Monday, May 2, 1988 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will proceed with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper. Are there any Introductions of visitors?
INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS
Mr. Joe: I would like to ask all hon. Members to join me in welcoming the grades 8 to 12 classes of Tantalus School in Carmacks. With the students are teachers Ms. Marie Simoens and Mr. Bob McCauley.
Speaker: Are there any Returns or Documents for tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have for tabling a copy of the Canada Yukon Language Agreement.
Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees?
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
Mr. Phelps: I have the honour to present the Ninth Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Speaker: Are there any Petitions?
Introduction of Bills?
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
Bill No. 101: Introduction and First Reading
Mr. Webster: I move that a bill entitled An Act to Amend the Highways Act be now introduced and read a first time.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Member for Klondike that Bill No. 101, entitled An Act to Amend the Highways Act, be now introduced and read a first time.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: Are there any Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Are there any Notices of Motion?
Are there any Statements by Ministers?
CanadaYukon French and Aboriginal Languages Agreement
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I would formally inform the House that the federal Minister of Justice and I have signed the Canada Yukon French and Aboriginal Languages Agreement, and I am pleased to be able to table that agreement today.
As Members know, these negotiations have been underway for over two years. Twice before we believed an agreement had been achieved only to have the federal Cabinet reject it. Last Thursday, only hours before I was to appear before the Parliamentary Committee investigating Bill C-72, the agreement was signed.
This agreement is extremely important to Yukon francophones and Yukons aboriginal people. Rather than focussing on the question of status, it concentrates on service to our linguistic minorities.
To the Yukon francophones it means that over time they will receive certain government services in their own language.
To Yukons aboriginal people it means substantial new funding for the preservation, enhancement and development of their languages.
The main terms of the agreement are as follows:
1. Canada and the Yukon agree that the preservation, development and enhancement of aboriginal languages is an important goal to be achieved by Canada and the Yukon.
2. Recognition by the Yukon that English and French are the official languages of Canada, as guaranteed by the Constitution and the Official Languages Act.
3. $4.25 million over five years for the preservation and development of aboriginal languages.
4. Full federal funding on an ongoing and on an as needed basis for the development, enhancement and implementation of French language rights and services in the Yukon.
5. Adoption by the Yukon Legislative Assembly of a bill respecting French and aboriginal languages rights and services. This bill to be adopted prior to December 31, 1988 and its effect guaranteed by amendments to the Yukon Act.
6. Further negotiations in 1992-93 on further funding and to review the status of the French language in the Yukon.
7. Exclusion of the Yukon Government and its institutions from the provisions of the Official Languages Act.
Most of the specific services or programs to be implemented under this agreement have not been fully determined. Over the next few weeks our officials will meet with representatives of lAssociation des Franco-Yukonnais and the Council for Yukon Indians to begin to identify realistic priorities and the range of services to be put in place. Both organizations will be fully involved in determining the priorities and timing of the services to be established.
This agreement could not have been concluded without the support of these two groups. I want to thank lAssociation des Franco-Yukonnais and the CYI for their assistance during these negotiations.
I would like to recognize the efforts of federal officials and the Yukon Executive Council Office and the Department of Justice in these negotiations.
We have reached an agreement that will substantially and practically meet the real needs of our francophone population while at the same time helping our aboriginal people preserve and develop their own unique linguistic heritage.
Mr. Phelps: I rise to say that this side is pleased that an agreement was reached between this government and the federal government on the issue of Bill C-72. We are generally pleased with the outcome, subject to some questions that I am sure the Government Leader anticipates with regard to cost and the ongoing nature of the agreement. We are particularly pleased that Bill C-72 will not, in future, treat us as a federal institute, and that this agreement recognizes the Legislative Assembly of Yukons responsibility for introducing new language rights and services for francophones and aboriginal people in the Yukon.
Mr. McLachlan: It has been a long time coming. I am certainly glad it is here. It has been a battle fraught with threatened court challenges and a great deal of rhetoric. I would rather it had been 10 years rather than five, but five, at the moment, is more than we have with our current master funding agreement with Ottawa. The favourable reaction by spokespersons for CYI and the lAssociation Des Franco-Yukonnais speaks for itself in their approval of the agreement reached last week in Ottawa.
Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Languages agreement
Mr. Phelps: I have a few questions pertaining to the Ministerial Statement and the agreement that was tabled in the Legislature this afternoon. Of concern to us are the ongoing nature of the costs and who is going to bear the burden of costs.
How are we to interpret the agreement with regard to the extent of time during which Canada will be paying for the services? Are we to understand that this is guaranteed only until 1992-93?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: My understanding would be that both sides of the ledger would operate. We have signed an agreement which Canada will provide ongoing funding for the services provided under this agreement. If I understand the import of the Members question, the funding should dry up at some point. Then it seems to me that the other party to the agreement would be freed of certain obligations under this agreement.
Mr. Phelps: Just to be more specific, there is a payment of $250,000 with regard to aboriginal rights for the study term, and a total of $4 million after that. It would appear that that funding will dry up at the end of 1992-93 fiscal year. Would it be fair to say that there is absolutely no guarantee of any further funding from the federal government in this agreement?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Beyond the general commitment of the federal government to enhance the situation of aboriginal rights, the Member is, in precise terms, correct. The $250,000 that is provided this year is to research the implementation of services that will be established in the four subsequent years with a subscription by the federal government of $1 million per year.
The understanding of the agreement is that, when the agreement has reached its term, we would renegotiate the funding under the agreement. The commitments would be maintained by the government, and the other question that would be dealt with at that time would be the status of the French language in the Yukon. Having made the commitment and having given this undertaken to the Government of the Yukon and the aboriginal people of the Yukon, it would be my understanding that the commitment would be maintained for the future.
Mr. Phelps: The Government Leader surely means the commitment of this government, not necessarily that of the federal government, does he not?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I mean that the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon are both committed to aboriginal languages in this territory for more than just a period of five years. I believe the commitment is ongoing. The precise amount of the funding provided for aboriginal languages would be determined after this five-year period as a result of negotiations.
Question re: Languages agreement
Mr. Phelps: Was there any discussion about the possibility of putting some of this funding into the base cost of the formula financing for future years?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We did not tie the two discussions together, but what was made very clear is that the monies provided for in this agreement are over and above those provided for us under the formula financing. I believe they will come from the Department of the Secretary of State, under a program I understand is substantially provided for as a consequence of the federal governments commitment to bilingualism in the nation. Also, as that Member knows, that department also has an interest in the fate of aboriginal languages in this country.
Mr. Phelps: Looking at clause 9 of the agreement, it states that Canada shall provide funding on an ongoing basis from year to year to bear all the costs incurred in developing, enhancing and implementing French language rights and services in the Yukon. Does that extend to the printing of all materials? Is it the understanding of the Government Leader that, once the translation has been done, all documents containing a translated text of an act or regulation would require printing in both official languages?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: If I could separate the translation of acts and regulations, which is something the federal government was committed to have done, whether or not there had been this agreement. They are required to table our acts and regulations in Parliament, and it has been the wish for some time of the federal government to have that done in both French and English. For some time, they have been committed to provide funding for that.
In terms of services to the francophone community in this territory, my understanding of the question is that should we provide services, such as information about the health care system or education programs in French, we are printing and distributing that information: everything from the translation of that information through to the dissemination of that information would be a cost the federal government has agreed to bear.
Mr. Phelps: Is it the understanding of the Government Leader that documents may go out in English only even though they have been translated into French?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Forgive me, but I am not sure that I understand the import of the Members question. The vast majority of documents going out from this government will still be in English, unaffected by this agreement. However there will be, as a result of requests or discussions that we will make with the francophone community, specific items and information that they will want us to translate and to provide in French. That information will be provided in French as will services in the aboriginal languages. The costs of those will be covered by this agreement.
Question re: Languages agreement
Mr. Phelps: I would like one more try at it just to clear up the misunderstanding. If there were any texts, bills, regulations or policies that had been translated at the cost of the federal government, would it then be our obligation to print everything in both languages as most federal departments do now?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. Our acts and regulations will eventually come to be printed in both French and English as a result of the federal government paying for that. As I explained earlier, the federal government was intending to do that whether or not we had this agreement. That was a process that was underway, limited only by the capacity of the federal government to do all the translation in the country. There is a great backlog, as the Member opposite knows.
