Thursday, January 7, 1988 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will proceed at this time 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 two documents for tabling.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have for tabling the Annual Report from Health and Human Resources, and MLAs have each received a copy.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have for tabling a report on the Institution of the Ombudsperson.
Speaker: Are there any further documents for tabling?
Are there any Reports of Committees?
Are there any Petitions?
Introduction of Bills?
Are there any Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Are there any Notices of Motion?
Are there any Statements by Ministers?
Consultation Panel on Child Care
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I would like to take this opportunity to inform the House that the Consultation Panel on the Future Direction of Child Care in the Yukon has been appointed. Ms. Joyce M. Hayden has been appointed chairperson and Ms. Mary Kane and Mr. Mike Nelson have been appointed members.
Ms. Hayden, a long resident of the Yukon, is currently a board member of the Yukons Status of Women Council. She brings to the appointment a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of social services. In her professional career, Ms. Hayden has been involved in a broad spectrum of social planning agencies and committees dealing with child care, spousal abuse, social assistance, rehabilitation services and juvenile justice, to name but a few. She was one of the original senior employees of the Whitehorse YWCA. Her skills in group facilitation and communication will be invaluable in her role as chairperson.
Ms. Mary Kane has been a resident of the Yukon since 1978 and has worked as a family and juvenile court worker for approximately four years. Her experiences in this area sparked her interest in the care of children. As a mother, Ms. Kane sees child care as a major social issue to be addressed in the Yukon as it affects both the economic and social aspects of the family. Ms. Kane has been an active member of the Whitehorse Diversion Committee and has served on the board of directors of the Yukon Public Legal Education Association. She was also involved in the implementation of the Champagne-Aishihik Child Welfare Pilot Project which transferred the responsibility for child welfare from the Government of Yukon to the Champagne-Aishihik Band.
Mike Nelson is a long-time resident of the Yukon and has been involved in various aspects of Yukon society. His post secondary education was in the field of fine arts and he used this expertise in working with a variety of arts, cultural and recreational organizations over the years. In 1980 and 1986, Mike was a prime organizer for the Arctic Winter Games. He has also been a successful businessman and operated both Northern Outdoors and Books on Main. Mike established the first child care facility at the Lutheran Church in Whitehorse 14 years ago. This venture developed his continuing interest in child care and today he feels some positive decisions regarding the future of the program are required.
The green paper will be released to the public next month. The panel will consult with individuals and interested groups in their own communities once the public has had an opportunity to study and review the green paper. The publics input will be sought on a series of issues raised in the green paper. The views and opinions obtained through this consultation process will be recorded and presented in summary to the government. This information will assist the government in its determination of a broad Yukon child care policy to guide the development of a system of child care services and support for parents and their children in years to come.
The panel will announce a schedule of meeting dates and locations in early February. At the same time, procedures for the public consultation will also be outlined.
Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period
Question re: Value added policy
Mr. Phelps: I have some questions for the Minister of Government Services about the value added policy for contract tendering, which has been unveiled before our very eyes in the past little while.
The Yukon Contractors Association has come out against this policy and gave their reasons in a letter to the Minister dated January 4, 1988. I am wondering whether or not the Minister has met with the Contractors Association to discuss this letter and their concerns?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. I was surprised by the letter, particularly by the timing of the letter. That consultation had occurred regularly and repeatedly over the last months, and I am sure that we will discuss the issue in the future. We have regular monthly meetings that I attend. I have not specifically asked for a special meeting as a result of that letter.
Mr. Phelps: I am rather surprised by that, because the letter, in my opinion, contains a number of well-reasoned arguments that set forth their concerns about this new policy. They are concerned about many things and least of all the prospect of government intrusion into the business of entrepreneurs. Will the Minister not meet with the Yukon Contractors Association forthwith to discuss these important concerns?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will not meet with them forthwith, but we certainly will meet and discuss these concerns. We meet monthly - regularly. I do attend these meetings, and we talk about all of the problems and disagreements that occur from time to time. There certainly will be discussions. There were in the past, and those discussions will continue, I am absolutely sure.
Mr. Phelps: This is an unusually important issue. It is a new policy. The main industry connected with it is concerned about it. When will the Minister meet with the Contractors Association?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not know the precise date of the next meeting, so I cannot say with precision. I believe it will be in the month of January.
Question re: Value added policy
Mr. Phelps: When it comes to contract tendering, fairness and the perception of fairness are really all important. It is like justice. The appearance and perception of fairness in dealing with bids is extremely important. This new policy seems not only impractical but, in the words of the Yukon Contractors Association, they say the proposed policy would result in the principle of lowest tender being bypassed, and the perception of a fair tendering process would be subject to considerable interpretation.
Now that the Minister has read the letter, does he share the concerns set out on that score?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is a fairly simple question, but it involves a complex answer. I was very surprised at the letter, as I said earlier. The letter contains a very radical departure from the position of the Contractors Association taken earlier. If you read the words literally, which I believe was intended, it speaks against any preference for local contractors, not believe was intended.
The contractors are speaking from a point of view. Their point of view is obviously to maximize their profits. We have no argument with that, per se, but there is a larger public interest to do several other things - one of them being to get the most cost effective contracts for the benefit of the tax payers, and another to encourage new construction firms and manufacturers and suppliers to establish a permanent operation in the Yukon.
So, I sympathize with the concerns in the letter, but there are larger concerns that are also important.
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please conclude his answer?
Mr. Phelps: With the greatest of respect, the Minister did not deal with the question I asked at all. He went on about this being a sudden change, I take it, in the attitude of the contractors of the Yukon towards this new airy fairy policy that the Minister has brought forward. One year ago in February, I am told...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary.
Mr. Phelps: In February of 1987, several concerns were expressed. Would the Minister please answer the question that was: does he have concerns about the one point in the letter that I asked him about in the last question, that the perception of a fair tendering process would be subject to considerable interpretation?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. That perception is being promoted, especially by the Member for Porter Creek East, but in fact this policy is a clear published government policy which establishes clear rules. The allegation about perceptions - and the word corruption was used yesterday, most irresponsibly - are irresponsible.
Mr. Phelps: I want to know the Ministers reaction with regard to this reasonable argument. It said the proposed policy would greatly increase the cost of tendering projects, which in turn would be passed onto the taxpayer. Does the Minister have any concerns about the cost that is going to be passed on to the taxpayer of the Yukon?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, I do have concerns about that, but they are greatly exaggerated in that letter. The expense of contract administration should always be kept to an efficient minimum, and I am concerned about that issue.
Question re: Value added policy
Mr. Phelps: I have here a copy of a letter that was sent to the same Minister from the Yukon Contractors Association last year and it starts out, Dear Sir: At a general meeting held February 23, 1987, our members unanimously voted to reject the value added policy as proposed by you at our last meeting. This position was taken based on..., and they reiterate a number of points that are similar to the ones in this letter. Was the Minister unaware of this letter when he responded earlier and said there was a radical change in the attitude of the Association?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, I was not unaware of that earlier letter. I believe it is a letter to me, in fact. We discussed that letter at the meetings of the Contractors Association and subsequently the proposal was changed and discussions occurred about the specifics of the proposals.
Question re: White Pass Railway
Mr. McLachlan: I have a question with respect to the purchase and negotiations surrounding the purchase of the White Pass and Yukon railway. Some weeks ago my party and I made a press release wherein we proposed that the government look at the purchase of real assets - the waterfront land in Carcross and Whitehorse. I was please to see some weeks later that the government had considered this and made this as part of an offer to the Alaska-Yukon rail company.
Could the Government Leader tell me if there has been any contact with this government by the second group, Mr. Primi and his company, Fantasy Railroads of New York.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As is customary in the House, let me just briefly respond to the preamble before I respond to the question. I was naturally pleased that the Member opposite, in his press release, took a position similar to the one that we had already taken in our discussions with the company. I was very please to also hear his supportive remarks in that respect.
In connection with Mr. Primis group, I know nothing more about his continuing interest in the project other than what was stated in the Whitehorse Star. When he first made his proposal, I met with him personally and arranged for him to have meetings with officials of our government. That was to make him aware of existing or established programs that were available to entrepreneurs and investors interested in tourism developments. At that point the Yukon Development Corporation, for example, was not interested in the question of the railroad and did not become so until Mr. Hougens group began to organize a representative group of northerners to take over the railroad.
The answer to the question is that I have not met with him recently. If Mr. Primi is pursuing his project we would meet with him, but we also have every hope or every expectation that the local group headed by Mr. Hougen is not out of the picture yet, and they will come up with another proposal so the negotiations with White Pass will continue in some form.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the same offer of involvement of this government, vis a vis the land between Whitehorse and Carcross, still available to the second group of people, should they inquire?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: First, the Member should understand that it was not a formal offer. We have indicated that on that kind of basis, we were willing to participate. The kind of arrangements were not, as I indicated to the Leader of the Official Opposition before Christmas, by themselves sufficient enough to close the gap between White Pass asking price and what Mr. Hougens group had established was a commercial price for the railroad operation.
Yes. We are still willing to make that offer the basis of the discussion, but by itself, I know that it will not be sufficient to see the deal closed.
Mr. McLachlan: One of the potential buyers of the assets has, as its main objective, the selling of the rails, the timbers, and equipment for its scrap value. That has to be the least palatable to anybody in the Yukon for an offer of purchase. I am wondering if the Government Leader has made any representation to Winnipeg, to the Federal Industries Office, to hold the doors open, consider all possible options, or stress that that certainly is not the one that we would consider as Yukoners very attractive.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Let me make it clear: that is obviously the least attractive offer and I believe White Pass has indicated the same when they made a public statement recently that one of their considerations was the possibility of their company running the railroad itself. I believe the view has been expressed in this House before, that the White Pass is probably a more attractive proposition as a tourist attraction than it is as a mode of transportation, and I think I would share that view. I think the view has been expressed in the House most recently by the Leader of the Opposition that we would prefer an arrangement about the train to Whitehorse, or at least Carcross, than one that simply just took it to the Summit. That is a view which I am sure is also shared by both sides of this House.
That basic perspective is one that we would bring to any discussions on this question. But I must also say that there is, I think, at least one element of Mr. Primis proposal - that of developing a permanent kind of resort on the Canadian side of the border. There are people in this area who see this as a very intelligent and very promising proposal.
Question re: Old Yukon College
Mr. Phillips: I would like to ask a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, because I am very concerned about the move of various departments to the old Yukon College and its effect on traffic congestion in and out of Riverdale and to the hospital. The City of Whitehorse, in its five year capital plan, is looking at widening the bridge in the 1990 construction year. This means an extra lane on the bridge would not be complete until almost a year and a half after the government moves its 300 employees into the old Yukon College.
What is the government going to do to assist the City of Whitehorse to alleviate this potential problem?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I have indicated publicly, the Department of Community and Transportation Services, in coordination with other relevant departments, will be meeting and striking a joint committee with the City of Whitehorse to review the traffic flows in and around the old college site. The area to be reviewed includes the congestion points at the turn-off to the existing Yukon College site, as well as the turn-off from the road crossing the bridge to the South Access road. Both of those two congestion areas will be reviewed jointly by the city and traffic engineers to determine what remedial action would be desirable.
Mr. Phillips: I understand there has to be some kind of study ongoing, but I do not think you will get an argument from anyone in Riverdale that there already is a problem there. Anyone trying to get in and out of Riverdale - emergency vehicles or fire vehicles - at certain rush hour times now, there is a problem. By moving 300 or more employees over to Yukon College, the problem will be compounded. I am asking the Government Minister if he will move now and sit down with city officials to discuss the cost sharing of the additional lane on the bridge into Riverdale?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The government has already indicated that it will be sitting down with the City to review the transportation network in that area. The City has agreed that it should be done.
With respect to the additional lane, it is already being incorporated by the City of Whitehorse as part of their plan. It is a traditional municipal expenditure. The City has recognized that and that is why they have it in their Capital Budget. The move would essentially remove the existing sidewalks that are on the body of the bridge and they would be hung to the side of the bridge. The strength of the bridge would support the additional lane. That is the plan the City has and I am careful, at this point, not to predict what the traffic engineers are going to recommend for future developments or future cost sharing recommendations.
Mr. Phillips: Is the Minister telling the people of the Yukon - and this is the government that is moving 300 employees into Yukon College and next year, no doubt the traffic problem coming in and out of Riverdale will be absolutely intolerable - that he is not prepared to cost share with the City, and not prepared to sit down now? Will he wait until 1990 when the City is ready to move? Would he not take the initiative and move now, so that when the employees are over there we will not have some type of emergency problem and not be able to get emergency vehicles in and out of Riverdale?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member has not been listening. I have already indicated that the government has already taken the initiative to strike a committee and talk about traffic flows in the area.
In response to a question that was put before the House by the Member for Riverdale South, I indicated that preliminary work had already been done last year with respect to the point of traffic at the South Access Road as it meets the road crossing the bridge. I have already indicated that those were initiatives taken by the government. In the case of the South Access, largely because that is a road owned by the government. The reason why we are getting involved in a transportation study at all in this area is because of government activity in the area, and we feel it is our obligation to get involved.
With respect to cost sharing arrangements, those are to be negotiated at a later date, depending on the details of the arrangement. It is essentially the same thing that we agreed to do - up front - at the new Yukon College site and the manner and method by which we are addressing the concern is going to be similar.
Question re: Old Yukon College
Mr. Phillips: I am still unclear. Is the Minister telling us today that the Government of Yukon is accepting some of the responsibility for the traffic problems that will be created over there, and yes, they will be cost sharing the new lane on the bridge or the new access that has to be created in and out of Riverdale - they will be cost sharing that with the City of Whitehorse?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is a matter open for negotiations. The point of the matter is that we have to determine what incremental increase, or effect, the government offices will have on traffic flows in the area. If we can determine that government has increased the traffic flows, and there is remedial action required in order to improve the transportation infrastructure, then we will negotiate a cost sharing arrangement. That is the point of the matter.
Mr. Phillips: I am astounded. Is the Minister telling this House that 300 employees who are going to work at the old college are not going to affect the traffic flow in and out of Riverdale, and that his government has no responsibility whatsoever to assist the City of Whitehorse in providing reasonable and safe access to and from the hospital and Riverdale?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am talking about the incremental increase to the traffic flow, as a result of the use of the building by government employees, beyond what is currently existing at the college - which would be about 500 students going to the college currently, including teachers. We have to determine what effect this will have on traffic flows. Once we allow the traffic engineers to objectively determine what the traffic flows will be, we will then discuss what the cost sharing arrangements are.
It was because the government was interested and concerned about the possible effect that we long ago initiated the idea of the joint planning committee with the City of Whitehorse.
Question re: Garage stove regulations
Mr. Brewster: I am very pleased to see the press release that came out. The only comment I would make on that is that perhaps, if we had listened to the motion in the first place, we would have saved a lot of time yesterday.
This looks like a blue ribbon committee. Who will be representing the Yukon rural people on this committee?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: We will make a good effort to try to include people from rural Yukon on the committee. We want to have the committee report to the government in short order. We are looking at a cross-section, and certainly the committee will attempt, in every way possible, to seek the views of rural people.
Mr. Brewster: I did not ask whether they would seek the views of the rural people. Ninety people from Dawson signed the petition, 40 from Mayo signed the petition, and there are other petitions coming from other places in rural Yukon. I think the Minister will have to agree that rural Yukon deserves a representative on that committee.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is the governments intention to encourage the people from rural Yukon to be involved in this process. When the committee is struck, I will let the Member know who is representing people from rural Yukon. Without any shadow of a doubt, the views of the rural Yukon people will be expressed to this committee, one way or another.
Mr. Brewster: It states very plainly in the news release who is included on the committee. There is no rural Yukon representative, so I presume the answer is no. Will the new regulations be put in abeyance until this committee has brought in their report and recommendations?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: If the Member would like to read the press release closely, it says the people who will be on the committee will include the people mentioned in the press release - include those people. It does not necessarily mean that there will not be other people on the committee. The views of rural people were a primary reason for the governments intention to make a move with respect to this matter in the first place, months ago.
The reason why there is every desire to move as quickly as possible is that, recognizing that this regulation is currently in effect and is for new construction, we wanted to be sure that the change is made as expeditiously as possible.
Question re: Lottery licensing act
Mrs. Firth: So far now we have had three different figures presented as to what the administrative costs are for this service under the lottery licencing act. In April, 1987, the Minister of Justice said that the costs were estimated at $18,000. On Tuesday, on the radio, the official from the Ministers department said that the cost was $23,000. Yesterday, the Minister said in the Whitehorse Star that the cost would be $12,500. Can the Minister tell us what the real costs are for the administration of this service?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It depends on what is measured: the costs of the board, or the costs of the civil servants who support the activities of the board or other costs. For example, last year, there was a large cost for the bingos in Dawson City because of an investigation. The anticipated expense, which would include the expenses of the board and the boards support including the salaries of the civil servants, is a total of approximately $16,000 a year. That is a new figure. The real answer is, after a year of operation, we will know with certainty.
Mrs. Firth: The real answer is that the officials do not know what the costs are. The Minister does not know what the costs are. Nobody knows what the costs are, but the people purchasing these licences are paying the costs, whatever they are. That is what the real issue is.
The Minister referred, in the article in the Whitehorse Star yesterday, to some hidden costs. Could the Minister tell us what those hidden costs are?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: They are the salaries of civil servants and the like. The original projection, that I gave in the House I believe, was $12,500 for the costs of the administration of the Act. There were hidden costs for the board, which were $4,000 that I had also identified some time ago. The best projection that the civil service gives me of the total costs, including the hidden costs, is about $16,000 a year.
Mrs. Firth: All along, the Minister has maintained that these costs are minimal. He said it on April 1, 1987, he said it in December. In April, he said the costs were going to be so minimal there may not even be any fee increase. Can the Minister tell us - if these costs are so minimal - what the reason is for this extremely high tax he has put on volunteers, if he is still maintaining that costs are minimal?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no tax at all. The facts of the matter are not as suggested by Members opposite and not as suggested by some reporters in the media - especially the electronic media. The vast majority of these bingos, casinos and raffles are very small raffles. There are many of them in a year. The percentage on the prize would affect, if it were in place last year, six lotteries. So the only major increase in fees would occur on six lotteries. I would expect that the value of the prizes would be readjusted in future if this scheme is to stay in place. However, it is under review. I may say that the approach identified in...
Speaker: Order, please. Could the Minister please conclude his answer?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I should say that the review is under way, and we are looking at a greater precision, specifically looking at the impact on those five or six large lotteries.
Question re: Lottery licensing act
Mrs. Firth: Speaking of the review process the Minister has just raised, could he tell us what that process is. How is it going to work and who is sitting on this review panel?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Deputy Minister and the Director and the Administrator and myself are going to sit down next week and determine that, with a view to a Cabinet submission which should occur very, very quickly - I would hope before April 1.
Mrs. Firth: Do I understand it from the Minister, then, that it is going to be a collection of officials sitting down? Are they not going to be consulting with these groups who are raising concerns that there is going to be no consultative process with the organizations?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, that is not a proper interpretation of what I said. I was asked how the procedure would occur. The procedure that will occur is not yet determined and we will determine exactly what we will do at a meeting next week.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister indicated that this review committee was going to sit down with the intention of taking a document to Cabinet. That does not include consultation. I interpret that as four people sitting down to formulate a Cabinet document and take it to Cabinet, and there would be no consultation. I would like a commitment from the Minister that there will be consultation and I would like to know when the review is going to be complete.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have spoken about a review. I made a commitment about the review. Exactly how it should occur I do not know yet, and I am not making a specific commitment about that. About the dates, I am not making a specific commitment, but the target date is no later than April 1. I hope it would be substantially in advance of April 1.
Question re: Garage stove regulations
Mr. Lang: I am a little confused here. In an answer from the Minister of Community and Transportation Services earlier to the question of the wood stove regulations and changes thereto - just to refresh the Ministers memory, he indicated to the House approximately ten minutes ago that changes had been contemplated for the last couple of months with respect to these regulations that have been imposed on the people of the territory. I want to refer to a CBC news report of December 15, 1987. It states the following, The Yukon government has already released its response to Phelps request. It will not change the regulations. Terry Sewell is a representative for the Department of Community Services. He says the Yukon is more lenient than other jurisdictions on this issue.
I ask the Minister why he would say that there were changes contemplated over the last couple of months when this policy statement was made in response to the concerns raised by the Leader of the Official Opposition?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I cannot vouch for the accuracy of news reports. I can say, though, that concerns have been expressed by a number of people over the course of the last few months - expressed directly to me, expressed to the government and to government Members, expressed to the Members of the Opposition, and expressed through Municipal Council. The government, given those concerns, was considering options thoroughly over the course of the last couple of months.
Some of the options were pursued at great length, and I elucidated on what those options were in the Legislature yesterday. In fact I gave a precis of all the options that we had considered to that point and tried to explain to Members opposite yesterday how the motion they presented yesterday would not meet their own aspirations with respect to this particular matter. I tried to be helpful in that regard.
The government indicated yesterday that it was prepared to review the wood stove regulations with respect to private residential garages. I indicated to the Leader of the Official Opposition - not on the floor, not on the record, but I certainly indicated to him - that we were prepared to review the regulations with respect to commercial garages as well. That is what the press release indicates today. We were concerned that the information that might be disseminated might not accurately reflect the tenor of the debate.
Answer re: Fuel pricing inquiry
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I wonder if I may respond orally to a question that has been unanswered from before Christmas. On December 17, I announced the formation of a board of inquiry into fuel pricing in the Yukon. I wish to announce today that Territorial Court Judge Heino Lilles has accepted our offer of appointment today to be a one person board of inquiry into this matter. Members may know that Judge Lilles was appointed to the court in July, 1987. Previously, he was on the Faculty of Law at Queens University where he taught, among other things, corporate law, tax law and commercial law. Judge Lilles also holds Masters Degrees in polymer chemistry from Queens University, as well as a Masters Degree in law from the London School of Economics.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Assembly be empowered to sit from 7:30 p.m. until such time as it is agreed to adjourn for the purpose of considering the bills before Committee of the Whole and to permit the House to consider motions for the third reading of bills.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: There is unanimous consent.
Motion agreed to
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: Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Bill No. 5 - First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 - continued
Department of Health and Human Resources - continued
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The Capital Budget for Health and Social Services programming has been designed to continue the work begun in 1987-88. We are proceeding with construction of the secure facility for young offenders in Whitehorse. This new facility is scheduled for completion in the fall of 1988.
I would like to inform Members that the government has successfully negotiated a capital contribution agreement with the federal government. This new agreement will provide $2.2 million towards the capital cost of this facility. In addition to funds already made available for implementation of the federal Young Offenders Act, the federal government will also cover approximately 50 percent of the ongoing operating costs of the facility through a cost share agreement with Juvenile Justice Services signed last year.
As part of the governments current strategy to promote accessible, affordable quality care for services throughout the Yukon, the Day Care Capital Development Program will be continued for a second year. This program will also be available to licensed family day homes.
Members have been advised of delays in federal plans to replace the Whitehorse General Hospital with a new facility. We have been working together with National Health and Welfare on this project in planning for an extended care facility as well, and in view of these uncertainties I am only requesting project vote authority of one dollar for the extended care facility at this time. Once federal intentions are clarified and my Cabinet colleagues and I have reviewed our options, I hope to be in a position to bring a supplementary forward to the House at an appropriate time in 1988-89.
In accordance with agreements with National Health and Welfare, provisions have been made for 70 percent cost sharing of eligible facility and equipment projects. I am pleased to advise Members who have not visited Pelly Crossing recently that construction of the Pelly Crossing Health Centre will be completed very soon.
These are the highlights. I will be pleased to address any questions Members have on the Capital Budget.
Mrs. Firth: I have a few questions regarding the overall performance of the Department of Health and Human Resources. There is some supplementary information that the Minister included in the last Budget but is not in this one. I am referring to information such as a breakdown of program activity of the specific areas such as Family and Childrens Services, day care assistance, renovations to seniors facilities, Placement and Support Services, and Alcohol and Drug Services. Health Services had a breakdown as well as Social Services and Juvenile Justice. Last year there was a further breakdown of those areas that is not in this years budget.
Can the Minister tell us why it was decided to leave that information out this time?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The information that I gave the Member previously was what we had that time. That is the same information that the Member is asking for now. I am not sure that we can provide that because I do not think that she is asking for the same thing. Is the Member looking for information on Macaulay Lodge.
Mrs. Firth: It was not the package of supplementary information. Why, in the information that is included in this book, did the department not include the same supplementary breakdown that they did last year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The question relates to the budgetary format. This question was earlier addressed when the Government Leader opened the debate on the budget. It was asked about by Members opposite, and explained by the Government Leader. I do not have a copy of the previous budget information, but we are contending that the information included in this budget is of a greater resource. It was a decision that is government wide and does not affect just one specific department only. It was made as the government as a whole to change the budget format. That is why the information that the Member seeks is not contained within the budget presented this year.
Mrs. Firth: I appreciate the Government House leader standing up to answer the question but it had been directed to the Minister of Health. I suppose I am to assume from that response that the Ministers really did not say what was going to be included in their budgets. It departs from the Operation and Maintenance format. It is consistent with the Operation and Maintenance format, the detail in last years budget, but it is not in this years budget and I thought that was what the intention was, that the detail would be consistent with the Operation and Maintenance Budget. I simply raise it again to prove a point that although the Government Leader has commented that there were more lines in this one than the other one, there really is not. I thought the information presented last year in the Capital Budget at least gave us a snippet more detail and I know the media and other people who have had copies of the Capital Budget feel the same way, and have expressed the same concern to me.
It is really very difficult for someone who is not familiar with budget details and presentations to understand what this means and as far as they are concerned it is just a bunch of figures and titles. If we can give any more information without making it a cumbersome document, it would be our recommendation that the government pursue that in the next Capital Budget.
Hon. Mr. Porter: As the Member is aware, the Management Board makes the decision for the entire presentation of the budget. There has been a change and we undertake to incorporate her recommendations and suggestions and look at the suggestions she has made when we revisit the structure of the budget in the future.
Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask the Minister a question about the Annual Report. In the Annual Report, when we are reading about health and hospital insurance services, the comments on page 11 regarding the insured population indicates that the increase is 10.3 percent from March 1986 to 1987 and goes from 25,697 to 28,332; that is insured population. That is quite an increase. That increase has developed over the time since the government abolished medicare premiums.
I would like to ask the Minister what process is in place to see that the Yukon taxpayer is not paying insurance services for non-resident Yukoners.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: As we have in the past, there have been certain criteria that we follow with respect to the length of residency of an individual in the Yukon and where they have come from. If they have lived in the Yukon and worked, I believe they are eligible after three months. We try to make sure that those individuals who do come to the Yukon can be covered for a short while from their previous jurisdiction and will be able to be included in a health care plan here in the Yukon after that.
I am not sure whether or not we have certain individuals who may be taking advantage of it or not. I cannot tell the Member that, but we pretty well follow the same criteria as we have in the past.
Mrs. Firth: It has been raised as a concern in the media by the Medical Association, and officials from the Ministers department have spoken about this particular issue and have revealed that there really is not a system for tracking individuals who may have left.
I will give you an example. I understand that some business people are even offering this as an incentive to come here. It is part of a package that you do not have to pay Medicare premiums. So, you get people coming up for seasonal work, they stay here for three or four months, they leave the Yukon, they have a local address that their mail goes to, and we continue to pay for their services.
In view of the remarkable increase, what is the department doing to see whether we do have people who are causing infractions, or who are not Yukon residents, and how they are monitoring this?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We have had that concern related to us previously by a number of individuals, including the Member for Dawson, because of the large influx of people coming in to work for mines. In most cases, we assume people are honest and that they will come from another place and are still under some kind of coverage for a period of three months, or whatever that jurisdiction allows them. After that period of time, they would register with our health department.
There is a procedure that is being followed with respect to that. The only thing I can offer the Member at this time is to come back with that information. I would hopefully be able to bring it back to you before the end of this day.
Mrs. Firth: I think it is very dangerous for the Minister to stand up and say that they are making assumptions that people are honest. We all like to feel that people are honest and their intentions are good, but we are talking about a huge budget. We are talking about a budget that was over spent and chastised and criticized by the auditor general because they were over spent by in excess of $1 million.
In the annual report you see an increase of 10.3 percent of the registered insured population. The Minister had better get some system in place to monitor this. Do I gather from her comments that it is not being monitored, that there is no system in place other than their assumptions that people are honest?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I did not say exactly that. I said in most cases we would assume that if a person moved to the Yukon, he was an honest person and would give us the right information about previous coverage somewhere else. We do have a system, as in anything else you do, where you have to follow a certain way of doing things. In the case of checking up on individuals who may be covered when they should not be. I would hope that is not happening, but if it is, as I mentioned before, there is a procedure in our department. I had said previously that I would be able to bring that information back to the Member and would be able to be more specific in answering her.
Mrs. Firth: I will be looking forward to getting that information because I believe there is no monitoring system in place. My recommendation to the Minister would be to immediately have her officials examine establishing a system to monitor this very accurately.
I would like to ask the Minister if this also applies to the Chronic Disease List and the Disability Program? Have there been any observations made in that area, and what is in place to see that abuses are not taking place there?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The person who does need those services and is eligible has to be registered. They are normally registered, as the Member knows, on the advice of a doctor. I am not sure whether or not she is asking me about anything other than that, whether it is being abused in some way, but it still works the same as it did when it first started. The person has to be recommended for that list by the doctor.
Mrs. Firth: I am speaking in the same context as I am about the health care registrations. What system is in place to see that these individuals are still here and they are not living somewhere else. This is another program within the Ministers department that has been expanded considerably and is going to contribute to costs that the Auditor General is going to be looking at. I again make representation that if there is not a system in place - and I question whether there is - that we better get one in place because this department is spending more and more money every day. I want to make sure they are doing what is in the best interest of the Yukon taxpayer, as well as for the people who are the recipients of these programs.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We, in the department, are always doing what is in the best interests of the individuals that we serve. In a lot of cases, some of our expenditures are a little bit more because we deal with sick people and we deal with all sorts of other things that other departments do not deal with. The policy that we have in place in dealing with possible abusers would be done the same way because it comes under Health. It would be done the same way as the recipients of Health would be looked at.
Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask the Minister about her Day Care Capital Assistance Program. Can the Minister tell me what the criteria is for the program?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The start-up grant will contribute to building, construction, acquisition or renovations to meet standards, major play equipment and furnishing of childrens toilets and high chairs, and grounds development for a centre or family day home which can be licensed. The capital enhancement grant will contribute to facility renovations and upgrading major play equipment and furnishings for children, grounds improvements for already licensed day care centres and equipment, and assistance for licensed family day homes. Those individuals who are eligible for that capital assistance are non-profit organizations, bands or municipalities, and private enterprises. Applicants, on behalf of existing day care centres or family day homes, must operate licensed facilities, and applicants for start-up grants must be intending to establish licensed services.
