the total costs incurred by the Yukon taxpayer in a judge-versus-judge pay off? The outside law firm of Russell and Dumoulin represented the Yukon government in this case. What were the total costs incurred in this governments defence?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: As the Members know, I was asked that question on November 16, and I undertook to file that information by Legislative Return when it was available. The bills have not yet been received. The information is not available today. When I receive it, I will file it as a Legislative Return.
Mr. Phillips: Is the Minister of Justice telling us that none of the bills of either the firm of Doust and Smith or Russell and Dumoulin have been received as of today?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, not specifically. I believe some bills have been received, but the final amounts are not known. The final bills and the totals are not yet known.
Mr. Phillips: If anyone has ever dealt with lawyers, they know they are very prompt in their bills. You usually get one as you are going out of the office. Since it has been over a month, why is the government not pursuing these firms to clear up the matter and let the people of the Yukon know what it cost to pay off this judge?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The specific problem here is that the information about the settlement was made available immediately on the occurrence of the settlement. There are still things to tidy up. The lawsuit needs to be specifically and formally ended and tidied up. The Bills of Costs are perhaps not particularly done. It is not unreasonable or unusual to wait this period of time.
Question re: Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments
Mr. Webster: I have a question for the government House Leader concerning Motion No. 14 which stands in his name. I would like to ask the Minister when he plans to bring forth this motion that deals with membership on the Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments for debate in this House.
Hon. Mr. Porter: If the Member was shocked at an earlier question directed to him, I can say that I did not anticipate this question as well.
With respect to the governments intention to deal with Motion No. 14, the government has not made a decision on that matter. When the government does, I am sure he will be the first to know.
Question re: Decentralization
Mr. Nordling: My question is to the Government Leader. On April 2, 1986 this House passed the following motion: THAT this House requests the Government of the Yukon to undertake a department by department study of further possible steps of decentralization, and their implications, and that the study be presented to the Members of the Legislative Assembly at the fall sitting. That was over a year and a half ago, and I would like to ask the Government Leader why this study was not tabled in this House last fall.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am mortified; I do not have an explanation. I certainly believe the Member and all Members in this House are entitled to an explanation. Since this fall sitting seems to be going on into the new year, I will undertake to have whatever the results of it were in this present sitting. I do recall that a preliminary survey of the departments in respect to positions that they thought could be decentralized to rural communities was not encouraging. In fact the number of offers or initiatives that we had been shown by departments to relocate people to rural Yukon was not promising. I believe that some very strong political direction will have to be demonstrated before we can effect what I am sure is the desire of all Members.
Mr. Nordling: We heard that exact speech on April 2, 1986, in discussing the motion. The motion was amended to remove a commendation of this government for its admirable progress on decentralization of government. The Government Leader let that amendment be made because the meat of the motion...
Speaker: Order, please. Guideline 7 states that a one sentence preamble is allowed in each case for each supplementary question.
Mr. Nordling: The meat of the motion was that this government undertake a study. Was there a study started, and by whom? I would like the Government Leader to come back with information on when it will be done as well as when it will be tabled.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am flattered that my speeches are so memorable to the Member opposite. It being Christmas, that brings cheer to my heart. I have not heard or learned anything from the Member opposite that would cause me to substantially change my view on this question. This government should be congratulated for the work that it has done in establishing positions in rural Yukon, which has been unprecedented. Its record is better than any previous government, but this government will happily concede that more needs to be done. The study was coordinated by the Executive Council office, and in whatever form it is, I will be happy to report it to the house when next we sit.
Mr. Nordling: The Government Leader was talking about decentralization back in 1979. Does this government have a policy on motions that are passed in this House?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes. The Member refers to my making speeches back in 1979. It proves that truly good ideas are really enduring in this place, as elsewhere. Of course, we respect motions passed by this House, and if we have failed to report as requested by the House, it is an egregious error for which I sincerely apologize. I will get the information at the first possible opportunity.
Speaker: Time for Question Period has now elapsed, and we will now proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Bill No. 5 - First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 - continued
On Department of Community and Transportation Services - continued
Chairman: We will continue with general debate on Lands Branch.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There were two items stood over from yesterday, the Ross River garage and the airport at Old Crow.
The existing Ross River garage was constructed in 1966 with wood framing and metal clad exteriors. Since that time, foundation settling has occurred, and it would take considerable work to repair, let alone add onto it. The floor area for the existing garage is 310 square metres - 208 of them are space for garage operations and 102 square metres are for use for tool storage and office space.
The required floor area we are looking at providing is 456 square metres - 336 square metres are planned for garage operations and the balance is for tools and parts storage and office space.
The new garage will use the same design as the one built in Carcross this summer. It is estimated to cost $435,000. The cost estimate for further renovations of the old garage to suite the required purposes is approximately $400,000. It is the feeling that, due to the nature of renovation projects generally and the difficulties we were having with the foundations of the existing garage, that the figures for the renovations cannot be considered entirely reliable.
With respect to the Old Crow airport project, the earth work and gravel surfacing to be undertaken this coming year is the second year of a project that started this year. The work is required to upgrade the existing runway, taxi, aircraft parking and apron surfaces to ensure safe aircraft operations, as the existing surface has deteriorated to a point over the years where it is felt that safety is compromised and complaints have been received by scheduled air carriers.
There is also an operation and maintenance obligation resulting from the remedial work that has to be done, which is considered over that necessary on a normal runway. What has happened is that, over the years, the surface at the airport has deteriorated to a point where large rocks from the base course are protruding, and there are other areas of the runway that have sunk and are soft and muddy.
This deficiency in the airport was identified by the Yukon in 1983 as a priority for renovation, and it has only been this year that the work could be undertaken after agreement was struck with respect to the funding.
As I said before, there have been complaints from the scheduled carriers aircraft, which are largely lost propellers due to rocks being thrown up and hitting the planes. The funding is provided by Transport Canada. We have been told by MOT that this is the work that is necessary to be done to maintain the licence at this particular airport. In fact, there is indication from one branch of MOT that, should the work not be done, the licence could be pulled.
With respect to the reconstruction of the runway and the aircraft parking apron, the airfield lighting is required to be removed and relocated. The height of the lights must be a specified distance from the finished grade, which would result from the reconstruction. The lighting system is also being rehabilitated and upgraded, as the original lighting system has deteriorated over the years, due to age, weathering and ground conditions. Some damage has taken place with respect to the cold weather and the fact that graders have clipped them now and then over the years, which has caused damage. The existing lighting system components are being replaced and upgraded with more modern and updated components, and it is felt that this new system will be more operationally cost effective than the current system and, certainly, much more reliable.
With respect to the licensing, it is important to note that the federal government has indicated that this work - lighting and runway surfacing - is part of a package which, in total, adds up to proper licensing requirements. All of these must be met if the Old Crow airport is to be continued to be licensed and a safe operational environment is to exist.
So, that is, basically, the explanation of what is going to happen at Old Crow and the reason why it is given a high priority. I have also provided information with respect to those questions that were asked with respect to the Ross River garage.
Mr. Lang: I would like to go a little further than the Ross River garage. I appreciate the Minister coming back with more information. Was there a thorough analysis done of that garage and whether or not it could be renovated? The impression I have gotten from the Minister is that people looked at it and said that the footings did not look too good, so they are going to build a new garage. I am a little concerned that we are just going to build new because we have $400,000.