If the question is: if we would be doing other publications in French, as a consequence of this agreement, would we then incur the costs of doing it in English, I am assuming that most of the services that will be requires are ones that are already available in English. We are therefore talking about an additional service to the francophone community in the same way that we might be for some similar kinds of information and additional service for the aboriginal community. It is those additional services that would be covered by the funding under this agreement.
Question re: Canadian Airlines
Mr. McLachlan: Until such time as AirBC starts it regular service next month into Whitehorse, the only passenger jet service offered in the Yukon has been that 737 service provided by Canadian Airlines International. Last Friday, television viewers in Canada and in the world were treated to the horror of Aloha Airlines of Hawaii losing one-third of its upper fuselage on a model 737-200.
In light of the fact that Boeing Aircraft Corporation has put out an advisory warning to its customers on this type of airplane, has the Minister responsible for transportation has been in contact with the local office of Canadian Airlines International to determine if this type of aircraft does service Whitehorse?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I, too, watched the television with a great deal of interest last week when reports of the break-up of a Hawaiian airline plane were splashed on the screens; it was a fairly alarming event to have happened. I, personally, have not been in contact with Canadian Airlines in Whitehorse as it is obviously a matter that would interest the federal regulatory authorities, whose jurisdiction it is to regulate the airline industry in Canada, but I am certain Canadian Airlines would take a great deal of interest themselves in the event that occurred in Hawaii. Clearly, they will have to take the responsibility to ensure that all the planes in their fleet are checked thoroughly to ensure that no repeat of that accident happens elsewhere in the world or in their operation. Canadian Airlines, I am sure, will take it as their responsibility to review their fleet but I would not want to alarm people by suggesting that there is any chance of a similar happening here.
Mr. McLachlan: Do I understand from the Ministers answer that no communication has been received by the federal Ministry of Transport or any warning bulletin put out to any of the ten provincial offices of transport or the two territorial offices, that nothing has been received from the federal Ministry of Transport whatsoever on this situation?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not aware of any call that has been issued by Transport Canada or by the CTC with respect to the status of Boeing planes. In the past, they have reacted rather rapidly. I have not heard anything from them since this event last week.
Question re: Yukon Housing Corporation/prefab units
Mr. Lang: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, concerning the prefabricated units purchased in Prince George, the construction of which started as early as September last year in Ross River. One was a staff house and one was for the purposes of social housing. My understanding, as I said earlier, is that the construction of these particular homes started last September. Can the Minister confirm to this House that these two particular houses are still vacant?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will have to take that question as notice. I cannot confirm any such thing.
Mr. Lang: These two homes are alleged or estimated to have cost $110,000 and $113,000, respectively. To give some background, in any community with a contractor an ordinary home will take up to seven to eight weeks to complete, from beginning to end as far as a home construction is concerned. Could the Minister, when he checks back with his department, ask the department why, with the general housing corporation acting as the general contractor it has taken up to eight months to complete building these homes?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will check on the assertions, as stated by the Member. At this point, I do know that, as of the end of March, there were two social housing vacancies in the entire Yukon.
Mr. Lang: In view of the fact it has taken eight months to complete two homes, it is obvious why the costs have gone up. When the Minister goes back to his department, could he ask for all costs attributed to the building of these two homes - the total amount it has cost the taxpayers? Could he have that information tomorrow?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will ask the Yukon Housing Corporation to search their files for the information. I am sure they can make it available, although I am not sure they can make it available for tomorrow. I will ask them to make it available as soon as possible.
Question re: Yukon Housing Corporation/Ross River/King residence
Mr. Lang: I want to refer to the famous house that the government bought for $40,000 and sold for $4,000. It has been alleged that they were going to rent it back for $900 or $1,000, whatever the case may be. At that time, the Minister said the reason they wanted the two lots was because housing lots in Ross River were in short supply. Yet, in December, we were supplied information that, out of 22 houses in Ross River, one was vacant. At the same time, we were proceeding with two new units that I referred to earlier.
In view of the fact we have two houses presently empty in Ross River, could the Minister tell the House why we are shopping for more residential lots?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There could be any number of reasons why a house may be presently vacant in Ross River. It may be a case where the house is under repair; it may be a case where people are preparing to move in. In all the time I have been in Ross River, the community has expressed concern about the housing shortage in that community. In some respects, under the social housing program, the government has been attempting to deal with part of that problem. That is why the housing construction was undertaken.
We do know there are expectations that the community of Ross River will also be used as a bedroom community for Canamax, or that Canamax would be considering it as a bedroom community, and that puts even more pressures on the housing market in Ross River.
Mr. Lang: That draws me to my next question. I would like to think there is demand for houses to be built privately, primarily by employees of Canamax, or Canamax themselves. Why is the government getting more land, when that land should be made available to people who would like to build privately, especially in view of the fact you have empty houses?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is certainly an option to consider but the point of the matter was that the Yukon Housing Corporation already owned the land in question, and they were interested in securing property, because there was an identified need for housing construction in the community. Rather than going around and trying to buy up lots in the private housing market in the future, they were interested, I understand, in maintaining the interest that they held already.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell this House how many more houses the taxpayer is going to build in Ross River, in view of the fact that you are getting these lots?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member did not inform me of the question in advance, so clearly I did not have the specific information that the Member requested at my fingertips, but I will undertake to have the information for tomorrow.
Question re: Yukon Housing Corporation/Ross River/King residence
Mr. Lang: I did not realize that there was a new rule that I had to inform the Minister ahead of time of the questions that were going to be coming forward in Question Period.
While he is going back to his department, could the Minister check with the Yukon Housing Corporation and confirm if the sale of the King residence has closed, and if it has, could he provide the date on which it closed?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes, I can. If the Member is going to ask me policy questions, I will do my best to answer right away. I would appreciate a little advance notice on questions which require detail, so that I can answer the Member as quickly as I think he expects an answer.
Mr. Lang: I appreciate the cooperative mood that the Minister is in today. I would ask him if he can confirm when the swap for the two residential lots, in lieu of moving the King residence, was completed?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not believe that all the legal documents are signed. All that I do know is that the Yukon Housing Corporation board has decided to proceed with the swap.
Mr. Lang: That is very interesting. Could he also, in view of the fact that he is going back to the Yukon Housing Corporation, provide this House with a legal description of the King residence, as well as the two lots that were swapped in lieu of moving the King residence?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Certainly, I can provide that detail.
Question re: Yukon Housing Corporation/Rural and Native Demonstration Program
Mr. Nordling: While we are on the subject of housing, the Yukon Housing Corporation is administering a program called the Rural and Native Demonstration Program, better known as the free home program. Can the Minister provide us with an update on what is happening with this program?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: We stopped administering that program approximately 16 months ago.
Mr. Nordling: There were changes made to the program to give the Yukon Housing Corporation the right of first choice to purchase these units. Has the Yukon Housing Corporation taken back any of the homes under this program?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will check about that detail. I will have to ascertain from the corporation what the legal status is on each of the units.
Mr. Nordling: Could the Minister tell us if there are any other communities other than Old Crow, Carmacks and Carmacks that have been chosen to get houses by a committee made up of CMHC, the Yukon Housing Corporation and CYI?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The houses that were approved while the Yukon Housing Corporation was involved were houses that were located in Old Crow, Carmacks and Carcross. What CMHC has done since then was done not with the Yukon Housing Corporations active participation. If the Member wants me to find out from CMHC what they have done I am perfectly prepared to make inquiries.
Question re: Contract tendering
Mr. Phillips: Last weekend I had an opportunity to talk with many contractors at the Yukon Trade Show. Several of these contractors expressed a very strong concern about the lateness of contract tendering, or the lack of tendering that has been forthcoming from the government this spring.
The Minister of Justice told us last week that he intended to prepare a list of capital projects for this year and the projected tendering date. Does the Minister have that list prepared?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I thank the Member for that question because I made a commitment to table that in the Committee of the Whole at the end of last week, and I was unfortunately unable to do so. I am expecting to table that list tomorrow.