Mrs. Firth: Perhaps I did not express myself clearly enough. I had asked for the criteria, but the Minister talked about being licensed. I am more interested in the terms and conditions. In the last budget debate, I asked the Minister what the terms and conditions were and the criteria, and she was unable to give that to me at that time because she said they were putting them together. I would like to know what the terms and conditions are when it comes to applying for this capital assistance.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I would be pleased to let her have a copy of that right now. Let me get back in a couple of minutes.
Mrs. Firth: I gather the official has run off to get the terms and conditions.
Can the Minister tell me what happens if a day care has become eligible and received a substantial amount of money - is there any condition that they have to operate for so long after they have received the grant? Say a day care were to close down, would they have to pay the money back? Is that a term or condition?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: There are conditions attached to each agreement that is signed by the government and those day care centres or family day homes. The terms and conditions will be included in the information that will be brought back.
Mrs. Firth: Is the Minister telling me she does not know whether that is a condition of the grant? Surely she should be able to tell me that if a day care gets $50,000, operates for six weeks after they got the money and then all of a sudden decides to shut down - do they have to give that money back, or part of it? Can she not answer that?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I see I am going to be asked all kinds of specific things, and I will have to be very specific with my answers.
There are terms and conditions attached to each agreement. In some cases, some of the money has to be returned. In other cases, the equipment has to be returned or given to others. Each and every agreement is a little different, because sometimes there is a small amount of work done, and at other times, there is a large amount of work done. It is very seldom that an operator will work for five days after receiving $50,000 to do work on a family day home.
There are certain conditions, and they are included in this document here, which is quite lengthy.
Mrs. Firth: Unless I missed it, I did not see it in the Annual Report. From what the Minister has just told me, I gather that each agreement is drawn up on an individual basis.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The Annual Report that the Member is using is a 1986-87 report. These Day Care Capital Development Program guidelines explain day care centres: what they are, who they are, how they get money and what they do if they decide to close. I will have that information sent to the Member.
Mrs. Firth: I have one if the Minister could just tell me on what page it is on. All I see is day care on page nine. It just talks about how it has continued to promote quality day care, how the department hosted the Annual Federal-Provincial Meeting. I do not see any criteria or terms and conditions of agreements in it. Perhaps I can get an answer to the question I asked: is each agreement negotiated on an individual basis?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Yes, she can.
Mrs. Firth: It would have been nice to have received a copy of this. I asked the Minister to send it to me when it was completed, and she gave me a commitment to do so. I have never received this document from the Ministers department. I will have to review it very closely. It is called Day Care Capital Development Program Guidelines, 1987. My colleagues are shaking their heads and saying that none of them have seen it either.
I would like to make a point that when Ministers stand up in this House and say that they will send documents to Members forthwith, and that they will be forthright and as cooperative as they can - we have to keep following up and keep writing and asking them for documents. I have had communication with the Minister asking for follow-up after past sessions, but I did not receive the documentation.
Could the Minister answer the question with respect to the programming and the agreements now that her official is back? Should someone decide that their day care is going to close down and they have received an amount of money - for example, in the list of day care development grants that were given out as of November 12, 1987, there was one for $50,000 to a day care centre, and also one to a private day care centre for $40,000 - would they have to return the money?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have previously indicated that each agreement was different. In some cases, we would ask them to offer that space to some other individual who may be interested in following through on the same kind of a plan. In other cases, if we find that the work has not been completely done, we would ask for a return of some of the money. In one case, as was done already, an application was approved and, at the last minute, the operator decided not to go ahead with it. All that money was either returned or may not have been given to her.
In each case it is different, because there are different kinds of family day homes and day care centres, and different amounts of money are given to each and every one of them. We would look at the best option but, in most cases, if it is a very well established day care centre, then we would encourage those individuals to either lease it or sell it to someone else. Most operators know that that option is open to them.
Mrs. Firth: In the event of private ownership, - for example, within someones residence - what would happen under those circumstances?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Most of the day care centres and family day homes are in residences already. There are not an awful lot that are in other places. Mickey Mouse is and the one down by Third Avenue.
Mrs. Firth: I did not get an answer to the question. What happens under those circumstances? Do they have to return the money, or a portion of the money?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have mentioned before that, when the day care centre operators decide that they may not want to operate it any more, they have been encouraged by the department to offer that service to somebody else to offer those facilities.
In the case of a person who just does not want to operate a day care centre anymore, and wanted to close the whole thing down, we would require that they return any funding that was given to them through the grant system to enhance or upgrade their day care centre.
Mrs. Firth: I have quickly gone through the document that the Minister presented today, and I do not see anything in here that tells us what happens if someone leaves the territory, or if the recipient of the grant, for some reason, does not continue to operate as a day care. I guess the way to get an answer to my question would be to ask for some of the agreements so that I can see what kind of agreements the government is drawing up with these people for these sums of money. I do not see that as being confidential information, and if it is I am quite prepared to accept the forms. They can black out the names or whatever they want to do. I want to get some idea of how this program is being monitored. The Minister is asking for another $300,000 for this program for this next year. Perhaps, after she answers the first question, she can tell me how much of that money was actually spent last year.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The Member is asking me for the amount of money that we have spent on this capital project. I am sorry I did not get the full question.
Mrs. Firth: The last part of it.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The last part of it. We still have some money left in our budget for this $300,000 Capital for day care. I do not know what the exact amount is that we have left that we can grant to individuals who want to buy toys or enhance their day care centres.
Mrs. Firth: I was simply asking how much of the $300,000 was spent last year.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: This has only been in existence since April of the last fiscal year. We will not have a total until the end the year, unless she wants to know how much money we spent between April and now. I could get that information.
Mrs. Firth: I am trying to find out how the department justified the need for having to ask for $300,000 again. How did they know that that was not too much. It was an experiment last year, a new program, and they asked for a set amount. How did they know to come back and ask for the same amount? Why did they not ask for $250,000 or $350,000, why $300,000?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We had a very good idea from all sorts of individuals or groups out there that there was a great need for day care spaces in the Yukon. We had been lobbied by a number of communities; we had been lobbied by a number of day care advocates; we talked to a number of individuals who were telling us that there was a great need for day care for individuals who were going to school. The need was known to us and had been for a number of years. I do not think that the figure of $300,000 was a figure that was taken out of the air. A lot of preparation went into trying to find out how much money it would cost to do a certain project. Based on the amount of children who did require day care spaces, we were able to come up with a figure of $300,000. There was also the fact that you are only allowed so much money. If we felt that we needed more at that point in time we probably would not have been able to get it because there just was not that much money to go around.
The $300,000 will be spent before the end of the fiscal year. People are still asking for this. Despite the fact that one operator did apply and was granted money and then did not open, that money was returned. There were other places that did require that kind of money so they could proceed to operate a day care centre and open up new spaces for the Yukon.
Mrs. Firth: I would like, from the Ministers Department, an update of the money that has been distributed. The last one I have is November 12, 1987, at which time there was approximately $200,000 spent or designated to be spent. I would like to get a full accounting of the Day Care Capital Development Grant Program. It is unfortunate that I cannot have that information for the budget debate. However, we will move along.
The Minister did not answer my question about getting a copy of the agreements that have been entered into so I can get some idea of what the terms and conditions are in the agreements, because the guideline book does not provide me with that detail.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have no problem giving her an up to date list of the money we have spent under our Capital Budget for day care. I am not sure whether or not those contracts we have signed with individuals. I would have to take advice on that. I do not know whether I can give them to the Opposition the same as I would if somebody asked me for a contract between a foster group home and somebody else. I am only saying that because I just cannot make that commitment. I will take it under advisement.
Mrs. Firth: I do not see why not. It is taxpayers money that has been spent and it is like any other agreement within other department areas. I am quite prepared to take blank agreements if the Minister wants to take the names of the individuals off. I already have the names of the day cares that have entered into agreements, and the amounts of money they have received. All I am trying to get is a handle on the terms and conditions. They are not explained in this book and the Minister does not seem able to tell me them. I think it is incumbent on the Minister to reassure the taxpayers that this money that is being given in the form of grants is being managed in a responsible way, so that in the event a day care closes down monies do come back or are reallotted and the taxpayer is being protected with these programs.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: If there is no problem, she will get her copies.
Mrs. Firth: Under the approval process, I gather then that each applicant is handled on an individual basis. What is the approval process? Does the review board sit and review the applications? Who is on that review board?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I believe she has that information on the document she was given.
Mrs. Firth: Can the Minister not tell me? Does she not know who is on the review board?
Hon. Mrs. Joe:The names of those individuals are: the Day Care Coordinator, Debbie Mauch; the Placement and Support Supervisor, Maxine Kehoe; and the person representing the Child Care Association, whose name I cannot remember right now.
Mrs. Firth: From the names that the Minister has given me, it seems to be the same individuals who are on the Day Care Services Board. Is that correct?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The only person who is on the Day Care Services Board is Debbie Mauch, and she represents the department.
Mrs. Firth: Has the Minister changed the composition of the Day Care Services Board? There used to be up to at least five representatives on the board, and a couple of them were from the department. Some were from the department and some were from federal Health Services. Is the Minister saying that that has been changed?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: It has not been changed.
Mrs. Firth: To get it clear, the Day Care Services Board and the review panel are two separate boards?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: That is right.
Mrs. Firth: Could I get a commitment from the Minister, if I do not find it in this document? I would like to follow up on that.
What is in place to guarantee that if these contracts are being negotiated on an individual basis that each applicant is being treated fairly? Are there set standards outlined? Is it done on an ad hoc basis? How does the department ensure that each person has equal access and that their application is being reviewed on an equitable basis?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: It is unfortunate that I did not give the Member a copy of the document beforehand because all of those procedures and guidelines are outlined in that book.
Mrs. Firth: They are not, really. It simply gives some criteria, and it is rather vague. It talks about the forms, lists community groups, and so on. I would like to know what structure is in place. How does the review board assess and analysis the applications?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I apologize for the confusion over here. We are also trying to get a copy of the booklet prepared, as we gave the Member the last one handy. We had mentioned that there was information in there that she was asking, and she disputes that and says there was not - so we have to have ours to find out whether or not that is a fact. The book was put together by Health and Human Resources and we assume that everything that we said was in there, was in there.
Mrs. Firth: Sometimes it is a very dangerous assumption to make.
Until the official returns perhaps I can move on to something else and ask the Minister another question. I am just about finished with the questions regarding day care anyway.
The Minister mentions that she is going to be asking for a dollar line item for the extended care facility, and yet during the budget debates on December 9, 1987, I believe the Minister for Government Services mentioned the extended care facility and attached a figure to it. From the debates on page 250 in Hansard on December 9, we were asking about the projected increase in the Operation and Maintenance costs, and the Minister of Government Services said that in the Operation and Maintenance costs - that the biggest single item is a projection for the extended care facility, which is roughly $2 million. Now, does the Minister not have any idea what the capital costs of that extended care facility are going to be? Can she identify it in her budget, and if she does not, I would like to know how the Minister of Government Services can project that the Operation and Maintenance costs are going to be roughly $2 million. Perhaps the Minister could clarify that for us.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I think that we did have a figure that we gave to the Member at some previous time with regard to the kind of money it was going to cost. I must not have been listening when the Minister of Government Services came up with this figure, so I do not know if it would be the same as ours. I do not know.
Mrs. Firth: I am trying to be as patient as I can. I could really be nitpicky and I could be very critical of the Minister. I am trying to be generous and am trying to carry on an informed budget debate. I have the Minister saying to me that she cannot answer my questions, but it is in the information she has given me. I really am being patient and think that the Minister should recognize that.
My question is simply this, and I do not want to hear that she does not know, I want somebody to be able to answer it. The Minister of Government Services stood up in this House and gave us a projected cost Operation and Maintenance cost for the extended care facility of $2 million.
The Minister has put a line item in her Budget for $1.00 for an extended care facility. Something is missing. Why is there not a projection for the capital costs of the extended care facility if they already have an Operation and Maintenance projected cost?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We are all trying to be patient and understand each other. I think that is commendable for this Legislature. I like to answer the questions when I can and, if I cannot answer them, I would hope that I would not be considered a dodo because I did not have the answers at hand. I am trying to do the same kind of job as the Member across the House is.
She is asking me a question about something that we had a $1.00 item for - the extended health care facility - and wanted to know why the Minister of Government Services came out with an Operation and Maintenance cost. We have a projected cost of what it would have been if we were to go ahead with the extended care facility. Because of the problems that have occurred with respect to the hospital not being built, and no commitment from the federal government for a submission to go to the Treasury Board in order to make plans for a hospital, we have had to change our plans a bit.
We are identifying $1.00 to build an extended health care facility. As the Member knows, we have to keep that there in the form of $1.00, because it is our intention to do it sometime, but we cannot do it unless we have the money. If she is wondering why somebody has an Operation and Maintenance cost to run that, and asking me to explain why the Minister of Justice has it, I am not sure what kind of an answer I can give her.
We had an estimate of our own costs if it would have gone ahead, and had had the money to go ahead and do it, but we are not going to go ahead and build it because the federal government does not have the money.
Mrs. Firth: I am going to drop this issue, not because I have been given any information, but because I recognize I am not going to get any. I have raised a very clear inconsistency. I will put it on the Hansard record again so it can be referred to. On December 9, 1987, on page 250, when we were talking about projected Operation and Maintenance costs, which is something I believe you do after you have decided on a facility and the capital cost, the Minister of Government Services said that the biggest single item in the amount is a projection for the extended care facility, which is roughly $2 million.
That is on the record now. I am here to protect not only the recipients of these health programs but, also, to protect the taxpayer. I am going to do that, and am going to move on to another question in this cause.
Perhaps the official, now that he has a copy of the Day Care Capital Program, could draw my attention to the page listing the review panel?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Page three talks about the review board and its role; it goes on to say it is made up of the supervisor, the placement and support services representative, a representative recommended by the Child Care Association, who is not presently a day care operator or staff of a day care centre or a member of a day care centre board, and the regional services supervisor, south region, and the day care coordinator,Debbie Mauch, who works in my Department as secretary to the board and the project.
Page ten talks about the review and approval process and gives, I believe, the kind of information the Member was asking for.
Mrs. Firth: I looked at the review process; it is very vague so I will wait for the Minister to follow through with her commitment to see whether or not I can see some of the applications with the terms and conditions of contract attached. I also look forward to receiving the names of the three individuals on the review board, which is what I was looking for in the documentation.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have made that commitment.
Mr. Nordling: I have brought up my concern about the high rate of suicide in the Yukon several times in this session but have had no real response from the Minister. I would like a comment from the Minister at this time as to what direction she has given her Department and what steps her Department is taking to combat the high rate of suicide in Yukon, especially amongst our young people.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: There is no doubt that problem is on the uprise. Every person who knows someone who has lost their life by suicide has suffered from it. We all know there has to be something done. Every time that someone takes their own life, it is a very, very deep tragedy.
The communities that are involved with those situations, where people take their own lives, are all talking about how they are going to deal with it. Our workers in the field are in contact daily with those individuals, and there is no specific plan right now on how it is going to be done. There is a plan in place to try and deal with the situation as it is. This is not only regarding young poor Indian children. It involves older people, younger people, white children and Indian children.
We do not know what the problems are. We know, for a fact, that there have been many attempts of suicide in the Yukon. They are more than I can even imagine. I sat at a school committee one night where someone came out and talked about the number of attempted suicides among young people - teenagers. The number that they came up with shocked every single parent at that meeting.
There is a big job to be done. I am not an expert in suicide, but I am responsible for that part of the situation. The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Substance Abuse is working along those lines, as is everybody else dealing with alcohol, and all other problems - there are certain things that relate to alcohol - and my people do it. It is a big job.
I would like to remind the Member for Porter Creek West that we are certainly not ignoring it, and we are hoping that through the efforts of all of those people involved, we can help with that horrible process. There are a lot of people involved in trying to deal with the alcohol and drug situation because very often the two are combined. I would like to be able to come back to this House sometime very soon and outline a plan that we have. It is going to take a lot of work between religious groups - who are already trying to work with it - and all of the alcohol resources in the community. I have been in contact with many individuals who have said that there has to be something done.
In the meantime, a lot of communities are trying to deal with that kind of thing on their own. They are saying to us that they need tons of money for this. Other individuals are trying to do it in a different way. Every time that we look at some proposal to try to deal with that kind of a situation, that proposal costs a lot of money. There has to an answer to it, and the department, and other departments, are not sitting back and ignoring the situation. We are all concerned about it.
I cannot be specific on the kinds of things that are happening, but everybody is trying to deal with the situation at hand. It is a tragedy every time someone takes their own life.
Chairman: Any further general debate.
On Community and Family Services
On Placement and Support Replacement Equipment
Hon. Mrs. Joe: That $60,000 is the expenditure for 1988-89 and will follow the replacement schedule, as we talk about every year; guidelines established for the one-, two-, three-, four-, five- and six-year cycles, where you have to replace certain things after those cycles. They include bedroom mattresses, recreation equipment, beds, night tables, living room furniture, appliances, grounds maintenance, car seats and buckets, cribs, high chairs and other infant equipment. Those would take place in some of our group homes: the Liard Group Home, the Klondike Group Home, Lowe Street Group Home, Whitehorse Receiving Centre and the Watson Lake Group Home.
Placement and Support Replacement Equipment in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
On Day Care Capital Development
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The Capital Start Up Grant will contribute to buildings, construction, acquisition or renovation to meet standards. Major playgrounds and furnishings for children and grounds development for a centre or family day home which can be licensed. The Capital Enhancement Grant will contribute to facility renovation, upgrading major play equipment and furnishings for children, grounds improvement for already licensed day care centres, and equipment assistance for licensed family day homes.
Day Care Capital Development in the amount of $300,000 agreed to
On Group Home Renovations
Hon. Mrs. Joe: That is an ongoing thing. It is to resolve major problems with the heating and ventilation system and other maintenance problems with the Lowe Street Group Home. Identified by Government Services, estimating $5,000. Complete grounds improvement in three locations, estimating $5,000. Complete second stage of assessment of future facility requirements, estimated at $15,000.
Group Home Renovations in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
Total in the amount of $385,000 agreed to
On Social Services
Chairman: General debate?
Mrs. Firth: The Ministers department received some criticism in the Auditor Generals report. In their response, they indicated that something was going to be done. I am not looking for any great debate or comment but wanted it noted on the record, and I will be looking forward to following it up through other avenues that I have.
On Alcohol and Drug Services Replacement Equipment
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The expenditures will be used to meet replacement schedules on one, two, three, four or five year cycles for detox centres, assets include such items as mattresses for recovery unit, pre-treatment and institutional beds, desks, dressers, tables, light fixtures, arm chairs, chesterfields, household, kitchen and recreational items, and grounds maintenance equipment.
Alcohol and Drug Services Replacement Equipment in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
On Seniors Equipment Replacement
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The connection with seniors facilities purchases will be in accordance with one of the five year equipment and furniture replacement schedules and additional program requirements, including such items as beds and mattresses, chesterfields and tables and chairs, major appliances, kitchen equipment, bedroom and dining room furniture, recreational equipment, and grounds maintenance equipment.
Mr. McLachlan: With respect to seniors equipment, is there no money that must be expended in the Capital area under this program for seniors equipment in the new Budget year starting April 1 that will be related to the new facility being built? Where is all the money coming from for the seniors equipment in that building?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I believe the Member is talking about the new seniors complex. I do not have that in here. I would suspect that would be in the Yukon Housing Corporation Budget.
Chairman: Anything further on this line item?
Seniors Equipment Replacement in the amount of $87,000 agreed to
Social Services in the amount of $112,000 agreed to
On Health Services
Chairman: Is there general debate on Health Services?
On Northern Health Services
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The $1,016,000 includes the federal health expenditures for 1988-89, and they are projected to be $1,451,400, with Yukons share being $1,016,000 for the following projects: major and minor equipment replacement and acquisition for health facilities in the community health, environmental health, mental health, dental health and health education services administered by the Northern Health Service, including medical office, electronic data processing, equipment and furniture, vehicle replacement for transportation requirements in locations throughout Yukon, minor building renovations in health centres and health stations.
Northern Health Services in the amount of $1,016,000 agreed to
On Extended Health Care Facilities and Equipment
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The proposed facilities are currently in second year formal planning. Functional programming and block schematics were completed early in 1987 together with capital operating cost estimates. As of March 1987, the estimated capital cost for the extended care facility was $4.5 million. The annual operating cost based on shared facilities, site and service, with Whitehorse General Hospital is $1.9 million, including a projected 39.1 person years.
At this time, project vote authority in the form of one dollar is sought to permit project planning to proceed during 1988-89. At the present time, no further work can be confirmed pending a decision by the federal government on plans to replace the Whitehorse General Hospital. Once a federal decision is taken, the Cabinet will consider available options and a project supplementary may be presented to the Legislature at the appropriate time.
Extended Health Care Facilities and Equipment in the amount of One Dollar agreed to
On Communications Disorders Equipment Replacement
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The capital funding will allow the necessary acquisitions to keep the service current and maintain equipment in accordance with the one to five year replacement schedules, including, for example, the tape recorders, the audiology equipment, hand receivers and transcribers.
Communications Disorders Equipment Replacement in the amount of $16,000 agreed to
On Extended Health Benefits for Seniors
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The funds will be used in connection with Community Health Services to establish a loan bank including essential major medical equipment items such as hospital beds, specialized wheelchairs, walking aids and specialty aid pieces for seniors throughout the territory.
Extended Health Benefits for Seniors in the amount of $6,000 agreed to
On Chronic Disease Benefits
Hon. Mrs. Joe: In connection with the Chronic Disease Benefits Program, capital funds will be used for the replacement of essential major medical equipment items such as manually operated hospital beds, specialized wheelchairs, grab bars and support rails, respiratory equipment, patient lifters and other specialty aid pieces for residents suffering from chronic disease and serious functional disabilities in the Yukon.
Chronic Disease Benefits in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
Total of $1,042,000 agreed to
On Juvenile Justice
On Young Offenders Facility
Mr. Phillips: What is going to be the total cost of that facility when it is complete, and is it going to be complete this year?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We will know the total cost when the tenders come in.
Mr. Phillips: What is the estimated total cost of the facility? Is it going to be completed this year?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The total cost will be $2.5 million. We will have lapsed some funds for this year.
Mr. Phillips: Did the Minister say that the total cost is $2.5 million, that they will be spending, for this year?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: That is the estimated cost for the entire project.
Mr. Phillips: In the multi-year projects, we have a young offenders facility for $3.61 million. What is the other $1 million for?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We will probably be giving some of that money back because we did not spend it at all this year.
Mr. Phillips: What is the Minister estimating that the supplementary will be?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: It will probably be in the area of $1 million.
Mr. Nordling: I am a little confused. If we are expecting to spend the $2 million here and bring a supplementary forward for another $1 million, the total cost of the facility is going to be at least $3 million, not the $2.5 that the Minister has mentioned.
The 1987-88 Revised Estimates indicate that $1.6 million will be spent. The Minister said that some of that will lapse. How much of that is going to lapse? How much more will be spent in 1988-89 than is indicated in this Budget?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We will return $1.5 million this year.
Mr. Nordling: I have that clear. What will we spend in the 1988-89 budget year? I see that it is $2 million here, but the Minister said that $2 million is not accurate - that it will be more. What will be spent in 1988-89?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We expect that $2 million would be close to the mark, and that includes everything.
Mr. Nordling: If we have a lapse of $1.5 million, I assume that we have spent $100,000, and $2 million more in 1988-89 results in a total expenditure of $2.1 million. Is that the correct figure? I thought I heard the Minister say closer to $2.5 million.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: My apologies. Our figures keep changing. The return would be $1.2 million rather than $1.5 million. Are you now thoroughly confused?
Mr. Nordling: No, it is much clearer now.
Mr. Phillips: On November 28, 1986, the Minister announced a $1.6 million young offenders 12 bed closed custody facility. Why has it escalated so high in cost?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The figures that we had have changed since then. The previous statement I made was that there would be a total of $1.6 million that had been allocated for 1987-88, pending completion of detailed designs. At that time, new estimates of Capital costs can be determined. If changes are required, they will be brought to the Legislative Assembly for consideration in the form of Supplementary Estimates. I think the Member is trying to find out why those costs became so much higher than they were a year ago.
Mr. Phillips: Here we have a facility that was going to cost $1.6 million and, now, is costing $2.1 million; the cost has escalated in a year by over $500,000.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: It is definitely going to be a two year project, and I think that initial money did include the design as well.
Mr. Phillips: My colleague from Porter Creek West just corrected me in that it has not escalated from $1.6 million to $2.1 million. It has gone from $1.6 million to $2.5 million in building this facility. That is a large increase. Since this is one of the highest priorities of this Minister, why has it taken so long to finally get down to calling the tenders for this contract? Do they have any idea how much this two and a half year delay has cost the taxpayer?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The history of the money for the young offenders facility goes back a long, long way. There was an application for funding a long time ago that initially started under the previous government. That was continued on through this government. There was the problem of dealing with the Treasury Board because when the submission was put together by individuals from the Solicitor Generals department and our department, and submitted, there were many changes that had to be made. So there was ongoing work to be done in order for it to meet the criteria to get the money. Many were rejected, including one from the previous government. We were finally able to come up with an agreement, I think in the spring of this year around April or May, I am not exactly sure. It only happened after a lot of negotiations going on between our officials and their officials. Only then could we start looking at a design phase for what we wanted and it has taken a long time simply because of that. In the meantime, we did start some of the groundwork to put in water pipes and whatever we could do at that time.
Mr. Phillips: So what the Minister is telling us now is that the reasons for the dramatic increase in cost from $1.6 million to $2.5 million is that the concept that the Minister announced on November 28, 1986, the almost no bars concept, is no longer there. To meet the requirements for a secure custody - and we said in the beginning that it had to be secure if it was going to be called a secure facility - the cost associated to make it secure had raised the price almost $1 million.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Yes, there was never any change in the concept of the way we were going to do it. It was always our intention not to have a mini jail. It still will not be a mini jail. The costs escalated because of the length of time it took for this to happen. They escalated because of certain things that they did not anticipate when they were planning it a year or two ago.
Mr. Phillips: I could probably go through pages and pages of Hansard and quote from the Ministers statements when the Minister disclaimed the previous governments type of facility and said it was the wrong facility and they were building one that would be much, much cheaper. It is interesting to note that their facility is right up there where we knew right in the beginning it would be. The unfortunate thing is that it has taken two and a half year to get to this and a great many young people have suffered as a result of this Ministers inaction.
I will not go through all those dates and times. I can provide them for the Minister if she would like to read through them. I would like to move onto another area with respect to secure custody.
How many young offenders do we have in secure custody at the present time?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: We have one person right now who is in secure custody, and that person is out, I believe, getting assessment and treatment. We have eight in open custody in town.
Mr. Phillips: Although I did not read all of the evidence into the record, I do have to read this one report into the record. It was a statement given by the Minister on Friday, March 21, 1986. This is an article out of the Yukon News and is a quote from the Minister:
Regarding secure custody, our statistics indicate that the most youths sentenced at any one time have been five. Nevertheless, under the legislation, we do have a responsibility for this youth. It is, however, my conclusion that there is no need to build a residential facility for young offenders at this time.
We now have one, and we have a Minister who stood up in the House and said that we were building this grandiose place for millions and millions of dollars, and now the Ministers own people have told her that, yes, it is going to cost money to build it. The contradictions in the statements by the Minister from over a year ago to date are interesting.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Thank you for that lesson in history. It is not only myself for whom things change; they change for the Member for Riverdale North and they change as our philosophies are changed. I am not exactly sure what point he is trying to make, but there is a job to be done and things change as you try to do your job.
I have not changed my mind about what I want to see. I am still looking at what I was looking for two years ago. My philosophies are still the same. I still believe that children have a better chance if they are put in a place that is not like an adult jail - as I have seen over in Yellowknife where their young offenders are right in the adult jail. Despite some of the controversies that have happened in the last couple of years, our plans are still the same. We still would like to keep our own people here in the Yukon. It has taken a lot longer than we expected it would. I am hoping that we will be able to accomplish that. We talk about the cost of a former plan and that cost keeps going back to $25,000. We have all sorts of things on file, as the Member for Riverdale North does, and our figures, as a matter of fact, go up to $8 million; but that is not a big issue anymore. The issue right now is that we need a young offenders facility. The young offenders facility is going to be built and our young people in the Yukon are going to be using it. It is going to take a little bit longer and I apologize for that; I wish we could have had it now. But it will be built and our young people will be able to use it. They hopefully will be able to stay at home where their families and friends are.
Mr. Phillips: I am not going to go on much longer at this, but it is a serious matter. I almost have to laugh when the Minister says there is a job to be done. We all knew there was a job to be done two and a half years ago, and a great number of young people have suffered because the job just simply was not done. I am also very concerned, and I would like to put it on the record, that we are extremely concerned that, for the first time I think in Yukon contract history, a government is tendering a huge project such as this - $2.6 million or more - in the middle of the winter, thirty below - oh, $3.6 million, I have been corrected - and, Mr. Chairman, I am sure you would agree, as many other Members in this House would agree, at thirty below in the Yukon you do not try to pour concrete, unless it is absolutely necessary. I realize there is a need for this, but the decision should have been made a long time ago. The Minister knows that, and the responsibility for not making that decision has to lie directly with this government and directly with that Minister. We will be watching the costs of this because I think, when all the bills are tallied, you will find it is a lot more than $3.6 million.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: It is very easy for other people to put the blame on somebody else and to charge that person to be responsible for everything that ever happens. It is very easy to do that, but there are circumstances that make these things happen. It was maybe two years ago that I made a decision that I was going to have a young offenders facility built. It was only last spring that we were able to have the funding committed to us, after a lot of work between Treasury Board people and our people here in the Yukon.
There was a lot of travelling back and forth by officials trying to get things done. The final submission would not be done in the proper format. We were only able to obtain that funding in the spring. The Member for Riverdale North is very committed to the same thing that I am committed to: looking after these young people. I will definitely take the blame for certain things, but I will not be taking the blame for other things that the side opposite is trying to blame me for.
Young Offenders Facility in the amount of $2,000,000 agreed to
On Juvenile Justice Equipment Replacement
Hon. Mrs. Hon. Mrs. Joe: The funding will be used for new acquisitions and equipment replacement involving such things as mattresses and beds, recreational equipment, household furniture and appliances, furnishings, drapes, flooring and wallpaper, and instructional equipment. Hopefully, this will be Yukon made.
Juvenile Justice Equipment Replacement in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Recoveries, Grants, Contributions and Other Transfer Payments
Chairman: Are there any comments on the Recovery Detail on page 54? Is there anything on Grants, Contributions and Other Transfer Payments on page 55?