If somebody privately owns a shop since 1966 or 1970, unless there are major structural problems, they will renovate and upgrade instead of building a new one. Was there a thorough analysis done of what renovations had to be done to upgrade instead of going through with the $435,000 expenditure?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The point I thought I had made was that an analysis had been done. The government is not replacing or tearing down all of the old facility. Drury Creek is an example; where extra space is required, additions are being put on the buildings. An analysis was done on the Ross River garage, and it was determined that expansion was not cost effective. The costs associated with the renovations would have been approximately $400,000. The cost of a brand new garage would be $435,000. That is a difference of $35,000.
There is a feeling, however, that due to the nature of the renovation projects, that it could easily go beyond what was estimated because of the instability of the ground. They decided to go with security and build a new facility with a longer life span at $435,000.
Mr. McLachlan: Will the old building be retained for cold storage? Can it be of any future use to the government on that property site?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: All that can be salvaged from the old building to put into the new building, with respect to the systems such as the electrical system, will be done. The building will more than likely be surplused as there is no need for it. No decision has been made by Management Board because there will have to be a government wide canvas, as is normally the procedure, to determine whether or not there is a need for it. The Carcross garage requires the same exercise to determine whether or not there is a need for it. Otherwise, it will be surplused.
Ross River Garage in the amount of $435,000 agreed to
On MOT Airstrips
Mr. Brewster: I think when I give the information that I have on hand now, and I think the Minister should have had it yesterday, but he did not, then he will understand the complete frustration of me and the people in the Haines Junction area.
I have the Arctic Airport Master Plan, prepared by CA Smith, September 14, 1978. We have only been waiting ten years. Classifications have been done, requirements to upgrade have been done, lights and radio building have been checked, site review, size of airport, floor plan for building, environmental evaluation complete, arrangements and the documents were signed by 12 persons, most of them in this government. One was the Commissioner of the Yukon at that time. They had another meeting in 1983, and this was in respect to updating those plans. The plans are for a complete 3,000 foot airstrip with lights and a taxi way.
We went through a little bit of hard times last night and a little bit of unfriendliness, but I think I represent an area that is not getting what they should have gotten ten years ago. We have waited for ten years, and I think I am entitled to get a little bit angry about this. This is not necessarily blaming this government. This is blaming the federal government and every other type of government that continually does things like this - makes plans and then throws them up. Now, the Minister tells me they are going to resurvey and recheck it all over again. Why should people not get a little fed up with this stuff? The one thing about the whole situation in governments here and in Ottawa and everywhere else is logic, and it does not exist. They have not even got that word in their dictionary. The emergency airport at White River was surveyed last year, yet there is apparently no money to go any further on it.
MOT Airstrips in the amount of $945,000 agreed to
Transportation Branch in the amount of $25,091,000 agreed to
On Lands Branch
Chairman: General debate continued.
Mr. Lang: I would like to make an observation. In this forthcoming year, we are going to be in a situation where serviced lots are not going to be available in those communities that need them, primarily Whitehorse and also in Watson Lake.
I want to assure the government of our support when they go ahead with the development of residential suburban lots, as long as they are meeting the municipal bylaws that have been put down.
I feel we have lost a year, unfortunately, and we are going to feel the repercussions. It concerns this side because that has an effect on not just those who wish to build, but those who are looking for accommodation. All of a sudden it backs up and there is more pressure on the government to act through Yukon Housing, or whatever the case may be. It spirals throughout the system. It would be much wiser to have a land bank well ahead of what we feel the demand will be, so when we get into a situation where our economy is as buoyant as it is now, we can meet it. I recognize that for a period of time we had the Hillcrest area developed and land sitting there for a period of time. But I do not recall anybody in this House, for the three or four years that that land was developed and available, complaining. I think everybody felt quite good that there was land that had been developed and was available. We could say, as a Legislature and government, that we had fulfilled our responsibilities, the work has been done and the land is available.
What I see happening with land is that everything is being held up and it all seems to be funneling toward the land claim process and nobody can do anything. There is a public interest that has to be represented, and when you get a situation such as the one in Carcross - where the Housing Authority is writing letters and complaining that there are no developed lands and then there is no money in the budget for any development in Carcross - we have to ask ourselves where we are going. Especially in view of the fact that the Minister said that the Government Leader transmitted the concerns expressed last summer at a public meeting, yet it is not reflected in the budget. I feel those are very legitimate concerns from the people in the Carcross area, or wherever they may be. I would like to hear assurances from the Minister that as many serviced lots as we need will be available in the spring. If he cannot, we had better do something about it and expedite further work to get this done prior to the end of the summer.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is nothing ambivalent about the governments resolve to get residential lots onto the market as soon as possible. There are a number of serviced lots in Watson Lake. This year the government suggested and budgeted for the reactivation of the Campbell Subdivision. The community asked not to reactivate it at this time, largely because they did not think there would be enough take-up this summer to warrant the operation and maintenance costs of maintaining the lots over the winter.
The government has put into its budget the same amount as last year to ensure that quick reactivation of the Campbell Subdivision can be undertaken.
The government has, along with Watson Lake, recognized that in all likelihood, the growth in the economy in Watson Lake will justify the reactivation of the subdivision and the lots will hopefully be sold vigorously.
With respect to Whitehorse, there was some work that was done this year in terms of developing lots, both in Porter Creek C and Riverdale - of course, as everyone knows, those were snapped up in a jiffy. There are some lots at Crestview that are serviced, which have not yet been taken up, but that might be peoples preference. The lots at Hillcrest in the Granger Subdivision, where we have committed ourselves to a fairly sizable expenditure of $2.5 million, is something that we realize has to be done immediately. It is interesting to note that when the Kwanlin Dun relocation agreement was under discussion and negotiations were underway, I suppose I was roundly criticized in certain circles for trying to off-load what certain people considered to be a white elephant on the Kwanlin Dun Band. I did not believe that was the case and do not believe that is the case today. Nevertheless, it is obvious through that agreement that much of the serviced lots were taken up through the relocation.
We are intending, as part of that subdivision plan - the Member for Porter Creek East knows, at least - there were a number of other subdivisions which were planned in the same district, including the Granger Subdivision. And this certainly does conform to city bylaws. Just as a matter of note, to reassure Members, the government has every intention of conforming to all municipal bylaws when developing land; in fact, it develops land in concert with - in many cases under the direction of - the municipality. We develop land on their behalf. There is nothing preventing municipalities from developing land - or anybody else for that matter. We are going to be developing future land in the area under the zoning guidelines and the planning guidelines of the relevant municipality - in this case, Whitehorse.
So there will be every attempt to move residential lots as quickly as we can, and I thank Members for their support with respect to making sure that is done. I am sure that if there is any other residential development that we determine can take place, no matter how small, we will move irrespective of whether or not it is budgeted at this time; we realize there is a demand and we are going to have to try our best to try to respond to it. Riverdale was not budgeted for in the Budget but was taken as a decision to go ahead this year because we knew that the demand was there and we undertook the development. So I can assure Members that there is every attempt to get as much residential land on the market, in those communities where there is a demand, as soon as possible.
In the Carcross area - we have been through this a number of times - I have already indicated what the government is prepared to do, and do aggressively, with respect to seeing what can be done to get residential land on the market. We are talking primarily about rural residential, or residential lots that are not serviced. Whatever is possible we will explore.