Mr. Phillips: I wonder if the Minister could also give us a commitment that each year after the Capital Budget he could provide that list at that time to contractors. I think that type of planning would be very useful. We have very short construction seasons in the Yukon and it would give an opportunity to contractors to plan. Would the Minister look at providing that kind of information when he tables the Capital Budget?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The short answer is yes, but I should be specific in order to not raise false expectations. We will do our best to table that kind of information or to make it available as soon as possible. We are intending to have a public meeting for contractors to explain the projects, as we did for the first time this year. At that time we will attempt to be more specific than occurred in the past about the expected date of tenders.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister said in his answer that he would like to provide it as soon as possible. I would think when you plan the Capital Budget and capital projects that you had some kind of plan thereby you could get them done in that year. You must have sat down and said yes this can be done.
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mr. Phillips: Surely that planning has been done and could the Minister table it when he tables the Capital Budget so the contractors know in certain months of the year certain jobs will be expected to be tendered?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It really requires a fairly complex answer and I will not try to use the time of Question period to give it. It is not as simple as the Member may appear to paint it.
We will project the tender dates in a form that is useful to the contractors with increasing accuracy over the years. It is an initiative that I totally support. We will do our best to table time lines next year with explanations of the Capital Budget.
Question re: Fishing licences
Mr. Brewster: In my response to the Minister of Renewable Resources Ministerial Statement on Yukon freshwater fishery of April 18, 1988, I stated that I hoped the Minister would not raise license fees 200 percent or 300 percent. Well, he did not. He only raised them 100 percent. Can the Minister assure the House that the extra money raised by this increased licence fee will be directed towards fisheries enhancement rather than to administration?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The first thing that has to be pointed out is that we do not have the power to increase license revenues in the Yukon. However, we do make a recommendation to the Government of Canada because they have the responsibility, and it has to be done by Cabinet through an Order-in-Council to effect the regulatory changes in the Yukon.
My understanding of the negotiations surrounding our freshwater fishery is that any monies gained from license revenues will be put back into fisheries is the position taken by the federal government, and it is the one that I support. Any revenues that are raised from licence increases should be spent on fisheries, not on other things like goats, sheep or moose.
Mr. Brewster: I thank the Minister for his lecture. However, if he had not recommended that the license fees be increased by 100 percent, they might not have increased 100 percent. The Minister also stated, at the time, that the Government of Yukon was prepared to make a commitment to funding. What is the extent of this commitment?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There was no specific dollar amount in the Ministerial Statement. We stated that the Yukon government would be prepared to fund the freshwater fisheries. Right now it is a federal responsibility. They have the job to administer the program. We are saying that we will relieve them of that responsibility. We will take it over provided that they put the necessary resources on the table.
Mr. Brewster: Things have sure changed from the way that I read them. How many positions is this government asking for in the transfer of the fisheries to the Yukon in this new proposal?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The original position called for eight person years. The new proposal states five, I believe. It could be four, but I will check on that.
Question re: Lottery licencing
Mrs. Firth: The Minister of Justice told the House and the public that except for a few minor housekeeping problems, the lottery licencing procedures ane now almost the same as they were before. Since then, a communication has been sent to volunteers instructing them to ensure that all applications, documents and fees are to be received by the department in the first week of the month for review. Otherwise, they will be ineligible for licencing until the first week of the next month.
Can the Minister tell us why volunteers are being forced to comply with some rigid new schedule of licencing availability?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The situation is that a lottery licencing board, which is required to look at licence applications by statute, characteristically meets once a month. In order to orderly consider the applications, it is good advice to applicants to plan their dates accordingly.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister told us, and told other groups, that they would be better served by this board, and we are finding that is not the case. They are more rigidly controlled. Who made these regulations, and how many more regulations have been made that the groups are, as yet, unaware of?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is a question obviously designed for its political impact rather than its information value. The Member knows, as do all Members know, as does the public, that regulations are made by the Cabinet.
Mrs. Firth: If that is the case, will this government reverse this regulation and this policy to allow the flexibility that used to be there, so these groups who do these things for other people in their spare time can apply for a licence and get it within a couple of days, like they used to be able to? Why does this government continue to harass volunteers?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is not a question but a representation. In terms of the accusation, it is nonsense. In terms of the content of the representation, considered in an informational way, I am sure the intent of all Members is to have an orderly system that serves the public. I will take that suggestion and all others under advisement in order to constantly improve the system.
Question re: Service contracts/speech writing
Mr. McLachlan: With respect to speech writing, there were a number of contracts awarded in the documents the Minister of Government Services tabled in this Legislature two weeks ago to do with contractual obligations regarding editing, drafting, revising, crossing ts and dotting is. Is it the policy of this government to award contracts to instructors in Yukon College on a regular basis for these documents to do with Throne Speeches, Budget Speeches, and speeches the government must make outside the territory?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Is the Member asking about contracts outside the territory, or contracts at Yukon College? I am sorry, but the way he phrased the question was not quite clear.
As the Member will know, most modern governments employ people from time to time to do editorial or proof-reading work on important public documents. That is the case here, too. I know there was occasion, in the past, to use the services of a person - an English instructor at the Yukon College. There may well have been other people who have been used to provide the services. Public Affairs has had a list of Yukon writers from some considerable period of time who have been used to do work for this government for a great number of years. I am sure some of those people have been used from time to time, too, in connection with the preparation of important public documents.
Mr. McLachlan: One individual was moved out of the governments office into the Executive Council office to do specifically this task, at a fairly high salary. My question is directed to the Government Leader in this respect. If there is going to be one person year at a fair salary to do this job, why, then, must we again pay almost one other person year, probably an equivalent salary, to do the same type of thing to check the other persons work. It seems to me that the government is not telling the full story about this sort of work.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I apologize. I do not understand the Members question. I know of nobody who has moved into the Executive Council Office for the purposes of doing proof reading and editing. That is part of the job of people in Public Affairs. As the Member will know from reviewing the budget of Public Affairs alone, there are contract people who have done such services for the government, whether in connection with tourist information or other public documents for as long as I have been a Member of this House. The fact of the matter is that there are times of the year and there are certain kinds of documents which require the professional services of photographers, writers and also people who do layout and production work. Both this administration and previous administrations have contracted for those services.
Mr. McLachlan: Is it the intention of the government to replace the position of communications advisor, or is this position being advertised for nationally, or will it be allowed to lapse? What is the government going to do?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The position has been filled, and I am pleased to say the new incumbent started today.
Question re: Lottery licensing regulations
Mrs. Firth: I would like a follow-up question with the Minister of Justice regarding the lottery licensing regulations. The information we have here, which the Minister keeps talking about, is that volunteers now have to apply and remain within some rigid new orderly system. We are talking about people who do things in their spare time for other people. It is obvious to us that it is more important to this Cabinet to have orderly systems of rules and regulations as opposed to having the freedom and flexibility for those volunteer groups that they used to have. They used to be able to apply in two days and get the licence application.
I would like to ask the Minister if his government will reverse this new rule that is being imposed on volunteers.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is no new rule being imposed on volunteers at all. What there is is an act, the Lottery Licensing Act, which sets up a board of citizens to pass these applications. This act was passed while the Member opposite was in the House. In order to change those procedures, I would expect that a change in that act would need to occur. The procedures are following from that act.
Mrs. Firth: This was not in the act when it was brought into this Legislative Assembly. That is a fact. There are new rules. The new rule is that you can no longer go...
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mrs. Firth: Yes, I will. The new rule is that you can no longer apply for a licence within two days like you used to be able to. Has the board set a new rule, and will the Minister consider, along with the board, that that new rule be changed to reflect some flexibility for the volunteers who are working within this system?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes. I have already answered that, and I said yes.
Mrs. Firth: Could the Minister give us an indication of how soon he will be doing this? I do not want to hear as soon as possible. I would like a specific time, because volunteers would like to know.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Member opposite wishes to instruct me as to the time that is acceptable. From the heckling opposite, it is obvious to me that it does not matter what I say, in any event. I have said that I will do something; I will do it.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker now do leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will come to order. We will recess for 15 minutes.
Bill No. 60 - Fourth Appropriation Act, 1987-88 - continued
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will continue with the Department of Renewable Resources, capital expenditures, campground development.