Recoveries, Grants, Contributions and Other Transfer Payments in the amounts of recoveries of $615,000, $300,000 and $1,016,000 agreed to
Mrs. Firth: Just before we finish this department, I have a couple of questions for the Minister. I understand that there is a major review going on of the legislation in Health Services and that the individual who is doing that is on contract to the government. Could I get a copy of that contract please?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: Yes.
Mrs. Firth: Has the Minister sent a letter or communicated yet with the Government of BC regarding the momography machine?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: The draft letter that was sitting on the Deputy Ministers desk has gone out.
Mrs. Firth: I will be looking forward to receiving a copy of it along with the four other items of information that I have on my list that the Minister is giving me.
Schedule A - Health and Human Resources in the amount of $3,569,000 agreed to
Chairman: Before we move to the Department of Justice, is it the wish of Committee members to take a brief recess?
We will now recess for 10 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
On Department of Justice
Chairman: General debate?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The overall amount is lower than in previous years, which is due directly to economies and frugalities, especially in the Correctional area. In addition to that, there is an extraordinary item here, which is the church. The various amounts for equipment are very common place and I can make a list if asked; however, it is similar to previous years but reduced in amount.
I should explain that the church is going to be a log church on the property of the Correctional Centre on the hill, but a separate and distinct building. The reason why the amount is so low for a building is that this amount includes materials only. The labour will be supplied by the inmate work crew. It will be a log building with a minimal foundation and no plumbing, but it will have electricity. It will have four small rooms in the building, and a larger church area. The religious symbols will be movable, except for a cross above the door on a steeple-like structure. A model of the church is either on display or will be on display next week at the Justice building. Extensive consultation has occurred with the Ministerial Association about this building, and it is seen as an addition to the rehabilitation of the inmates; particularly the spiritual aspect of that rehabilitation and also as a work project for the work crew.
Mr. Phillips: I wonder if the Minister could tell us the current status of the study ongoing for the tribal justice system in Teslin?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no capital aspect of that at all, but, as originally announced, there is an evaluation component in that project and the evaluation will be conducted in the spring. It will be done in-house and the report will be made available when it is completed.
Mr. McLachlan: Does the Minister still consider the Whitehorse Correctional Centre to be not overcrowded? Is it still below 100 percent capacity?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Well, the word overcrowded is an evaluative term that different people would evaluate differently. I believe the building was built for 36 - or maybe it is 26, I forget - but the average occupancy now is around about 80. In that sense, it is overcrowded. But the average occupancy is, in fact, about where the population is now. It had gone up to about 100 but it has lowered in recent months.
Mr. McLachlan: What is the size of the church facility and is it intended to be usable 12 months of the year?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not have the outside dimensions but it is approximately 20 by 40, or 45 feet. It will have a wood space heater, not enclosed by cement walks, and will be made available for use 12 months of the year.
On Court Facilities
On Recording Equipment
Chairman: Any general debate?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is recording equipment for use by the justices of the peace in the outlying areas, and it involves the purchase of several recording devices.
Recording Equipment in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
On Video Equipment
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is a direct result of the federal Bill C-15 which are particular amendments to the Criminal Code calling for the giving of evidence by especially children in child sexual assault cases in video form so the children are not actually put through the experience of testifying in court. It requires video equipment for the courtrooms to facilitate that procedure.
Video Equipment in the amount of $5,000 agreed to
Court facilities in the amount of $15,000 agreed to
On Correctional Facilities
On Equipment Replacement - Existing Facility
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: In past years, I have given a list of equipment. It is an electric posture bed for the infirmary, VHF hand-held radios for the security personnel, admission storage shelves, a new floor polisher, some recreation equipment for the ball diamond and the skating rink which is there, and equipment for the carpentry shop which is used in conjunction with the work camp that will be in Teslin in the summer; there are some power chainsaws for the collection of wood, and a cement mixer this year.
Equipment Replacement - Existing Facility in the amount of $26,000 agreed to
On New Equipment - Existing Facility
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This involves a refrigerator for the infirmary; equipment in the kitchen: a food cutter, a work table and a small microwave oven; equipment in the welding shop and carpentry shop, and the camp set-up expenses which are the expenses of installing a septic field in Teslin. That figure is $10,000.
Mr. Phillips: How many years is it planned to leave the camp in Teslin? Will it be there for a period of a couple of years and then moved as convenient?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The present plan is one summer, and the next summer it will go to Carmacks. After that, there is no particular plan, but we have found, through experience, that it is a good idea to speak especially to the municipal council and the Band, if there is a Band, well in advance of the camp moving into the community to identify the work that the council wishes done. That is done in Teslin for one summer, and we will see how the work goes. Discussions will be ongoing with Carmacks for the summer of 1989.
New Equipment - Existing Facility in the amount of $36,000 agreed to
On Church Facility
Church Facility in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
Correctional facilities in the amount of $122,000 agreed to
On Departmental Facilities
Chairman: Any general debate?
On Microfiche Equipment
Microfiche Equipment in the amount of $3,000 agreed to
Total in the amount of $3,000 agreed to
On Schedule A
Schedule A in the total amount of $140,000 agreed to
Department of Renewable Resources
Chairman: General debate.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Prior to general debate in the discussions with the Supplementary Estimates, there had been a request for some tabling. The Member for Riverdale North had requested specifically a photo essay of life on Herschel Island, and we are pleased to be able to comply with that request today and have for him a photo album of some of the pictures on Herschel Island. Most of his colleagues that were in the previous Cabinet have seen the community.
As well the Member also requested a map depicting the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd in recent years. I also have that for tabling.
The Member for Porter Creek East requested a tabling of the study of the culture and land use of the Little Salmon and Carmacks Band, and that is for tabling.
In addition, the Member requested for tabling information related to the trails work that our department has undertaken. I have asked for that information and have received information but it is not in the form for tabling. I will ask the department to put it in such a form and undertake to make that information available to the Member when it is presentable.
Joining me on the floor are the Deputy Minister of the Department of Renewable Resources immediately to my left, Mr. Bill Klassen, as well as the Director of Parks, Mr. Dave Reynolds.
The budget that is before the Members is very similar to last years, and so I will just concentrate on those new expenditure areas that we have proposed to introduce this year. They are the traveling display under the facilities of the Information and Interpretation and Public Information. What we intend to do is spend $30,000 to construct a display unit, or kit, that we can take around to the communities, to various conferences, to be able to pictorially show the efforts of Renewable Resources. I feel it is something that is needed, we found, in the work we do because there is an awful lot of public education that is done.
As well there are a couple of other items in that branch. We propose to put together a very basic booklet under this particular branch showing Yukons large mammals, the areas in which they are found, and the general management objectives describing the governments intentions with respect to the management of the species. We believe we have gotten up to 15,000 requests in a single year for information about wildlife. We spend an awful lot of time answering questions so we thought we would put it all together in one booklet and when we receive an inquiry we would pass that along.
We are also undertaking a rather ambitious book on the Yukon - an actual history of the Yukon dating back to the formation of the Yukon - and it is very much like the book that we know has been produced on Kluane. We estimate that particular project to cost $100,000, of which $33,000 is budgeted in this initial year. It will be carried out over three years to be able to do this book. It will be a nice table top book - it will be hard cover - and illustrated with coloured photographs. Through the sale of the book, we eventually hope to be able to recover some of the costs that will be involved in its production.
In the park planning area, under Parks, Resources, and Regional Planning, we intend to expend $30,000 in the new area, which is park candidate area selection. As we have debated in the past, we are looking at establishing a data base with respect to parks. The select committee clearly indicated that there should be further park development in the Yukon. This would be the first year that we would be able to take the information that we have developed in southern Yukon and look at a candidate park selection, analyze all the data we have and recommend the specific area.
As well, there is a Dempster corridor study, which is for $31,000. This is not really new. The previous government commissioned a major report on the Dempster. It has not been followed through. What we propose to do is to spend $30,000 to follow up with the previous governments initiative on the Dempster corridor and the management questions that are related to that particular highway.
Also new in the Budget is the Forest Resources Management of Commissioners Land. We have now the responsibilities for lands that have been turned over from the federal government to the territorial government. Incumbent with that responsibility is the responsibility for forest management. We have no inventory of what forest resources are contained on Commissioners lands, nor have we got any solid policy with respect to the disposal and use of those forest resources. So, in this Budget, we intend to spend $10,000 to conduct that inventory to be able to develop the necessary criteria for policy.
In the area of agriculture, as Members know, we have moved on a new grazing policy. One of the critical questions with respect to the issuance of grazing leases is the capability of the lands in the Yukon to be able to provide forage for the animals that would be expected to be held on those lands. Depending on who you talk to in the Yukon, the productivity of the Yukon varies in different regions of the Yukon. The federal government has been using a formula of 40 acres per animal unit. What we intend to do under this particular expenditure area is to go out and do actual drove testing on different lands in the Yukon to determine the productivity of those lands, and thereby be able to develop a more accurate description of how many acres of land are needed for the animals that people will hold on those lands.
Basically, those initiatives are the new ones in the Department of Renewable Resources. I would be happy to explain those initiatives further as we go line by line.
Mr. Brewster: I am going to go about this in a little different way, and it will take a little while. Before the Chairman calls me out of order, I will remind him that the Minister of Renewable Resources read a 200-page document in the House and expected us to reply to us right away. I hope he will bear with me for a while.
It all has to do with the Department of Renewable Resources; however, it also involves other places. I feel that this department is becoming completely an environmentalist unit. It is running around putting in parks and not saying if they are going to be for multiple purposes or not. The Select Committee recommended that all parks be multiple purpose.
The department has put out a study on migratory birds that is biased if ever anything was. I think that it was put out by Yukon conservationists and was probably paid for by the government. There are a lot of things in there that are not required, and a lot of people are getting sick and tired of studies.
Another reason I raise this issue of environmentalists is the Watson Lake placer mining hearing. The newspaper says, The Yukon government has beat a retreat from its earlier call to stop placer mining in the Wheaton River, and the Deputy Minister of Renewable Resources said that it is all a mistake. I will not bother reading the rest of it for the record because we have all seen it. It is quite apparent that the department wants to go one way, and when it politically goes wrong, the politicians back them up and go the other way. No one can tell me that this does not happen. I have been in government long enough to know that these things do happen.
Another thing that concerned me very much was the Alsek Heritage River hearing. I will just read excerpts from it. I found it amazing that we were there to open the Alsek River in the Kluane National Park. I signed a petition to bring the Kluane Park into the area, as did many elders and many people who were born and raised here. Most of us regret violently that we signed it now. Most have never seen the park except for fortunate people like me who saw it on pack horses. It is an 8,000 square mile area that is blocked off that has not helped the economy. It has not done anything.
At this hearing, everyone is talking about the Tatshenshini. We are already moving over and grabbing more land. Nearly every person who spoke started with the Tatshenshini. I will read some excerpts, and this government had better listen. Some of this is in British Columbia, but it affects us in the Yukon very, very, very strongly, and we had better start watching - as one placer miner called them - the environmental extremists. I have another name for them.
In recent conversation with an official of the Environmental Ministry, he enthusiastically bandied about the idea of a heritage corridor or some other type of park along the Tatshenshini River. I was appalled to learn that he had never heard of the Windy Craggy deposit. I might add that Bill McKnight said, the last time that he was up here, that he had never heard of it. When I showed him some of these things, he brought them back to the bureaucrats and they had heard of it, but they had not told the Minister. They were trying to shove this through. This is a very, very serious thing going on here.
In the same letter, and this is from a geologist for Noranda Mines: I was also questioning the need for additional parks of any sort in British Columbia. In some US states, the proliferation of parks has proven to be an economic disaster. Regulations mandate that only those rich enough to afford helicopter rides or those young and healthy enough for hiking could enjoy the scenic beauty of parklands away from the highways.
We have 8,000 square miles up here but the same thing is happening; we are getting no revenue from it. This government is staying right with this environmental thing that we have to stop right accross Canada. I do not think even the Minister can disagree that, number one, the environmentalists did not kill the sealing in Newfoundland, are not seriously hurting the fur trappers, are not seriously hurting the native people who know nothing but trapping. It is very funny how we can fight environmentalists on this side and then join them frantically on this side to turn around and tie the country up. It is a very, very serious thing that goes on.
This is another letter, from Murray Webster, another geologist with the Noranda company, indicating that 1,000-1,500 jobs in a related population of approximately 5,000 will be created in the nearby towns of Dezadeash, Haines Junction and Whitehorse.
In a letter from the Striker Mines: we are currently developing approximately 900 claims in the Tatshenshini area.
This is another one from Noranda: :Companies actively involved in exploration in the area include ourselves, Noranda, Kennecot Copper, Report Striker, Geddes Resources, Haines Gypsum, Canadian United Minerals, Kemco, St. George Canada Incorporated, and other independent prospectors."
I would like just to show you how far these emotional things go with environmentalists on such things as this. This is another letter from Noranda, which they sent to the Wilderness Committee for BC: secondly, we would like to offer these rebuttals to statements made in submissions by the Canadian River Exploration Limited and Yukon Conservation Society. I suspect, if I recall right but I cannot find it now, that the Department had a very uncomplimentary letter in there doing much the same to make it a heritage river.
I would like to explain so that you will not think I am just talking about BC, and I can explain it so that it will come to you. If the Yukon becomes a heritage river, BC will follow and Alaska is just waiting. I will explain to you just why this is happening. There is no argument. There are two parks already and they want it. Mr. John Wykes, the president of Canada River Expedition Limited and River Outfitters Association of BC stated that millions of dollars will be produced every year, and cites a figure of $2 million, on these trips on the Tatshenshini and the Alsek wilderness. Assuming a 90 day operating season from mid June to mid September, the following condition must be met to generate $2 million in fees. Based on a one day fee trip of $90.00 per day, 22,222 people must take day trips during the operating season. Each day of operation, 247 people must be rafting or kayaking on the Tatshenshini River.
We have one poor little placer miner down there and now we say it is not a wilderness. There are 247 people going to go down there a day. How do you have a wilderness on a thing like that?
These are things that are produced and given to hearings, but there is no basis for them, nothing. This is what goes on all the time.
The mining industry has been in that area - this letter was written on January 20, 1986 - and spent over $10 million. I talked with them last night. It looks like the Craggy Wind is going to go; they have a large tonnage there. They now have a problem of trying to get ore it out of there. Their biggest and worst concern is environmentalists.
I will show you why I am so conerned about this. This is a letter from the hon. Erik Nielsen: The recommendations that you have put forth on an appropriate management scheme to allow for the development and potential of the area is one which I would support and desire to see implemented. If I can assist further with this recommendation in any way, please call me.
We have a letter here from Prime Minister Mulroney: Regional officials of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, through the Land Use Planning Office, and in cooperation with the Yukon Territorial Government, are undertaking a Tatshenshini River Basin study in order to determine the nature of available resources and interests in the area. In addition, a Yukon/Canadian Heritage Rivers Systems study is being done to determine which rivers or part thereof are suitable for being including in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, is being carried out by the Yukon and the Department of Northern Affairs. Some 68 rivers will be included in this study.
Here is another letter from Mr. Erik Nielsen: The declaration on February 7, 1986 of the Alsek River within Kluane National Park as a heritage river caught many interested Yukoners by surprise. This points out one of the fundamental flaws of the method by which a river is deemed to be a heritage river, in that there is little or no public input and there is a general lack of understanding of exactly what is meant by a heritage river. I have noted these concerns to the Minister of Environment, the hon. Tom McMillan, who is responsible for the particular program. This is from a man who spent 30 years in Parliament. He probably knows more about government and the Yukon than most of us.
This letter is written by the hon. Tom McMillan: Thank you for your letter of March 2, regarding the proclamation of the Alsek River in Kluane National Reserve as part of the Canadian Heritage River System. I regret that you were not personally informed of the rivers designation prior to the announcement on February 7.
That just shows what goes on - a man is very interested and serves in government for 30 years and he did not even know a heritage river was coming. Now how are people in the Yukon supposed to know? It also states in there that the Yukon was going to hold hearings. One of the questions I will be asking the Minister: when were these hearing held? Where were they held? What are the plans?
I am very, very concerned; very, very concerned. There are two things happening here: if we do not do this, undoubtedly the Champagne Aishihik Band is going to get it. The people of the Yukon are going to lose a world class mine that is over 100 years old. I also have a letter in here saying that there is a road planned to go from Yakutat and Glace Bay and over to Haines and not even come down into BC or anything. The Americans are welcome and they will put the road in there for them, to get that business, because they are aggressive, and we will lose everything for a few raft trips to go down the river and a few things like this.
I am very concerned that this department is going this way more and more and more. I sometimes wonder if they look after the game at all. I never hear any reports about game. All the report I hear are about what they are doing to make studies to protect the parks, to make parks and to do this and that - I have no problem with these. I was born in one and I know a lot about parks. But I also know that the parks in Banff and such places - when they were trying to be protected that the Kluane National Park, it is not like you were trying to protect your parks - there is no doubt about it. When they tried this, I can recall as a small boy they had a vote at one time: Do you want to stay with the Banff National Park or do you want to join Alberta? There was no question. When we got through the report on Crydon (?) Canyon, everybody wanted to join Alberta.
There were bureaucrats and big shots coming flying out of Ottawa from every direction in the world. They now have ski tows. They now have tote roads in where people can see things. They do not have to sit in the little town. They can get out to these places. If you make parks - and we will fight you all the way - I insist that they be multi-purpose. I can assure you that I have a lot of people behind me on this Tatshenshini. If you are going to have hearings, you better publicize them, because we are sure going after it.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Responding to the issues raised by the Member, the primary focus seems to be the designation of rivers as heritage rivers. He is correct, and we have already had this debate at considerable length in the previous Budget, and I suspect it will be an ongoing debate in the House. Yes, he is correct, inasmuch as a report had been done identifying 68 rivers. This was paid for under a previous Budget allocation by this department and the Department of Northern Affairs to identify those rivers and to go through a grading system as to those rivers.
In terms of the intentions of the governments, the only heritage river that has been designated in the Yukon has been the Alsek. The only river that we are actively discussing with Ottawa to move toward designation of a heritage river site has been the Thirty Mile section of the Yukon. In this Budget later on, when we move down to the line item, you will see that we are budgeting additional funds for that purpose.
The Alsek had been in consideration for two years prior to the designation of that river. A central point in the Members discussion and debate seems to be that, by the nature of the fact that you move to designate a river a heritage river site, that you exclude areas joining to that river from future development. That is not the case.
As the document management guidelines have been drawn up for the designation of heritage river sites, they can be multi-use. It would be dependent on the kind of management regime that you put together to govern the heritage river site. So, the Windy Craggy mineral deposits that lie adjacent to the Tatshenshini - and we are just speaking in the hypothetical, at this point - were the Tatshenshini picked and decided to be a heritage river, you could shrink the corridor that would affect the Tatshenshini to be only so many feet from the actual river bed itself. In that instance, you could then be able to build roads that are necessary to gain access to the mine outside of those corridors and be able to access the mine and be able to move minerals from the mine.
The guidelines and the management provisions that govern the use of heritage rivers are very flexible. Basically, they reflect the basic ideas of the government that puts forward those designations.
Our information is that in British Columbia the Tatshenshini has already been designated a recreational corridor, which in itself does not mean there could not be development. Clearly, the Tatshenshini has been identified as a white water recreational area, and it is recognized by Alaska, by British Columbia and by users in the Yukon as having significant value with respect to that. What I am basically saying in summation to this point is that there is no need for exclusions in this particular question. There is no need to say that we can only have the heritage river designation put to the Tatshenshini, and have no development, or have total development and no designation.
I firmly believe that it is quite possible, if people are willing, to be able to have both if that is the choice of the people, to be able to have developments in the area as well as protect the unique and scenic character of that particular river.
There are other questions that the Member raised in his opening comments. The one I recall is with the Watson-Wheaton River question. The intent of the government was not in any way to make a statement as to the philosophical question of placer mining. Simply, it was our intention to ensure that people were not abusing the placers laws, and establish basically what amounted to dwellings and houses under the auspices of placer claims. I am sure the Member would support me when I make the statement that we know a lot of abuses do take place, and we felt it was our duty to inform the federal government that the placers laws are for placer mining. If you are going to use the Quartz Mining Act or if you are going to use the Placer Mining Act then your intentions should solely be for mining purposes and it should not be secondary to be able to get some land and use the Act to be able to construct a house. That was a central point in the discussions in effect on the Watson-Wheaton River area.
Are there any further comments?
Mr. Brewster: I think you must realize that it is fine to get up and make these statements. I have three books from people who are worth more money than this government is, and they are very concerned. Craggy Windy alone has sunk millions and millions of dollars. In this last go around, they raised $18 million just to sink a tunnel. You make a statement that you can put a footage on the river. I am afraid you do not even know where it is because the first thing you have to have is a bridge. Nobody wants to sail under a bridge. That is the protest of the environmentalists, we are not going to go under a bridge, so they cannot get out.
I just found the part on the road where they will lose the whole thing. This is from Geddes Resources. At the moment the only plan for a road that we know about is the possible proposed link to Dry Bay in Yakutat, Alaska, or Glace Bay at the Canadian border. This road would follow, in part, the Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers and then go across country to the Haines, Alaska Highway. We would propose connecting this road when and if it comes available. Failing that we may have to consider independent plans for road connection to the Haines Highway.
There are 5,000 jobs if you want them in Alaska. You had better be making some statements about what you are going to do because it also says in here that BC will do and see what Yukon recommends. They will do it. You people went down to the wilderness hearing and came out all in favour of closing the river down.
I would like to just go a little further to show you how far these environmentalists go. This is a letter to the chief administration officer in Haines Junction from the Kluane National Park. I will respond to your letter of July 23, 1987, regarding Haines Junction interest - including a portion of Kluane National Park in its mosquito abatement program - in two parts. The first will deal with national parks policy; the second part of my response will address specific advice we have received from experts working with the cities of Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Edmonton and Winnipeg have muskegs, willow and swamps all around. What the Haines Junction people are asking is one little corner where the sewage lagoon used to be. The National Parks have it now, so the four legged little critters will be protected in there. They think they are going extinct. That shows you how dumb people get when they get on these things.
I will just finish this off to prove that there are more people than me concerned about what is going on around here. This is from the Klondike Placer Miners Association. Also, this added to the value of the Canadian economy. They are talking about the best use in 1987, since back in 1918. Contrasting this with the situation in Alaska in 1986, where pressure on government regulators by environmental extremists reduced gold production by 16 percent, the number of placer miners by 27 percent, and one mining district shut down placer mining completely for the first time in 83 years.
I did not make that statement. They made it in Alaska. We are threatened. People are saying we are scaring the placer miners, we are scaring the miners, and they are going to move their money someplace else, because they do not know, because there is no policy. Then, we come out with things like this where the government goes to a hearing and comes out with two stands.
We are going to have to get straightened around. The department has gone too far as conservationists. You turn around and you can say I am not a conservationist. I will deny that roundly; I am, but I am not an extreme one. The Minister made the same statement. I think we had better start doing this - everybody has to use the same river, everybody has to use the mountains, and we had better start on this. I think we have to live together, and the Minister made the same statement. Everybody we interviewed on the select committee said the same thing: we all have to live there together and stop this foolishness.
I would be very interested in knowing if these parks are proposed parks. Are they going to be designated multiple purpose or are they going to be protected and tied up like Kluane National Park?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As we move to the Yukon River designation of a heritage river site, you will see that it is our intention on that particular river site to designate the river as a parkway, as called for in the Territorial Parks Act. That is the legislation in the Yukon we will utilize to be able to bring about its designation. The parkway concept will allow for multiple use to occur.
Mr. Brewster: We will go on to another thing. I am very, very concerned about this budget, as I said before during Public Accounts. In 1986-87, you asked for $1,507,000. You returned $473,443. In 1987-88, you asked for $1,747,000. Are you going to be over budget on that? For this year, you are asking for $1,631,000. You asked for a smaller amount in 1986-87 and were over budget by almost $500,000. Are you going to be the same way this time in either year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The funds for 1987-88 are not fully dealt with until the end of the fiscal year. We will not know until Territorial Accounts are in, but the Deputy Minister will give me an estimate as to how far he thinks we will be with our expenditure.
The Financial Administration Act spells out that we cannot, by law, over expend. For the most part that generally induces, in management, the idea of under spending as a measure of management. We cannot accurately, at this point, predict what our expenditure is going to be at the end of this fiscal year until we have gone through the period of variance in the Territorial Accounts.
It is our intention to try and spend the money that we are asking the Legislature to sanction. We feel that we have the capability to handle those funds.
Mr. Brewster: The reason that I am pointing this out is that if any business company, including large ones, ended up with such a large surplus in their budget, someone would be going from the top. It looks to me like we come to this House with glorious budgets with hundreds and millions of dollars for which we show papers. People start questioning this, and we find that $4 million came back. This is a little game that politicians play. Do not anybody tell me they do not play this; this is a pre-planned plan. They can play around with this money saying that they have a big budget. We can tell when election day is coming because the budget will probably go up another $1 million. This is nothing new, and I am not condemning this government any more than any other. It is a fact of life. This is what politicians do.
It is hypocritical when department spend way over $1 million, then other departments turn money back. I can understand departments being out $100,000; but when we talk about $500,000, it is ridiculous.
Could the Minister tell me if it is the policy of the department to have all its vehicles green instead of the same colour as the other government vehicles?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. The colour is green for conservation vehicles only.
Mr. Brewster: Why?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is more or less for identification purposes.
Mr. Brewster: Is this a policy with Government Services who purchase the vehicles?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This issue was brought before Management Board and received its approval.
Mr. Brewster: Could the Minister tell me what the cost is to paint these vehicles this colour?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We do not have those amounts, but we will research and make it available.
Mr. Lang: I want to go back to Windy Craggy for a moment; this is a major concern, and I want to know from the Department of Renewable Resources, specifically the Minister: is the government prepared to accept the principle that a road should be built via the Haines Road to that particular minesite?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The government has not taken an official position on the development of the Windy Craggy deposit. Nowhere have I seen any indication or any request of the government to do so. At this point, the information that I am acquainted with is that what is occurring is an exploratory program being undertaken at the site to determine the extent of the orebodies that exist, the grade of those orebodies, and a production decision has not been made by the proponents involved in the mine. I am sure that, if and when a production decision were to be entertained, and it would be necessary for the government to make a decision on the question, the government would make a decision.
Mr. Lang: It is a chicken and the egg situation. I did not ask whether or not you were going to start up the mine or what stage the mine is at, I asked if this government supported the principle that a road be built via the Haines Highway to that particular minesite. All the environmental studies are secondary; if the decision is to go ahead, all those things will be done. What the Member for Kluane is looking for is a clear signal from our government that we would support a transportation corridor being put in to that particular mine site. We recognize it is subject to a green light as far as a production decision is concerned, and there would have to be an environmental review with respect to where the road would go, but it is the general principle I am talking about. That is what the mining community is looking at. When the government waffles back and forth when they appear before a hearing, and one department, Renewable Resources, says to not proceed with placer mining and then a politician reads it in the newspaper and decides to reverse that decision, investors start getting very nervous. They start thinking we do not want them here and in this particular case they have an alternative to go to Yakutat. I think it would be a tragedy if we in the Yukon, because of no action whatsoever and no positive initiative on our governments behalf, lost a good percentage, if not all, of the benefits of what could be a very major mine. We heard the MLA for Kluane talking earlier this session about 200-odd trips in with the Hercules just this past winter. This is a major development taking place and nobody is even talking about it.
I am asking the Minister if he, as a politician, would support the principle, subject to it being economically viable and an environmental review being done, that a transportation corridor be put in from the Haines Road to that mine. That is one of the green lights they are looking for. It is a political decision. You do not have to look to your officials to answer it. Would you politically support it?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is a hypothetical question being put by the Member opposite. Clearly, it is a decision of the government to make. It is not a decision for me to make here, at 5:15 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. It has not been a question that has been put to the government for a decision. In terms of the mining sector in the Yukon, I would say that I do not think the mining sector has been given any real cause for concern with respect to the future of their industry. As a matter of fact, I think that over the last couple of years mining in the Yukon has flourished to a greater extent than in many years previous.
With respect to the production of placer we are talking record numbers.
If the question were to be raised in the future as to whether or not a corridor road from the Haines Highway to the Windy Craggy Deposit cannot be accommodated, and if an environmental assessment review process was conducted and had alleviated the environmental questions, and the benefits were proven to be of enormous potential for the Yukon - I doubt as to whether the government would oppose such a road being constructed.
Mr. Lang: It is the way it was put just now that really concerns me. You doubt if you would oppose it. That really concerns me. I recognize that to some degree it is a hypothetical question, in the fact that it has to be economical and viable and that there would have to be an environmental review process put into place to ensure that the corridor was put in the proper place.
The question was whether you, as a government, would be prepared to politically support that kind of initiative with those caveats, as opposed to coming forward in this House and in Hansard saying that you do not think you would oppose it. Is that a positive initiative? Is that a positive statement?
Would the Minister positively support an initiative that proved to be beneficial to the Yukon and that proved to be economically viable as far as a mine is concerned, and that went through an environmental review process to establish a corridor from the Haines Road to the Windy Craggy deposit? Would he positively support such an endeavor of a corridor being established? That is the question. Yes or no?
Hon. Mr. Porter: If such a hypothetical situation possibly came about in the future and the potential of the mine site did indicate tremendous benefit to the Yukon, I would suggest that the Yukon government would probably look positively and favourably on such a development.
Mr. Brewster: I do not suppose there is any use to trying, but the main concern of mine is the river. Thank God the road will be in British Columbia where you will not have any say. If you do not get in there and do it, B.C. will get it. I would not be surprised if Haines, Alaska jumps up and puts their share in to get the 5,000 people, too. Look at this and this. Do you think we are talking a bunch of nonsense? I spent five years writing to mining companies, prime ministers and everybody else about this. There is going to be a mine there! There are five other mines that can possibly go in if that road goes in.
We talk about Faro. They have to get another mine going because they are not sure if they can go for 20 years. This one is projected for 100 years. We sit on possibility.
Do you people ever read or look at these things? Or go to these mines? You say these mine companies do not object. The Chamber of Commerce has letter after letter in there protesting to you, protesting to Ottawa, protesting to everybody - but nobody listens. They go their own way. No, we will not bother with it because it is going to bother things.
I brought this up because Mr. Erik Nielsen, for 30 years, did not know it was there; Mr. Bill McKnight did not know it was there; the bureaucrats are pushing it. I brought it into the House and now you know about it.
I am going to say this: if we lose all that and this goes into land claims and that river goes heritage and the other one does, you people are going to account to a lot of people all over Canada.
Chairman: Is there any further general debate?
Mr. Phillips: I have a couple of questions about third party interests and land claims. It is my understanding that recently people who were rafting the Firth River in northern Yukon were told that if they wanted to raft that river any longer they had to clear it through COPE and other native organizations that were involved in that area.