Question of Privilege: Presentation of gift pack
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I wonder if the Chairman would indulge me for a moment for a seasonable question of privilege. All Members opposite were extremely enthusiastic supporters of the contribution this government made some time ago to the continued operation of Han Fisheries. Members will be pleased to know that the company has had a very successful year. On behalf of Han Fisheries, I want to present to my counterpart, the Leader of the Official Opposition, an excellent example of their product. It is a new product that has been developed by Han Fisheries. It is a Yukon River smoked Pacific salmon gift pack. These gift packs have been produced as part of a study by Han Fisheries, who are looking at marketing these, not only in Yukon and Alaska but in the whole northwest, as tourist gift items. The set that I am going to present to the Leader of the Official Opposition is part of a first run of 900, 200 of which are being distributed in the Yukon. Han anticipates doing a production run of approximately 5,000 of these gift packs next season. With all seasonable and timely good wishes, I would like to present this Han Fisheries pack to the Leader of the Official Opposition.
Mr. Phelps: I would like to warmly thank the Government Leader and the people at Han Fisheries. I am delighted to see that they are branching out in their area of commercial enterprise. Being from Carcross, a place where we enjoy the best smoked fish in the world, I will be very interested in sampling this and offering my comments on the bouquet, flavour and moistness of the smoked salmon. I am sure that Han Fisheries, along with a good many Yukoners, looks forward to an era of expanding trade with our neighbours in Alaska because of the free trade treaty.
Chairman: Is there anything further on Lands Branch, general debate?
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister confirm that the earliest possible date for land sale in the Granger subdivision is about September 30, 1987 or October 1, 1988?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: We have pulled out all the stops and have all the preliminary work done, apart from Granger Road, which we have canceled. All the engineering work that has to be done is being done. The tender call will be, I hope, the earliest one the government issues in the new year, and the work will hopefully be undertaken and the lots on the market by the end of August. That is the current plan.
Chairman: Are you ready for the first line item?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The work I mentioned in my opening remarks is largely the work scheduled for MacRae Subdivision. The City and Lands Branch have identified a need for industrial lots in Whitehorse, and the work here is basically the development stages of the lots. Because the currently supply of industrial land has essentially been exhausted, except for private sales, there is a feeling that there should be some lots on the shelf.
Industrial in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The major portion for this is the Granger Neighbourhood itself. There will be work done in Teslin to reactivate the subdivision at the airport and work will be done to reactivate the Campbell Subdivision in Watson Lake. A need has been identified to begin work in Ross River. We will begin work in Keno City for further lot development. There is an ongoing suit with respect to the consultant and contractor over the project deficiencies in Porter Creek litigation. One Member asked whether the defendants in this case were still in existence and every indication is that the construction company still exists and is being defended by their lawyer. The consulting firm EPEC is out of business, but their insurance agents are defending themselves. A trial is expected this coming year. Examinations for Discovery were ongoing when the Member asked the question.
There has been $2.5 million scheduled for the Granger Subdivision. In Carmacks, there will be a purchase of private land to allow for the subdivision of residential lots.
Mr. Lang: How many lots will the $2.5 million make available in the Granger Subdivision?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There have been 113 lots projected.
Mr. Lang: In view of the decision to make major changes to the plans following the representation of the people in the Hillcrest area, what is the cost of that decision? What is the effect to the subdivision?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The cost of the development will be lessened, only because a feeder road that was scheduled to loop around below the subdivision site, between the subdivision and Hillcrest, will not be built. It will be realigned slightly to allow direct access on a loop road onto the main road past McIntyre and Granger subdivisions. There was a third road that was to loop around underneath the subdivision to attach onto the main road, and that has been eliminated from the plan.
Mr. Lang: We are getting to the point where these lots are costing a lot of money, somewhere in the neighbourhood of $25,000 a lot. That is fairly expensive considering that the footings have not been put in yet. In view of the popularity of the mobile home areas that have been established in the Whitehorse area, some further attention should be given to providing an extension or another subdivision to provide for people who own their mobile homes and having lots made available. That might keep the price down somewhat. It is becoming a them and an us situation, where people who are in an income bracket between $30,000 and $40,000 are finding it difficult to own their own home. Could the Minister take my comments to city officials, and maybe some serious consideration could be given to whether or not this type of development should be taking place.
I recognize that this is a municipal decision, and I also recognize who takes the heat if the land is not there. People at City Hall send people over to the territorial government if there is a land problem. I can hardly blame them for that. This is a subdivision that is fairly popular, and the lots would probably sell very quickly.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I thank the Member for those remarks. We would like to encourage the development of low cost land. We have a number of programs that are encouraging as little in the way of development costs as possible, so the people can get their start and, over the course of future years through collective action with their neighbours, can improve the subdivision under the Rural Electrification Program or some other mechanism. Quite often, the people who buy lots for the first time are not in a position to spend a lot of money on a fully serviced lot, but would work their way into better services over the course of their adult lives. We do try to do that, as well. The zoning in places like Riverdale, and those lands that are available in Riverdale, require fully serviced, Cadillac lots - first class lots. I will take the suggestion the Member makes to the city and suggest we either jointly try to encourage the extensions of mobile home parks through private development or having government undertake to do the same thing, in order to meet this specified need, that is low cost land for first home buyers or trailer owners.
Mr. McLachlan: With respect to that subject, when we develop land in smaller parcels, the price tends to be high, as we have seen in the Riverdale sale in September and October. With the Granger subdivision of 113 lots, does the Minister have a projection if they will be lower, due to developing a large number, than we have recently seen in Riverdale this year?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is no question that a basic principle in land development is that the more lots you create, the lower the price, if you create lots in a subdivision form. There were only 19 lots in Riverdale, which entailed certain infrastructure costs. They were proven expensive. The government did write off some subdivision costs that were attributed to this particular plot of land that had been incurred when the original Riverdale subdivision was developed. We wrote those costs off, because it would have put the price of the land out of sight. Instead of being in the $22,000 to $25,000 range, they would probably have been in the $35,000 range for a single lot, which we considered to be quite unreasonable.
In the case of the Granger Subdivision and future development in that area, which has already been basic planned in the community plan - we are talking about the development of large numbers of lots in one year - there are other plans for future development in this area, and the development of hundreds more lots can be had as per the original plan. I do not know exactly how many but, if the Member is interested, I could bring that information back. The plan, as originally conceived, was made public a short time ago when the original McIntyre subdivision was developed, and it was given approvals by the City of Whitehorse at that point.
Mr. McLachlan: My question was: does the Minister have a projection for what Granger will come in for these 113 lots?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Basically, it will be $2.5 million, subtract certain costs that we will try to determine as being central infrastructure costs, divided by 113, and that would be the price of the lot.
Residential in the amount of $2,735,000 agreed to
On Rural Residential
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The $500,000 is basically four projects. One is generic and that is the attempt to identify and develop homestead sites on a territory-wide basis. There are three specific projects. One is to identify infilling sites along the Carcross Road. There is also the Dawson Dome area, stage one, and there is also infilling projected for the Takhini Hot Springs Road. Now, in the Whitehorse area - it is no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the Hootalinqua area - there is some aversion to subdivision development, while there is a general belief that infilling in the areas around Whitehorse should take place prior to subdivision development being considered. In theory, I believe it is a good idea to attempt infilling. It requires more consultation, of course, than would normally be the case for the same number of lots in a subdivision. Lands Branch is not afraid of that. There are increased costs per lot because the land development is spotty and sporadic. It is, by definition, land development that takes place around and about where available lots exist, on a lot by lot basis. So the government is going to make a sincere effort to try to develop, through infilling, land around Whitehorse. In the North Hootalinqua area, it would be in concert with the North Hootalinqua plan, the regional plan, and south of Whitehorse there is consultation with Lorne Mountain Community Association and other relevant groups with respect to the placement of lots there.