On Territorial Campground Rehabilitation
Hon. Mr. Porter: The reasons for the increase are increased material costs overall; the problem in Dawson City, where we found all those rotten trees down that had to be taken out; there was upgrading at the Rancheria Campground for maintenance; playground equipment replacement at various campgrounds; new signage; replacement of entrance signs at some campgrounds; and frame campground kitchens replaced by log units.
Specifically, there were four kitchens for $32,000; Rancheria Campground rehabilitation, $28,000; an addition to other sites, conversion of Big Creek and Morley River - the Big Creek area was a campground, and we converted that to a day use area, as well as Morley River; Kusawa rehabilitation, $10,000; Klondike River tree removal, $30,000; the self-registration vault installations, $12,000; structure of prefabrication of 12 wood sheds for $9,000; 60 fire pits for $6,000; 20 tables for $4,000; 10 toilets for $8,000; one dock for $1,000; for a total of $28,000; signage, $3,000. Adding all those figures, it comes to a total of $143,000.
Mr. Brewster: Do you feel that day use is not as hard on a campground as overnight use?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is what we had happen in the Big Creek Campground. It was a campground for years. There was limited space and, basically, all of the overburden on the campground was totally destroyed by simply having vehicles and people there. The area got heavy use and was really impacted. We have to constantly watch out for that. Where we see those trends happen, where the physical surroundings of the campground are deteriorating, we have to look at upgrading or, in this instance, we shut the campground off to overnight use.
Territorial Campground Rehabilitation in the amount of $143,000 agreed to
On South Canol
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $30,000 was used to surface all of the roads in the campground and to complete the facilities, haul and store all the firewood left from site construction and to carry out final cleanup.
South Canol in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: The reason for the increase is to complete work on landscaping in order to fully complete the facility.
Mayo in the amount of $2,000 agreed to
On Dempster Construction
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is to complete the installation of bear-proof garbage cans and minor maintenance. The $2,000 is a combination for the work crew.
Dempster Construction in the amount of $2,000 agreed to
On Fort Selkirk
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $3,000 was used to pay for the services of the chair of the planning committee, Mr. Bell.
Mr. Brewster: Is there a charge there the same as for the other campground at Fort Selkirk?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We do not have a campground at Fort Selkirk. This is for the Fort Selkirk rehabilitation program for the buildings and historical sites there.
Mr. Brewster: Is there no campground at all for the boaters to stay in?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No. There is not a designated campground as we know it in other parts of the Yukon.
Mr. Brewster: People are allowed to camp around the site, are they not?
Hon. Mr. Porter: People do camp there. We have a caretaker hired at the site.
Mr. Brewster: Do you have any idea of the number of people who go down the river?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We do not have the statistics here, but we will check with the departments to see if they have those numbers.
Mr. Phillips: I hope they do have the statistics, because I saw a contract awarded to someone last year for $11,000 to count the traffic on the river.
Chairman: Is there anything further on Fort Selkirk?
Mr. Phillips: I am not quite clear what this amount if for. If this $3,000 just to pay the chairman, what did the chairman do?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The chairman held meetings, presided over meetings, worked constantly toward developing a management plan for the Fort Selkirk area.
Mr. Brewster: If we are restoring this completely, does the Minister not think that we should have a place for people to stay while they are there instead of being scattered all over? If there is no count, why are we spending all this money when we really do not know how many go down the river?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Developing a camp site at Fort Selkirk is one of the questions that will have to be addressed in the final management plan for Fort Selkirk. We have undertaken to research the statistics on river travelers in the department and obtain those numbers. We will provide them to the Members.
Mr. Phillips: When can we expect to see the management plan for Fort Selkirk area?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Hopefully, the plan will be done by the end of 1988.
Mr. Phillips: What is the total cost of the plan?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have that breakdown with me.
Mr. Phillips: Could the Minister get that for us with the projected total cost of the hearing process?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Fort Selkirk in the amount of $3,000
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $12,000 was used to construct a trail to the river to provide a source of water. All of the wood was hauled and stored in the maintenance compound. The signs were installed, the trail was completed, and the final site completion was carried out.
Nahanni in the amount of $12,000
On Campground Replacement
Hon. Mr. Porter: There were a number of items left outstanding at the close of construction. Among these were the on-site construction of the kitchen shelter, excavation and installation of toilet, wood shelter installation, final road grading and site clean-up. Due to the weather problems, these items could not be completed, but will be done in this new year.
Campground Replacement in the amount of a reduction of $22,000 agreed to
On Teslin Expansion
Hon. Mr. Porter: Originally, it was anticipated that we would be able expand that campground. A private owner has the adjacent lands and we attempted to negotiated with the individual, but the price was much too excessive, so we abandoned the expenditure of those funds for purchase. The funds that we did expend were for the planning for a hiking trail from the campground along the lake shore to the boat launch area. That, for the most part, was what was expended in the Teslin area. There it was a $37,000 decrease from $40,000. The $3,000 was spent on planning. I can tell you that the asking price was a lot more than we had budgeted.
Teslin Expansion in the amount of a reduction of $37,000 agreed to
On Campground Bound Surveys
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase resulted from an underestimation of contract bid prices. A lot of our campgrounds have not been surveyed, so we are trying to, each year, increase our survey of those campgrounds.
Campground Bound Surveys in the amount of $2,000 agreed to
On Land Acquisition
Hon. Mr. Porter: As stated earlier, the Teslin Lake area was one place where we looked at a purchase. As well, we wanted to buy some land adjacent to the Carmacks campground. That did not take place but we did buy the lands adjacent to Kusawa. There are a number of recreation lots in the Kusawa area, and the lots were purchased for $54,000. The Teslin purchase did not go ahead, as well as the purchase for the adjacent lands in Carmacks because there is some confusion as to who the owners are, because of the acquisition of the mine site in Faro.
Mr. Brewster: Kusawa is where the campground will be. The other is a day site and this will be the campground. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is correct.
Mr. Phillips: This is land acquisition but I am wondering about any campgrounds that we turned over to the private sector. Did we did that at all this past year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No. If the Member has been reading the Whitehorse Star he would note that we are attempting to privatize the maintenance of campgrounds. We have privatized the maintenance of the Rancheria campground and we are looking at Wolf Creek this year and, as well, the Yukon River campground in Dawson.
Mr. Brewster: By privatization, does the Minister mean that he will be putting a contract out for cleaning the campgrounds and collect the fees on their own, set their own price, or will it be set by the government?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes to the first part of the Members question. That is what we mean by privatization of maintenance. The answer to the second question is that they would still collect the fees according to the schedule of fees laid out by the department.
Mr. Brewster: The fees are probably the cheapest in the world; they are much cheaper than any of the other provinces or Alaska. But are we assured these campgrounds are going to stay clean? If the contractors cannot make money, they will not do the job.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The reason we are looking at an expansion this year of that particular idea is that we ran it for the first time on a trial basis at Rancheria last year and found there was a tremendous increase in fee collection. In fact, the revenues to government increased substantially and the campground for the most part was very well maintained.
Mr. Phillips: Surprise - free enterprise actually works. The free enterprisers get hold of it and they collect double or triple the fees.
I can see a bit of a problem in the case of something like Rancheria because there you have a private campground and within fifty feet you have the government campground, and tourists driving up and saying, It is ten dollars a night to stay in the commercial campground and it is six dollars a night to stay in the government campground. Has there been any thought of actually privatizing campgrounds such as those, which are right next to businesses that are offering the same type of service?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There has not been a specific decision on privatizing campgrounds across the Yukon. It is on a case by case basis, such as the one we see at Rancheria and as well the one in Morley River. The private business in the area complained about the adverse competition that the government campground at Morley posed to his operation, as well as the length of time we have had that campground so we decided to close the Morley site as a campground and simply make it a day use area, which then, in turn, indirectly benefitted the private business. We are going at it very slowly; looking at contracting the maintenance is the first step toward a degree of privatization. I remember that the previous government did, in fact, make a privatization decision regarding the Pelly River campground, and I will not rule that out as a possibility. I am more than happy in these debates to provide a campground table for the Member to espouse his views on private enterprise.
Mr. Phillips: I am not familiar with a lot of other campgrounds but I am familiar with the Rancheria situation and I can see a bit of conflict there. If private enterprise is prepared to operate the campgrounds at the same standards the government has, and make a lot more money doing it because they are more efficient at collecting the fees, then maybe we should get out of the campground business in areas such as this where we are quite close to adjacent businesses who want to do it? That is all I am suggesting.