Is it the policy of this government that, in future land claims settlements in the rest of the Yukon, that third party interests will be protected, or will they not be protected with respect to a similar situation?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As a general rule, the third party interest question at the claims negotiations has been upheld. Where there exists an interest, that interest has been protected by both levels of government in the negotiating process.
With respect to the COPE question regarding the Firth River, there was a situation where, after the finalization of the Inuvialuit final agreement of 1984, the Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie Delta were given specific economic preference on economic activity within the North Slope of the Yukon. What had occurred was that there were a number of operators who had designated the Firth as a wilderness opportunity, and there had been numerous operators who had received a licence in previous years. This year, Parks Canada - who is the body charged with the responsibility of issuance of licences to permit such rafting activities - chose to give only one licence. That licence went to Guided Arctic of the Mackenzie Delta, which is a company fully owned and operated by the Inuvialuit. This has caused some concern for local businessmen who have operated on the river in the past and want to operate on it in the future.
We have expressed concern to the Parks Canada people as to the decision they have taken, and we have asked our Justice officials to examine the decision by Parks Canada to see if it is wholly legal, given the context of the COPE final agreement.
Mr. Phillips: Could the Minister tell me what the policy is for the government with respect to a similar situation of economic preference in southern Yukon? There are a great many wilderness guides who are operating in the territory, as well as wilderness fishing operations, hunting guides and that type of thing. Is it this governments position that economic preference will not be allowed in a Yukon land claims settlement, and that third party interests will now be, and continue to be, protected in any land claims settlement?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I am not given the responsibility to speak for the government with respect to the land claims policy of the government, or the governments position vis a vis any matter before the claims table. The Government Leader has expressed in the Legislature that the negotiation of claims shall not occur on the floor of the House, a similar position as taken by the previous government. We have been given ample evidence as to why those positions are taken.
I cannot predict as to what the possible agreements are that will come forward from the claims process but, with respect to the question of third party interests, it is the position that has been set forward - not only by this government, but also previous governments - that anybody who has a right in the Yukon must have that right recognized and, if there is to be any change in the right, or any person who may have their rights removed must be adequately compensated before that occurs.
Mr. Lang: There was a study done of the viability of the game farm by the government. Could the Minister table that study?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That initiative was headed up by the Department of Economic Development because it cuts across many areas of government. We have discussed this issue before, and at this point, without the consent of the game farm owners, it is not our intention to table that study. That is because of personal financial information.
Chairman: Is there any further general debate?
Is there any general debate on Departmental Services?
On Departmental Services
On Departmental Equipment
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is an annual expenditure. It is to upgrade the equipment that we have where equipment wears out, to purchase new equipment, sleeping bags, binoculars, axes, ATVs, boats and those kinds of things.
Departmental Equipment in the amount of $120,000 agreed to
On Information/Interpretation/Public Education
Mr. Brewster: I agree with what is going on here, but we make these things so splendid that when people come here, they expect to see these animals running along the road. The Kluane glaciers in the game sanctuary are used for advertising, and it is all false advertising. They do not see these things. Very few people see the game on the road. Sheep Mountain, which is on the cover of the Budget, is one of the only places where sheep can be seen. Those sheep are two-and-a-half miles from the Highway. There is a road going in there, but it is locked off by Parks and one cannot get in there.
Some of the books and the brochures that we put out are wonderful, but the big problem is that people expect to see this wonderment everywhere. We do have some muskeg and mosquitoes that are not very pleasant. We continue to make these books a little too nice, and unfortunately people in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles feel that a bear will shake paws with them. They go to Banff National Park and a bear does, because it is in a dump. Fortunately, we have not gotten around to that, and hopefully we never do. People expect a little too much, and maybe the books should be a little more realistic.
Most of the brochures that the department put out have been really good, but they are a little too good. People who have been here would appreciate them very much, but people who have never been here expect to see these animals every mile. It just is not so.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We may hope to change R&R from Renewable Resources to Rhetoric with Realism.
On Travelling Displays: Conserving Yukons Renewable Resources
Mr. Brewster: I am going to respond to that little remark, if you do not mind. Apparently the Minister does not work lodges for 15 or 20 years, for 12 or 15 hours in a day, where people come in and complain because the government brochures show these things, and they are not there. It goes on all the time and I do know what I am talking about on this. They are beautiful books, but there would be a little more realistic things to put in them.
Travelling Displays: Conserving Yukons Renewable Resources in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Booklet: Yukons Large Mammals
Booklet: Yukons Large Mammals in the amount of $33,000 agreed to
On Book: Yukon - A Natural History
Book: Yukon - A Natural History in the amount of $33,000 agreed to
Information/Interpretation/Public Health in the amount of $96,000 agreed to
Chairman: Order. Pursuant to a direction of the House, the Committee will now recess until 7:30 p.m.
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We are on page 68, Parks Branch.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to point out that in the first line items, there are two things that go against what the Select Committee stated. The Select Committee stated, No new territorial campground should be built with the possible exception of Old Crow, Mayo and Ross River. That is a recommendation of the Select Committee, and the second line item goes against that.
This proves whether or not you and I, Mr. Chairman, went on a good holiday or whether we did not. It is apparent that it was a good holiday, too. Very few of the serious recommendations have been considered. The very easy ones were considered right away. I do not know if that is an indication of what the Select Committee mean or not. There was a lot of cost there. A lot of people talked. The trapping recommendations have been totally ignored. There are also a few others that have not been acted upon at any time, and a few of them could have been this winter.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Under that particular line item what we are doing is living within the confines of the recommendations as put by the Select Committee. The new construction that is called for under that is going to take place in Old Crow.
Other funds that will be spent under that line item will be spent finishing the campground near Faro.
Mr. Brewster: If MLAs knew some of these things and were aware of them they probably would not be asking these questions. I think we are here to see you draw the line and I am going to be very much like I was on the heritage river one; I am going to be very watchful that we follow the recommendations of the Select Committee. If we do not then we have wasted a whole lot of money and a whole lot of time and it is not necessary.
On Campground Facility Replacement Construction
Hon. Mr. Porter: As I indicated to the critic earlier, the expenditure of $130,000 will be spent on constructing a campground in Old Crow and completing the Faro campground. The Faro portion of it will be $35,000 and the remainder will be $30,000 for support costs for the two activities. The $65,000 will be dedicated to the campground in Old Crow.
Mr. Brewster: I presume that the Old Crow campground will be charging fees the same as everybody else and it will not be donated by the government to the people staying in the campground.
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is what is planned at this particular point.
Campground Facility Replacement Construction in the amount of $225,000 agreed to
On Campground Relocation and New Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: Actually, the numbers I just gave you are the campground relocation and new development of $130,000. Returning to the original line item, the item of $225,000, is for campground facility replacement construction. The numbers break down as follows: $20,000 for toilets at Klondike River campground; $20,000 for tables at campgrounds along the Alaska Highway; $15,000 for stoves for campgrounds along the Alaska Highway; $20,000 for signs; $40,000 for kitchen shelters at Tatchun Creek, Fort Selkirk, Watson Lake; $20,000 for floating docks at Pine Lake, Five Mile Lake, Kusawa, Fox and Tatchun Lakes; and $50,000 for bear-proof garbage cans at campgrounds along the Alaska Highway; $20,000 for the wood compounds at campgrounds along the Alaska Highway; and additionally the last item, $20,000 for playground equipment at Marsh and Tagish.
Mr. Brewster: I would be curious as to what a bear proof garbage can is.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have seen them. I guess it depends how big the bear is as to whether or not it is bear proof, but it is basically heavy gauge steel with a door that has to be opened manually to be able to insert garbage into it.
Mr. Brewster: Are these very easy to clean out, or are we going to end up having garbage stay there until it smells and brings the bears in?
Hon. Mr. Porter: You can gain access from the back of the garbage can to take the refuse out.
Mr. Brewster: It bothers me that we are confining garbage. Any farmer knows that the minute you confine anything, you make the smell come faster, especially with the heat we have now. There is no fresh air getting in there. I suspect that you would be drawing more bears than you are drawing now. I think that if the garbage cans are cleaned out every day like they should be, and the garbage dumps are kept clean, that a lot of this problem will be solved. With these heavy gauge steel cans, the air is not going to circulate in there and you are going to have this stuff fermenting faster, and the smell is going to be going much faster than if it is out in the air.
Hon. Mr. Porter: With the exception of remote campgrounds, the intent is to clean these garbage cans out every day.
Mr. Brewster: There is the point right there. The remote ones are not going to be cleaned every day. We cause this bear problem. We caused it in Beaver Creek and all over the place because we do not keep our campgrounds clean. Then, two years ago, the Department of Renewable Resources said we are short of bears, but last year we shot three of them in Beaver Creek just because we would not clean the campgrounds up.
It is not unknown that, every year, the bears come out of the mountains and come down low to get the berries in the fall. Nobody looks after those campgrounds. I brought it up with the Minister of Community and Transportation Services. Nobody seems to know who is supposed to look after them. Now, you are putting these in where the garbage is going in there, there is no air, and it is going to ferment faster. That is the way they get foliage for cattle and everything else: by fermenting it in a place where there is no air. In the campgrounds that are not used much, most of the caretakers only go to these campgrounds once or twice a week. So, we are going to have a worse bear problem than we have right now.
Campground Facility Repalcement Construction in the amount of $225,000 agreed to
Chairman: Let us set the record straight here. We just cleared the Campground Facility Replacement Construction and now we will do the Campground Relocation and new Development, $130,000.
On Campground Relocation and New Development
Mr. Brewster: I would like to really understand just what that is going to be. Reconstruction - does that mean that we are now going back into such places as Jackson Point, which the private campgrounds have fought angrily to keep you out of. Every year I have had to get into battle and start reconstructing these, instead of going into private campgrounds - which is again recommended by the Select Committee. Are you reconstructing some of the old campgrounds we had succeeded in getting closed down?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Under this item, no. We are intending to construct a new campground in Old Crow and, with respect to the other funding, it is to finish off the campground in Faro. However, there are instances where campgrounds, because of over use by humans, have to be basically reconstructed. The facilities that are campgrounds become over used and the terrain in the area becomes over used over time, so every few years we have to go back to some of these campgrounds and do a major overhaul. That is going to occur in the future.
Mr. Brewster: Can I get an assurance from the Minister? Will he give us his word, so that it will be in Hansard, that Jackson Point and the private campgrounds on both sides of it, and at least five or six private campgrounds in the area - that this will not be started up again? We have gone through this every year, or I have had to scream my head off and the Minister has had to do whatever he does to run people out of there. Could I get assurance that this is going to be left the way it is?
Hon. Mr. Porter: If we are talking about Horseshoe Bay; yes, we have, in fact, closed that area off, and he has my assurance that I am not interested in opening it up.
Mr. McLachlan: At this time last year we originally budgeted funds to rebuild the campground at Watson Lake and that project was scrapped at least part way through the year. What is its fate now? Are we going to go ahead with the rebuild in Watson Lake? Is it now totally off the books? What is the Departments long-term plans in this area?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Members will notice that the next item is Campground Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, and that has some funding to finish Watson Lake.
Campground Relocation and New Development in the amount of $130,000 agreed to
On Campground Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
Hon. Mr. Porter: The breakdown is as follows. There is $20,000 for Watson Lake - removal of dead and dangerous trees. The reason for that is the forest fire problem and also for the reduction of liability to the government. There is $10,000 for Teslin Lake Campground trail construction. The trail is planned from the camping area to the boat launch. There is $35,000 for Marsh Lake, and this is a campground as well as a day use area. There is a need for rehabilitation such as a new bridge between areas, levelling of sites, some new signs, dead tree removal, new barrier posts and widening of pull through stalls.
Pine Lake has been allotted $5,000 for the boat launch area. Apparently, in that campground, there is a huge area where people are camping near the boat launch, and we are going to try to dissuade people from doing that. We are thinking of putting some posts and large rocks in to have people use it for what it was intended, and that is for launching boats.
Fox Lake rehabilitation is $35,000. A number of new sites are planned as well as a new parking area. A boat dock will also be installed. The boat launch needs to be moved because it is dangerously under cut at the end of the pads. A wood storage compound is being planned. The boat launch areas at Tatchun Lake are being designed to accommodate more traffic and to provide easier access to the water. A toilet needs to be relocated for $10,000.
The Yukon River Campground is allotted $40,000. All new sites constructed three years ago need to be relevelled. Roads need to be regravelled, and some old stalls need realignment. An entrance gate needs to be installed, and wood boxes need to be replaced.
Otter Falls is allotted $15,000. The parking area and the day use require complete reconstruction: new stairs to the falls, new guardrails, new signs, and the parking lot redesigned. There has been $25,000 allotted for Kusawa, and there is going to be a new camping loop constructed to replace the area that was sloughed over by the mudslide. There has been $5,000 allotted to the Quiet Lake boat launch. The boat launch there needs to be redesigned.
Mr. Brewster: I am glad to see that at last we are doing somethng at Otter Falls. Maybe the Minister could talk to the Minister of Community and Transportation Services and tell him that the road there needs to be upgraded once in a while. That would help tourists to go there.
There is another campground above that on Aishihik Lake that is not mentioned anywhere. It seems to be used quite a lot. If the road to that campground was graded once a year, it would make people happy. There was $5,000 mentioned for Pine Lake to put posts and rocks in to where we hauled sand to make a beach. Now the department is going to put rocks in there because people are using the beach.
Hon. Mr. Porter: My understanding is that the area is completely open and people just go there and camp. We do not want people camping by the boat launch, so it is a way of controlling traffic flow. If there are large rocks in the area we could use them to block it or else use posts to do that so you can streamline traffic to the boat launch.
Mr. Brewster: Politicians live very dangerously, and I guess this one wants to live dangerously. I hope you realize that the sand was hauled in there to make a beach and the community have all their little picnics there and the kids run out to swim there. The sand was put there for that purpose. I would think a simple sign, or block the road up above would suffice, not throw rocks on the sand that is for all my nice little children and their families that go out for their weiner roasts and to run around in the sand that the government put there to start with.
Hon. Mr. Porter: If that is of concern, we will not go the route of putting rocks there. If a sign can do the job, then we will look at that.
Mr. Brewster: I would suggest a sign or block the cars from going down the road and make them stay back a little further. I personally know I will catch it, and I will pass it along to the Minister. I am not going to take it for that one.
Campground Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in the amount of $250,000 agreed to
On Recreation Access Construction
Hon. Mr. Porter: What we intend to do here is further work on the Rancheria Falls Trail construction that was started last year. We will finish that job off. Another $23,000 for Million Dollar Falls. There is a trail network there now but apparently portions of the trail have been closed down because they were not deemed to be safe, so we will spend $23,000 making sure they are safe for people. Fences are being considered for around the falls area.
The Lapie Canyon Trail on the Campbell Highway near Ross River is a similar situation where the trails are decaying, and we will spend $10,000 to bring them up to standard.
Recreation Access Construction in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Watson/Wheaton Resource Study
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is to complete the work of the Watson/Wheaton Resource Study. The funding will be broken down as follows: $15,000 will be spent on the mapping and display unit, drafting and displaying quality productions of the data gathered; there will be $5,000 contract work with respect to wildlife work; $15,000 for mineral analysis; $5,000 for heritage information and also $5,000 for analysis and preparation of recommendations. When a report is completed in this area, we expect that report to cost $5,000. This is a resource inventory study that is being done on the Watson/Wheaton area, and there is an attempt to bring all of the major players in the area together with the government to do the inventory. The long term goal is, with a known inventory compiled, there will be better decisions made by governments.
Mr. Brewster: I presume that this is a branch off but still a part of the Watson/Wheaton Subdivision Work Shop Study, which was voted in 1986-87 for $25,000, and we returned $18,985. Then, we had a Recreation Area Watson/Wheaton Study. We asked for $42,000 and returned $36,835. Are we going to spend what we have this year and not be returning a bunch? It is quite a bit of money. Is that the same branch off of those studies?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, this is the same area in which the work was initiated, and we intend to finish the resource analysis at the end of this Capital fiscal year.
Mr. Phelps: I understood that there was going to be a planning exercise that would have been parallel, in many ways, to the Hootalinqua north land use planning exercise. I take it that that planning exercise has not gone ahead, and that this is just some work that could be utilized for that kind of an exercise?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member is correct. At one point, it was thought this would grow into a regional planning exercise but, because of the land use planning process overtaking events and that being a forum in which all participants agree would be the area in which major land use planning does occur, we are limiting this to a data gathering exercise, and call this a resource inventory exercise.
Watson/Wheaton Resource Study in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Park Planning Candidate Area Selection
Hon. Mr. Porter: What is expected in this particular area with the funds being voted is that, because of the work that we have done in the outdoor recreational area and the data that we have gathered in the southern Yukon, as we go through the park planning exercise, the initial step is to gather as much data on the natural features inventory and recreation potential to develop a park systems plan. You are eventually going to come to a point where you make a decision as to what areas are best suited for parks.
This money will be spent on candidate selection for the southern Yukon, an area in which we have already undertaken considerable work. That is expected to be done in the fiscal year.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to think that, when you start planning this, that you go back to the Select Committee and look at the recommendation that, wherever large tracts of land are identified for territorial park status, the park should be designated multi-purpose, so we do not end up with some messes like we did at Coal Springs with the mining company and environmentalists fighting over what goes on.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Coal River springs did teach us an awful lot. We initially attempted to go into that particular area without an awful lot of the necessary data with which to make a decision, and then when we became further involved, and started costing the particular park site, it came as somewhat as a surprise to find that the road alone was in the millions. I think that the approach that we are taking now is a more logical approach: do your work ahead of time; do your costing; do all of the planning work related to the recreation features and actual features inventory, the parks outdoor policy, then you are in a better position to determine whether or not you could put a park in and what would be the cost factor and also, how that park would be run.
Mr. Brewster: I did not hear the Minister say that these would be multi-purpose - he said parks. I would like to get it on record: are these going to be multi purpose parks? Are they all going to be different? This way we slip around the recommendations of the Select Committee by having one multi-purpose and the next one not?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It would depend on the area. We are not at a point where we are making a decision; we are preparing for potential decisions. Any decision for a park would have to have, as called for under Section 10 of the Parks Act, a public consultation process and also, as well, I would have to go back to my Cabinet and say, This particular area should be designated a park, and here are some of the reasons why it should. As well, the question as to the use of what kind of park it would be would have to be addressed at that particular point.
Park Planning Candidate Area Selection in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Herschel Island - COPE
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Herschel Island park numbers break down; there are two components to it. It is voted in Renewable Resources, but Tourism and Heritage also spend money and have activities, so I will break, first of all, the Renewable Resources dollars down, and then the Tourism and Heritage dollars down.
These are: $43,000 for salaries; $2,000 for employee travel; $6,000 for travel incurred by the interim park planning committee; also, addition travel from Inuvik to Whitehorse for members of the committee; $3,500, honoraria for the committee members, $6,000; contracts, $25,000, and this is for the development of a interpretation program and for installation of communications equipment; and $32,000 for further charters to the communities of Inuvik, Aklavik, Old Crow and Whitehorse; hall rental, supplies, $1,000; program materials, $2,000; fuel, $1,000; communications, $10,000 - this is to purchase the radio/telephone system for Herschel Island; the printing of the management plan that will eventually be developed, $12,000. That constitutes the Renewable Resources budget portion of the COPE dollars.
The Tourism dollars are broken down as follows: $150,000 will be involved in the historic sites building preservation; $35,000 spent on historical research, focusing on the research of the whaling, fur trade, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Anglican Church history of Herschel Island; $40,000 for the salaries of the restoration planner; $15,000 for interpretative planning contract; $25,000 dedicated and focused on the cultural history of the Inuvaluit of the area; travel support costs of $17,000 for crew and building materials to be brought on site.
Herschel Island - COPE in the amount of $425,000 agreed to
On Heritage River - Thirtymile
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is the point of discussion that the critic and I had earlier; it is related to developing the management plan for the Thirtymile section of the Yukon River.
Mr. Brewster: I do not know whether the Minister will know this. I certainly did not know it. The first time I, as a Minister, saw it was when it was thrown in my lap all prepared. Were there ever any hearings in the Yukon on the Thirtymile River heritage site?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $24,000 expenditure we will be voting will enable us to have public discussions on the heritage river, prior to the management plan being implemented. The $24,000 just represents the Yukon Governments contribution toward this effort; the federal government will also be expending $24,000 on this particular item. So, yes, there will be public discussions on the Thirtymile section being dedicated as a heritage river.
Mr. Brewster: This is one of the confusions we have with these heritage rivers. I recall, during the short time I was a Minister, I was taken down to where all the national Parks people were; they wanted to meet me and they threw this in front of me and asked me to sign it. That was the Thirtymile heritage river thing and I said absolutely no way. I do not understand it, I have not seen it and I am not going to sign it. Now you come along and tell me there is going to be a study now - three or four years later.
Hon. Mr. Porter: This has been in the works for quite some time. We did some initial work on it last year and the federal minister has agreed to its nomination as a heritage river site. The funds we will be voting here will allow us to not only have public discussions, but also to develop the eventual management plan that will have to go forward in order for this river to be accepted.
Mr. Brewster: What you are telling me is that you go ahead and prepare this and have it all set up nicely as to what your rules and everything are; then you go to the public and ask them if that is what it is, or tell them to go ahead and change it. You have no idea what the public will ask. We have made this nice, fancy book up and while we are at it maybe we should ask somebody else that. There were no public hearings in Haines Junction. Somebody in eastern Canada, and the bureaucrats, did that.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The statement made by the Member with respect to the Alsek is true. If he is asking us whether or not we are going to develop the management plan and simply hoist it on the public, my understanding is that the public meetings will occur prior to the management plan being finalized, so the public meetings will be designed to try and to get some feedback from the public as to how they feel the Thirtymile should be managed. Then once the public has had its say then you move toward developing a management document.
Mr. Brewster: That is my problem here. We now admit that we have been three or four years making this up. It is a real nice book and looks pretty. You already have these things, but you never talk to the people, so you know what the people want in other words. Are you going to scrap this whole four years work if the people said no, they do not want this. Is that what you are telling me? That is not going to fly. Erik Nielsen did not even know there was a study of the Alsek River as a heritage river. Thirty years in parliament and he did not even know because they did it behind everybodys back.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The way the process works is that you identify the particular river and then do the baseline research that would substantiate the reasons for its nomination. Once you have passed that particular hurdle then you involve the public and ask the public what they think about this particular idea, and incorporate the public comments and move toward finalization of the management plan. That is how the process is envisaged to work.
Mr. Brewster: I guess when Mr. Chairman and I were on the Select Committee we did everything wrong; we should have sat down in the Edgewater or the T & M and made it up and let the people say here it is, what do you think? It is ridiculous to spend three or four years making this up. You are brainwashing people by saying here it is, what do you think? People do not realize they can tear that apart. People do not realize they really have a say in it. At least with this one we went out to people and said you talk, we will listen.
Here again we are having another government thing where the bureaucrats and the politicians behind hidden doors make everything and come to people and say, here it is, what do you think of it, pretty good, eh?
That is not the way to have hearings.
Heritage River - 30 Mile agreed to in the amount of $24,000
On Recreational Features Inventory
Hon. Mr. Porter: The funding under this program would be to continue the work on the recreational features inventory. The area that we did finish last year was in the southern Yukon. The work we are going to be doing this year is north of Carmacks. We will be spending $15,000 to purchase satellite images. We will also spend $35,000 on interpretation as well as ground truthing. Ground truthing simply means that you go out physically to the area to ensure that what is indicated in the satellite imagery is borne out by the physical evidence of the ground. Additional support costs are $5,000.
Recreational Features Inventory in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Dempster Corridor Study
Hon. Mr. Porter: This was introduced earlier on in the Budget, and it is a follow up to the management document that was produced by the previous government. It had not been followed through on. Our intentions are to pick that work up and to conclude the recommendations in the Dempster Report. The results anticipated are to enhance management of fish and wildlife, increase recreation and visitor facilities and to make recommendations on the use of the corridor. The total funding for this area of expenditure if $31,000.
Mr. Brewster: As I understand it, this will be the finalization of the Dempster Corridor. Ever since I have been in politics we have been studying this thing. I am rather scared that it is getting studied to death. Will the government be looking at the recommendation of the Select Committee that the corridor of Nahanni be put on both sides of the road?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That will definitely be one of the questions looked at. There have been recommendations made by the Select Committee on the corridor. There is a corridor in existence now, and the Select Committee asked us to return to it and to take another look at it. We will be doing that.
Dempster Corridor Study in the amount of $31,000 agreed to
On Forest Resources Management of Commissioners Land
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is broken down into the Commissioners lands that we hold to do an inventory of available forest resources. We expect that inventory to cost $7,500, and it will cost $2,500 to develop guidelines, policy and regulations for the use of those forest resources.
Mr. Brewster: I realize that we are talking about Commissioners land but since forestry officials have been in here for 40 years, are there no facts that they have compiled on this land.
Hon. Mr. Porter: There has been very little work done on the forest resource in the Yukon. The only area on which I have seen any intensive study or inventory on forestry resources has been in the southern Yukon. That was only initiated, to any real degree, over the last two to three years. There has been very little compiled on the lands that the Yukon government now owns.
Mr. Brewster: I am beginning to wonder what Forestry is doing here. I brought up the issue of a forest reserve at Marshall Creek where an area is fenced off, boundaries are drawn, and everybody is told to move their grazing leases. I realize that the federal forestry officials did this, but the territorial Lands Branch had something to do with this because I clashed with all of them over what was going on.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have no information that the Department of Renewable Resources was involved in that decision, but we will research the question put by the Member.
Mr. Brewster: The persons I talked to were in the Department of Community Affairs. However, I find it very hard to know who I am dealing with when we start dealing with things like this - whether it is the Department of Community Affairs or whether it is Renewable Resources. Anyway, they are the ones we talked to, and they are the ones who got the grazing leases straightened around through a few little conversations - they were quite nice.
It bothers me is that the federal government still owns this land, yet the territorial government was involved in telling the people to get out. They became the very unpopular ones, and the people remained through the cooperation of the territorial government people. When you get in these conflicts, such as grazing leases, I would have thought that if you had okayed them they would have been all right, and would not be told by someone else to get out.
Forest Resources Management of Commissioners Land in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
Parks, Resources and Regional Planning in the amount of $1,275,000 agreed to
Chairman: General debate?
On Determination of Forage Productivity
Hon. Mr. Porter: As I described in the opening of the Budget, this particular expenditure item is proposed for the reasons of determining the productivity of the lands throughout the Yukon. The expenditure breakdown is as follows: coordinator for the program, $35,000; technicians, who we expect to be students, $33,000; contract services for the construction of the enclosures, $6,000; for the contract work, $6,000; rental equipment, $10,000; postage, $500; program materials, $15,000; and employee travel throughout the Yukon, $32,000.
My understanding of what occurs is that certain areas of land are blocked off so that animals cannot get at them, and then you simply follow through on a growing process. So, you get an ideal barometer as to how much the land can produce. Then, you make a determination as to how many animals can be allowed to graze on those lands.
It is a program that we expect will take us a good three years to go through in the Yukon. This will be the first year expenditure of that three-year project.
Mr. Brewster: I have a little experience with this one because I was one of the first people approached to use some of my land. It was a year or so ago, I guess, and I took the post up this year because nobody came back, because apparently they had no money. To show you once again what governments do - they came back out and got soil samples. The Agriculture Department, which is sitting in the same office up there, took soil samples of my ground before I got buy it to farm. The soil did not change over two or three years and I pointed out to them it was rather ridiculous, when all they had to do was walk down two desks and ask them for the soil samples. Instead of that, we had two people driving around in a black and orange truck taking more soil samples. Maybe I am a hard-headed businessman but to me that just does not make bloody sense at all.
Determination of Forage Productivity in the amount of $140,000 agreed to
Recoveries in the amount of $425,000 agreed to
Schedule A - total amount for the Department of Renewable Resources, $1,631,000 agreed to
On Department of Tourism
Hon. Mr. Porter: To start with, I will go through the new projects that are being proposed under this particular Budget. There are four new projects. The first one is the Artifact Inventory Catalogue project for $50,000. This is for: preparation of a uniform basis of cataloguing artifact collections held by museums and the Yukon Government, in the Yukon; identification of areas of collections - strength and weakness in Yukon collections; and to inventory and document Yukon artifacts in private and public collections, outside the Yukon. The second one is the establishment of the Yukon Archaeological project for $50,000, and that is to undertake and manage specific research projects. These projects will identify and assess the impact of new highway airports and other construction activities throughout the Yukon, and identify the archaeological resources that are involved in those particular projects. The third area is the Cultural Heritage Study project, $70,000. This is aimed specifically at initiating historical research related to aboriginal people of the Yukon and to allow aboriginal people to initiate heritage studies in their particular areas. The fourth one is the Heritage Artifact Acquisition project. This is a one dollar vote, simply to allow us to be able to access specific artifacts that may be of tremendous value to the Yukon and, should we know of their existence, then we have a vote authority to make an acquisition of it.
Joining me in the discussions, to my immediate left, is the Director of Administration for the Department, Joanna Reynolds, and the Acting Deputy Minister, Mr. George Tawse-Smith.
Mr. Lang: I have a couple of observations to make on the area of tourism. Things have been fairly successful over the past decade, primarily starting with the move to go into partnership with Alaska in the area of marketing. It stabilized our industry from the point of view that we had the ability to attract tourists with the limited number of dollars that we had and made use of that larger vehicle that had been put together by Alaska and has obviously borne results.
I want to hear what the Minister has to say with respect to what the future plans are for the department with respect to our agreements with Alaska. I would also like to ask if he would go a little further and tell us what he is doing with the results of the $300,000 tourism plan that was brought forward here some time ago.
I would also like to ask what the position of the government is with respect to the financing of the tourism industry respecting conventions in Whitehorse. As you can see, they are coming under some financial constraints and in view of the largess of the government and the large budget it would be a tragedy to see that type of endeavour shut down when it is just getting on its feet. I understand there is an agreement in place but that is always subject to renegotiations in any event. It is something the government should look at and I would like to hear his comments on that.
I know there have been requests to the government for the purpose of providing off sales at private RV parks in the summer. I would like to know the governments position is for perhaps permitting that type of a licence to occur for those people, such as the Pioneer RV Park, and parks of that kind, in the business of servicing the tourism industry.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Starting from the one that is most fresh, I do not recall any particular discussion unless it was done earlier on. I believe a year ago there was some discussion about an RV park near Whitehorse with that concept. At that point in the discussion, which occurred with my office, I asked the individual to contact the Minister of Justice, who is also responsible for liquor sales for further discussion. So there has been nothing immediate that has occurred on off sale discussion.