In the Dawson Dome area, there is definitely a need for land outside of the old boundaries of the City of Dawson, as Mr. Chairman knows better than anyone in this House, and it is partly for the reason that there is very little low-cost land available in Dawson, or the Dawson area, that we are, in concert with the City of Dawson, going to consider the develop of a subdivision on the Dome. There is some concern, I guess, in Dawson, particularly expressed by the municipal council, that not everyone who wants to live or to take part in Dawson community life should have to adhere to the historic zoning bylaws, for which there is a cost associated with housing, as a result.
That is the reason why the Dome area is to be developed.
With respect to the Homestead site development, this is fairly simple land to develop. We have to seek out sites and we are trying to seek out sites in all regions of the Yukon so that low cost land - very undeveloped land - can be made available to those people who appreciate that lifestyle, or do not mind very little or next to no service from the government.
Rural Residential in the amount of $500,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The $760,000 is basically for three projects. There is commercial land development in Beaver Creek for five lots, and there is an over-the-counter demand for lots so there is definitely the feeling that something must be done there. The Nansen commercial subdivision was started this year and is expected to be completed this coming year, and there is an over-the-counter demand for lots in Carmacks. The major cost here is $600,000 commercial lot development in Whitehorse. These are three to ten acre lots in the Kopper King area. We have done some work with the City of Whitehorse and the City has seen the need for commercial land development that is serviced. We have agreement that we do the land development and the City of Whitehorse will provide their share with water and sewer extensions to this area.
The city plan shows three areas that are suitable for commercial development. They are basically the South Access area, the airport area, and the Kopper King area. The Kopper King area is basically the best bet, so we will proceed with development of five lots there.
Commercial in the amount of $760,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is obvious in comparison with other classes of land of lesser priority. There is a priority in certain areas of the territory. There is a significant, territory-wide demand expressed for recreational lots, so we intend to proceed in the investigation of sites, and development, where possible around the territory. The major projects for the coming year are in Haines Junction and Mayo. There is site identification - phase one and two -in three areas, at Lake Laberge, Campbell Subdivision in Watson Lake, and Teslin. Most of those last three are in the preliminary stages. As a result of the joint planning that has been undertaken with the village of Haines Junction and the Champagne/Aishihik band and the Government of Yukon, it was determined that the development of Pine Lake was of the highest priority, so we will proceed with development of recreation cottage lots there. We hope that we can also get land developed in Mayo and Minto Lake this coming year.
Recreational in the amount of $285,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are a number of projects here that are possibly going ahead. We had planned that Flat Creek should proceed, and we only recently made the decision that it should be on hold. If the Hootalinqua North Steering Committee makes recommendations on the Flat Creek area, we will make a recommendation that is positive and proceed with its development. If we do not, then we will not. A recommendation will likely be made one way or the other, and land development will probably take place in this area in some form. We will wait and see what is possible.
The area that has been identified since the beginning of the development of the land program for the Government of the Yukon, as having the best potential and being nearest the best markets, is land near Watson Lake. We hope to develop a roadway into an area that is shown to have the highest potential for agricultural development.
There is some demand for agricultural land in the area. We would like to be able to respond. In a portion of this project, there was some desire to look at developing more agriculturally intensive lots on the Annie Lake Road. This is primarily for identification purposes. A lot will depend on the views of the residents and also the availability of arable land in the area. In the preliminary basis, it is thought some land does exist. We are considering proceeding there as well.
With respect to the whole issue of developing intensive and subdivision plots, there has been some controversy with respect to the development of subdivisions, whether they be for residential purposes or for agricultural purposes. On the agricultural side, there has been some reluctance to accept the idea of intensive plots in a subdivision form, because there is a fear that the government will abandon the site-specific selection on land that is now the order of the day.
I have indicated to the agricultural community that we are not prepared to abandon the site-specific selection. But there is a feeling that there are economies of scale to be had, if possible, in development of agricultural subdivisions with land parcels in the neighbourhood of 20 acres and greater. This concept is new to agricultural land development in the rest of the country, because it has been discovered, over hundreds of years of experience, that the sharing of the resources amongst farmers takes place is easiest when they live next door to each other and have an agricultural community.
There will be some attempt to see whether or not it would be acceptable to meet the need for intensive parcels - small agricultural parcels - for such things as market gardens and small operations, where agricultural activity forms at least a portion of peoples incomes. The attempt is also to provide the opportunity for persons who are looking for major acreages to undertake farming or agricultural activities.
At this point, it is worth noting that there is very little land in Whitehorse, or within commuting distance of Whitehorse, that has not been identified or claimed by somebody for some purpose. Whereas there may be a lot of land in the territory, the availability of land within commuting distance of Whitehorse is choking up considerably. We will try to do our best to meet the needs, but it is getting more difficult as time goes on.
Mr. Phelps: I feel I have to make a couple of comments under this item. The first general one is that the idea of agriculturally intensive subdivisions certainly is not a popular one in Hootalinqua North. That has come across very clearly at the public meetings. As the Minister is undoubtedly aware, I attended at least one such meeting - the one in Porter Creek - where virtually every single person at a well-attended meeting was very opposed to the Flat Creek Subdivision. It was felt if there were to be those kinds of subdivisions, and the City of Whitehorse has the land within its boundaries, it might be more appropriate for that kind of subdivision.
With regard to Flat Creek: while I do not want to prejudge what the Hootalinqua North planning exercise will come forward with, I will be shocked, surprised, dismayed and extremely angry if they come forward with a report that supports the Flat Creek Subdivision going ahead. That should be on the record, because nobody that I met or talked to in the area close to that proposed subdivision is in favour of it.
With regard to the Annie Lake Road area, the Minister has already said in debate that there was a plan to look at some infill along the Annie Lake Road. That certainly is something that may be acceptable depending on how it is done and other variables. The infill idea is the approach most favoured by residents in Hootalinqua North. I would very much appreciate being apprised of any public consultative meetings that officials with the department might be having with residents in the area - the Lorne Mountain Community Club, and other residents. I certainly make it a practice to attend such meetings if I am aware of them, so I would ask that the Minister make that kind of commitment to me now.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I made the commitment before and I will make it again, the department is undertaking a public consultation processes to determine community wishes, and if a public meeting is being held then certainly the Member for Hootalinqua will be invited to those meetings. I will communicate that to the Lands Branch so they understand what the commitment is.
With respect to land development, I must say that the government is going to do everything it can to respect the Hootalinqua North Planning process that the government is largely responsible for establishing. I will respect the results of that process, however they come forward, as much as I possibly, possibly can.
I remind people that it is extremely difficult to develop land within an area such as Whitehorse where there is basically the expectation that a wilderness experience should be maintained. The demand for land is great. The willingness to have land developed is sometimes spotty. Everybody believes that land should be developed. It is also difficult to get land developed in their area. I have said that a number of times and I think everyone grudgingly agrees that that is a fact of life. It does not make land development easier.
With respect to infilling, we are definitely going to be pursuing this option. If it does require land transfers, we will try to get land transferred in a block fashion, but if we cannot it obviously is going to require land transfers piece by piece. I would hope we can move the land expeditiously even if that is the case.