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is a question of debate. The Member can appreciate we are going at this very methodically in increments. We did contract the campground at Rancheria last year, and that gave us the numbers and substantiation to be able to continue in that direction with other campgrounds in the Yukon.
Mr. Phillips: How long will the government look at something like Rancheria before it makes a decision? It is obvious to me that something could be done in that area, and you could move on that fairly quickly. In government, it seems to take forever and a day to decide on things, and we study them to death before we do anything. Usually, by the time we come up with the results of the study, the whole thing has changed, and we have to commission another study to look at it again. Does the government now know what is happening in Rancheria? Is it prepared to move on the Rancheria one as a model and make a deal with the people involved and see what happens?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have already moved one step on Rancheria. We have moved to the step of privatizing maintenance. The other question of complete privatization of the campground would be one we would review after we have had our season numbers in for next year and can evaluate, based on this current seasons operation.
One thing that should be pointed out is that, in Rancheria, the numbers are going to be different than other campgrounds. As you know, for those people entering the Yukon on Highway 37, this is probably the first area in which they can purchase season campground passes. So, for the most part, that was the reason for the substantial increase in the revenues received. A lot of the tourists who entered Rancheria did purchase season campground pass for the entire Yukon. Every other campground is not going to have those kinds of numbers.
Mrs. Firth: Before we clear the land acquisition line item, why is the government buying this land? What are they planning on doing with it?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As we answered to the Member for Kluane, we intend to re-establish a campground in Kusawa. There was a huge mud slide that wiped out the previous campground. Teslin and Carmacks is an expansion of existing operations, but campgrounds only.
Mr. Phillips: How many lots did we buy, and what was the price per lot?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It was $54,000 for six lots.
Land Acquisition in the amount of a reduction of $46,000 agreed to
On New Expansion Planning
Hon. Mr. Porter: The reason for the decrease is funds were required to offset over expenditures in the development area.
New Expansion Planning in the amount of a reduction of $1,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: Originally, $10,000 was set aside to identify potential recreational rock hounding and scenic locations in the Carmacks area for inventory purposes. It ended up only costing us $7,000 to do that work.
Mr. Brewster: Could the Minister provide us with the number of people who go into this campground and stay there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will find those numbers.
Tatchun/Frenchman in the amount of a reduction of $3,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: We did detailed concept plans for the upgrading of the facilities of this site. We purchased a traffic counter and installed it to obtain details on the site usage. The original line applications for the campsite were forwarded to the Department of Community and Transportation Services. At the present time the project is on hold. A number of people have complained about expanding or rehabilitating this site so we put the project on hold for the near future.
Tarfu/Snafu in the amount of a reduction of $16,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $20,000 originally budgeted to do the recreation study was transferred to Regional Land Use Planning. It will show up in the next item.
Watson/Wheaton in the amount of a reduction of $20,000 agreed to
On Watson/Wheaton Sub-Region
Hon. Mr. Porter: As we have indicated in the past, we would like to do a resource inventory in this particular area. The breakdown of expenditures to be conducted in the wildlife area: lambing studies were $5,400; raptor studies of $2,100; rut count of $2,700. We have not completed the sheep count in the area. We hired a casual biologist to assist us in putting this information together at $11,000. This gives us a subtotal of $21,000. Parks and recreation component spent $1,500. Regional planning sectoral reports, water resources land use, agricultural preliminary, mining data collected for $5,200. Consultant contracts, including archaeological work, for $8,600 for a total of $36,000.
Watson/Wheaton Sub-Region in the amount of $36,000 agreed to
On Dalton Post
Hon. Mr. Porter: The original budget was for $35,000 and all that was spent was $5,000 on the creation of the parking lot, gravel surfacing, tree removal and gate installation. The rest of the money was not spent.
Mr. Brewster: I hear rumours all the time. Does Dalton Post belong to the territorial government or is it claimed under land claims by the Champagne/Aishihik Band?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is federal Crown land.
Mr. Brewster: Has it been selected to go into their land claim?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, the band has identified this as a site they would like to negotiate at the land claims table.
Mr. Brewster: Why does the Yukon government continue to fix this up if they are not going to own it?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The decision of the future management of that site has not been made. That has been left to the claims process to determine.
Mr. Lang: What is the position of the Government of Yukon on Dalton Post?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have not completed negotiations on this item as of yet.
Mr. Lang: I did not ask if negotiations were complete. I am not asking if you got a price. I am asking what the position of the government is.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We would like to see a situation where there would be joint management and guaranteed access for those people who have historically used the area.
Mr. Lang: Is the government saying that it is okay to transfer this in the land claims negotiations? Is that the position of the government?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Our position is that any management of the site should be done on a joint basis. One of the critical aspects of that site, as the Member for Kluane appreciates, is that it is one of the favourite fishing areas in the Yukon. Our position is that the people who have historically used this site for fishing should be guaranteed that right of access.
Mr. Lang: Is the Minister talking about non-beneficiaries when he mentions historical rights?
Hon. Mr. Porter: When we talk about rights of the fishing public, we are talking about non-beneficiary Yukoners. Yes.
Mr. Lang: Is the position of the government then that the non-beneficiaries of the Yukon will have right of access and the right to fish in the Dalton Post area when land claims are finished?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is the position of the Yukon government on this site.
Dalton Post in the amount of a reduction of $30,000 agreed to
On Natural Features Access
Hon. Mr. Porter: The budget breakdown for this section is Rancheria Falls, $20,000 and Five Finger Rapids, $12,000. The costs for planning were lower than anticipated for this work.
Mr. Brewster: Does natural access mean foot trails down into these places?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, we are talking about a trail system within a viewing area. It sounds like it should be completely left alone, but the moment that we encourage access, we have to protect the public.
Natural Features Access in the amount of a reduction of $8,000 agreed to
On Recreation Access
Hon. Mr. Porter: The breakdown in actual construction of these sites is Rancheria Falls - day use area, $45,000; Tagish Bridge area, 16,000; Five Mile Lake area $20,000; Five Finger Rapids, $60,000 for a total of $141,000. These are the construction costs.
Recreation Access in the amount of $46,000 agreed to
On Watson Lake
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $18,000 was used at the Watson Lake campground to complete the cleanup of all the firewood and brush in the area, sign installation and total site clean-up.
Mr. Lang: Is that done by contract?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is done by casual staff.
Mr. Lang: Clean-up of what?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is the clean-up of firewood in the area and all the brushing in the campground site.
Mr. Brewster: You might rule me out of order on this but I do not know how else I can get it in. When you bring up the casual crews you continually seem to cut wood in certain areas, and then you take your casual crews out of Whitehorse, keep them in motels, and use their trucks to haul this wood to other campgrounds, when there are people in those areas who could undoubtedly put the wood up cheaper and try to bid on it, but they never get the chance. Is that still the policy or have you changed it this year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There are some areas where we do, in fact, contract for the supply of firewood, but we do not have a breakdown of where that occurs. I will obtain that breakdown for the Member.
Mr. Brewster: An example of it is in our area where they are hauling wood all the way from Haines Junction up almost to Beaver Creek with government trucks. These people are paid living expenses and for motel stays, yet there are people at Destruction Bay and Burwash and all these places who tried to bid, and they could not even get a contract.
Watson Lake in the amount of $18,000 agreed to
On Equipment Acquisition
Hon. Mr. Porter: The funds budgeted for were not needed. This is the fund that we use to buy new equipment and replace equipment such as snowmobiles, boats, motors, sleeping bags and those kinds of things for departmental personnel. We simply did not spend the money that was allocated. We only spent $144,000.
Equipment Acquisition in the amount of a reduction of $30,000 agreed to
On Game Farm Study
Hon. Mr. Porter: We had an option to purchase of $15,000 and the actual feasibility study cost us $30,000. It was not anticipated and was not budgeted for. It came in mid-stream.
Mr. Brewster: Is it possible that the feasibility study could be tabled or is it a private document?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is private information and it contains sensitive information about the operation.
Game Farm Study in the amount of $45,000 agreed to
On Biology Laboratory
Hon. Mr. Porter: The revote is to complete the biology laboratory project.