At the present time, there is no intention of the Yukon to change direction regarding our expenditures with the Alaska marketing program. It should be recognized that we are the single largest contributor to that Alaska marketing program and there are changes that have taken place in Alaska. There may be further discussions between us and Alaska with respect to looking at the restructuring of the Alaska Marketing Council. I understand there have been changes in Alaska with the new regime that has taken over management of the Alaskan government, and that there is some suggestion of further changes with respect to marketing between Alaska and ourselves. Those talks have not taken place with my offices yet, and hopefully I will have an opportunity to meet directly with the Director of Tourism in Alaska to talk about the kinds of changes that have taken place in Alaska and what it means for the Yukon.
But at the present time there have been no changes and I believe the Minister asked about conventions. It is true that we have not agreed with YBA and I have not been informed of any problems that they are having with respect to the funds that we provide through the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, as it is called now. I have read the paper that seemed to state that they do, in fact, have some concerns with respect to the funds that are, in fact, dissipating from the government, because it was staggered funding. They would gets so much the first year and it would decrease over the years as their ability to raise revenues increase. I have been contacted by them - I believe it was today - and there has been a request for a meeting. I will take a positive attitude to the meeting with them with respect to the convention program. That agreement that we have for them is a four year agreement and I am informed that the Department has been working with them to try to find some solutions to the funding program, and I will also be meeting be representatives of the Tourism Industry of the Yukon.
In addition the Member raised a question regarding the tourism strategy. That is in the final draft stages. As the Member is aware, it has been one of the areas of discussion in the Yukon 2000 process and within the Yukon 2000 process, there has been an extension on the public consultation process. As part of that document, I believe that some time this spring that will be final report of the Yukon 2000 printed, and the tourism strategy will be part of that process.
Mr. Lang: There is one other area of concern, which I know my colleague will expand on a little bit further, but, as a critic, I want to point out that the area that seems to be suffering in the area of tourism is the Kluane area. All statistical data looks as if we are having a drop in tourism there, when everywhere else has experienced an increase. There is no reason for that to happen, quite frankly. I think the government should be taking more of an interest in developing, in conjunction with Parks Canada, a national park so that there is a reason for people to stop at Haines Junction and in the Kluane area and spend, not only a couple of hours, but spend a couple of days. If we do not encourage the opening of the park, and also make very strong, firm policy statement in respect to what the government is prepared to do, as far as the private sector is concerned, we are going to continue on in just a haphazard manner in the development of that area, and that is a tragedy.
The tragedy also is that there are two types of people who get to see the park, at the present time: that is if you happen to be on the government salary and have access to an airplane or a helicopter, paid for by the taxpayer, or you happen to be on welfare and have the time to walk into it.
That was not the reason that that park was initially formed and supported by the people of the area, the people of the Yukon of the day. It was to be formed so that there could be access to the park, so that people of all ages and of all financial backgrounds could enjoy that park. Right now it is the privileged few, and what I mean by the privileged few are those who are on welfare, or those who have so much money or have a job that gives them access to the park.
I want to put on the record here that we are very, very concerned about what is happening in that area. The other area, as far as tourism is concerned, that is going to have an effect on the long term, if the government does not starting taking some action to continue to push for the Alaska Highway to be upgraded up north there toward Beaver Creek.
There is no question that the state of that highway will become more and more talked about among the travelling public. It is up to the government to be pushing the federal government on this issue, to see what we can do, even if it is a ten or a fifteen year program, to upgrade that northern section of the highway.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member first raised the point that the numbers of people visiting the Kluane area is dropping of. In previous years, statistics did bear that out. There was a drop in numbers. This years border crossing statistics that we have show a slight increase. The 1986 numbers for people going through the Pleasant Camp via the Haines Road was 23,569, which was a drop from the previous year. They did rise in 1987 by 2.8 percent. There is a slight increase in those numbers.
The question of the park remains one of the major ones for tourism development in the Yukon. It is an area that has to be addressed. The sentiment of that was expressed by the Member when he talked about the restrictive ability of people to access that park.
That is felt by many people, and there has to be resolution of it. Parks Canada attempted to negotiate access to the park with a private developer. Unfortunately, that did not come about. That plan sort of has slid by the wayside. We have been in contact with Parks Canada, and they have informed us that they will begin a revaluation of the objective of the management of Kluane. That will be initiated this spring. It is timely in terms of the future use of that park. There is no question that Kluane is seen as one of the most single attractive areas of potential tourism development for the Yukon. That is an area that we will be working on in the future with Parks Canada to try to bring some development to Kluane. There has to public discussion as to what form that development takes.
The Member for Kluane, the Minister for Community and Transportation Services and myself have been involved in a letter writing campaign with the federal Minister of Highways. Maybe it is time that we did something more dramatic than that. It may be quite possible that the Minister of Community and Transportation Services and myself will have an opportunity to meet with that Minister and try to convince him that there should be some funds allocated to the Alaska Highway.
Maybe that is what is necessary, unless the Member for Porter Creek East would agree to fly us to Ottawa. It is a good idea to have the opportunity to address the question here in the Yukon, because it is the major artery in the Yukon. Very little funds have been expended. We have weeds growing over areas that were cleared five years ago on the southern part of the highway. That is another major area of concern that we will continue to work on with the Opposition and the municipal governments.
Mr. Brewster: I am going to start with the nice books. They are very nice. Once more, the Member for Kluane becomes completely frustrated. We have a map here, and we left the Haines Road out - the best road we have in the Yukon - and a Trans Canada standard highway that is up to the best standards anywhere in Canada, but it is not on there. Maybe it went with the Aishihik Road. Maybe they are both gone. Maybe Kluane should join Alaska. Alaska puts our roads in. Unfortunately, I am not quite as mad because on this map they did manage to get it. Here is a picture of sheep in Kluane up on Sheep Creek, which is five miles off the road. Most people cannot walk that far to get there.
Then we pick this other nice one up. Here we have the glacier. It costs about $800 to fly to see that. It is false advertisement that we are doing, as I brought out to the Minister before. People think they are going to see those things, but they are not going to see them. It used to take me four days to get back there with pack horses. People are not even in the park when they are driving the highway, but the territorial government is using Kluane National Park and taking all their pictures to bring people up here. People do not see any of this because they cannot get into any of it.
Incidentally, I am not criticizing the books. They are very nice but, as I have pointed out, they are not realistic. They have beautiful pictures. It costs $800-900 to get in there and see those things. I do not think the Minister of Community Affairs would put a road in there for me. He will not even put a road into Aishihik for me because of the campgrounds. It is ridiculous the way things go on.
When it takes this long to put these books out, I do not understand why they cannot be correct and explain to people that they can see these things if they hire a helicopter to fly over there. Otherwise, they will not see any of this. How many people actually stop in that area, except to see Kluane Lake, which is on the territorial side right along the road. They line up and stop there, but this they do not see. They see a few sheep on Sheep Mountain, but after the sheep lamb they go back in behind and there is a gate up. You have to plead with the territorial warden - it says you can walk in there. You are 78 years old and retired, but you can walk in there. You cannot see them from the road. This is absolutely ridiculous.
The Kluane National Park took in 77,000 and some people last year. They registered in Haines Junction. That is a false statement because most of those people have signed there and signed at Sheep Mountain. They tell me only 20 percent. I say 50 percent, but I will accept 20 percent. That is a lot of tourists. Denali National Park took in 455,000. Somebody is doing something right, and it is sure not us.
There are a lot of people coming into the Yukon. But, when you get your statistics and read them, 12.5 of them are Yukon residents who travel down to Skagway at night to have a beer and come home. Take that from 188,000 and things do not look as rosy as they could be. The Minister mentioned that the tourism had not dropped in our area. Right, it is up at Pleasant Camp. There is a bus that comes from Pleasant Camp, brings them in through Whitehorse and takes them to Skagway. We are lucky if they stop at Haines Junction for lunch.
If we are lucky, they will use the washrooms. The rest of Kluane really saw that and they really saw Kluane did they not? They came up a road that they do not even have mapped. It is the best road in the Yukon, and it is not even on the map.
It was very interesting in June, these are customs figures, that the day passengers to Fraser and back increased by nine percent, so we have lost a whole bunch more passengers. They did not bother coming. Another nine percent went back. They are counted in this figure because they went through Fraser. The figure is dropping and dropping all the time.
In July, Beaver Creek buses, minus 13 percent. So they are all coming through, eh? Yes, Pleasant Camp is up a little bit, but they all came right through to Whitehorse. The Kluane area got very little, except a washroom stop and coffee. I am getting very, very concerned about these things.
It is just too bad that because of a filibuster yesterday that we could not get our two motions on. I realize that the Minister cannot do anything more than scream and holler about Kluane National Park; I realize that completely. We had a motion that we wanted to get on here that would have put the pressure of this whole Legislature on them to get off their butts and get going. People are fed up with this stuff. We signed a petition. We signed a petition and we were told that that would be used for tourists.
I have people there now who are very strong environmentalists who have no use for the park, absolutely none. They often say to me that it is too bad we did not leave it a Kluane Game Sanctuary and then we could have done something. Okay we made a mistake, but we did not make a mistake completely; we held some of that and there are roads in there. I got a motion, but I do not seem to get my motions in when they are real big. Maybe so this is so politically we do not have to have the embarrassment of turning them down. There are roads in there. There is a mine in there now. All I asked was to put these roads in and grade them. I do not want a big fancy road; I want a road. I do not want a private business running that road; I want that road owned by the government with a toll gate on it. Within ten years you will have your money back. Do not tell me these things are not done; they are done in Banff; they are done in Jasper and they are done all over. Talk to the Americans and they will tell you that they will pay anything to see it. They pay to go down the big fancy highways in the states; they pay to go across bridges and think nothing of it. We turn around and charge those cars and there is another industry to start up there, probably by the Burwash Band. People with RVs would probably not go, but they would use that bus to make that circle.
I am not asking for all this to be done in one year. We have waited for 30 years so we are patient, we can wait. We are asking someone to make a commitment that we will get started. The road up to Quill Creek up to the Quill Creek mine, the first part of it, is already being used. In fact the lodge up there will tell you that he has made more on the mine than he made on tourists, because they stayed there all year and they are still there.
We are not holding tourists; we are not getting tourists. Yet we talk about them coming up. Yes, they are coming up - look at the numbers against what they get in Alaska. How do those people get to Alaska without going through here? Because Alaska puts them on boats and takes them to Anchorage and gets them away from here. We are not doing our job. If they can put that many through their park, we should be up over 100,000. Just jump to 100,000 - 20,000 more people going through. Think of what this means. With accommodation and everything else, it means probably, $115 now per day. Think of 20,000 more people. We are a small country and I do not think we will ever be as big as that; in fact, I hope we never are. I went through that and I hope we never are. But we certainly are not getting what we should be getting.
We have the most beautiful country in the world. Kluane has got it, regardless of what any of them say. The Minister of Transportation sent me his little book on the Silver Trail and the picture shows haying in the rain. Well, he has seen nothing yet. You could hardly even see that with a spy glass. I can show him not a half mile off the road there is a bridge that would put that to shame.
Anyway, we need some help in the Kluane area. We need some help, and it is going to have to be between the Renewable Resources, Parks, and Community and Transportation. The people in the area need to know that this is coming. We do not expect it overnight, but we need to know and plan what we are doing. This government put hundreds of thousands of dollars up there this year to build up tourism, but the buses dropped. Do not tell me they did not - there are the figures from Customs; they dropped. So now we have all these places fighting with each other, and bitterly. I have lived with lodge keepers all my life, and they always fight; what is going on now is vicious and cut throat. It is going on all over because we have built all these things but have nobody there. They are not coming, and they will not be coming - less and less and less - because of the road north. It is one of the worst roads there is. There are wagon trails better than that. It will literally snap your back out, jumping up and down. We scream and holler and they keep saying the Alaskans will look after it. They are not. Grow up. The Alaskans cannot even handle their own budget and pay it - their deficit. They cannot even get their own country straightened around. Their dollar is dropping. They have put in fantastic money bringing the road as far as Haines Junction and they have gone past Haines Junction; they have gone five miles up Jarvis, and that is the best road in the area.
Another point that should be very clearly made: that road perhaps cost a little more - and I worked on it - but they have never had to do any repatching or anything, because everything came up to 100 percent compaction, or it did not pass. The road between here and Whitehorse into Haines Junction is a nice road, the pieces they put in; they did not bring them up to compaction because they are already breaking and they are already spending money fixing them up. You have to spend a dollar and do it right to start with, and then you are finished. The maintenance and everything is over.
I am very, very concerned that we are not getting tourists into the Kluane area. Those tourists coming out of Pleasant Camp, let us face it - if they go to Haines Junction for a lunch stop, Haines Junction is lucky. That bus goes by there every day, but usually it is a stop for a glass of water and to use the toilet. Then they wheel into Whitehorse and then down to Skagway, get back on the boat, and away they go. We have to stop these people.
Here is a good example. That book - sure, in one place it shows Haines. If you look at it, it does not even show a ferry going to Haines. It goes to Skagway. There is no road, no ferry, no nothing going to Haines. Yet the ferry has to go by Haines to get there.
That is balderdash. Stupid. And we are going to have to do something about it. I bet you half the passengers on the ferry - and I have gone through this ever since the Haines Road was opened - all of a sudden we said we were going to pull a bunch of the Whitehorse traffic, and everyone said no. Within four or five ferries, the government had people out there counting how many were making the turn and not coming to Whitehorse.
That was the start of the Skagway Road. I said when I was with the government that as soon as the Skagway Road was opened, the area would be killed unless both of them were advertized. There used to be an advertisement for the train on the ferry. People in Haines Junction wondered where these people came from. They wondered how they knew there was a road there. They knew because they were from Alaska. This has got to stop. Anybody will say the same thing.
We have more lodges in my constituency than in any other area in the Yukon. I defy anyone in this House to say differently, and the government helped build them. It has financed them completely, and that is another argument. We build these areas up before we have the tourist traffic.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The major theme of the Members comments is that there has to be something done with the development of Kluane National Park. It is safe to say that it is a key decision that will determine the future of tourism for the Members region. That is a process that will be initiated this spring. Hopefully, we will get a positive decision on the process and that we will see some movement from Ottawa. It is a major development and is designated as a lands reserve for a national park. We have to involve the federal Minister in the decision. A positive development for Kluane National Park would mean tourism development for Kluane.
Mr. Brewster: I am not going to let the Minister off quite that easily. It is true that Kluane National Park is the answer to this, but it is not the whole answer. Right above it is Quill Creek and the Donjek River, which is a game sanctuary. The roads are in there, and that could be a start. We are not going to get it all done at once. This is the only way we are going to move Kluane National Park. I went through this as a young boy in Banff. This government has to have a very strong brief in there. There will be some very strong briefs from the Kluane area. We had better be going in there with every gun that we have.
There are environmentalists in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary who have a decision to make on how we live. It is just like the environmentalists made a decision on how the fur trappers live and how the sealers live. They are the ones who killed it last time. The only thing that will happen is that they may allow a motor boat to go down the river. That will make a lot of noise, and we cannot stand noise in there. They will probably bother the mosquitoes that we want to get rid of because they bite us. We have to watch that.
We are not just playing around with these poor fellows in the national park. They are powerless. The power is in places like Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa. The environmentalists will be up in arms, screaming and hollering. If we do not have the intestinal fortitude to fight them, we may as well stay home.
Mr. Phillips: I, too, was a little disappointed yesterday when we did not get an opportunity to debate the motions we had wanted to, because of time, but I would like to just add a few things to what the Member for Kluane just said in support of development in the Kluane area, the Kluane National Park area.
We all know that it takes government many, many years to get anything done and especially when you involve two governments, and that mean the Yukon government moving and trying to motivate the federal government. I think that this government should be doing whatever it can now. It is going to take two or three or four years for anything to really happen in the Kluane area and I think that we did an excellent job at Expo, we did a super job of selling of Yukon, but a lot of these people are not seeing what they saw in a lot of that production, because they cannot get into some of those areas that we advertised so well at Expo. What we seem to be getting is possibly just the cream off the top of the milk and the whole rest of the bottle of milk is going right by the Yukon to Alaska.
I will just give you a couple of figures so that you will see what is happening. In the Yukon last year, tourist dollars - pardon me, in 1986 - amounted to $91 million in the Yukon. In Alaska, tourist dollars generated $700 million. That is quite a difference; that is quite a difference. You know what? One of the most beautiful spots in the world is Kluane National Park and I believe that it is even more beautiful than the Denali National Park, which, surprisingly enough, 40 percent of those tourists who spend $700,000 came to Alaska to see, and they spent time there. An indication of how they spent time is that when they came to the Yukon, in 1986 the average tourist spent $400 a visit. In Alaska, they spent $1,000 a visit, which is fairly significant, especially when you add the number that we are getting, compared to the number that they are getting. I think that the spinoff would be immense, not only to the Kluane area, but to all other areas of the Yukon, and I think that we cannot sit back and talk about it any longer.
If government had moved three or four years ago when they talked about Kluane, and access to Kluane, we would be getting that $700,000,000 today. Tourism would be the biggest industry in the territory. But we did not move. We now have the opportunity to move, to develop the Kluane area. There are enough safeguards in place now that we can protect the integrity of the area, as they have protected and enhanced the integrity of Denali National Park. Denali National Park is a monument in North America and because they have had so many visitors come to the park, so many visitor pay to see the park and leave money in the area, the people managing Denali National Park have been able to carry on all kinds of programs in the park in Alaska.
Before, they would have to go to the taxpayer and ask to do that. Because they have worked on it and expanded it and allowed access into such a park - not just for the elite or the government bureaucrats or the government dignitaries, or the very healthy or the very wealthy, the only people now that can go and see the park - they have allowed access for the small kids, the women, the children, the senior citizens and everyone else. It is not there to preserve so nobody can ever see it. It is there to preserve so people can see what the value of the wilderness and the value of the outdoors is. If we do not allow them access, nobody is ever going to know that.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Much of what has been said by the Member is entirely reflective of a lot of sentiment in the Yukon within the tourism sector as well. Just as a point of clarification, in many instances, comparing the Yukon and Alaska is a very wrong thing to do. Alaska had billions of dollars with respect to oil and gas revenues and were able to spend $7 million building a high school in a community.
To look at Alaskas expenditures even now, in a depressed state of the economy where they can spend $8 million on advertising alone with another $5 million from big tour companies like Princess Tours, Westours and Alaska Airlines, it is a bit unfair to suggest that we can compete with Alaska at the same level.
With respect to the future development of tourism in the Yukon, there is no question that those major issues have to be addressed but, at the same time, we have to be realistic about it, and we have to have the bucks to be able to do it.
Mr. Brewster: I have a problem with you saying that you cannot compare with Alaska. The park in Alaska has 80 miles of road. They get 450,000 to 500,000 people in to. They do not have a united heritage site, which has been advertised all over the road. We do, 15 miles out of Haines Junction. It is the old story. You can sit and holler all you like but, if you do not get out and start kicking, you are not going to go anywhere.
Nobody has asked, nor expects, this government or the Yukon to suddenly have 450,000 to 500,000 people. I say we can get 20,000 or 25,000 more to get up over 100,000. Here we have a national park, and we cannot even get to 100,000 people. It is likely 35,000 people who are seeing it, because they are registering those people twice. The Tourism department started taking counts on the tourist information booths. That is not a true figure, either. Just about every tourist will stop at them because they want something to see, so they stop and sign in every time. Every tourist who went by signed in every one of them. Take a look at Kluane National Park and then take a look at the figures at the border.
Somebody is not trying. I realize the national parks are not trying because they want to live in this little kingdom where they can fly around in helicopters and see that, if you have a little extra money you can take some friends, but the poor old retired people, and most of the tourists are retired or quite old and they cannot see anything. Sometime when the Minister is talking with national parks ask them this question, I have asked them lots of times but maybe they will answer him because they will not answer me. Their theory is that they are keeping this aside for future generations. My question is: what generation are you talking about? Which future generation is going to be the lucky one? This generation has not seen it. Are we going to hold it for another 20 generations? What are we talking about? This generation has not seen any of it. Just ask the national parks and they will look at you with their mouths open and say that we did not mean it that way.
I am quite simple. Words are words to me. That is what they said, they are keeping it for future generations, yet this generation has not seen it. When are we going to open it up? Let us say that this generation wants to see it. Never mind holding the country back and saying that it is for the people 100 years from now. The way our world is developing 100 years from now it will be completely changed anyway. Those rivers are changing it so fast in my lifetime.
That Kluane Lake has come from five miles up the river at the old wooden bridge and it is almost out to that island. When I first came here I said someday I would walk to that island. Everybody laughed at me. I will walk to that island. I only have about half a mile to go. I probably could get there now if I could swim. That is how much this country has changed.
The White River has changed completely. This country changes every year. So saving this is like saying the salmon cannot go up there and spawn. The salmon have been going up there long before we came to this country. They spawn and go back out, in all that dirt. They say that if the little placer miner puts a little flip of dirt in and the salmon are all dead. It is ridiculous.
Mr. Lang: I want to add one more thing on the Kluane National Park. I am disturbed when I hear the Minister cry poor now. He cannot compare us to Alaska. The Government of the Yukon Territory has the largest Capital Budget in its history. It has had more money, and at times one has to come to the conclusion they do not know what to do with it.
I have a suggestion. We could take $300,000 away from the Lone Ranger, put that into a fund for a road access into Kluane. We could take $170,000 from the political pork barrelling business incentive policy that is being introduced by the Minister of Justice; now we are up to $470,000. We could take $100,000 off the shop they are building in Ross River from $435,000 and ask them just to build a $335,000 shop. There is $500,000. That did not take a study or consultant to figure this out for me. I am talking about political priorities. What is wrong with the government taking a leadership role and saying, Look, we are setting up a four year program, and we are going to make available $300,000. We want you, Parks Canada, to talk to us because we are in charge of highways and we are in charge of road building.
I am sorry the Member for Whitehorse North Centre is so bored. Why do you not do us all a favour and quit.
What is wrong with that kind of effort by the government? If we are not going to get action out of Parks Canada, we do have excess funds. I do not think there is any question that, if you take a look through the budget, you can find a half million dollars, even a $300,000 program. I have not even touched the Housing Corporation, in fairness to the Minister of Housing who is quietly sitting in the back tere, because I could have some ideas of what to do with some of that money.
My point is that, it is political priorities, and I think the Cabinet and the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Highways should have a serious look at perhaps calling National Parks bluff and say we are prepared to start something here, even $100,000 program.
Mr. Brewster: I am just going to make one suggestion. I am not going to go any further than that. There is a road already up Quill Creek; there is a mine up there that may go into production. There is no such thing as a private road, so that is not their road; it belongs to the people of the Yukon. The territorial government could turn around and - I do not know what shape it is in; they would have to look at it, but it must be in good enough shape to drive back and forth because they all come back out every night to the bars so it cannot be in too bad a shape, and they get back alright so it must be fairly smooth - grade that road up, put your toll gate on and start collecting your money. They can go up there to the Quill Creek mine; they can turn around and see sheep, caribou and grizzly bear right on those mountains, all over.
I am giving you a suggestion where you would know your money is coming back. If we could have got our two motions through, they were probably the only two motions in Canada that were telling you how you could get paid back, not asking you for money, just borrowing it so we can get the toll gates and then we will pay it back to you. I am offering it to you right now; you could put it in next year and I bet you would come out with $20,000 or $30,000 with no advertising. It has never been advertised, and I bet you could get that right off the bat. Plus, you are helping a big mine, which is coming out of there; you should be looking after those roads. We have these roads from the mines; we are helping them and a couple of placer miners up in there, so we would help placer miners. Really, we are not putting much extra money into this; the road is there, already built. I suspect you would probably have to put the first bridge in, although maybe the mine has done that. I have not been up the road since they really got going up there.
There is an offer. Try it. Put a toll gate up and start collecting. You will have money to go from there on.
Hon. Mr. Porter: In summation, any way you cut it, when you look at the future development of tourism in the Yukon, the development of the Kluane region, specifically the Kluane National Park does in fact hold out a lot of promise for future development. The most salient statement to be made at this particular point is that we are very interested in some of the future ideas that the critic opposite will undoubtedly inject into proposed policy options for tourism development in the future.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to ask the Minister when are we going to get a Deputy Minister of Tourism?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not want to speak for the Government Leader on this point. That is his responsibility, but my understanding is that the position has been advertized, and we have had names brought forward, and a short list has been compiled. It is hoped that when we do come back in the spring, a decision will have been made.
Mr. Nordling: I hope so. I hope that the Member has a little say in the hiring of the individual, and that he does not leave it totally up to the Government Leader.
On October 9, 1985, the Minister of Tourism brought a motion forward. He amended every word after the word that in the motion brought forward by the Member for Porter Creek East. It is his motion. The Ministers motion was: THAT during its review of the Canada Yukon Tourism Subagreement, the Government of Yukon should give consideration to advocating a minimum of 50 percent of the money set aside under the Economic Development Agreement for tourism development to a revolving fund, which would be used to utilize a low interest loan program for the tourism industry.
I would like the Minister to update us on what he is doing in that regard.
Hon. Mr. Porter: This matter was brought to the federal government on a number of occasions, and we have gotten absolutely nowhere on the issue. The federal government refuse to take an approach of a revolving fund to the dollars that have been put through the tourism EDA. They are not in favour, and they will not concede at this point.
Mr. Nordling: It is hard to believe that with something like this, where they are giving us the money, that we cannot get anywhere. As the Member for Porter Creek East said back in 1985, it is a political decision. It is not something that the bureaucrats should negotiate. It should be between the Minister of Tourism for the Yukon and the federal Minister. Will the Minister table or provide us with its correspondence with the federal government and their refusal, so we can know exactly what has been done. Perhaps this side can get involved and assist.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. I will undertake to get the documents for the Member.
Mr. McLachlan: Since the final year of the Canada Yukon Tourism Subagreement is April 1, 1988, have any discussions been held with the federal people to renewing that on a three year basis, or will there be something coming on April 1, 1989. We do not want to be in a position where we are caught this time next year with our pants down with no money.
Chairman: Order please.
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is right. This is a first year expenditure. There have been no discussions between the Minister and myself. I have made representations to his office that I would like meet on this particular question. There have been discussions at the level of officials on the issue, and what is needed is for myself and the Minister of Tourism to sit down shortly to address this issue. I have put a request to his office that we meet some time this month.
Chairman: Is there any further general debate?
Before we move on to the first program, is it the wish of the Committee to take a brief recess?
We will now recess for 10 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
On Signs and Interpretation
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is an ongoing program. We intend to spend $75,000 with 20 interpretive signs for $10,000; construct pull offs for Dempster signs - that will be the major item - $30,000; research and construct 20 further interpretive signs for $20,000; and existing interpretive border signs and maintenance for those signs, $2,000; and other pull off constructions, $10,000.
Mr. Phillips: I know the side opposite has expressed reservations about doing this in the past, but I think it should be mentioned again because it is very important, and that is the fact that 75 percent of the tourists who come up our highways in the Yukon are American. Most of these tourist who come up through the highways system do not understand kilometres. I think we should be doing in the tourism industry what they do in many other countries where they depend so much on tourism. For example, Hawaii does very special things because they know that tourism is their business. I think the Yukon should appreciate that fact as well and, possibly, we should look at combination signs, as they do in other jurisdictions of Canada, with the miles and kilometres on the signs. When you talk about signage interpretation, you can tell someone that the next place up the road is 228 kilometres away, but they do not have any idea how far that is. We cannot expect them, on a four or five day visit to the Yukon, to understand that. I would hope that the Government of the Yukon would appreciate how many of those people who come here do not understand the system, and that they would start putting some signs together that would reflect the fact that they are welcome in Canada and be as helpful as we possibly could to the tourists so they may spend a longer time here and enjoy the Yukon.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The signs, with respect to highways and distances, are a responsibility of the highways division. With respect to Tourisms efforts, my understanding is that in much of the literature that we publish we do take into account the American public, and do post mileage signs in miles. It may be an idea that in some key areas under this particular program, where we do establish signs, we could indicate some mileage signs in the future, under this particular program.
Mr. Phillips: I am pleased to see that the Department of Tourism has realized the value in doing that. I just hope they can convince the Minister of Highways and Transportation of the value of it. I am sure that if he really thought about it a long, long time, he would see that there is a great value in it. Like I said, I am not asking for every mile. I am asking for every 50 or 100 miles, or from main point to main point, so that people can understand exactly where they are in the system. I think that it would be a great benefit.
Signs and Interpretation agreed to in the amount of $75,000
On Wilderness Resource Assessment
Hon. Mr. Porter: What we hope to do here is to look at a program; specifically, the fishing industry. It is a program that apparently has some success in the Northwest Territories, where you identify some key potential areas for sport fishing development. That is what we are going to spend the money in this area on - to look at the tourism potential for our sport fishery development.
Mr. Phillips: In such a program as this, would the government be interested in stocking such lakes that tourists could fish at - in conjunction with, say, federal Department of Fisheries and local conservation organizations. We know that a lot of tourists come here for fishing, and if we could stock some of the lakes up and down the highways, in conjunction with the Department of Fisheries -, or hopefully, one day, our Department of Fisheries -, could we utilize monies from this program for that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Department of Tourism is not intending to take on any fishery responsibilities but simply to look at sport fishing as an incentive of area development to increase tourism. But, speaking with my Renewable Resources hat on, we in the Department are more than willing to look at a program for future development. That is one that we will be talking to the federal Minister of Fisheries about, with respect to greater economic utilization of the fishery resources. I have had private conversations with the Member opposite and agree that one of the things that we should be doing, with respect to key tourism corridors, is to not only identify those lakes that have potential, but begin to look at a fishery enhancement program for those lakes. On the previous program of signage, we should look at utilizing funds from the signage program to indicate where those lakes are located in the Yukon, and do an advertisement. It is possibly an item of discussion for the government and the Fish and Game Association, for example, as a project that we could initiate in the future on a trial basis, to see how it goes.
Mr. Lang: This is $30,000 that we are dealing with here. We are identifying the lakes with fish in them for $30,000. I have to register my concern about how we are spending this money and whether in the end result we will get what we want. It would seem to make much more sense to take $30,000 and stock three or four lakes and actually have some fish in the lake as opposed to hiring somebody to run around the territory and reinvent the wheel. All the information as far as lakes and fish is on file with federal fisheries.
I would ask the Minister to reassess and have another look at what we are doing here. Maybe we could take this $30,000 and start that road program into Kluane. I do not understand the purpose of this. We all know where the lakes are, just ask the Members of the House. You have done your $30,000 study right here.
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is sort of a myth that a lot of us have, that fisheries know something about the fish and the lakes of the Yukon. Through our experience in dealing with that particular department we find that the opposite is true, they know very little about not only the carrying capacity of the lakes, but the basic biology of the fishery. We are saying that regardless of future outcome of negotiations surrounding the management of fisheries that we have to begin to do this work because it is shown that fishery development, if it is handled right, could have a tremendous impact on tourism. We have seen it happen in northern Ontario and northern parts of the provinces as well as the Northwest Territories. This expenditure will simply be to explore the tourism potential for fishery development in hopes that that will spur further initiatives in the fishery area.