With respect to land development itself, it is more expensive on an infill basis to develop land, and that is also an accepted fact of life, but it is also more conforming to the wishes of the community in which the land is being developed, and more sensitive to the community. That is the reason why we are pursuing that more visibly than before.
Agricultural in the amount of $285,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Basically the work here is for remedial work on abandoned quarries around the territory: hydroseeding, when the hydroseeder is in the area; and also identification and development of quarry sites primarily for commercial and industrial use where we can. There is a desire to ensure that quarries are available in all regions of the territory. Certainly, quarry sites are available and identified when major construction is anticipated in particular areas.
Mr. Lang: There was a report done with respect to the future possibilities of using the quarry in Dawson City. There were concerns raised about this quarry with respect to asbestos that was in the area. Could the Minister table that report for us?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Minister for Health and Human Resources was responsible for YTGs contribution to the monitoring of the site and the community. At some point, I am sure she will respond to the Members query. All the preliminary indications that we have had is that there was a potential danger there to be considered. For that reason, we did shut down the Front Street pit some time ago. It has been reclaimed as of this summer.
Mr. Lang: Do we get a copy of the report?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will undertake to talk to the Minister of Health and Human Resources about the report. If it is available, I will make it available.
Mr. Lang: Has the decision been made that the pit is closed forever and a day now?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Far be it from me to say, Never, never. I am unable to speak for future governments but, for the time being, the pit is closed and, unless the government is satisfied that the construction materials would be safe, the pit will remain closed.
Quarries in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Central Services
On Non-Recoverable Legal Survey
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is always work that the department does in terms of identifying areas around the territory that do not pan out, or are highly speculative. This is capital work that cannot justifiably be charged against the land development. The figures we have been going through right now are considered recoverable expenditures. There is some work the department does speculatively, in terms of identifying sites, et cetera, that cannot be considered recoverable.
On Community Planning
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is to finish off, hopefully, satisfactorily, the Hootalinqua North planning study into the very beginning of the new year. I certainly hope that it is satisfactory.
Mr. Lang: Is the total amount for this planning exercise that is going to North Hootalinqua $215,000? I notice we had $190,000 in this item last year and now we have got $25,000 this year.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Last years estimate was for two planning exercises. One was the Klondike Valley, which is being undertaken now, and the other one is for North Hootalinqua planning and this is primarily for the North Hootalinqua, which is expected to be completed a little later than the Klondike Valley, which is expected to be finished by the end of the fiscal year. The North Hootalinqua will be finished early in the new fiscal year.
Community Planning in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
On Planning and Engineering
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Basically, the funding here is for a variety of things: $200,000 is for planning various sites, doing various needs analyses, pre-planning for land acquisition and development, some pre-planning for cottege lot development generally. There is some work to be done requiring photography and mapping. It is an expenditure that is fairly standard in Lands Branch and really is responsible for the long term planning exercises that they do do, which are precursors to the land development that actually takes place. Historically it has been considered a necessary expenditure in order to ensure that the Lands Branch is well-prepared for the kind of work that it has to do, or is expected to do, on short notice: getting plans on the shelf and doing various pre-planning exercises that are necessary. There is also a feeling in this particular coming year that some extra emphasis should be put on photography and mapping, given that land claims is putting greater pressures on agencies such as Lands Branch to come up with land identification and review - more pressure than ever before. So, there is a desire to be able to respond efficiently to the requests that are being made at the land claims table from all the parties there.
Lands in the amount of $5,025 agreed to
On Community Affairs
Mr. Lang: We have had a fair amount of debate on this area. I would like the Minister to encourage his department to get on with this contract regulation bylaw and get the community to put it into place. It is absolutely essential; if we are dealing with taxpayers dollars, we have to ensure that they are administered in a proper way. The Association of Yukon Communities has taken a first and proper step asking for a bylaw on tendering.
There is also the issue of the operation and maintenance costs of these facilities. I would like the Minister to provide to the House the projected operation and maintenance cost that will be incurred. He indicated at the start of the debate at the beginning of the week that he would provide that information. I look forward to it.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I had a meeting with the Association of Yukon Communities this morning, and they are intending to proceed with developing the model contract bylaw. I am prepared to discuss the operation and maintenance expenditures associated with these projects. There is an operation and maintenance decrease as a result of all of the expenditures that is due to the highways construction.
Mr. Phelps: I know that the Minister is anticipating some remarks on Tagish because I have been writing him about some of the concerns. I have written the Minister several times, the last letter being on November 9, 1987, regarding the designation of Tagish for the provision of government services.
Tagish has a huge number of taxpayers because of the large number of summer cottages, some of which are very nice. There are quite a few permanent residents, and that number is growing dramatically year by year. Tagish is one of the few places that is still designated a recognized rural area, which means it is not entitled to very much in the way of government services when contrasted with what is designated as a recognized community area. The distinction is one that has resulted in Tagish being treated rather poorly in terms of government services over the years. It is rather hard to understand, particularly when places such as Stewart Crossing has the higher designation, yet Stewart Crossing has not nearly the number of permanent residents and probably pays a small fraction of the taxes to the general revenues of the Government of Yukon.
I am not here to suggest that Stewart Crossing should not get services. I am pleased to see the level of services they are getting. My concern is that the Government of Yukon finally recognize the relative need of Tagish and the Judas Creek/Marsh Lake areas and treat them in a similar fashion. Both Marsh Lake/Judas Creek and Tagish have a community club, and each of these places has well in excess of 100 year-round residents. Each of these places is growing.
Will this government see fit to change the designation, not only of Tagish, but also of the Judas Creek/Marsh Lake community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Firstly, I think it is important to note that the government, through its spending pattern, has not ignored all population outside of what might otherwise be considered artificial pockets of population, which are those people outside municipalities or in unorganized communities. In the Hootalinqua area, in particular, in the past couple of years, the government has gone to considerable effort to try to improve the services for people who are outside any kind of organized area. That includes such basic services as road grading and provision of school bus service and even community hall development and firefighting protection.
It is not made easier by the fact that there is not a designated group, but the community associations are very capable of speaking for themselves when it comes to what they are interested in receiving from the government in the way of services they deserve.
I presume the Member is referring to Stewart Crossing, in my riding, as a small, historically designated unorganized community. I too believe, and have always believed, that Stewart Crossing is another small community that is deserving of some services. Not all services. Even areas such as Canyon Creek get services that Stewart Crossing does not. That is as it should be because population is a significant factor in the development of spending patterns. In areas around Whitehorse there has been some work on things such as community halls outside of Carcross or Whitehorse. In the Lorne Mountain case, they have asked for some consideration in the future for community hall development as a sort of meeting area, not a recreational complex, given the population in that area and that the government has said, in principle, that it would entertain such proposals. In the Tagish area there is funding for the upgrading of the community hall, and that is certainly a justifiable expenditure. We recognize that as a priority and we are prepared to respond.
In Judas Creek there have been requests for better busing, and now an elementary school. There has been no suggestion to dismiss that out of hand. We are pursuing that option to see if it is cost effective. We do not ignore the fact that hundreds and hundreds of people in Hootalinqua reside within commuting distance of Whitehorse, but are outside of community boundaries whether it is Whitehorse or Carcross. We do understand that there are people there and irrespective of whether or not they pay taxes they have needs, and we try to respond to the needs of those people in accordance with the population levels and the desire of those people to receive services.
One thing the Member mentioned in the past is the formal designation of areas as either hamlets or regional governments. Some preliminary work has been undertaken to try to resolve the problems. It is one of those things that in the crush of priorities has not been brought to the forefront.