Mr. Phillips: I am sorry, could the Minister repeat that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is to complete the biology laboratory, and specifically, it was for a ventilation system and to extend the sprinkler system to the false ceiling of the laboratory.
Mr. Phillips: When was that work done?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have that exact information but if the Member is interested, that information can be obtained.
Mr. Phillips: The concern I have was announced in this House a few months ago. The Department of Renewable Resources will be moving to Yukon College and I just wonder why we are spending $13,000 more to fix up ventilation in a building when we are moving out of it in 60 days.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The work that was done in the laboratory was made necessary by way of a decision of the occupational health and safety people.
Mr. Lang: To pursue this a little further, we are talking of $13,000; surely we could have found some other accommodation to do whatever we want to do as opposed to putting that much money into a building we were vacating? Does the Minister not agree that it is a stupid waste of money when we are going to leave in 60 days?
Hon. Mr. Porter: One would have to research the question because, as you know, the decision to move from the Burns Road area to the Yukon College was not a decision that was made earlier. It was a recent decision. As I recall, the decision for the construction of the laboratory was made two years ago, and these are additional funds that were needed to complete the job. I know for certain we decided to upgrade the laboratory before we knew that the department was moving to the old college site.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister knew the lease was running out on the building up the hill, and he knew they had to move somewhere, and, for five years or so, or maybe more, he has been in that building up the hill and has lived with the conditions as they existed. Surely, he could have made some kind of adjustments or something so that we would not have to spend $13,000 sixty days before they move out of the building?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is intimated by the Member that we knew we had to move. That was not necessarily the fact. We could have continued to occupy that space simply with an agreed upon extension for the rental of premises. On the specific question of the ventilation system and the false ceiling and the sprinkler system, it was very clearly directed to the department that they had to do that work by occupational health and safety personnel and by the fire marshall, for safety reasons.
Mr. Lang: It is awfully strange that we are bidding a supplementary estimate now if the work was done two years ago. I do not understand why that was not included in the fall supplementary if the work was done so long ago, as far as identifying the money is concerned.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The materials and equipment required were received in 1986 and 1987. They were received too late to allow the project to be completed in 1986-87. That is why we have carried the project over into this last fiscal year, 1987-88.
Mr. Phillips: I wonder if the Minister could correct me if I am wrong. There was a renewable resources building study done in, I believe, July 1987, by Touche Ross, to the tune of $12,200. Was that the study to determine what was to be done with the building up the hill, or where the department was going to move to if it was going to move?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That study was designed to lay out options for the Department of Renewable Resources.
Mr. Phillips: When did you receive the recommendations from that study?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I cannot recall the specific date. We would have to research that.
Mr. Phillips: Could the Minister look for that and bring that back to us? As well, can the Minister tell us when this $13,000 was spent? Was it spent before the results of that study came in, or afterwards?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, I will do that.
Biology Laboratory in the amount of $13,000 agreed to
On Conservation Officer Facilities
Hon. Mr. Porter: The funds were used to drill wells and install water systems in the district conservation officer compounds in Dawson City and Watson Lake, as well as install a new furnace in the Watson Lake compound.
Conservation Officer Facilities in the amount of $14,000 agreed to
On Wood Bison Facilities
Hon. Mr. Porter: The original budget is for the project to provide funds for the construction and erection of a corral and squeeze chute facility at the bison compound. The project was undertaken late in the 1986-87 fiscal year and not completed until the first week in April. The $1,000 comprises of salary and travel expenses for three days for the crew working on the project.
Mr. Phillips: Prior to the Operation and Maintenance Budget, could the Minister bring back to the House the total capital costs of the wood bison project from the beginning of the project, and the total operation and maintenance costs, with a break down per year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I believe the Member for Kluane requested that information, and we have agreed to provide that.
Mr. Brewster: There was one bull buffalo killed and one cow. What was done with the meat and hides?
Hon. Mr. Porter: A portion of the meat that was salvaged will be given to Mary House, a portion to Kaushees Place, and - I know this will put a smile on the face of the Member for Riverdale North - the remainder will be used for the Canadian Wildlife Federations banquet.
Wood Bison Facilities in the amount of $1,000 agreed to
Capital Expenditures in the amount of $84,000 agreed to
Chairman: Are there any comments on the recoveries?
Capital Recoveries in the amount of a recovery of $35,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $161,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $84,000 agreed to
Chairman: Department of Tourism, general debate.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Supplementary Estimates for the Department of Tourism decreases the operation and maintenance expenditures by $23,000, along with a corresponding decrease in operation and maintenance recoveries of $23,000. These decreases are largely as a result of the conservator position within the Heritage Branch remaining vacant for the entire year. This reduced personnel costs and recoveries, since the conservator salary costs are recoverable from the National Museum of Canada.
There are other minor reallocations of funds among the departments forerunner programs. There is an increase in the administration program of $26,000 for outside recruitment of the Director of Development and for a consulting contract for preparation of a draft tourism action plan.
The development program requires an additional $2,000 as a result of miscellaneous changes, personnel costs, program materials and travel. The marketing program decreases by $39,000. This is largely the net result of several miscellaneous changes in the literature program, joint marketing and promotion campaigns, personnel costs and travel.
There are two new operational and maintenance recovery items. The first one is $13,000 for a marketing advisor to the Yukon Tourism Marketing Council to be funded by the Canada Yukon Tourism Subsidiary Agreement. The second item is $5,000 for provision of reception services in Dawson City to service inquiries on the Dempster Highway, recoverable from the Western Arctic Visitors Association, NWT. The offsetting expenditures for these recoveries are funded from the Operation and Maintenance Marketing Program.
There are two new capital recovery items. The fist one is $75,000 for the visitor reception centre radio transmitters and radio programming to be funded under the Canada Yukon Tourism Subsidiary Agreement. The second one is $38,000 to be received from the federal government, Energy, Mines and Resources for monitoring the effectiveness and the efficiency of the cold storage facility for artifacts at the Dawson City Museum. This is to be recovered from the federal government.
Mr. Lang: One can see that the Members on this side are wearing a very prominent T-shirt. This is in recognition of the inaccessibility of Kluane Park by the travelling public. Contrary to what was said on the air this morning - that there were only 200 people who signed that petition - I am led to believe that the number is as high as 900 so far over just a few days. This really reflects the publics view that Kluane Park is not accessible to individuals in the Yukon, let alone the travelling public.
The Member for Kluane, in conjunction with the Member for Riverdale North, in his motion, made a very solid case to all Members of the House. Our side sees this as a very high priority. What steps is the Minister going to take now that quite a bit of time and effort has been put forward by the Members of this House on this issue. I hope that it does not die on the order paper. Could the Minister address that to begin with?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Certainly this is an issue that will not die on the Order Paper. I suspect the Member for Kluane will see to it.
We have made our position known to the Federal Minister of Environment, Mr. McMillan, regarding the accessibility of Kluane National Park. It has constantly been an issue that has been ignored basically by the Federal Department of Environment. I recall when the former Minister of Environment, Blais-Grenier, came to the Yukon, it was a subject of our discussion and we were told that the parks budget simply did not have the available funds for the construction of facilities and roadway into Kluane. It was made very clear that they were not going to budget in the future. We have extended an invitation to Mr. McMillan, not only through the government but also through the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, to come to the Yukon to speak to a host of issues including the Kluane issue.
As well, we have made local representations. There will be a meeting of the Department of Tourism officials and the Superintendent of Kluane Park tomorrow. We will be putting a position to the Kluane National park Review Committee and the governments recommendation would be one that endorses the concept of controlled access to the park.
Mr. Lang: It is an area that will continue to be debated as long as the Member for Kluane is in this House.
Is the market segmentation study the one that was done by the outside firm at a cost of $300,000?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The immediate answer is no.
Mr. Lang: Was there a market segmentation study done? If so by whom?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, it was done for $45,000.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister outline what he is doing with the consequences of that study?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The information that is compiled in the market segmentation study will be analyzed when we have the complete data of the exit survey study that was undertaken this last fall.
Mr. Lang: Was that not completed quite sometime ago?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The exit survey study, no.
Mr. Lang: The market segmentation study.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, that was completed in 1986. We are awaiting the compilation of the numbers from the exit survey before we can specifically use the information regarding the directions that come forward from the exit survey.