Mr. Lang: What are we doing? A survey on people who come up here to fish or are we going to lakes and counting the fish?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will be doing specific assessment of lakes throughout the Yukon as to their potential sport fishing development.
Mr. Lang: You mean we are hiring a biologist to go and count fish in a lake to see if there is any fish in it? Is that what we are doing?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Our intention is to contract the activity, and it is quite possible that someone with a biological background would undertake to do the work.
Mr. Phillips: I have some of the same concerns that the Member for Porter Creek East has. Simply because we are talking about the Department of Tourism, we talk about fishing and all the ads we run in our pretty brochures showing all the fish that we have. Most of the pictures that are shown in those brochures show fish that were taken in outlying lakes. If you come to the Yukon you have to have a few extra dollars to be able to fly out to these lakes. The majority of people who come to the Yukon who want to wet a line want to fish in the streams and rivers along the highways and byways.
Like the Member for Porter Creek East said, instead of waiting another two or three years - and the Member for Watson Lake knows how long it takes to grow fish in this country - we should be starting now. We should be working with various groups. We have lakes identified by the federal Department of Fisheries in almost every community in the territory that have a mediocre stocking program. People have tried, but it has been the same old story. Instead of putting in 200,000 fish we put in 20,000, and they do not amount to that much.
We should be looking at enhancing those programs to take the pressure off some of our other lakes, and putting them on some of the tourist brochures so that people would stop and fish in those places. That is where we could get the best bang for our buck. I am afraid that someone will gather, in the middle of nowhere, a bunch of data that is already sitting in files in the federal Fisheries Department offices.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The issue of fishery enhancement is one that we are looking at. We are in the process of preparing a submission to the Renewable Resources EDA agreement, under the Department of Renewable Resources, to do exactly that - to undertake a program that is aimed at fishery enhancement.
Chairman: Is there anything further?
Wilderness Resource Assessment in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Streetscape Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: The funding under Streetscape for this Budget year is broken down as follows. The community of Watson Lake is allotted $30,000; the community of Burwash, $50,000; Destruction Bay, $50,000; Beaver Creek, $60,000; Teslin, $50,000; Upper Liard, $30,000. Planning for Champagne is $10,000; Pelly, $40,000. Communities along the Silver Trail, Elsa, Mayo and Keno are each $15,000. The administration for the program is $65,000.
Mr. Phelps: I have a lot of concerns about the Streetscape program as the Minister is well aware. I have had some correspondence with him and with officials in his department. It is my opinion that the program is in complete and utter disaster largely because, regarding some of the communities, the program was put in place, and there was no contemplation about the ongoing life cycle accounting costs, the operation and maintenance costs.
We had the situation in Carcross where some poor souls were selected to sit on a board not realizing what was coming down. They ended up having the unpleasant task of spending some $125,000 in Carcross.
The thing was an absolutely incredible disaster. We got very little to show for this money except some bad feelings and upset people. To start with, they spent $25,000; this was on the advice and following the instructions of the officials, because these people have no idea about accounting and so on. They are just average people from Carcross. They spent $25,000 on engineering.
I had an engineer talk to me; they talked to a lot of people in town, and they showed me some blueprints of a little alleyway beside our house, between us and the Post Office. It was quite a detailed drawing showing little plants. Ssomebody had spent a lot of time on it; I guess they have to to spend $25,000. It was a guy from Vancouver. Not only was the concept, as he brought it forward, unsatisfactory, but the scale was wrong. Not wrong a little bit; we are talking about a little alleyway, but it showed space for three trucks when there is only space in the alley really for one. It was out by 300 percent in terms of width. It was all done in a drawing that would have been good for one of the buildings at Yukon College.
Then these people called meeting after meeting after meeting. The people who were appointed did not have any real authority in terms of being elected or anything, they were people who had sort of agreed to do something, not realizing what they were getting into. The whole program has no O&M in it. Apparently these people were told that but it is very difficult to believe they really understood it or believed it. So, money started being spent. You may as well have burned the money. A huge contract went out to plant a bunch of trees and shrubs and bushes in the sand, right next to where I live, as a matter of fact. There was not a nickel set aside to water and look after the plants, so they are all dead. The whole thing was just a waste of money, a silly and stupid waste of money.
There is no income that goes to these people in town. We do not have a hamlet; we do not have people who get money from the government. There is no O&M out there.
There was a design for sidewalks, an engineering design for sidewalks. Now, the sidewalks are buried in sand, buried so that the planks are roughly ground level. The first thing you know when you live on or around sand is that planks rot terribly quickly. They procured the planks and the supporting four-by-fours from the local sawmill. They were not treated. They will probably last about two seasons, or maybe three or four at the most, then they will be completely rotted. These sidewalks that took an engineering firm from Vancouver to design and draw up, as if somebody did not know how to build a wooden sidewalk, are supported at one end of each plank and at the other end of each plank, with nothing in the middle. I have never seen a sidewalk that did not have a middle support. And because it was built so that it would be ground level because they did not want the grader blades bashing the sidewalk in the winter when they cleared snow, cars drive on these sidewalks and they split right in the middle - bang, bang, bang, bang - but there no money in the budget to replace the boards.
That is not all. We do not want to finish the sidewalk story too quickly. I like this story. Things got kind of hectic around there. They were trying to spend the money on something but, then, they found out a lot of people did not want sidewalks in front of their house.
So, we had the situation where people came home from Whitehorse, or wherever they were away on vacation to, and there was a sidewalk in front of their house. They said, We do not want this sidewalk in front of our house. Take it out. So, these people were running back and pulling it out and putting it in elsewhere. The planks on top of the sidewalk - which were procured locally - are not all of a uniform thickness. Most of the elderly people, who are tourists who come to Carcross, do not walk on the sidewalks as they will trip and fall flat on their faces. They all walk on the roads. There is no support in the centre of the sidewalks so they are all broken in the centre, like all the sidewalks I have seen in my life. Even the ones that are not broken are dangerous.
That is not all. That is not all. That is not all at all. They went and contracted all the stuff out, and contracted for two very fancy outhouses. Nobody wants the outhouses, because there is no money for the upkeep of the outhouses, and who wants to take on that responsibility? One outhouse they reluctantly put out in the ball park, and the other one stays in Tagish, because nobody has picked it up from the person who built it. It has been there for 18 months or so, because nobody wants it. I know a property owner in Tagish who could probably use it, if the government would see fit to give the community of Tagish a little O&M for this outhouse.
Then, there is a large amount of money put out for signs. In Carcross, with the wind and the weather and the rain, and the sand that is picked up in the wind, with no operation and maintenance, the signs are not going to last very long. It is going to be nice wooden kiosks, and so on, that they are going to try to put in. Then there are the garbage cans.
We had a lot of trouble in Carcross with all the tourists. There are all kinds of them who come there instead of going to Kluane. They then turn around and go back to Skagway because they heard that there is an MLA who would like to drag them up to his end of the territory. Some of these people will probably not be getting to Carcross because of the railway problem, but that is a story that is yet to unfold. We at least hope that by rail or by bus, they will at least get to Carcross.
Anyway, there has been a problem with lots of garbage on the streets and so on, so there were seven very nice garbage cans built.
And they were used, and they were used, and all of a sudden somebody said this is becoming a problem. We thought when we got these garbage cans going that we would be able to get the government - rightly or wrongly - the Department of Highways or the person doing the contract for Yukon Housing, to empty the garbage cans. They found out uh uh, no, that was a mistake, a genuine mistake probably on the part of the committee members. But they were not dissuaded by the officials, which was unfortunate. So a few people have gone around occasionally and emptied some of these garbage cans but they are a bloody embarrassment and will probably be ripped out next year.
Then we have a few tables and a few benches. The same problem persists, and that is operation and maintenance. They are nice the first year, not very nice the second year, and some of it becomes bloody dangerous as time goes on. I have a problem with the whole program and the way it has been conceived, because operation and maintenance has some kind of obligation to keep up with whatever beautification that has been done in villages - particularly the smaller villages that are unorganized and without any kind of budget or any kind of local authority in the government. This is a very serious concern. I look at some of these communities that are going to be blessed with Streetscape monies in the next fiscal year. I know that Watson Lake has had problems. A lot of the work they did had to be undone. The planters that were to be put on the main highway apparently are not safe and not to be there so they have been foisted off on various people.
The sidewalk is a problem because it interfered with the roadway and was a problem in the winter time. I am sure the Minister himself knows more about the problems they have had than I do.
I look at the list of some of the smaller communities: Destruction Bay, Burwash, Upper Liard, Pelly. I just hope there is some kind of firm understanding about the future. Unless there is some kind of commitment, some kind of money identified, either from the bands or the band Councils in some of these places - I do not know who will do it in Destruction Bay. With no life cycle accounting in the project, it is a bloody disaster. That is all I am going to say about it, but the experience in Carcross is that we have ended up with a few things that we were probably could have put in for $5,000 or $10,000 and maintained them. The money that went to the engineering firm was, to me, laughable. I have never seen sidewalks designed so they would break in the middle. The old timers in Dawson build them right, and the old timers in Whitehorse build them right, and there is an old sidewalk that went down Bennett Avenue that is all pretty well decayed now - it is rotted. But as you pull it out to replace it with gravel or whatever, you find that there are three supports in there all right, and they were treated. There was not just one at either end and breakage in the middle.
Those are my comments on this program.
Mr. Brewster: Now I will tell my story. It starts at Haines Junction. We built a very nice monument, but there was a big problem with this because we built it right next to the highway. Big oil trucks came by and all the tourists stopped their cars and jumped out to try to get a picture and then they were gone - I do not understand what landscaping is for; they saw Haines Junction, got a picture, and they were gone. So we really made some money on it. Then we had another problem with the boys who would go out on a Saturday night - now the betting is who can get up and hang their hat on a sheep horn. The police live right across the road but usually every Sunday morning somebody would succeed in hanging a hat up there; this cost a lot of money.
We planted the trees and grass and I suppose if it was a municipality they could tax us and we would pay for it, and look after it. The thing that really bothered me is that we had a chance to get a dredge and it would have been pretty well paid for by private interests, some government, and one Indian band. They had a whole set-up, which would have probably have cost or $3-4 million before it was through, and it was money that was going to put people to work. They figured by the time that they got through that there would have been 15 people working. They had designs for a lot of little nice offices in there, a lot of things and all of it was local and the dredge was coming to Dawson - I see Mr. Chairman scowling here but it is ours, not yours. But this was turned down. We built this monstrosity of the sheep sitting up there; the sheep is not even white, it is grey. The moose is grey. The cowboy sitting up on top is grey and I think he fell asleep up there. Then we got a few poles around it, local poles that and would not cost us a lot of money. Anyhow, town council voted for that so I thought that was no problem, they were smarter to me. I look to make money, not just spend money. If I cannot get some money back then I do not like to spend it, but that is old-fashioned nowadays - you do not those things, you blow the money. Hell, the taxpayer has got lots more - just go back and get some more, they have got lots. Anyway, I am going to live to see that change in this world because it cannot keep on the way it is going.
Then we go to Destruction Bay. My friend from Porter Creek is involved in this one. I do not remember how many lights they put in, maybe 24 or 28 were put in in Destruction Bay when they made their new subdivision - and a Conservative government did this. Then, all of a sudden, everybody realized - boy, those lights are costing Destruction Bay a lot of money for 28 people. One day I got a phone call; Yukon Electric is up there pulling lights out all over the place - going to take a whole bunch of them away. They said, well, we do not mind that but let us choose which lights are going to stay. I thought that was reasonable but I had to come in and explain to my colleague over here and he got it stopped for me and later they were told which lights to take out, and to leave the others alone. So we got down to I think it was ten lights. You know there are all of 25 people there and we have got ten streetlights. That is not bad; we can use a flashlight if we are between them, anyway.
So I was up there this fall and they came to me all excited. They had this Streetscape money and I said, what are you going to do with it?
Oh, put up a bunch of lights, they said.
Geez!, I said, do not do that. Come on, now you remember what we went through before: three months of this.
Oh, so what? They are giving us some money to put them up. The fellow came up and talked to us and told us to put a bunch of streetlights up.
I said, who is going to pay for them?
Oh, I guess they are, I do not know.
I said, you do not have any money. You are an unorganized community - use your head.
Oh, no, no, we have the money.
That is fine.
So I go up to Burwash. Oh, they are going to put a whole bunch of streetlights up. And I said to the chief and to the poor, little single business up there that pays all the taxes: well, who is going to pay for it?
Oh, I guess the government; I do not know.
Well, that is ridiculous. It is going to happen like my colleague in Porter Creek found out that you cannot pay to maintain it and have to get them out of there.
It is the same thing. I do not know what we were trying to beautify if we have not succeeded. We have not done one thing there to attract and hold tourists. They stop and take a picture of Haines Junction. They are not going to take pictures of lights. They are not going to take pictures of flowers at Watson Lake. They are made so that if someone ever hit one, they should hope they are going to heaven and not down because they are going to go into the ground that is frozen right now, and we would not be able to get rid of them for a while.
It is ridiculous how this money is being spent. This is an example of what happens when bureaucrats are given a lot of money and are told to spend it. I asked the engineer how those lights got there in Destruction Bay in the first place. He said that there was some extra money that had to be gotten rid of by March 31. I asked if the cost had been thought of, and he said no, that it would be in another budget. That is an example of what is going on in this street thing. It is squandering of money.
We have to agree on this one. The Member for Watson Lake will have to agree that that was a flop, too. I do not think that the Chairmans constituency would need extra lights because they get so much money there to build that they would not need to get in on that plan. The Minister of Community and Transportation Services needs it. I do not think that the Chairman does, and thank goodness he cannot talk back.
The government should really look at this. It is very very foolish, and it is squandering money. I will probably get a rap from the council in Haines Junction, but I am quite prepared for that. I have always said what I thought, and I have always gotten kicked around for it, but that is okay. I do not think that what is going on has benefited anybody. If it is a make work program, why not say that and be done with it.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The program is a recent program. The intent of the program was to try to assist the community with a physical beautification of the individual communities. In the experience we have had thus far, it would seem that those communities that are organized communities and have the capacity to withstand the operation and maintenance have had a better success rate with the program. Where local governments are located, they do have the expertise to carry on the budgeting.
It is true that the host of problems that have been articulated by the Leader of the Official Opposition have occurred. The situation is that it was put to the communities that the program did not have an operation and maintenance component, and that it was strictly a Capital program that was made available for them to work with. We started with Watson Lake, Carcross and Haines Junction as the first three communities and, in many instances, they were trial communities with a particular program. We have learned a considerable amount from the unfortunate mistakes that have occurred in some of those communities. Hopefully, that will lend itself to a more streamlined approach to the future implementation of the program. That is something that has to be clearly impressed upon them, that the program is only Capital in nature and does not contain O&M funding.
Where the program has been implemented in the communities, we have initiated a process where, in the initial year, we give the communities planning dollars, and we allow the communities to decide what it is that they want to undertake. In many respects, it is a community decision. I would undertake to the Members that, during this fiscal year, we will monitor this particular program closely to see whether or not it is a program that is worth continuing.
Streetscape Development in the amount of $435,000 agreed to
On Special Events
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is an ongoing program. It is a program that is designed to attract tourism to the Yukon. It is a program that is limited in terms of the available funding with $5,000 for each application. It has to meet the criteria set out, the principle criteria of which is to bring tourists to the community and to encourage tourism development by undertaking an event.
Special Events in the amount of $70,000 agreed to
On Wilderness Product Development and Marketing
Hon. Mr. Porter: Under this program, assistance will be provided to individual wilderness operators and the Federation of Yukon Wilderness Outfitters in terms of advertising, attendance at consumer trade activities and/or development assistance.
Mr. McLachlan: I am wondering why this amount is being decreased when we keep getting bigger and better trophies every year in the territory to be exhibited outside the Yukon at the wilderness shows.
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is a general decrease in the overall Capital Budget. The Government Leader, at the outset of the Capital Budget, outlined the governments philosophical position as to why there is a decrease in the Capital Budget as presented. If I recall the discussion clearly, the decision was one of a nature where there was some concern expressed to the extent of government involvement by way of capital expenditure and over taxing the economy, so, in all budgets presented to date, there is a decrease.
Wilderness Product Development and Marketing in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Canada-Yukon Tourism Sub-Agreement
Canada-Yukon Tourism Sub-Agreement in the amount of One Dollar agreed to
Development in the amount of $640,000 agreed to
On Heritage Branch
Tribute to Helen Horback
Mr. Phillips: I wonder if, at this time, I could take a few moments to recognize the efforts of a long time Yukoner in the heritage field. I am sure all of us here in this House, as well as many other Yukoners, were deeply saddened to hear of Helen Horbacks passing this week. We have lost a very dedicated Yukoner who not only saw the value in Yukons future but did her very best to help preserve Yukons greatest treasure: its past. I would like, on behalf of all Members of this House, to express our heartfelt thanks for Helens efforts and extend our deepest sympathy to Helens husband, Bill.
Hon. Mr. Porter: On behalf of the government, I would like to add our voices to the statements made by the Member who has just spoken.
Mr. McLachlan: I wonder if the Minister could tell us - I do not see it particularly described in the line items - if anything is being done about the stabilization again, for the third time, of Montague House, 30 kilometres south of Carmacks?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, there is no funding that has been identified for Montague House. That question has been raised in the House previously. My response at the time was that we were in the process of conducting a heritage inventory to identify all of the historic sites in the Yukon, and to develop a process by which we could rationalize as to why we were spending money on various historic sites and buildings in the Yukon. Until that particular program is finished, the expenditures we allocate for stabilization and rehabilitation work will be restricted to those programs that are already under way, with the exception of a program that we have in the budget. That is a Heritage Properties Assistance program of $75,000. That program can be applied by individuals or societies for stabilization.
Mr. Brewster: I would just like to have the Minister look in this book, and take a look at that. This is probably the last time we will see Silver City. I have been fighting it for five years. It is still an advertisement and still very popular, but nobody will fix up anything and it is falling down very drastically. I guess we can probably say good bye to one of the histories of the Kluane area, so I hope everybody takes a good look at it because those cabins, with the amount of snow we had this year, probably will not be up any more.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Silver City is a very unfortunate situation. We have made attempts to contact the owners, who are residents of Alaska. It is privately owned. We have tried to engage with them some negotiations, but to date they have turned us down and stated that they were not interested in looking at selling the property. For the most part, outside of those initiatives, we find ourselves in the position of not being able to do anything with respect to that particular property.
Mr. Phelps: I would like to mention a site that really ought to be looked at and soon. That is the old Venus Mill that is below the highway when you go along Windy Arm to Skagway. That is a site every bus stops at, just like they do at Silver City. Unfortunately, approximately some 15 years ago, people came and took the tin roof off the mill, which has accelerated the decomposition of the building because it stood there for years and years and years. I think it was in operation at about 1904, for about five or six years during that period of time. I would like to make a representation at this time that perhaps the Heritage Branch take a look at the mill and speak to the present owners, United Keno Hill, who own the mineral claims that the mill is on. Surely something could be done to preserve it because it is an important tourist attraction.
The other aspect of it is that it is a very hazardous building since it is on a very steep incline on the side of the mountain, and if somebody falls they are going to fall a long way through the rotten boards. If they start at the row at the top it is a long way down through this building.
I make that representation, because I think that an arrangement could be made with United Keno Hill. They may not even claim ownership of the building, because it is there on a quartz claim. It ought to be looked at and be preserved. It does have an interesting history, and it is utilized by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will contact the United Keno Hill company and discuss with them that particular site.
On Artifact Inventory/Catalogue
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is an item that was introduced at the beginning of the Budget. The project is designed to prepare and enhance the Government of the Yukons and the local museums ability to exercise their responsibility in the area of artifact collection. The objectives are to prepare a uniform basis of cataloguing artifact collections now held by museums and, through the inventory, identify areas of collection strengths and weaknesses in the Yukon collections; to inventory and document Yukon artifacts in private and public collections outside of the Yukon. The completed inventory and cataloguing program will assist in future collecting and repatriation of collections in the Yukon.
The funds will be spent to do this collection, as well as to assist the two local museums in purchasing necessary computer software and hardware to be able to begin a cataloguing process. Those museums have yet to be chosen.
Artifact Inventory/Catalogue in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Museum Conservation/Security
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have obtained a van from the National Museums people in Ottawa, and we are going to spend $25,000 to upgrade and stock the van and use it as a mobile conservation service for all the little museums throughout the Yukon. We will be spending $25,000 to upgrade museum security in such areas as door hinges and window security. Technical assistance has been obtained from the police with respect to building security that can be undertaken. There is $20,000 allocated for the purchase of conservation equipment and supplies. A small depot has been established to provide those materials to local museums on an as needed basis, and $5,000 is in support activities.
Museum Conservation/Security in the amount of $75,000 agreed to
On Major Exhibit Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: The funding broken down is as follows: $50,000 is allocated to the MacBride Museum to complete their exhibit development construction; $50,000 is allocated to the Dawson City Museum to complete their south gallery exhibit development construction; and $75,000 will be provided to the Kluane Museum of Natural History to undertake phase one of their exhibit upgrading and development project.
Major Exhibit Development in the amount of $175,000 agreed to
On Major Museums Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: The breakdown for the funding for this area is as follows: MacBride Museum is allotted $1,000. This would be to bring early conceptual drawings to the construction tendering stage. They are engaged in a major upgrading of their museum. The Transportation Museum is allotted $75,000. This will enable the museum organization to bring early working drawings to the construction tendering stage. The Old Log Church is allotted $25,000. This is for an engineering study aimed at looking at the structure of the building and the problems associated with it. The community of Old Crow is allotted $50,000 to begin conceptual work for the establishment of a museum there.
Major Museums Development in the amount of $250,000 agreed to
On Planning and Feasibility Historic Sites
Hon. Mr. Porter: The allocation of funding here is aimed at developing a master plan for the Fort Selkirk area.
Mr. McLachlan: What is the difference between this line item and the next one. It all seems to be planning for something that has occurred in our past. I do not understand the difference between the three sites that were named tonight and Fort Selkirk stabilization.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The difference is that Fort Selkirk has been an ongoing program, like the SS Tutshi. The statement on identifying stabilization work for the future on other projects is because in the past, even when this work that has been ongoing in Heritage, there was no rational process. If we asked anybody why they picked one site over another, there was no explanation. That is why we agreed that we should do an inventory of the available artifacts and then develop a rationale how we should spend money on that site. If we do not get to the point of making some policy decisions about this site, we could be spending money year after year and not know it.
We have been spending money for a number of year on Fort Selkirk. Further on, there is a line item that reflects the same level of capital that was previously allocated. We have stated to the community that we want a final decision on a plan as to what is going to occur with its future. We want to know if it will be a parkway or an historical site. The $60,000 is aimed at developing a master plan for that site and how it will be utilized and managed.
Mr. McLachlan: So the only site that is being consider under this line item of $60,000 is Fort Selkirk, is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is correct.
Planning and Feasibility Historic Sites in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
On Heritage Inventory
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is the Heritage Inventory Program that we were just talking about. This is the final phase of that particular program.
Mr. McLachlan: Why is it the final phase of the program when it is listed under the multi-year projects as being $449,000?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We spent $200,000 on this project already; we are undertaking to spend $175,000 this year and that will conclude the expenditures on the inventory process. As I am talking here, I am desperately looking for the page that lists all of the multiple year fundings. The estimate for this particular program, according to the information I have, is that the $175,000 should conclude the program in its entirety.
Mr. McLachlan: When the Government Leader explained the method of listing the multiple year projects in the finance book, that was not the impression left with opposition Members. If it is on its final year, that was it. The indication was left that, if it appeared in the book as multi-year projects, there is that much to come later, or at least this is only the first year of many years to come.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Estimates are made with respect to multi-year programs. This is, in fact, a multi-year program. It bridges more than one year.
As to the estimated costs, at times the estimated costs do not bear out and it is our estimation now that the $175,000 we are allocating under this particular program should be the remaining funds we require to be able to complete the work.
Mr. McLachlan: If this, in fact, is the final year of the program, then, despite what the figures in the book seem to show us, may I then ask the Minister if, at the end of this current year, we may then have some answers as to the three projects at least that were enumerated here tonight - Montague House, Venus Mill and Silver City - so that some decision may then be made on them at the end of this coming year as to what would happen? Is that a fair request to make?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is the intent of the entire program, to do an inventory of the known sites and then to recommend a process by which you make a decision as to individual financing of historic sites throughout Yukon.
Heritage Inventory in the amount of $175,000 agreed to
On SS Tutshi
Hon. Mr. Porter: As many Members are aware, this is the boat that is in Carcross.
SS Tutshi in the amount of $180,000 agreed to
On Fort Selkirk Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is a continuation of the funding for Fort Selkirk in the work towards stabilization and rehabilitation of the buildings, which are located at that particular site, along with research and archaeological work.
Fort Selkirk in the amount of $280,000 agreed to
On OTAB Landscaping
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is funding for landscaping of the OTAB building in Dawson City.
Mr. Lang: What is happening with respect to the OTAB building and the present tenants of the building? Is that not the building that the city administration had a lease in and was situated in?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, the city was in the visitor reception centre. The OTAB tenants are the Museum Association of Dawson and the Government of the Yukon.
OTAB Landscaping in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Heritage Properties Assistance
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is a program we discussed earlier. That is to assist associations and private individuals if the units they occupy are of heritage value. This will assist them to be able to apply to the government for stabilization and rehabilitation work.
Mr. Lang: Could he explain to us the success of last year? I noticed we had $75,000 voted last year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This has been a tremendously positive program. There have been a great deal of applications for assistance under this program. We anticipate that this year is going to be the same.
Mr. Phelps: Is that the program under which they go to Rampart House and stabilize them?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, that does not show up as one of the areas we are funding.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister undertake to send me a list of all the ones that were funded in the past year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Heritage Properties Assistance in the amount of $75,000 agreed to
On Museum Capital Contributions
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is an ongoing program and is aimed at assisting museums throughout the Yukon with capital contributions toward small capital projects and maintenance programs that they need.
Museum Capital Contributions in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
On COPE Herschel Island
COPE Herschel Island in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Visual Arts Acquisition
Visual Arts Acquisition in the amount of $5,000 agreed to
On Heritage Artifact Acquisition
Heritage Artifact Acquisition in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Yukon Archaeology Programs
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is a new area of expenditure and described at the beginning of the budget. Basically we do not have an archaeologist in the Yukon, for the Government of the Yukon. The archaeologists that have been working with the Heritage Branch have been funded under the NOGAP program. So we feel it is really important that we have our own archaeologist because there is a great deal of need for this position. This will establish that position.
Yukon Archaeology Programs in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Cultural Heritage Studies
Hon. Mr. Porter: Again this is a new initiative that was talked about in the beginning of the budget. This is to provide funding for the various bands throughout the Yukon to engage in cultural studies relative to major historical studies concerning those bands.
Cultural Heritage Studies in the amount of $70,000 agreed to
NOGAP in the amount of one dollar agreed to
Heritage in the amount of $1,595,000 agreed to
Chairman: Any general debate?
On Low Frequency Radio Transmitters
Hon. Mr. Porter: Members will recall last year we initiated this program. It is designed to inform tourists as they enter into communities, and they will be able to turn on low frequency transmitters and pick up messages over the radio. It is anticipated that some of the programs will have to be changed. We have already purchased the equipment; we have bought the programs; we have a local company producing the programs, and we anticipate next year that there will have to be some changes to the content of the programs.
Low Frequency Radio Transmitters in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Purchase and Maintenance of Displays for Visitor Reception Centres
Purchase and Maintenance of Displays for Visitor Reception Centres in the amount of $1,000 agreed to
On Production of Films, TV Vignettes
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is a continuation of the program aimed at developing vignettes and, as well, a versioning of the films that are produced by the Department.
Mr. Lang: I want to say that we support this, especially the concept the television vignette. How many of them are there planned to be developed this year, because I noticed that there are not a lot shown on television now. It is almost to the point that you seldom see them now.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The target is six vignettes.
Mr. McLachlan: How much of the $100,000 is for the television and how much is for the production of films?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The majority of the funding will go toward television and any funds that we spend on versioning is not that much. Simply, you take an English film and, if you are aiming at the Japanese market, you pay for the translation services of that film.
Mr. McLachlan: On the production of films, is it mainly for that targeted market then, as opposed to cooperation with film producers shooting on location movies here about the territory?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is correct. The previous government commissioned a major film about the Yukon and what we are doing is simply trying to give that film maximum exposure and to different markets.
Production of Films, TV Vignettes in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
On Visitor Reception Centre Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: This particular expenditure item is been brought about by the situation of the visitor reception centre here in Whitehorse. Because of its location there is very little parking opportunity and what we are essentially going to do with the $100,000 is to be able to look at a new location for a visitor reception centre in Whitehorse and then once we have decided on a location we will look toward engineering and architectural preliminary work with this money.
Visitor Reception Centre Development in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
Total in the amount of $231,000 agreed to
Chairman: Any comment on Grants, Contribution and Other Transfer Payments, on page 78. If not, then turn to Schedule A for the Department of Tourism.
Tourism in the amount of $2,466,000 agreed to
Yukon Housing Corporation
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Budget to be voted includes primarily those expenditures that are not cost shared with CMHC. The programs that are funded by the Yukon Housing Corporation in total include a social housing upgrading, staff housing upgrading, home improvement initiative, which is shown as renovation and rehabilitation in the Budget Book. Land banking and miscellaneous equipment are those that would be funded by YHC. The total, with the exception of land banking, will be cost shared with CMHC for the lots that will be used for social housing.
The Budget shows land banking in each of the major components of the Budget, family and single parent housing, seniors housing and singles, couples and special needs housing. There are lines for renovation and rehabilitation, the home improvement initiative is the same as well as the capital upgrading replacement for each section. Staff housing is 100 percent funded by the Yukon government as is the upgrading of the staff housing units.
All other amounts are recoverable and are Operation and Maintenance expenditures in that this is the first year that we are showing them as items to be voted and then recovered. Traditionally, they are Operation and Maintenance expenditures that are cost shared, 75 percent - 25 percent between CMHC and YHC. Those expenditures that we voted for that activity are voted for in the Operation and Maintenance Budget.
The Operation and Maintenance debt servicing for the social housing construction for family and single parents housing, seniors housing and single-couples housing is projected at $198,000 for YHCs portion of that servicing. If the Members wish, we could go through them and explain each expenditure line by line.
Mr. Lang: The other day, yesterday I believe, the Minister tabled the housing policy principles of the government. Could the Minister tell us when this particular policy was passed through Cabinet?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The housing policies themselves were approved by Cabinet many, many months ago; I would have to check. They are principles that I have communicated to the chairperson of the Housing Corporation from the period of late 1985 onwards.