There is every desire to provide services to people in accordance with their needs. I hope that this government is responding adequately to their requests.
Mr. Phelps: My first concern is that most people, in communities such as Tagish and in the new recognized areas such as Judas Creek/Marsh Lake, at the very least, ought to be treated equally with other residents in other rural communities. I understand that the government has a policy and a list of what a recognized community is entitled to in terms of services as opposed to a city of a recognized rural area. Can the Minister make that policy and those lists available to me?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not exactly sure what the Member is referring to. Perhaps he could explain it further. The government has attempted to provide services such as busing and grading of roads to Tagish, Judas Creek and Marsh Lake, at a much accelerated rate than before. In all of the rural areas around Whitehorse, there are services that are being delivered that have not even been provided to areas such Stewart Crossing. There has been some discussion of designation of hamlet status for some of these communities, and public meetings have been held in Hootalinqua to discuss the concept of hamlet status, which is a formal kind of designation for people in pockets of population. That is a standing offer that will be made to community groups if they wish to entertain it.
Hamlet status is basically intended for pockets of population and not for rural districts that happen to be well populated. I recognize that readily. The implications of regional government have not been thoroughly reviewed, but it is the governments intention to pursue regional government depending upon the wishes of the local population. Some people do not want their own government, or any government, period. There are a number of locations that might be referred to county government, but they have not been pursued vigourously enough for us to come to any conclusions.
Mr. Phelps: The Minister is off the topic with his answer to the question. I am sure it was not intentional but I am not discussing the issue of hamlet status. What I am talking about is the treatment of Tagish by the rules of bureaucracy, as opposed to the treatment of, say, Stewart Crossing, or Carcross. My understanding is that the bureaucracy has policies whereby certain areas, whether or not they have got hamlet status government, are designated, or classified, as recognized community areas. One of those is Carcross, which does not have a government. Another one is Stewart Crossing, which does not have a government. They are entitled by that designation, to a certain level of services.
On the other hand, there are areas that are not designated as a community. They are, instead, either not classified as anything, or they have the lowly designation of recognized rural areas. An example of a recognized rural area, which is one step down the totem pole from Stewart Crossing or Carcross, is Tagish. My submission to you is that Tagish is a historic village and that Judas Creek is a community area, in much the same way as Stewart Crossing is. I feel that both of these places should be upgraded, so that they are entitled to equal services and to classification of a community area. Now I understand that there is a policy in that regard, that there are documents that show and contrast the levels of services that various entities are entitled to. I would like to know whether or not the Minister will make that policy and the list available to me so that it can be shared with the citizens of Tagish.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I understand what the Member is asking now and I have absolutely no problem doing that. That is perfectly all right.
The policy, in terms of the entitlement, is the upper limit of what various communities are entitled to. It is not meant to entail that people automatically have a right to certain services. A lot depends on the governments ability to provide it and also the communitys ability to want to accept it. Such things as volunteer fire departments depend very much on volunteers and there has to be some reciprocal desire involved. Certainly I can make the historic designation available.
I would like to point out here that, in large part, this is a case where current reality is advancing much more quickly than is the constitutional development of the territory - if I can use the words constitutional development loosely.
The historic designations of communities, regions and areas has always been rigid in many respects, and that is basically why services are being provided to areas according to obvious need in advance of formal designations taking place. We are going to catch up with respect to formal designations with the obvious population patterns that are taking place. That is going to have to be done. In waiting for that, I would not want to suggest that we would wait for policy before providing service. We try to meet identifiable needs whether it be fire protection, busing service, road grading, community hall upgrading, or any number of things, in accordance with the wishes of whatever organization is available. In these cases there are community organizations, and we will try to meet the needs until such time as the formal internal constitutional development of the Yukon catches up.
Mr. Phelps: I thank the Minister for his answer. He is on to what I was getting at. I am not trying to attach blame, but there certainly is a growing interest in such things as community clubs and activities in Tagish and Judas Creek, as well as some of the other growing areas of Hootalinqua.
One of the problems faced by Tagish and Judas Creek is that of TV reception. A lot of my recent correspondence with the Minister has been over the issue of very poor TV reception in Carcross and Tagish. One long time Yukon resident and a person retired in Tagish, George McLeod, has been in fairly constant communication with me about the problem of TV. He, along with a good many other residents of Tagish, wants to have an improved service. I have written the Minister about certain suggestions that Mr. McLeod has had in the past, and he has gone to a lot of effort to sincerely try to advance the cause of TV in Tagish. In fact, I have for presentation to the Minister a video tape that was sent to me by Mr. McLeod to show just how poor the national news was on TV because of the reception on November 18, 1987, so I would like that delivered to the Minister on Mr. McLeods behalf and on my behalf.
We would like to see the transmitter site moved from the place known as Caribou Mountain just out of Carcross down to a place closer to the village where it can be serviced on a regular basis by car rather than by helicopter which, I am sure, is very expensive. We would also like to see a receiver transmitter site established on Judas Mountain beside the telephone dish up there, because that would also be readily accessible by road at all times of year and would be able to share the power source with NorthwesTel.
Is the Minister going to be recommending that these steps be taken in the next few months?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I thank the Member and I thank Mr. McLeod for the demonstration of the quality of not only The National, but The Nature of Things on Wednesday, November 18. I will make sure that everybody in the communications program listens to this over and over again for a real life perspective of a poor quality television signal.
As the Member knows, it is the governments intention to try to improve the quality of the signal and, also, lower the operation and maintenance costs for the transmitters, largely because it is much cheaper to have road access to sites than it is to have sites that are only accessible by helicopter. We will do our best to try to improve the signal in the area around Whitehorse and south to Carcross. We would ultimately like to blanket this area with a very clear signal in both radio and television.
In terms of general policy, there is also a desire to upgrade the signal to pockets of population around the territory and, hopefully and ultimately, to include highway lodges and, if possible, major well travelled highways. That is as a result of the Communications Symposium and the consultation we undertook. Those items seem to be the priority for the people and communities of the territory.
The government has undertaken the consultative process to determine what best service can be had by rural communities and rural pockets of population for both radio and televion.
We have, without anticipating any debate on communications, determined that there is a desire by the private sector to provide a television signal through cable. This proposal is only for identifiable centres of population, primarily. I am not sure how realistic all of the aspirations are to do that cabling. It will also mean that people who have otherwise not been paying for service will be requested to pay. It will depend upon the communitys aspirations whether or not they will accept the regular monthly charge that comes with it. We will have to determine what we can do. In the Tagish area, we will try to improve the reception of radio and television and try and make it more cost effective, as well.
Mr. Phelps: The Minister did respond to an earlier letter of mine in October about the same issue. One of the reasons that we would like to see a new facility for the Tagish/Marsh Lake area on Judas Mountain and in Carcross, aside from the relative cost effectiveness for servicing a station there rather than on Caribou Mountain, is that it would put both communities in a situation where they could at least have the option of extending the channel so that they could get CTV as well as CBC. Other communities have done this by raising money to make that extra channel available. As things sit now, the site on Caribou Mountain is not satisfactory for anyone out there.
If Carcross has its own, that is good for Carcross. It would provide better television there or they could move down to the place suggested by the Engineering Branch. We would like to see the Judas Creek Community Club and the Tagish Community Club in a position where, if they had their own transmission facility near this mountain, they would have the option of doing what Mayo and Haines Junction have done to their communities, and that is to get a second channel. They could raise the funds through raffles the way communities do.