Mr. Lang: I do not quite understand why we would spend $45,000 in 1986 and in 1989 not be able to use the results of that study to at least give some sort of policy direction to the Department of Tourism and the government as a whole with respect to where we are going with tourism?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The information has been available to Cooperative Marketing and it has influenced the marketing decisions that Cooperative Marketing has made in the past. Once the exit survey material is complete, we would like to take all of the data that we have gathered from the market segmentation study, and, as well, the tourism action plan, and the tourism strategy that we have developed, and further refine the Yukons marketing program after lumping all of that data together.
Mr. Lang: I want to alert the Minister that I intend to pursue further the question of the market segmentation study in general debate on the O&M, because I do not totally accept the principle that we have to wait for the exit survey to be done before being able to use the studys results.
I want to go on. What direction has the Minister given in response to the 2020 study, which touches broadly on the question of tourism? Can the Minister tell us what direction he has given his department?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have received a copy of the study and have read through it. I have sent it over to the department for a specific analysis, and I have yet to receive the analysis of the report.
Mr. Lang: Does the Minister agree, in principle, with what is said about tourism in this particular document?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I think that there is a general consensus on the shortcomings of tourism in the Yukon, and I think that the report echoes some of those concerns. So, in a very broad way, yes, the principles that are talked about in the report, and the specific need for an expansion and a creation of destination sites is one that plagues the Yukon. It is something that definitely has to be addressed in the future. With respect to the way in which that is addressed, I have met with the federal Minister of Tourism, Mr. Bernard Valcourt, on the question of renegotiating a new tourism subsidiary agreement. One of the focal points of our discussions is the need for the Yukon to start to develop destination sites that are of the calibre to attract tourists to spend more time in the Yukon. The discussions with Mr. Valcourt were, I think, very positive.
The only problems in those discussions are that Mr. Valcourt has indicated that the federal government is on the track of now trying to remove the joint initiative and delivery of tourism programs, and is, in fact, suggesting quite clearly that the federal government might want to take over responsibility for product development and delivery of the large items, and simply leave responsibility of the business loans aspects of the program to the territorial government. That is something that we made clear to him that we are resisting, but it is still a question that has to be resolved in negotiations between the two governments.
Mr. Lang: When does the Minister expect those negotiations to be concluded?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is our hope that, within the next month or so, we can have an agreement in principle for the two Ministers - myself and the federal Minister - to consider for signature. It is to be hoped that at the agreement in principle stage we will also lay out a schedule and try to get some commitment from the federal government as to when they will be prepared to finalize the agreement, but it has to be done this year.
Mr. Lang: When does the financing of the present subsidiary agreement run out? This year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It expires in 1989.
Mr. Lang: In 1989 or at the end of 1988?
Hon. Mr. Porter: At the end of the fiscal year 1988-89.
Mr. Lang: Does that mean as of April 1, 1989 there is no more financing available, other than for perhaps projects that have started to be made available under the subsidiary agreement?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is correct. The way this operates, commitments can be made and, if there are payments that can flow over a fiscal year, that is what happens.
Mr. Lang: Are we negotiating for a two or five-year agreement? How much money are we talking about?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is our position that the agreement should be a lengthy agreement. We are taking the position it should be a five-year agreement. We have not decided on a total number of dollars for the program over that time period.
Mr. Lang: What have you asked for?
Hon. Mr. Porter: In the meeting with the Minister of Tourism, we did not anticipate that to be a meeting that would result in a final agreement. We saw it as an opportunity to set the parameters for the negotiations. So, we did not exchange any numbers, nor did we prepare any numbers to be exchanged. We wanted a commitment from him that we would negotiate, because there was some suggestion that, possibly, there may not be any tourism type agreements in the future, and that there had been a new department created in Ottawa called the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, that had come on the scene. We wanted to ascertain the relationship of the Minister of Tourism relative to the new super department, and wanted a clear understanding that he was still responsible for tourism development in Canada, and would be responsible to negotiate such agreements. In my mind, we received a clear understanding that he is the Minister still responsible in Cabinet to carry out the EDA agreement, as it relates to tourism, and he did commit that he would direct his officials to negotiate with our officials toward a new tourism subsidiary agreement. So far, he has followed through. The local officials, at this level, have been instructed to meet with us, and there have been preliminary meetings toward a new agreement for the Yukon.
Mr. Lang: Is the government putting forward the principle of a revolving loan fund under the tourism subsidiary agreement, as opposed to grants?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is an issue that has been discussed with a number of ministers, and every one of them has turned us down on that particular question. They state they would require legislative approval to be able to create a revolving fund. We have not gotten to first base on this question. We have constantly received negative feedback on it. It would be a position of ours that we continue to press on that.
Mr. Lang: I did not ask the Minister what he thinks; I asked if that position had been put forward with respect to the parameters.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have put it forward myself.
Mr. Lang: What kind of money are the officials talking about, now that our officials are talking to the officials of the Government of Canada?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The negotiations that have been held to date have not advanced to the point of attaching a dollar figure to the future program.
Mr. Lang: According to what the Minister has just told us, we are 30 days away from having an agreement in principle, and I find it strange we have not talked about any money yet. When are we going to start talking about money - on the thirtieth day?
Hon. Mr. Porter: For the most part, the negotiations that are going to revolve around the agreement in principle are to talk about the responsibility of the two governments relative to the program delivery, the content of the programs and the various categories of programs that will be established. It is expected that the question of funding will probably not be addressed during the discussions by officials, but will be left to the political level, once we have an agreement for an agreement in principle and a schedule for final negotiations.
Mr. Lang: I do not want to belabour that. I want to go back to the 20/20 report. The Minister said his department was doing an analysis; when is that analysis going to be completed?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We expect completion within the next three weeks.
Mr. Lang: Is it going to be a public document?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Once I have read the analysis, I have no problem in making our analysis public.
Mr. Lang: I take it, then, that as soon as the Minister has seen it the report will be transmitted to all Members of the House. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. Lang: Concerning the trip to Japan, could the Minister tell us how much it costs the officials to go to Japan?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The trip to Japan originally was intended as a tourism mission involving me, but, because of the workload that I had at the time, I could not go and asked the Commissioner of the Yukon to step in for me, through the Government Leaders office. The Commissioner agreed and the director of marketing at that time accompanied the Commissioner. The literature costs were $19,000, on-the-ground transportation and other costs were $7,000, and receptions $4,000.
Mr. Lang: So the amount was $30,000 in total, for two people to go to Japan, is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, slightly in excess of $30,000.
Mr. Lang: I always hate this government jargon when they say slightly. Are we talking of $30,500 or $40,000?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I will narrow it down: under $35,000.
Mr. Lang: In deference to the House, I think it would be fair to have an accounting. The Minister is telling us that it was in the neighbourhood of $35,000 for two people to go to Japan. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Three people. A representative of the private sector did accompany the tour.
Mr. Lang: Three people for $35,000? Will he check his record and confirm that is the exact price? I would like to know exactly what it did cost.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, we will confirm.
Mr. Lang: Will that be made available to us during Main Estimate debate?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: As a result of that trip, how many excursions do we have of Japanese visitors who will be visiting our territory this year? What are the net results of the tour?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I know that there are some Members who expect that on day one you hang out an advertisement in Japan and on day two you have 747s landing in Whitehorse, but, unfortunately, the Japanese market apparently is one of the toughest markets to be able to establish a rapport with. From conversations I have had with Alberta officials, it has taken them 10 to 15 years to develop a solid commitment from the Japanese tourist industry. I personally know of an individual last year who did, in fact, bring a tour over. I believe that individual, and I can check my records, brought somewhere in the neighbourhood of at least a dozen Japanese tourists. As well, Rainbow Tours booked six groups of tours into the Yukon, and 38 tours into the Yukon for four days this summer.
Mr. McLachlan: I am not clear. Is the Minister saying there is no direct benefit that he can see at this point from the $35,000 visit to Japan that will result in tourists this year or next?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This year six groups were booked and 38 tours booked into the Yukon for four days this summer. I see that as a substantial return.
Mr. McLachlan: In the original planning for the trip to Japan, am I incorrect in believing that it was also part of a trade mission? Did we sell any lead zinc concentrate for example? Was there anything else other than tourism included in that trip?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The original idea was for a joint tourism/economic development trade mission. For various reasons, the economic sector of the tour was canceled and it became simply a tourism mission.