Mr. Lang: As you know, there is a great deal of philosophical differences between that side of the House and this side - basically on the concept of what role government should play in peoples lives and how to assist them in housing. I do not think there is any argument on the principle that all people should have the right and access to adequate housing; it is a question of how you get there and what role government should play. I think it is unfortunate that government is taking the steps it is taking, because in the long term it will be to the detriment of the people they say they are trying to help. I really believe there should be some program in place that can assist these people, if they are low income earners, to get access to homes that they can own - as opposed to Big Brother coming in and providing housing. All of a sudden, the Minister of Housing is standing up and assuring me the lawn is going to be cut every three days and the home is going to be kept just like somebody privately owned it. That is not the case, and we all know that. Those are facts, those are realities.
I am not going to get into a great philosophical debate, unless the Minister wants to. I am more than prepared to do it if he wishes, but I do have some specific questions on the concept of their idea of consultation when they go into an area for the purpose of social housing. I refer specifically to the Bamboo Crescent situation. I think events there built on themselves and the government has put themselves in the position in which they found themselves at the end. The really dissatisfying part about it was the public statement made by one of the officials of the Housing Corporation, that they had no knowledge of the social houses that were already on that particular crescent.
It is a federal program, I recognize that, and federally-funded. But, surely the governments - federal and territorial - should know what housing stock they have. I asked the Minister here some time ago if he could present us with the number of homes that were constructed and owned under the Rural Native Housing Program, Yukon Housing Corporation, Grey Mountain Housing Society, and whatever other programs were available. That was about three weeks ago and I wonder if the Minister could table that now?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The housing programs the government has undertaken in the social housing field still maintain the income test, so that has not changed for social housing units. As a general principle, if the clients are not there, the housing is not built. It is my wish that efforts should be made to encourage people who are currently in social housing that, if their income will permit them in the future, administrative guidelines be created for residents of that house or home who wish to purchase that home and take on the responsibility for home ownership.
That is a goal that I think is worth pursuing.
With respect to the issue of consultation, I do not know how much detail we want to get into about how the consultation works. We dealt with it at some length in Question Period. Consultation is a feature, and is going to be more of a feature of the Housing Corporations activities in the future. When I requested the information from the Housing Corporation with respect to the Grey Mountain housing units, they were able to provide the breakdown immediately to me. I could make those units available right now.
In anticipation of the Members questions with respect to those houses that would be jointly built between DIAND and CMHC, or through any other means or programs, or through those private non-profit groups that we know of, I asked the Corporation to try to get the number of units that were projected to be built. They have put the question to the CMHC and DIAND people, but have not yet been able to get a clear answer. I can assure the Member that as soon as I have the information, I will transmit that to him.
There is some question at this stage as to what effect Bill C-31 will have in terms of the housing construction for Indian bands. I am not entirely sure whether or not commitments made for housing to fill obligations under Bill C-31 will be complete, but that is something that we will have to determine as soon as we possibly can.
I can table the list of Grey Mountain units and have it here. I only have one copy, but I will provide it to the Member opposite and, if he would agree to table it on perusing it, it would be appreciated.
Mr. Lang: I am a little taken aback that the Yukon Housing Corporation does not have the information I asked for. The government just paid $60,000 for that study by that group from Manitoba. I would have thought that the first thing that you would want to know, as a base line to work from, is how much public housing do the government and government agencies have in their stock, whether it be through Indian Affairs or Rural and Native Housing or the Tintina Corporation or the Grey Mountain Housing Society or the Yukon Housing Corporation. Does the Minister not have that information?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have answered the Members question. There are a number of intangibles with respect to the effect that Bill C-31 will have on Indian bands. The Yukon Housing Corporation does not build housing exclusively for status Indians. That has always been the principle that the Corporation has employed. What the Housing Corporation does do is build housing in accordance with the expressed needs of the communities eligible for that housing. The needs at this time are certainly are much greater than what we put in the budget. The analysis that CMHC and YHC have done through joint efforts, to come up with a needs study, was a very thorough analysis of the identifiable housing needs of the territory. Drawn from that analysis, YHC did a targeting of those groups that were primarily in need on a social housing side, and budgeted accordingly to the extent that they could to meet the limits that we provided them.
Mr. Lang: I do not want a long debate but it seems ridiculous that the information is not available, in view of the fact that that much money alone was spent at the direction of the Minister, to look at the question of housing. All these people are Yukoners. I do not care if they are native, non-native, black, white or yellow. That is not the issue. The issue is that you should have an idea of how many actual homes or houses the public owns in one manner or another. That is the baseline to start from. To begin with, that really brings the credibility of the study into question. The Minister is hanging his hat on this, that he needs all this money for the purposes of social housing.
I believe the Minister is making a very grave mistake in the direction he is taking.
I want to move on to this question of consultation. I want to go back to the question of Bamboo Crescent where a lot of people, in my judgment, are being affected adversely by the governments actions - both those that are going to be taking up residence there because it is going to effectively be a social row housing in that area - a ghettoizing of the crescent and the people living there. It is incompatible if the Minister goes and says what he is going to do, and eventually it is going to be social housing, as opposed to senior citizens housing. That is going to be the eventual outcome.
It was admitted publicly that the Housing Corporation did not know that the Grey Mountain Housing Society had a number of units on that particular street when they made the decision to go ahead. The Minister always talks about consultation. I can tell the Minister now, that if the Housing Corporation had come to see me, as the MLA for the area, I could have told them, because I knew. I could have made them aware of that particular situation. Would the Minister make the commitment here tonight that in any riding where this kind of housing is going to be put in, would the Housing Corporation be directed to come and make the MLA of the area aware of what they are doing, prior to making any decisions - so at least the advice of the MLA could be sought from the MLA for the area?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: With respect to the supplying the necessary data, certainly the Housing Corporation does its utmost to determine what not only the needs are, but through the local housing associations and the local councils or whatever community groups are available for discussion and determination of local will - the community will - they do touch base with those groups. I believe that my position with respect to Bamboo Crescent is on the record and I stand by that position tonight. I do not think that it is useful or desirable to continue debating it but I can certainly go through the arguments that I made yesterday with respect to the situation on Bamboo Crescent.
The Member for Porter Creek East has a special knowledge, a special understand, certainly, of the housing situation, with his expertise in the City of Whitehorse. That is obvious. To touch base with the Member, as a MLA, is not an unreasonable thing - as a MLA - and as long as that is maintained, as a guiding principle here, then I do not see any problem whatsoever with that principle, and I will speak to the Board about that matter.
Mr. Lang: I am speaking as the MLA for the area and I am saying that, out of courtesy, if there is going to be consultation, that they should have come to the MLA of the area - I do not care who he or she is - to ask for their advice and their opinion.
Now my question is this, on behalf of my constituency: I have a memo from Mr. Bryce Walt, Chief Administration Officer to the City Council, on December 14, 1987: The Yukon Housing Corporation has approached the City, advising us that they will be constructing duplex housing, one on Redwood and one on Balsalm, during the coming construction year. These proposed units conform with existing land use regulations and bylaws.
Could the Minister indicate to us whether it the intention now to also proceed with duplexes on Redwood Street and Balsalm Street?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I thought we were not going to get involved with Bamboo Crescent but I guess we are,so I will start from the beginning.
My understanding, with respect to other units in Porter Creek, is that there was one other unit; the detail escapes me as to whether or not the unit on Redwood is a duplex or not. If my memory serves correctly, it was not, but I will check. With respect to any other units, my understanding is that there are no other Yukon Housing units planned for Porter Creek in the coming year. In fact, as it was put to me, there were plans not to have more Yukon Housing units in Porter Creek, but certainly that matter can be checked.
Mr. Lang: When I have been notified that housing is being built in my riding, I read it in tenders and notices. Can the Minister assure me now that the only units that he is referring to in Porter Creek for the coming year are the two duplexes on Bamboo Crescent and the one single family social home being proposed for Redwood Street. That is all the assurance I ask.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I just indicated that his year there were two duplexes on Bamboo Crescent. There is to be a single family unit of some kind on Redwood Street this year. Next year, the year under review, there will be no units built. The YHC has no plans to build units. It has planned not to build units in Porter Creek in the coming year. The Whitehorse Housing Authority asked for seniors houses to be built in Porter Creek because they identified that need. They, at the same time, have asked for housing units to be built in downtown Whitehorse because that is where the greatest need has been identified.
Mr. Lang: Does the Minister have at his disposal the number of lots that have been purchased by the YHC in Whitehorse?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are lots underneath the houses that they are purchasing.
Mr. Lang: I am talking about just lots. We know that the YHC has bought houses. The Minister gave us that list. I mean lots to build on. Are there 10, 20 or 30? How many?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It looks like three to me.
Mr. Lang: There is a shortage of lots in Whitehorse. People are inquiring about buying lots. Constituents have told me that there is no land to buy. That is of concern. People want to buy land to build a home to sell or to live in.
Does the Minister have any idea of the cost per square foot that this is costing the YHC? I hear figures as high as $100,000, for example, for the three units that are being built in Teslin. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: We are building R-2000 houses which add extra costs. The Corporation has had various experiences when it has tendered through general contractors and engaged the construction through construction management. For example, two houses in Teslin cost $142 and $153 per square foot under general contract. The house in Destruction Bay was $97.00 a square foot. In Watson Lake, one house was $92.00 a square foot. My understanding is that the average unit, when it has gone through construction management, has cost approximately $91.00 per square foot.
Through general contract so far, there are a variety of reasons for that. The cost per square foot has been considerably higher, ranging from $125 per square foot to $153 per square foot.
Mr. McLachlan: The minute the conscious decision has been made to build a house, as opposed to buying it, is there a target square footage that the Corporation looks towards on that tender for a house? There are some that are 986 square feet in the Corporations inventory. There are some that are 1,100. There are some that are 1,200. In view of the construction costs that the Minister just read, what is the figure that the Corporation looks at as an adequate square footage for a three-bedroom home that they are building?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The first thing that happens is, during the consultation with the housing authority, they determine what kind of house it is necessary to build. They have a book of designs. They do not have an architect come out and design every house brand new. They have a book of standard designs from which they can choose. The housing authority, through its needs analysis, determines the size of the house, the needs of the user, and how many bedroom choose. Once that is done, and once the needs analysis is done and the number of bedrooms is chosen, and the design is chosen, then the decision to proceed is made.
There is always the understanding that the construction cannot, or should not, go beyond the maximum unit price that is allowable under the program. Otherwise, the difference would have to be picked up by Yukon Housing Corporation. So, there is every effort to try to keep it within the maximum unit price allowable for construction in various locations. I believe there are basically three gradations in Whitehorse. There is a maximum unit price for Whitehorse, there is one for rural Yukon, and there is a special one for Old Crow.
Mr. McLachlan: I have no problems at all with the duplex construction. There is a controversy about where they should go. Although the overall cost is higher, the per unit cost is decreased, and the economy of scale gets even better with a fourplex.
If we are building a house that is going to be for social housing, why, in so many of the situations, does the Corporation always appear to shoot for building a home that it takes many people a 25-year dream to put together: a three bedroom house, a basement, a driveway that may or may not be paved, it may have a garage, it may have a white picket fence. The philosophical argument is coming from this: when someone else is paying your housing costs - the total rental figure, the total operation and maintenance of the house, and you may or may not get back 25 percent if the tenant is working - why should it always be what I have just described; that is, the single house on the single lot?
Does the Corporation strive for double houses at times, to keep in mind the reduction in the per unit cost? Why does it always seem that so many of those situations are targeted to the single dwelling unit which is, for many people in the territory, the Cadillac of housing scenes.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are a number of factors, I believe, to be considered here. Firstly, the unit is chosen with due respect for the community or neighbourhood in which it is placed, as much as possible. Clearly, there are areas in the city where it would be inappropriate to place a housing unit of a similar kind. The proposed houses would be far too expensive and they would not exactly meet the criteria of modest housing. There are a number of things to bear in mind. We do try, when there are single family units in a particular area, for family lifestyles, then the Housing Corporation will try to respect that. Quite often, there will be consideration given to duplexes or row housing for the economies of scale, especially if that meets with the character of the community. It is certainly a factor.
Quite clearly, the Housing Corporation has to build houses that are solid because there is always the expectation that the clients, the low income Yukoners who move into the unit, will not be there for 25 years. Low income people are, classically, tenants; they move into the unit over time, as they move in and out of communities or as they move in and out of income brackets, or, as they move into the unit, their income changes - hopefully goes up - and they move to a home ownership option or to the private market. But they do move in and out. A rental unit has to be built solidly. If you do not pay for quality construction initially, you end up paying later, and you have to pay in spades. Those things have to be borne in mind. Social housing, classically, is a temporary for a particular family. Maybe permanently, you can handle a number of families in the same predicament of having low income, but it is classically for temporary accommodation. That is another factor to be considered.
Clearly, to directly answer the Members question, there are a number of things to take into account and certainly the character of the community is foremost in the Corporations mind.
Mr. McLachlan: I understand that in part, and I hope the Minister does as well. The position I am putting forward is that I think at times the Corporation invites the controversy down on its own head by the type of housing it buys or builds, when - as we have heard the Member for Riverdale say - there are people next door on either side who are struggling to repair their window screens and keep the painting and upkeep up and they are all doing it by working 40 hours a week, or 60 in some cases. The particular housing costs that the Minister read out for Teslin of $142 or $153 a square foot, are those R-2000 homes or is there something special about their construction that has pushed it up so much above $90 or $100? Are they special needs homes that have ramps, et cetera. Why is that particular cost there 50 percent higher than anywhere else?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I think you will find that the cost is not 50 percent higher. It is quite in tune with private sector construction on the tendering. Although, I would say they have been issued with some late tendering where winter construction would properly raise construction prices. The reason why the construction management has been as low as it has is because when the Corporation manages it and tenders out portions of it, then there are savings - the proof is in the putting - it is on paper, it is obvious. So the Corporation, through its activities, is able to achieve certain savings. With respect to the Members preamble, the classic complaint about the Corporation is that it has not maintained its units. Rather than the units being much better or far superior to the units next door, the classic reputation has been that they are run down and not cared for. Quite often it is not through the fault of the tenant. The Corporation has not had proper repair and maintenance schedules implemented; no preventative repair. These are the sorts of things that people in the communities have generally complained about - that the YHC unit is not as good as a community standard. That is something the Corporation has to think about.
The Corporations units are not, I would submit, palatial homes. Classically, these are modest units. That is the experience of purchasing of units in Whitehorse. They have all been in the $75,000 range in Whitehorse, which is not in the palatial category, but in the modest category. As long as they are built solidly and are built to the R2000 standard, which I think is a fine and excellent standard for housing construction, then the Housing Corporation is doing what it is supposed to do.
Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask about the objectives of the Yukon Housing Corporation. Why are the objectives in the bill, on page 5 - Yukon Housing Corporation, are different than the objectives in the budget on page 81?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I forgot to mention that there is an error in the printing. The objectives in this budget book are the old objectives. The objectives of the bill are correct.
Mrs. Firth: If that is the case, if the bill objectives are the new ones - when I look at the program objectives on page 82 of the budget booklet, there are two program objectives that are to provide support services for the Housing Corporation activities. It says specifically in the following areas: warehouse space and equipment, and motor vehicles. However, those activities are not reflected in the objectives in the Bill. The Minister has a line item on page 83 for central services acquisition of furniture for $50,000, and I believe that is $45,000 for motor vehicles and $15,000 for office furniture - and yet the objectives in the bill do not reflect that activity at all. I believe if the objectives do not reflect an activity you cannot legally vote for the money.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The central services acquisition of furniture is furniture - I am not sure whether or not that $45,000 is for the purchase of vehicles. It is not in this budget. The intent in the change was to streamline the programs and to identify program objectives quite properly as program objectives. The maintenance of motor vehicles is not classically a program under the Housing Corporation. That is more properly something for Government Services, or for some other agency to do. The purchase of a vehicle, the reason for a vehicle, to maintain it, is basically equipment to allow the program to be carried out efficiently. It is like a computer; it is not a program objective.
Mrs. Firth: I believe the Minister, with all due respect, is wrong. I have a budget breakdown, it is called Capital Budget, Yukon Housing Corporation, that the Minister himself gave us. Under f) Central Services, it has, for the 1988-89 budget, that they have spent the $45,000 on motor vehicles and they were looking at another $50,000 for furniture, which is providing services for the Housing Corporations activities - warehouse space and equipment. Is that not something that is a line item and a vote authority that the Minister is going to be asking for, yet really is not reflected in the new objectives of the Housing Corporation within the Bill. There is nothing there that reflects that the Corporation is going to have the ability to provide support services for itself.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Yukon Housing Corporations program objectives are to deal with its program objectives with respect to the public. Quite often it can change between departments, whether or not the departments purchase paper supplies for themselves or not. That is not reflected specifically in the overall program objectives for the vote; it is a specific and is meant to streamline the objectives. Clearly, we disagree.
Mrs. Firth: It does not say that the Corporation can supply services for itself and technically, or legally, I think that it is wrong and I would look for some explanation from the Minister. I mean, if these are the new objectives of the Corporation in the Bill, on page five it assures the provision and availability of accommodation, it ensures the availability of suitable accommodation to the staff, it fosters and promotes programs to assist the housing industry and supply adequate housing, and it creates and promotes an environment of community participation, and it does not have any objective that would substantiate one of the program objectives on page 82, which is to provide support services for the Housing Corporations activities.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I stated my position on this matter. The whole idea of the program objectives was to provide for a general determination of what its programs should be for the public, whether or not the Corporation is permitted to purchase its own car or furniture, or its own paper supplies. That was not perceived to be subject matter for the general Corporation objectives.
Mrs. Firth: As a Member of the Public Accounts Committee, I think it is wrong.
Chairman: Is there any further general debate?
On Family and Single Parent Housing Construction Acquisition
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is a recoverable item. It is for construction of 37 units of housing to accommodate single parents, families. This group is identified in the needs study as the greatest housing need in the Yukon. The specific commitments of the location, the type of housing or the number of units per community is to be determined after thorough consultation with people in the communities.
Tentatively, the units are broken down as follows: Whitehorse, 20; Watson Lake, 4; Haines Junction, 2; Dawson City, 4; Beaver Creek, 2; Carmacks, 1; Ross River, 2; Burwash Landing,1; and Teslin, 1. I stress that this will only be decided after consultation and the verification of the need in those communities. If there are private sector activities that would support the general objective to meet the housing need, the Corporation would not compete.
The figure averages a construction price of $102 to $112 per square foot. The units will probably average 1000 to 1100 square feet per unit.
Mr. McLachlan: Some of the locations that the Minister read out for units have vacancies. Carmacks is getting one unit, and there are four vacancies on the list. Unless the Minister has information to the contrary that some of those four are under rebuild, are seriously damaged and must be renovated before they can be occupied, it makes one wonder why there are more going in when there are not enough people to fill them.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: If the Members want an explanation of the different between staff units and social housing, I can give them that information. The vacancy lists that I provided a month ago is a very fluid thing. First of all, you have to bear in mind that there are units in these communities that are under repair and for which there is no tenant. Secondly, in one community there may be eight on the waiting list and, a month or two later, there can be many more on the vacancy list. That is a fact of life with these items. That is why careful consultation has to be undertaken with those communities to determine the allocation of the units.
Mr. McLachlan: If there are three staff units vacant, and only one social unit vacant, and there are two applications for social housing, will the Corporation swing back and forth in the particular columns, rather than put a $120,000 house in under the program? Is it an acceptable policy of the Corporation to use a staff house for a social housing situation, if the social housing is only going to be there six or nine months?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes. The fluidity back and forth between the two is attempted on a short term basis. For staff units, priority is always given to staff, but for social units, priority is given to people who mostly need it. There are also cases where, if a unit is vacant and there is no identifiable need at a given time for a few months for a particular unit, whether it is staff or social, and a member of the public wants to rent for a period of time and is prepared to pay market rent or at rent geared to income, then they are entitled to make application. As long as the Housing Corporation has been around, they have always considered those as legitimate requests.
Mr. Lang: I think the Minister said there were 37 houses to be built under this particular line item. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I believe I did say that. If this full amount were spent, there would be 37 units. It is a fluid matter at this time, but it is the best guess the Corporation has.
Mr. Lang: Of those 37 units, how many are planned to replace existing units that have gone past their life or, in other words, can no longer be repaired?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will ask the Corporation that question and provide the information for the Member. I am not sure whether any of them are.
Mr. Lang: You have enumerated a number of homes that are going to be built. Yet, at the same time, we are told that there are vacancies in the communities. This is the point that was made with respect to Ross River. You had a home there that was quite comfortable and, apparently, housed one of the employees for a number of years. We bought the home and, for one reason or another, it froze up, but the home was there. Now, we are going to sell it and spend $120,000 building units. Maybe it would cost $20,000 to repair the unit we are selling.
It seems that you are putting yourself in a position to be further embarrassed publicly if we are going into communities with this money and building houses, when we are giving the current list of the Housing Corporation where vacancies are. The Member for Faro raised some very valid points.
I think the Minister had better sit down with the Housing Corporation and have a hard look at these numbers and what we are doing, where this money is going.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I indicated I do not know how many times now, the waiting lists that I provided to the Members was a snapshot as of December 2; a quick survey around the territory. It could change dramatically from time to time. There are also needs to repair units. When significant repairs are needed to be done, people are not living in those units. Those are other reasons why there are people not living in the units. Every effort is made to try and ensure, through thorough community consultation, that units are not built for no purpose. The whole idea of building units is to meet a need, not to build a monument of a house in a community, and simply to have it sitting there idle. There is the cost to the Housing Corporation and the Housing Corporation is the first to recognize that it is not a cost worth bearing; it is not a legitimate cost at all. So clearly, it makes every effort to try and ensure that the consultation is made and units are not built that will not be lived in. Every effort is made to do that.
With respect to the purchase of land in 1987, there were five lots purchased in 1987.
Mr. Lang: I do not know who is making decisions around here but it is awfully stupid. Here we are given the current list of the vacancies in a community. We have more vacancies in some of these communities, and the government is asking us to go and build more houses. I am not going to belabour this but I cannot believe how stupid the government can be. Believe me, it will be raised again and again and again, and you are going to deserve every ounce of credit that you get for it. It is absolutely stupid.
Mr. Lang: Clear? Go and ask the taxpayer if it is clear.
Chairman: This line clear?
Mr. Lang: Disagree.
Mr. Phelps: I was not going to enter into this debate but it just seems to me that - I do not know if it is intentional or not - undoubtedly, if the Minister does not intend this, I do not know who does. Here we have communities; there is a tremendous need for housing. A tremendous need, though, not for this new Housing Corporation to become bigger and bigger and bigger and force people into social housing. There is a need for new homes, land for people to build homes on, financing arrangements for people to be able to borrow money at reasonable rates and build their own homes, and various kinds of packages that would provide a stimulus and incentive to home ownership. What are we doing instead? We are building a bunch of social housing and forcing people into that kind of a lifestyle.
You cannot build a house in Carcross because there is no land. There is no appropriate mortgaging. There are no alternate programs. It seems to me that the direction of this government is wrong. I am not against social housing, but this is completely backwards in my opinion. To start with this when there are such huge needs and problems in communities such as Carcross, and that has been brought forward by somebody on the Housing Board in a letter. People who have jobs there and want to build or buy cannot. I know people who are going to leave the community and their jobs because there is no future, no place to build or buy a home. I am not making this up. I have raised it time, and time, and time again. What is going to happen? We build a couple of low cost or social houses and take it or leave it? Is a person better off not working because it is the only way they can get shelter. If you have a job you cannot afford to live there. These are not silly statements that I am making.
I know of cases where people have said they are not going to work any more than a couple of months because their rent goes up too much. Not that that stood in the way, but I know people who had to move into what was available because they could not afford to stay in the YHC home. What they had to move into, because they were financially forced to, was housing that was just simply not adequate. Housing that we would not ask any family to live in with whatever means.
The problem is that the whole thing is completely out of hand. While I am on my feet and going back to this asinine study that was done that the side opposite takes as their foundation for this whole policy, the needs and the terrible housing in the Yukon, I can tell you what is happening in Carcross, again they are the laughing stock of the community. They went around and they looked at summer cottages. They said that this is terrible, this is inadequate housing - summer cottages. People were quite proud of them and quite prepared to live in them. That was just terrible and really brought down the level of the genre of the average house in Carcross and in the territory. They were the laughing stock. They were the laughing stock of the community. I am not just making it up; it is a fact. I have absolutely no faith in that study, none. There is just too many of these things that have occurred and people have found out about them.
There are a lot of people who have a chosen life style that does not involve all the amenities that you get in Riverdale, or wherever. Every indication is that that was not properly weighed into the study.
One of the biggest problems that I have with this aspect of the Budget is that philosophically we are starting at the wrong end. We should be starting by trying to get people into houses that they can own and afford to live in instead of putting all of the people into a completely untenable situation.
The problem in Carcross is severe. People cannot and have not been able to build a house for years. If there is a problem, it is home ownership over everything else. Part of the reason for the squatter problem is not just the lack of land. It is this very thing. It is the inability of being able to build up to any kind of standard because there is just no money available even if the person has a job. All of these other things are given such a low priority relative to this. I really have a problem with the whole thing.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are some things that are conveniently forgotten here. First of all, on the list that I provided for Members, I did not provide for waiting lists. In many cases, there may be one vacancy and a waiting list of 12. There are all kinds of reasons why there might be a vacancy in a community at a particular time. There is a snapshot taken of the community as of that date, and I provided that snapshot.
The YHC is not going to build houses in a community where they are not needed. There are waiting lists in places like Ross River where housing is extremely tight. I am sure there are waiting lists in most communities. This government and the YHC are going to try to address the needs of the people who have made their needs known. It is inappropriate to take just that one snapshot and put it into proper context.
The YHC is not forcing people into social housing. That is wrong. W-R-O-N-G. The YHC provides units for Yukoners who have low incomes and cannot afford their own homes. That is classically called the income test, and that is in place. I have a lot of sympathy for the people in Carcross. The lack of available land in Carcross is not a new problem. It has been around for a very long time. The lack of available residential land is something that the government is trying to address. As many times as the Member for Hootlanqua has brought up the problem, the government has indicated that it will do its best to make residential available.
The previous government gave it a good shot, did not make it and developed land that was not theirs to develop. That left us with a bit of a problem.
Mr. Lang: You could get a deal.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Deal? Great deal; wonderful deal. The Member mentioned that if you had a job you could not afford to live in the home, and that is not the case. You can choose to pay market rent, in which case you can pay the rent that is common to the neighbourhood and to the area. That is legitimate.
With respect to the policy where the rent is geared to income, that has been a policy that has been around for as long as I have been around in this Legislature.
The concern about the housing itself not being adequate, and that decent people would not want to live in the housing, is the problem the government is trying to address. The budgeted expenditures are obvious.
The Members comments have been stated in the Legislature many times. The needs analysis that was done was general in nature and is to be followed up by those analyses that are done by housing associations as well - as I have indicated before.
Mr. Brewster: I also did not want to get into this one; I thought I was through for the night. Is it true - he must be very careful about how he answers this one - that a fair number of people move into these low cost rent houses in the winter; their rent is adjusted by their wages, and they are not working and, in the summer, they turn around and work for such outfits as Lobe Construction and make $5,000 or $6,000 a month, and then quit work? They are not working all winter, so they go back into low cost housing.
Another couple I know of got a job. They lived in a low cost rental house all winter. They got jobs and, when they saw the rent go up, they moved into a tent. It is something like the teacher at Destruction Bay. She would not pay the going rate, so she moved out. If she was not working, she could move into that same house and get it at a low cost rental and pay nothing. Is this not a true fact?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The rent geared to income requires that you must pay 25 percent of your income. If your income increases, you still pay 25 percent of your income. At no time will you pay more than 150 percent of market rent. If your income goes down, you still pay 25 percent of income. You can choose to pay market rent at any time; at that point you are locked into market rent for a period of one year, and that is basically the program. Ever since I have been around as a Member of this Legislature, that is the character of the program.
With respect to the staff housing unit in Destruction Bay, the rent for staff, as established in the collective agreements that have been negotiated for years, is fixed. The person who works for this government in Destruction Bay is making a decent income, I would submit, and the policy of the government for staff is that they pay $600 per month for units, plus utilities. That is the policy of the government, that the staff housing program is meant to pay for itself. It is not supposed to provide for subsidized housing. That is the reason why $600 per month plus utilities is considered a fair income, and the idea is that, to encourage people to move into rural areas, community allowances that are negotiated are supposed to provide for the difference of cost of living in rural areas. That is the point of the rural allowance. Historically, the method by which one encourages staff into rural communities is not through housing subsidy, it is through community allowance.
Mr. Brewster: I am not getting an answer anyway. I was not really talking about staff. I simply asked a question and I am not going to ask it again. It is quite apparent that I know the answer and he is not going to give it to me.
Mr. Lang: I just want to make a point, I am not going to belabour it. Obviously the Minister is going to go on his way and the government listens and consults. I think some valid observations are being made by this side, but they are being ignored. I just want to point out for the record and for the media that in the documents that the documents we were supplied with provide us with the waiting list, as well.
Family and Single Parent Housing Construction Acquisition in the amount of $4,156,000 agreed to
On Family and Single Parent Housing Renovation/Rehabilitation
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is the home improvement initiative that the Housing Corporation initiated last year. With respect to the initiative, it is a supplement to the RRAP Program - one must basically qualify for the RAPP - and it has the components to provide for the provision for municipal services, which are water and sewer, and also to allow for a provision for increased access by handicapped persons.
Family and Single Parent Housing Renovation/Rehabilitation in the amount of $624,000 agreed to
On Family and Single Parent Housing Capital Upgrade and Replacement
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is upgrading for the Yukon Housing Corporation portfolio. It was all inspected this past year and a profile was prepared on each unit. This budget was prepared on the basis of those profiles. Approximately 110 units will be upgraded under this budget.
Family and Single Parent Housing Capital Upgrade and Replacement in the amount of $829,000 agreed to
Family and Single Parent Housing Land Bank
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I have indicated in the opening remarks when considerable time is spent searching for and finalizing land transactions at a time when tenders should be prepared it delays construction to an inappropriate time late in the year. In the future, in order to allow for the orderly construction program to take place, it is considered prudent to ensure that a lot is available for a unit. When this is used for social housing this land that is purchased is cost shared 75/25.
Mr. Lang: Can he give us a list of when these lots are being purchased and by community?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: No, at this time that has not been determined. It is expected that it would purchase approximately 30 lots and would be proportionate to the amount of activity that is expected in this particular area of family and single parent housing.
Family and Single Parent Housing Land Bank in the amount of $200,000 agreed to
Seniors Housing Construction/Acquisition
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is intended for the construction of a five unit seniors home in Old Crow, and will incorporate the granny suite. This project will probably be constructed under a private non-profit program, and will be cost shared again with CMHC.