If, on the other hand, it is intended to simply boost the signal in Whitehorse, I expect that would be more difficult for them to do. The flexibility will not be there. The number of voters in those communities is over 100 each. They are growing communities, and there are a lot of people there on a four to six month basis. I believe Missy Follwell is nearly a constituent of mine. Some day she may graduate to a better lifestyle in Tagish and want to contribute towards the extra channel.
That is one of the concerns expressed to me, and I thought I should pass that on. There is definitely a move afoot to not only have the channel mandated by CBC, but for them to look at financing an additional channel - which is understandable when you are an aficionado of the Yukon Blue Jays, or something like that.
I just got off the phone with a constituent of Tagish before I came in here this afternoon, who lives on the east side of the Tagish River. That person is very concerned. They are paying high taxes and getting no services. There is no electricity over there, and they are having a terrible time with respect to the access road. The access road goes from the bridge through the old campground and through an Indian reserve and, then on down to where the Tagish River flows out of Tagish Lake.
I have been writing a lot of letters trying to get the government to put gravel on that road and upgrade because, in the spring, the access road is in terrible shape. I know there has been some difficulty communicating with the Chief of the Tagish/Carcross Indian Band. I would not want to pretend to minimize the difficulties that may have been experienced by government officials, but I would like to go on record as urging the government to put some decent fill on the road, particularly from the south side of the reserve down to the cottages there. Those people pay a lot of taxes, and there is a very real concern that, should there be an emergency, they would just be stuck there in the spring and would not be able to get across the river because of ice and would not be able to get out the road because, once it starts to thaw, it is a mess.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I know how important it is in the Tagish area. It has been one of the earlier points that were made for people, including Missy, to watch TV. I know she is an avid television watcher who cannot be torn away from the television set - and I know that right now she wishes she had a voice in the Legislature. I do recognize that people, not only in the Hootalinqua area, but around the territory, would like to have the option of a second channel. I do not want to anticipate the communication policy, but it is my preference that a second channel be afforded to people one way or another.
I think we are prepared in terms of our approach to allow the private sector to provide the service if they are prepared to pursue it. If they do not pursue it, I think the government should at least make the basic equipment available so community clubs who take the initiative can get the necessary crystal equipment to see to it that the channel is provided - that channel and maybe others - depending on the desires, wishes and inspiration from the community.
The Member, I am sure, knows that I am extremely familiar with the east side of the river, Petticoat Creek Road, and have been personally involved in trying to see whether or not work can be done both to provide electrical service and road access to residents on the other side of the river. I have personally had meetings with Chief James on the subject. The first meeting bore no results, and a second meeting and exchange of letters, proved not to be particularly fruitful. On the second exchange of letters there was an indication that an agreement in principle would be possible for the government to provide resources to upgrade the road, but there were certain conditions that were established which I personally felt the government could not comply with. They included that the Carcross Band, or their agent, be responsible for the upgrading of the entire road, which is contrary to our contract regulations. Secondly, that the Carcross Band be given a contract to maintain the road. Thirdly, that all land development in the area be approved, irrespective of whether or not it was on the reserve, by the band. The fourth condition escapes me, but the sum total was that we determined that upgrading the road was not going to be an easy process.
We have investigated the possibility of constructing a road around reserve land and determined that with the number of residents it is quite prohibitive. I believe - and I will check - the cost of the road would be in the $200,000 to $300,000 range, given the terrain and the distance involved.
We are not giving up hope with respect to getting band approval for traversing reserve land and we are going to be pursuing it. We have been pursuing it and will pursue that option.
Chairman: Is it the wish of the Members to take a recess at this time?
We will now take a brief recess.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will continue with general debate on Community Affairs.
On Public Health and Safety
On Planning and Pre-Engineering
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Municipal Engineering Branch has a reserve annually to undertake general projects around the territory on the Capital side. The figure last year was considerably more than this year.
Planning and Pre-Engineering in the amount of $150,000 agreed to
On Water Supply, Treatment and Storage
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The major portion of this amount of money is for the construction of the three bay garage in Old Crow for the water truck, the sewer eduction truck and the fire truck, and the training room for firefighters. This expenditure was planned for this current year. The planning has gone into it this year, and the construction is scheduled for next year. It is pursuant to the agreement that the Government of Yukon has struck with Indian Affairs and the Old Crow Band which, up until this point, had the Yukon government renting a facility from the Band. It is supposed to terminate next year, and we are supposed to be moving into our own facility next year.
There is $150,000 to undertake various water and sewer improvements in various villages. They are all very minor in nature. This is an expenditure that is historic. It is to do such things with unorganized communities to undertake minor improvements - whether it be a pump here or an evaluation of the water system there - around the territory. This is the amount that has been scheduled for this particular line item as long as I have been in the House.
There is also $80,000 scheduled for a decent water truck for Burwash Landing. Currently, they have a one ton truck with a mounted tank, and it is not considered to be an appropriate long term solution. Approximately a couple of years ago, there was some agreement that the proper water truck be provided to Burwash. They do have a garage already, and this expenditure would be for the water truck.
Mr. Lang: What is the actual total cost for the garage in Old Crow going to be?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will try to get that information immediately. I do not have that figure with me, but I will get the information. The only expenditure this year was for design work.
Mr. Lang: I would like that information. Could the Minister tell me what this $100,000 for water and sewer is specifically for in the various villages. He just went through it very quickly. What is he talking about?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The projects to be included in this expenditure are those that are meant to respond to the mid-year request for minor upgrading of water and sewer works in all of the communities. It is basically a general fund for this kind of expenditure. These kinds of things would be, for example, the replacement of a pump or the redrilling of a well. It is a general fund that has always been in existence.
Water Supply, Treatment and Storage stood over.
On Water and Sewer Mains
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is basically made up of four projects. The major one is fire flow improvements for the village of Mayo at $1.7 million. This is to improve the fire flow mains along Main Street and also to allow for adequate flows for the development of Mayo at the end of town where the Indian village is currently located. This has been a long standing request by the village of Mayo. It was made more acute with the construction of the Mayo Administration Building which has a fire fighting system that cannot be used with the current water supply system in the community. This is the first project outside the block fund that is two and a half times the annual block fund, and as a matter of course it will be cost shared on a 90/10 basis with the municipality. The $1,742,000 represents the Yukons commitment and Mayos commitment would be the ten percent on top of that.
There are a number of major projects such as this that are slated for future years and this is the first. I would anticipate that the sewage treatment in Dawson and the sewer main improvements in Haines Junction and Teslin would be obvious candidates for major project status under the Municipal and Community Infrastructure Grants Act.
The two other major projects include $340,000 for the engineering, design and construction of the sewer extension for the Indian village in Teslin. This will be cost shared on a 90/10 basis as well with the Indian Band. There is an agreement in place between Teslin and the Indian Band on the maintenance of the system.
There is $120,000 for an extension to the villages existing system of the piped water and sewer to serve the residents of the new area of the Indian village in Haines Junction, the upper bench area. The expenditure here is approximately $120,000 more for investigation and design and is expected to cost approximately $900,000 in total when all future phases are complete and water and sewer is implemented in the Indian village.
In this particular community the band and the village have yet to work out any agreement, but there are signs that this is merely a formality. This, too, will be cost-shared on a 90/10 basis.