Mr. Lang: Just for the record, it works out to $131,800 per unit.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: We have been in this Legislature long enough to know the transportation costs to Old Crow and five units plus a granny suite is going to be an expensive proposition in Old Crow.
Mr. McLachlan: What is the cost of the senior citizens housing on First Avenue per unit under the cooperative program that YHC is in with CMHC? Is it comparable to the $131,000 mentioned?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: No, because, firstly, in the seniors housing unit on First Avenue there are 30 units being built in one building. For Old Crow it is five units plus a granny suite. Secondly, this is being built in Whitehorse and the five unit building we have here is being built in Old Crow. Everything has to be flown into Old Crow and it is an expensive proposition to build units in Old Crow. That is to be expected.
Mr. McLachlan: I apologize, I was unaware that the land was as expensive in Old Crow as it is in Whitehorse, because that property chunk on First Avenue is worth a small fortune .
Mr. McDonald: Two hundred thousand dollars.
Seniors Housing Construction/Acquisition in the amount of $659,000 agreed to
On Seniors Housing Renovation/Rehabilitation
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is a home improvement initiative and it is expected that 37 homes as a minimum, would be covered under this program around the territory.
Seniors Housing Renovation/Rehabilitation in the amount of $256,000 agreed to
On Seniors Housing Capital Upgrading and Replacement
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This provides for capital upgrading to existing Yukon Housing Corporation senior citizens units in the area of energy efficiency; it includes such things as wood repairs and replacement, painting, floor covering and counter tops. The work for 1988-89 will be 4050 Fourth Avenue, 3090 Third Avenue, 1695 Sixth Avenue and ten row houses in Whitehorse as well as the seniors units in Dawson City, Mayo and Watson Lake.
Seniors Housing Capital Upgrading and Replacement in the amount of $110,000 agreed to
On Seniors Housing Land Bank
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is again to purchase land for housing that is projected for seniors in the future and the amount of land that can be purchased certainly depends very heavily on the purchase price that the Housing Corporation is able to achieve.
Seniors Housing Land Bank in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Singles/Couples/Special Needs Construction/Acquisition
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This budget is targeted to singles, couples and special needs groups. Most communities in the territory have identified a high need for housing to fit this category. The budgeted funds would provide 15 units. As I have said before, consultations with the communities will take place during the first months of 1988, and specific allocations will be made as appropriate through that consultation process.
Singles/Couples/Special Needs Construction/Acquisition in the amount of $1,727,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Again, this is a home improvement initiative for people who own their own homes. It is projected to cover approximately 23 home owners and will, of course, be as per the renovation program to meet the needs for community services - water and sewer - and access for people with disabilities.
Renovation/Rehabilitation in the amount of $120,000 agreed to
On Capital Upgrading Replacement
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is intended to provide for upgrading of existing YHC units in the same manner as I mentioned before for other categories. The funds will be budgeted to upgrade the 30 units Whitehorse. The YHC inspected all the units in its portfolio in 1987, and a profile was prepared for each house. This Budget was prepared with that profile in mind.
Capital Upgrading Replacement $120,000 agreed to
On Land Bank
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is for the purchase of land for this sector of singles, couples and special needs in order to allow for the necessary planning process to take place prior to any construction.
Land Bank in the amount of $90,000 agreed to
On Development Funding
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is cost shareable and partly recoverable, as Members will note on page 84. This is funded with the CMHC so that private organizations can explore the feasibility of initiating their own housing programs. We have received a number of applications so far, including Canadian Mental Health Association, the Old Crow band and the Kluane Tribal Council in order to have those groups prepare property development plans and to get project tenders ready to meet identifiable needs.
Development Funding in the amount of $27,000 agreed to
On Staff Housing Construction/Acquisition
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The YHC prepared its estimates depending upon the needs expressed by various departments for units around the territory, The YHC, in accordance with those needs has tentatively scheduled one unit for Dawson City to replace a trailer that outlived its usefulness, one unit in Old Crow and one unit in Watson Lake. These will be finalized following consultation with departments.
Mr. McLachlan: Did the Minister enumerate just three units there totalling $410,000 in this current year?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes. One unit is to be built in Old Crow projected at $150,000. The purchase of land would be about $130,000.
Mr. McLachlan: Under the multi year funding for this program, there is a figure of $5.43 million. If $410,000 were subtracted, it leaves some $5 million for the remaining four years of the program for staff housing construction acquisition. Is the staff housing in that bad a shape that it will need another $5 million in four years?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I explained before - on the Capital Program before you - the degree to which the government wants to address the needs as identified by the Housing Corporation is expressed through the budgeted estimates in this book. The government feels that the amounts that are appropriated here for staff housing, both on the construction side and on the upgrading side to improve the existing stock, are sufficient to meet the need to the extent the government wishes with respect to its priorities.
At this point, the government has considered the upgrading of staff housing more of a priority than it has in the past, and we feel that what we have here, in terms of our appropriations, are appropriate to meet the needs that we project are important for us. Staff housing is for workers in our departments, and we are trying to meet our needs to the extent that we can.
Staff Housing Construction/Acquisition in the amount of $410,000 agreed to
Staff Housing Capital Upgrading Replacement
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The staff houses were reviewed, profiles were done, and the work that we are projecting here is to bring approximately 80 of the units - which is the vast majority of the units in the staff housing inventory - into a base standard that would help the implementation of the ongoing preventative maintenance schedule.
Staff Housing Capital Upgrading/Replacement in the amount of $441,000 agreed to
On Central Services Acquisition of Furniture
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is to purchase furniture for the Housing Corporation offices, including the central office in Whitehorse. It includes a territory- wide budget for furniture.
Mr. Lang: It was $15,000 last year and, now, it is $50,000. Why is there a sudden increase for office furniture, for desks? Do the housing associations and the present Housing Corporation not have desks?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Along with an analysis of the units, an analysis was done of the requirements of the Housing Corporation across the territory. The list of needs and requirements was put forward after that analysis was complete. The Housing Corporation has, in the past, lived in cramped quarters in Whitehorse - with the chairman of the board and the president of the Corporation working out of the same desk. The furniture is required to meet those needs as well.
Mr. Lang: Does the president or the chairman of the board get one of those $8,000 desks?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not know how much the specific desk will cost. The president will get a standard desk for a person of that rank, as will the chairman of the board. To my understanding, there will be nothing special.
Mr. Lang: Could you table that analysis? We have gone from $15,000 to $50,000. The Minister has assured this House that he was not going to increase the numbers of people working within the administration. I would like him to table the analysis for us, to see the justification for buying new desks throughout the territory.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I can provide the details for the Member.
Central Services Acquisition of Furniture for the amount of $50,000 agreed to
Housing in the amount of $9,889,000 agreed to
Chairman: Any comments on the Recovery detail on page 84?
Mr. McLachlan: Has the Yukon Housing Corporation signed some sort of a fiduciary bond or a guarantee that they will build these units to some standard in order to get the CMHC contribution? How do we know that they will approve the construction and that all the $6,560,000 will come to the Corporation? I do not want to see the kind of fight that has occurred over the Rural and Native Demonstration Housing Program in Carmacks.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Housing Corporation will not build the units unless the funds from CMHC are provided. There are agreements between Yukon Housing Corporation and CMHC to provide for housing. The National Building Code has to be adhered to. The Housing Corporation has a superior standard that they like to meet - the R2000 standard for housing construction. In any case, for all social housing units, it is predicated on 75 percent funding from CMHC for any unit.
On Schedule A - Yukon Housing Corporation
Mr. Lang: I want to register our disapproval on the direction the government is going. The Leader of the Official Opposition gave a very viable alternative to the government side. It is a very tough way to end the evening, on this kind of a Budget, but I think it is leading the people of the Yukon in the wrong direction.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The comments the Members have made are duly noted. The comments that the government has made over the course of the past number of weeks, months and years stand for themselves. The governments direction is clear, and we clearly disagree on the focus and the priorities in the housing area, and we will be debating it again.
Housing in the amount of $9,889,000 agreed to
Yukon Liquor Corporation
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will be quite brief and address the items all at once. There are three lines. The first is the Dawson Liquor Store and this is the design phase or the beginning phase of a multi-year project, probably occurring over three years. The Office Equipment is self-explanatory; it is for office machinery and operating equipment, consisting of an electric pallet truck for $7,000, a battery for an existing forklift for $4,000, and a battery for an existing electric pallet truck for $2,000.
Mr. McLachlan: One of the comments I have to make is in regard to the multi-year project commitment which shows $729,000. I remember the 1982 construction of the liquor store in Faro was $732,000 and I have to ask the Minister six years later, 150 miles further north, how he figures he can do it for this amount. I cannot believe $729,000, especially in this case, with a fancy facade to meet the period design regulations in Dawson City.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Faro liquor store contained office space as well for social services and the like. We are simply efficient builders.
Mr. McLachlan: How do you know it is going to be big enough? I understand they drink a lot in Dawson City; therefore, that store has to be bigger.
On Dawson Liquor Store Construction
Mr. Phillips: Could the Minister tell us how far they expect to get with construction this year?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is for fortifying, and there will undoubtedly be some dismantling for remantling of the existing structure. The foundations need to be redone and the existing structure will be taken down, or virtually taken down. What portion of it is usable will be put back and the rest replaced, so there will be some construction over the summer, but very minimal.
Mr. Phillips: Do they expect to exceed the $100,000 budgeted for? I see you only have $100,000, but the total project is $729,000. Do they expect they might have to dip into the $729,000 before the end of the year?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Budget is for the design phase and a small amount of construction. There is also assistance from Parks Canada who are assisting in the design and the structure as they have a lot of expertise in the Dawson City area.
Dawson Liquor Store Construction in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
On Office Equipment
Office Equipment in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
On Material Handling Equipment
Material Handling Equipment in the amount of $13,000 agreed to
Yukon Liquor Corporation in the amount of $117,000 agreed
On Schedule A
Schedule A in the amount of $100,474,000 agreed to
On Schedule B
Schedule B in the amount of $300,000 agreed to
On Schedule C
Mrs. Firth: I would like to make an amendment to Schedule C. I move
THAT Bill No. 5 entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 be amended in Schedule C, Yukon Housing Corporation at page 5 by deleting in the first paragraph the words, the disabled and substituting for them the words, persons with disabilities.
Chairman: It has been moved by the Member for Whitehorse Riverdale South
THAT Bill No. 5 entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 be amended in Schedule C, Yukon Housing Corporation at page 5 by deleting in the first paragraph the words, the disabled and substituting for them the words, persons with disabilities.
Mrs. Firth: I raised this over a year ago with the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission. I noted at the time of his Budget presentation that the appropriate change had been made. If we make an amendment of this kind, in the future it will be consistent with all government departments.
It may not seem like a big amendment to some Members of the Legislature, but I am sure it is a big amendment for those individuals who do have disabilities. I do not think it is a controversial amendment. It should be accepted by all Members.
Chairman: Any debate on the amendment?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have not actually got a copy of the text of the amendment yet. I want to have a moment to consult this to the procedural propriety of the amendment, if that is acceptable.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have briefly researched whether or not this is a vote of confidence, as it is an amendment to the Budget. We are confident it is not a vote of confidence, and we do not treat it as such.
Mrs. Firth: I want to register on the record that I am quite surprised the government felt they even had to do that. We are not in any way talking about deleting amounts of money. The amendment is a profound amendment for those individuals who are involved.
Amendment agreed to
Schedule C as amended agreed to
Schedule B as amended agreed to
On Clause 3
Clause 3 agreed to
Clause 1 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 5, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89, be reported out of Committee with amendment.
Motion agreed to
Chairman: Is it the wish of the Committee to continue at this time or take a brief recess?
We will now recess for 10 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will deal with the Bills in the following order: Bill No. 31, Bill No. 90, Bill No. 59, Bill No. 11, Bill No. 21, Bill No. 16.
Bill No. 31: Torture Prohibition Act
On Clause 1
Mrs. Firth: Inaudible.
Chairman: Defer debate on Clause 1.
On Clause 2
Clause 2 carried
On Clause 3(1)
Clause 3(1) carried
On Clause 4
Clause 4 carried
On Clause 5
Clause 5 carried
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move you record Bill No. 31 without amendment.
Motion agreed to
Bill No. 90: An Act to Amend the Elections Act
On Clause 1
Clause 1 carried
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move you record Bill No. 90 without amendment.
Motion agreed to
Bill No. 59: Loan Agreement Act (1987)
Hon. Mr. Penikett: May I consult without the assistance of a Page - I was going to send a note but there was no one to deliver it - with the opposition critic in this matter and ask if there would be consent to move that the Bill be deemed to have been given clause by clause reading. Or did Members wish to debate it?
Chairman: I think we can deal with the two clauses separately.
On Clause 1
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I should explain. It is that I had very long speeches to give in each of the clauses and I felt obligated to give them if we were going to go clause by clause.
Clause 2 agreed to.
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that you report Bill No. 59, Loan Agreement Act (1987), without amendment.
Chairman: You have heard the question. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
Bill No. 11: An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act.
On Clause 1
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Mr. Phillips: On Clause 3(1), before we clear this matter I would like to know if we have settled with Mr. Thomson.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: My last briefing specifically was that we were going to settle, or the lawyers had reached an agreement. Whether it was actually signed or not I do not specifically know, but I believe there is an agreement and it is settled, yes.
Mr. Phillips: Is the Minister at liberty to tell us what the contents were of the agreement?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The settlement is for a dollar figure that was lower than what was initially offered to Mr. Thomson in the letter of September 9. It was based on what he would have earned as a Justice of the Peace for just under three months, and a figure for legal fees, which I believe was a couple of hundred dollars; it was not in the thousands, it was in the hundreds.
Mr. Phillips: I have just a closing comment. This whole event has been a rather sad turn of events and it is unfortunate that it ever happened. It is unfortunate that the government did not act sooner; it had the ability and the power to act sooner but chose not to, and it has certainly suffered the consequences. Unfortunately, for not acting, Mr. Thomson suffered a great deal too. I do not know whether the government is prepared to apologize to Mr. Thomson but I still feel they certainly should and they do owe him an apology for the way they treated him in this matter.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have said earlier, and have maintained, that the government, in fact, could not do anything except change the legislation, which we did do. I believe the government throughout acted in a timely and responsible fashion in this most difficult matter. Whoever is at fault, I agree that Mr. Thomson deserves an apology and, for whoever is at fault, I apologize to him.
Clause 3 agreed to
On Clause 4
Clause 4 agreed to
Clause 1 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move you report Bill No. 11 without amendment.
Bill No. 21 - An Act to Amend the Liquor Act
On Clause 1
Chairman: Any general debate?
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Clause 3 agreed to
On Clause 4
Clause 4 agreed to
On Clause 5
Clause 5 agreed to
On Clause 6
Clause 6 agreed to
On Clause 7
Clause 7 agreed to
On Clause 8
Clause 8 agreed to
On Clause 9
Clause 9 agreed to
On Clause 10
Clause 10 agreed to
On Clause 11
Clause 11 agreed to
On Clause 12
Clause 12 agreed to
On Clause 13
Clause 13 agreed to
On Clause 14
Mr. Phillips: I am concerned about the section of delivery of liquor in a taxi cab. Rather than a problem with liquor in a cab - and I know there are problems with that - they may be drinking and driving themselves. I am concerned that it may lead to more of that. We will just have to wait and see. I think it is a valid concern. If people cannot get liquor delivered and they want liquor, they are going to get it. That might just mean getting into their own vehicle and driving.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to agree with the hon. Member for Riverdale North. I would also point out that if it is in the taxis, the driver is sober, the police know him and know what he is doing. If they have to go underground, they are going to go underground and they will be driving around drunk.
I have a real problem that we think we can solve the question of alcohol this way. I know a lot about it, and that is not the answer. The problem has not been solved in years.
Prohibition proved that the more you take away from people, the more it comes back. I have no problem with people trying it, but it is not the answer to the question. There have been dry communities, and there are dry communities in the Northwest Territories, and that has not helped. Old Crow could very easily be a dry community, but it has not helped.
This is something that belongs to human nature, and people are going to get it. We have not got the answers, the doctors have not got the answers. Turning around and saying they are going to stop them from getting it with the taxi driver will not stop them. They will get it, and it is a fact of life.
They have proved it all over the world, and it has been proven in armies. You take an army into a place where there is not a bottle, and I will bet you the army is not there for 24 hours and there is booze all over the place.
It is human nature and you are not going to stop it by doing this. You are just putting it underground, and you put it underground and cause problems for the police. They will pick up more people for drunken driving because once they get to that stage they are going to get liquor, and if they cannot get it delivered, they will go get it. You cannot run a dry community, it just is not going to work.
Clause 14 agreed to
On Clause 15
Clause 15 agreed to
Mr. Phillips: On Section 76.2(1) it says that the liquor shall be delivered to the corporation and the licencee or permitee, as the case may be, shall be advised in writing of the reasons for the seizure. I do not see a time limit. Can the corporation just advise the person of the reason for the seizure whenever they feel like?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no specific time limit here, but the intent is obviously to do it very, very quickly. The only practical difficulty that has arisen, I am informed, is determining who should be advised. This is frequently a problem in that the real owners do not claim ownership, but the intent is that there is a positive duty to advise. The problem with putting in a limit like within seven days is that law enforcement officials interpret that inevitably as they have seven days to do it, and it should be done as soon as possible.
Mr. Phillips: On the other hand, if you do not put any date in there they can seize the liquor, and the only way the person who has had the liquor seized from him can get it back is by writing the general manager within 30 days of receiving his notice. If he never gets the notice he can never apply back to the Liquor Corporation for a hearing to recover the liquor. I wonder why there was not some period of time so it would not be indefinite. The Liquor Corporation decides that it never wants to act and this poor fellow can never get his liquor back.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: If the person is aware that the liquor is seized, which would be the case in almost all situations, they can make application immediately to the Liquor Corporation. If the person is not aware, they do not need it.
Mr. Nordling: There is a typographical error in this Clause 76.2(1) on page 4, Where liquor is seized by an inspector pursuant to section 76.2.... The powers of inspectors to search and seize is 76.1, and that is probably what is intended to be there. Perhaps the Minister can explain what he meant when 76.2 was typed there?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Member has found a typographical error. It can only be that, I agree. Is it within the rules that we consider it a typographical error and call it 76.1.
Chairman: It has to be amended.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I did not think so.
I move THAT in Bill No 21, entitled An Act to Amend the Liquor Act at page 4 in clause 76.2(1) the expression in numerals in 76.2(1) be substituted for 76.1".
Chairman: Is there any debate on the clause as amended?
Motion agreed to
Clause 15 agreed to
On Clause 16
Clause 16 agreed to
On Clause 17
Clause 17 agreed to
On Clause 18
Clause 18 agreed to
On Clause 19
Mr. Phillips: In 19(3), what happens to the forfeited liquor?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It would be delivered to the Liquor Corporation. Any liquor which is open would be destroyed. Liquor which is not open could be resold.
Clause 19 agreed to
On Clause 20
Clause 20 agreed to
On Clause 21
Mr. Phillips: In 21(2), perhaps the Minister could tell us in what communities this could be applied?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Practically speaking, Pelly and Old Crow.
Mr. Phillips: By Practically speaking, does the Minister mean those are the only communities? There are no other communities?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. Burwash is another community. The community of Pelly has specifically asked for this power and the community of Old Crow is asking for more than this. At this time, this is all we are proposing to the Legislature. The practical problem here could be the definition of the area. This would be done in the regulation. For municipalities it is easy; it is the municipal boundaries. For Pelly Crossing, it is more difficult and it would obviously be defined as a circle around a central point.
It could apply really for all Indian bands who are outside of municipalities.
Mr. McLachlan: Obviously, the amendments are for a specific purpose and for a specific reason. What happens to those people who are not members of the band in the community who may import or bring liquor into the community?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no power to do anything about importing or bringing liquor into the community. It is only about public drinking and for a person who was not an elector for the band council, he would be in the same position as the person who resides in a municipality who is not an elector in a municipal election, which there are some, obviously.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to get on the record what is going to happen at Haines Junction when we have the Champagne Aishihik band inside the municipality, but it is not part of the municipality. In other words, the municipality line goes around it, and yet the band is inside and they are no part of the municipality. What happens here? I cannot see it, but it could come up that they decide that they want to be dry, but some of their people live inside the municipality, some live in the area that is not inside of it and you are getting into a great complication of what is going on, because the band does not - as I understand things - control natives who live in the community, but just the ones who live in the band area, and I would like an understanding of just what would happen in this case?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It would be possible to define an area which is the area of the Indian village which is not in the municipality. That community has not asked for anything, but it is conceivable that they would in the future. I would emphasize that this is not the power to go dry, it is simply the power over public drinking. I must emphasize that the Indian Act gives Indian bands reserves for band lands a far more extensive power than this, and the problem, specifically, about public drinking is that the bands do not have reserves, or band lands with the proper legal status under the Indian Act. The intention here is to give Indian bands, or the Chief in Council, the same power as the municipalities for public drinking in their particular areas.
Mr. Brewster: I am not going to carry this on. I personally do not believe in it and I do not think you can do these things; however, I am not going to fight this because there is no point to it. I do not have the answer, so maybe this is the answer. I do not believe it. I would like to point out what is going to happen here, and I agree with the Minister of Justice. I do not think this would happen. I think they are quite knowledgeable and most of them can handle their liquor very well. I do not think it is there. The feasibility could be with a new chief or a new council in there. This would cause these people who want to continue to drink to do all their drinking and move away and not be near their homes, because they could not be drinking around on the roads there. They would be up in the rest of the community where it is legal. This is not very pleasant for them or anybody else. Does the Minister not agree that this could happen?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It could happen. But the safeguards are that the band, in a situation like that, probably would not ask it. If they did, and if the government passed the regulation, and if the problem developed, the municipality could correct it by their own order - which they probably would do if it were a problem. I do not expect there would be.
I do agree that there is a potential.
Mr. Brewster: The band council decides that they want to stop the drinking, with which I personally have no problem. As I said, I do not think this works this way, but I am not going to argue that. Now you are passing the buck to the municipality and saying if you want those people there, you pass a law and stop them, because we are telling you they can go there. If the municipality wants to allow drinking on their streets, they have no right to tell a native person that they cannot drink on the streets. Surely we are not living in that type of a municipality that say natives cannot drink on the street and other people can? You are making the municipality turn around and pass a motion because a band council - that is not even in that area, and has nothing to do with the community and lives in a separate area - has passed a law. You are forcing the municipality to pass a law to protect themselves because the government here decided you were going to make a law like this.
Is this not correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is no. The law would act for native or non-native persons equally. It would not discriminate on the basis of race.
Mr. McLachlan: When the Minister quoted two examples where it could practically apply - Old Crow and Pelly Crossing - what is different about the case in Upper Liard that it would not apply there?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It could apply there. The community has not asked for it, that is the only difference.
Mr. Phillips: I understand the severe problem in some of our communities and that some of the Indian Bands want to have more authority to take charge and try to do something about the problem. The only concern I have is that this does not solve the problem. It is a bit like banning public drinking on the streets of Whitehorse, and then it goes to Rotary Park. They you ban it from Rotary Park and then it goes to the riverbank. Then you ban it from the riverbank, but you do not solve the problem. This may help, I hope it does in some communities. There is definitely going to be a problem in other communities as the Member for Kluane pointed out. I just want to express those concerns that this really is not the answer. The answer is not to chase the problem away or hide it, the answer is to deal with the alcohol problem head on and I do not think this does it.
Mr. Phelps: A lot of the larger areas of land in the Yukon where Band councils are situate and Indian people reside are lands set aside. What is the impact of this section is on lands set aside?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I think absolutely none. There would not be any attempt to define particular lands and in any way influence land set aside, or legally owned land, or whatever. There would simply be an attempt to practically define the limits of the community. It is not a problem to drink out in the bush, which is public drinking in a sense, but nobody is advocating there be any control. It is simply in communities as a matter of defining the community; that is where the problem is.
Mr. Phelps: Is it not then the case that if you take a community like Old Crow and the drinking is done on land set aside, then wherever it is, in a public place even out in your back yard, or in the yard in front of your house, if it is on land set aside, or reserve land, then this Act will not have any impact at all. Is that right?
Is it the position of the Minister of Justice that this Act would then operate so as to make enforceable an arrest for public drinking on land set aside?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes
Mr. Phelps: Would the same answer hold true for public drinking by a band member on reserve land?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Clause 21 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move you report Bill No. 21 as amended.
Motion agreed to
Bill No. 16: Private Investigators and Security Guards Act
On Clause 1
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have a point of information. We dealt with this Act on December 3, 1987, and cleared Clauses 1 to 27. There is an amendment to clause 28.
Chairman: We cleared the first two subclauses of clause 28.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: On the amendment, I have had further consultations with the RCMP and with the department. Unfortunately, we cannot live with this amendment. The Criminal Code defines firearms and defines restricted weapons. The Criminal Code provides for a firearms acquisition certificate to acquire a firearm but not to possess or carry a firearm.
There is a Criminal Code prohibition about carrying or possessing a restricted weapon, which of course is a particular kind of firearm. An armoured car guard would normally or characteristically carry a .38 special calibre revolver. It is true that all requirements in relation to the guard carrying a revolver would be addressed by the RCMP. Should an armoured car service wish to use standard semi-automatic shotguns or rifles, rather than go through the necessary procedures to become competent in the use of revolvers and obtain the necessary permits, no restrictions would apply under the Criminal Code. Should the armoured car service wish to use, for example, a 44 Magnum revolver as their sidearm, this could be permitted with blanket permission by the RCMP. However, it is characteristic in all other jurisdictions surveyed that the 44 Magnum is not authorized for use in urban areas, although it could be in rural areas.
There are, characteristically, further restrictions placed on the types of ammunition. Several types of ammunition have been characteristically used around the country and they range from moderate loadings of powder and soft bullets to extremely powerful metal-piercing cartridges. There is an intent to survey that and regulate it in urban areas.
There are particular concerns about training for the use of firearms by armoured car guards, which may apply in a car service, but not in normal use. The power to regulate these things is necessary and is contained in all provincial legislation. Therefore, we will be voting against this amendment.
Mrs. Firth: I knew that the Minister would not accept this amendment, after all this time and again I just want to talk about the practical effects of legislation and perhaps this legislation is not so practical after all.
Speaker: Are you ready for the question on the amendment?
Chairman: Is there further debate on Clause 28?
Mr. McLachlan: Is the Registrar, for the purpose of this legislation, this clause, in fact the Director of Consumer of Corporate Affairs? Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Registrar will be the person who is appointed as the Registrar, and it could be the Director or some other staff, but not necessarily.
Mr. McLachlan: Under Subclause 4(a), the person judging competency is who?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Registrar, and practically would involve the obtaining of particular training - like going through a particular training course.
Clause 28 agreed to
On Clause 29
Clause 29 agreed to
On Clause 30
Clause 30 agreed to
On Clause 31
Clause 31 agreed to
On Clause 32
Clause 32 agreed to
Clause 1 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move you report Bill No. 16 without amendment.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes Chair
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. May the House have the report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Mr. Webster: Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 5, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 and Bill No. 21, entitled An Act to Amend the Liquor Act, and directed me to report the same with amendment. Further, the Committee has considered Bill No. 31, entitled Torture Prohibition Act, Bill No. 90, entitled An Act to Amend the Elections Act, Bill No. 59, entitled Loan Agreement Act (1987), Bill No. 11, entitled An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act, Bill No. 16, entitled Private Investigators and Security Guards Act, and directed me to report the same without amendment.
Speaker: You have heard the report from the Chairman of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We request the unanimous consent of the House to give third reading to Bill No. 5, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89, and to Bill No. 21, entitled An Act to Amend the Liquor Act, which were amended in Committee of the Whole this evening.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
Some Members: Agreed.
Speaker: There is unanimous consent.
Bill No. 21: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 21, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 21, entitled An Act to Amend the Liquor Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Government Services that Bill No. 21, entitled An Act to Amend the Liquor Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 21 has passed this House.
Bill No. 16: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 16, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 16, entitled Private Investigators and Security Guards Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Government Services that Bill No. 16, entitled Private Investigators and Security Guards Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Are you prepared for the question?
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 16 has passed this House.
Bill No. 31: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No 31, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 31, entitled Torture Prohibition Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No 31, entitled Torture Prohibition Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion agreed to and that Bill No. 31 has passed this House.
Bill No. 90: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 90, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 90, entitled An Act to Amend the Elections Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 90, entitled An Act to Amend the Elections Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 90 has passed this House.
Bill No. 59: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 59, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 59, entitled Loan Agreement Act (1987) be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government Leader that Bill No. 59, entitled Loan Agreement Act (1987) be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 59 has passed this House.
Heading = Bill No. 5: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 5 standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 5 entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Bill No. 5 entitled First Appropriation Act, 1988-89 be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 5 has passed this House.
Heading = Bill No. 11: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 11 standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 11 entitled An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 11 entitled An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 11 has passed this House.
I wish to inform the Assembly that we will now receive the Commissioner to grant Assent to the Bills which have passed this House.
Commissioner enters the Chamber, escorted by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Commissioner: Good morning. Please be seated.
Speaker: Mr. Commissioner, the Assembly at its present session has passed a number of Bills to which, in the name and on behalf of the Assembly, I respectfully request your Assent.
Clerk: An Act to Amend the Liquor Act, Private Investigators and Security Guards Act, Torture Prohibition Act, An Act to Amend the Elections Act, Loan Agreement Act (1987), First Appropriation Act, 1988-89, and An Act to Amend the Territorial Court Act.
Commissioner: I am pleased, but probably not as pleased as all Members of the House are, to give Assent to the Bills as enumerated by the Clerk.
Mr. Commissioner leaves the Chamber
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move
THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Government Leader, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;
THAT the Speaker shall give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and
THAT, if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader
THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Government Leader, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;
THAT the Speaker shall give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and
THAT, if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.
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.
The House adjourned at 1:33 a.m., Friday, January 8, 1988.
The following Legislative Return was tabled January 7, 1988:
Carcross Micro-hydro Study (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 381
The following Sessional Papers were tabled January 7, 1988:
Ministerial Statement on the Regulation of the Placer Mining Industry (Penikett)
health and Human Resources Annual Report, 1986/87 (M. Joe)
A Report on the Institution of the Ombudsperson (Kimmerly)
The following Documents were tabled January 7, 1988:
F.D. No. 1
Scrapbook of photos of Herschel Island (Porter)
F.D. No. 16
Map and information regarding claving distribution, Porcupine caribou herd (Porter)
F.D. No. 17
Study of Culture and Land Use for the Little Salmon - Carmacks Band: Final Report, February, 1986 (Porter)
F.D. No. 18
Grey Mountain Housing Units (McDonald)