Mr. Lang: I want to register a concern here and it is in respect to the Ministers comments on the question of the water and sewer installation in the Teslin Indian Band area. I may stand to be corrected on this but I believe there was some water and sewer machinery installed there at one time - that is a number of years ago when the water and sewer was installed in the community initially. I am not objecting to the extension but I do have some concerns about the actual maintenance of the system. I would assume that it would go through the Village of Teslin, since they have the administration and the road for the foreman - all those practical things that are in place. So could he maybe explain clearly why, for example, we would have another agency maintaining a portion of a system, as opposed to it being under the Village of Teslin?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I may have been misinterpreted here. The system will be maintained by the Village of Teslin. In all of these cases - in Haines Junction, Teslin, and Mayo - there is no desire, in the future and in this coming year, to have stand alone systems for native villages. There is every intention of having the expertise that the village has in its own right, and the pump house and the infrastructure that the villages have, to provide the services. Basically it is an extension, like a subdivision extension, to the existing system. The agreement is that the residents are water/sewer charged like every other resident is charged. The band itself, in terms of the capital, up-front costs, pays straight ten percent cash payment to the Government of Yukon.
The three bay garage has an expenditure this year of $300,000, which is the completion of the foundation pad, all the design work, and material purchase and shipment to Old Crow. The balance is for the construction and further material purchase, scheduled for completion in 1988, for a total of $850,000 - for the three-bay garage and the training room. As Members know, transportation costs to Old Crow are not insignificant, and everything has to be flown in.
Water and Sewer Mains in the amount of $2,292,000 agreed to
On Sewage Treatment and Disposal
Mr. Brewster: Is it true that people who have septic tanks in Beaver Creek have to haul that sewage all the way down to Destruction Bay and put it in the sewage lagoon there? That is 119 miles.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I generally do not know the answer to that, but I will check on that for the Member. I think there ought to be a better solution than trucking it that distance.
Mr. Brewster: I just brought this up because I had asked you questions before on the problems they were having with the lagoon in Destruction Bay overflowing. I do not know if they haul it down a lot or once in a while. I sometimes think these environmentalists go a little too far when they start things like that. I presume that truck has to come out of Whitehorse, go up there and get that and go back 119 miles. I do not know how many loads, but I know that some was done. I realized that you probably would not know.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Speaking of sewage lagoons, this completes the construction of the sewage lagoon in Old Crow. This year, I believe $155,000 worth of work was done. This completes the construction of the lagoon. The work will complete all the sewage facilities for that community in terms of the central infrastructure. The water truck, sewage eduction truck and sewage lagoon will all be relatively new for the community. What remains is the house by house sewage disposal system, which I am sure the community will be working on in the future.
Sewage Treatment and Disposal in the amount of $125,000 agreed to
On Solid Waste
Chairman: For the information of the Chair, did we clear the Water Supply item or is there still some information outstanding?
Some Member: (Inaudible)
Chairman: It is cleared, then.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: For the size of the expenditure, this probably accounts for the most controversial one within the Municipal Engineering Branch. This is for the establishment of dumps. This is the problem that the government has in trying to find suitable locations for dumps around settled areas.
I will read the list of projects that we would like to pursue. Some of them will depend upon consultation, which is not guaranteed to produce results. Nevertheless, a sincere effort will be made to try to approve sites and the construction of the dumps: Canyon Creek has an expenditure of $60,000; Tagish garbage dump completion, $10,000; Klondike Valley garbage dump relocation is for $80,000; Golden Horn garbage dump relocation is for $80,000; Carcross garbage dump and sewage pit relocation, $80,000; Garbage dump relocation in Beaver Creek; $95,000 - that is another iffy one -; Garbage dump relocation in Pelly Crossing; $25,000; and municipal garbage dump improvements is $20,000 to address minor capital work on all of the garbage dumps around the territory.
Mr. Lang: I recall being on the other side of the House and seeing requests for $25,000 or $30,000, and that would make my heart stop. Here the Minister is almost killing me with $80,000. That is a lot of money for a garbage dump. Would that be good for 20 years? If we spend $95,000 at Beaver Creek, that means that in Whitehorse, we should be spending about $10 million if we prorate it by individual and by use. Maybe some real thought could be given to those projects to see if we can accomplish what the Minister wants to accomplish. Maybe we could do that with less dollars.
Mr. Phelps: I would like to get my two bits worth in here too. Firstly, there is a very real concern about the garbage dump at Tagish Beach because of the potential fire hazard. Hopefully, the department will have a good look at that. I did write the Minister on numerous occasions about a fire break at Tagish, and I hope that it will be considered with the LEOP grant process. The Taku Subdivision area is located in an area that was burnt many many years ago, and it is overdue to burn again. There is a forest fire waiting to happen.
The very upsetting thing about the garbage dump relocation is that there was a site picked out several years ago. It was an ideal site, an old gravel pit on the road to Skagway. Now, under the new land claims regime, that, along with everything else, has been frozen.
The site has been unjustifiably lost in my opinion. I do not know what they are going to do about relocation; one of the sites they have since talked about is not suitable, because it is a gravel pit on the Tagish Road a few miles out of town and would drain right into Chootla Creek. I would hope officials would go back to the Land Claims Secretariat and find out why in the hell we cannot have the original site for a community garbage dump. I think it is a shame that has been lost.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The suggestions the Member makes will be followed through. With respect to general costs of garbage dumps, especially when septic disposals are in place, they do tend to rise in cost. One thing that has been more and more the case is that people do not want garbage dumps near their homes, and they do not want them near the highway either, so there are access roads to consider as well.
In the Beaver Creek case, we have to determine where the dump can be placed that is accessible to the community. I would presume out of sight, out of mind would be one consideration. That is one reason I know will be associated with the cost of relocation. I have some familiarity with the question the Member has expressed. The department will certainly attempt to find a location for the Tagish and Carcross garbage dumps that will not cause bother either during burning or for tourists. Every attempt will be made to put them out of sight but within access to the community itself.
The considerations the Member has given plus the ones I mentioned will be given to the department in choosing a location for the garbage dumps.
I have been informed that assent for various Bills is in order and, therefore, I would move that you report progress on Bill No. 5 and wish Mr. Brewster a Merry Christmas.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes Chair
Speaker: I now call the House to order. May the House have the report from the Chairman of Committee of the Whole.
Mr. Webster: Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 5, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89, and directed me to report progress on same.
Speaker: You have heard the report from the Chairman of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried. I wish to inform the Assembly we will now receive the Commissioner to grant assent to Bills that have passed this House.
Commissioner enters the House
Speaker: Mr. Commissioner, the Assembly at its present session has a number of Bills to which in the name and on behalf of the Assembly I respectively request your assent.
Clerk: Sixth Appropriation Act, 1986-87; Third Appropriation Act, 1987-88; Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 1987; Societies Act; An Act to Amend the Legal Profession Act.
Commissioner: Thank you. I hereby assent to the Bills as enumerated by the Clerk and through you, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to wish you and every Member of the Assembly and their families a joyous and peaceful holiday season. Thank you.
Sergeant-at-Arms: All rise.
Commissioner leaves the House
Speaker resumes the Chair
Special adjournment motion
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. May I have your further pleasure?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House at its rising do stand adjourned until Monday, January 4, 1988.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House at its rising do stand adjourned until Monday, January 4, 1988.
Motion agreed to
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 Monday, January 4, 1988.
The House adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
The following Sessional Paper was tabled December 17, 1987:
Job Evaluation Manual (Penikett)