Mr. McLachlan: Under the old Canada/U.S. tourism subagreement, if by March 31, 1989, there are still uncommitted funds, must they revert to Canada by provision of the original agreement?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: In previous years, has it been the experience of the government that there were funds that were not committed by the time the agreement has expired?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: Were they of significant amout? Are we talking about $1 million or $10,000? What is the size of what is left?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Members will forgive us for not having all of the details for all of the specific questions being asked, but we were prepared for the $23,000 that we are voting on now. In terms of the previous years expenditures, where funds may not have been spent, we will obtain for the Member exactly what those specific amounts were.
Mr. Lang: I want to go back to parks. Has the government put forward a position on the Chilkoot Trail? If so could they table it?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There have been discussions between the department and Parks Canada, yes.
Mr. Lang: Has the government formally tabled a position with respect to that particular plan?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, a formal position was not tabled.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister tell us why not?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The decision has not been finalized on the Chilkoot. There are various alternatives being discussed. We will have some input into the final management decisions that Parks Canada will adopt.
Mr. Lang: When?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is envisaged that it will be next year before the plan will be finalized.
Mr. Lang: When will the governments position be taken?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It will be taken during the final discussion stage leading up to the adoption of the management plan. That will probably be next fall.
Mr. Lang: My understanding of that management plan follows the objectives of the Kluane National Park very closely, which basically refers to access for hikers. That leaves us two categories of people, those who are not working or those who have made it and have the time to go hiking.
There should be a broader look taken at this proposed park management plan to see in what other ways we can accommodate the use of this area for the tourism industry in places such as Carcross. The government should be taking a political position and not a bureaucratic position on this park. I would like a commitment from the Minister that he review this personally and that the government take a formal position on this management plan.
I prefer to have this in the spring. As the Minister knows, by the time fall comes, it is all laid out, it is finished and then it is gone. We are then told that we had our chance but we did not take it.
Hon. Mr. Porter: It will be a position of the government that we do make a formal representation to the planning committee that underlines the Government of Yukons position.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister put that high on his priority list and have it considered for this spring, prior to July, so that a government position can be presented? We will be losing time if the position is taken later.
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is our intention, prior to the final adoption of the management plan, to put a position forward. I will ask the department to prepare a position as soon as they can and give it the necessary detailed work.
Chairman: Is there anything further on general debate?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $26,000 increase in administration is due to $46,000 that was required for the recruitment of Director of Development; $10,000 required for consultant services to prepared the Tourism Action Plan; $24,000 reduction and salary costs as a result of vacancies of Deputy Minister, Administration Officer and Administration Clerk. There was a $6,000 reduction in travel. The offsets total $30,000, so the increase is $26,000.
Mr. Lang: Where is the Tourism Action Plan?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It has gone through the Policy Review Committee. It has been discussed at the Deputy Minister Policy Review Committee, so it should be arriving at my office for consideration for Cabinet fairly soon.
Mr. Lang: Has the Tourism Industry Association had full access to this action plan?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is our intention to discuss the proposed action plan thoroughly with the Tourism Industry Association.
Mr. Lang: Will that be prior to it going to Cabinet or after?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We go to Cabinet with a proposed tourism action plan. We ask Cabinet for the mandate to discuss this action plan with the specified affected groups. We give an undertaking to return to Cabinet, after we have had those consultations, to take the input from the industry and retool the action plan. We then bring it back to Cabinet for final decision. That is what we intend to do in this instance.
Mr. Lang: What is the direction the government is going in with respect to the new tourism information centre? Is the government considering one at the present time?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Locally, this has been a question of some interest in the local media. I understand someone has taken a petition out to have us build it on the Alaska Highway, so as to get them to Kluane quicker, I guess. No decision has been made on location. We did budget $100,000 to do some site investigation and preliminary architectural engineering work. There have been discussions with Sports Yukon regarding the facility they have earmarked at the old Jim Light Memorial Arena. In terms of the downtown area of Whitehorse, that is the most attractive location, because many of the tourists do drive the big RVs and need substantial room for parking. That is one of the problems we have with the current location. As of yet, no decision has been made for the location. If we are going to make a decision for building, we are going to have to come back next year for additional capital to make that decision.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister outline how we spent that $100,000?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have not spent it yet. We have just included it in last years Capital Budget. We will be spending it this capital year.
Mr. Lang: Is the government prepared to consider building a tourism information centre on the Alaska Highway corridor, as opposed to downtown?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Certainly, we would look at it. The interesting question in my mind would be what effect that will have on downtown Whitehorse and the businesses in Whitehorse. That is one question we would have to answer. It may have a detrimental effect on the business core of Whitehorse. If it is shown that establishing the tourism centre leaves us with tourists gassing up and picking up the necessary literature to carry on their journey and bypassing Whitehorse, then I will not be in a position to advocate for its construction there. However, if the feasibility studies that may be carried out on the question of traffic patterns suggests they will still come to downtown Whitehorse, then I see no reason why that cannot be considered as a location.
Mr. Lang: Have the terms of reference for the study been prepared, and are they out for tender?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, a decision has not been made to do a study. The study has been completed in the last fiscal year.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister table it?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, I will.
Mr. Lang: Will he table it prior to the Main Estimates?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. Lang: If we have done the study, what is the $100,000 for? I was just told a few seconds ago we were talking about a post-feasibility study.
Hon. Mr. Porter: For the most part, we will be looking at architectural and engineering assistance for the new centre.
Mr. Lang: Prior to doing that, does the site not have to be determined?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. There were five sites examined. The Jim Light Memorial Arena was indicated as the most favourable. The Alaska Highway thing was not in the cards at that time. It just popped out of the blue in the last couple of months. So, as a result of apparent public interest to construct the site on the Alaska Highway, we will review the situation and take a look at the Alaska Highway location and compare it to the location of the Jim Light Memorial Arena.
Mr. Lang: It seems to me that I am getting a little bit of a run around here. I suggest that tomorrow the Minister read Hansard. One minute we are doing a $100,000 study and the next minute we have completed the study, and all that we are going to do is the engineering and site preparation.
In view of the interest that has been demonstrated, what exactly is the department intending to do with respect to looking at the location on the Alaska Highway? What steps are going to be taken prior to a decision being made?
Hon. Mr. Porter: For one thing, I would like to hear for myself what the downtown business people think of this idea, because, in my mind, the most critical question to be answered is what effect the location of the visitors reception centre might have on the business community.
I have not heard any direct representation from the business community. I have not heard from the Yukon Tourism Marketing Council of Tourism on this. I have not heard from the Tourism Industry Association executive on this particular question. I would be interested in hearing the industrys particular position on the question.
Mr. Lang: What five sites were considered for the tourism information centre?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have that information at present. It is contained in the study that I have agreed to deliver to the Member.
Mr. Lang: The deputy minister is with the Minister and perhaps he could refresh his memory, because I am only asking what sites were considered. Were they all downtown?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The sites are downtown and included Jim Light and the SS Klondike.
Mr. Lang: The Minister still has not told me what he is going to do about interest that has been demonstrated in perhaps locating the centre on the Alaska Highway. Prior to the downtown business people and the tourism industry association considering it, is the department going to take to look at the viability of it and give their opinion prior to any serious consideration being given to the site?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As I stated earlier on in the debate, the interest in locating the visitors reception centre on the Alaska Highway is a recent suggestion. It was never put forward before, and I had never heard of the idea until I read about it in the newspapers. The study of the downtown sites has already been completed. A recommendation has been made that the Jim Light Arena is the best possible site.
No decision has been made. I want to determine the effect the Alaska Highway site would have on downtown Whitehorse. I suspect that we can examine the existing data that we have and maybe speak with the tourism industry to obtain some analysis as to that effect.
From my point of view, if the location of the site on the Alaska Highway is going to seriously affect downtown Whitehorse, then I would not recommend to Cabinet that that is where we should locate the visitor reception centre. If it suggests that there will be no particular harm caused to the business community of Whitehorse, then I suggest that it could be viewed as an attractive alternative.
Mr. Lang: How is the Minister going to determine whether it is going to be an adverse or positive effect?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I think one of the things that has to be done is to talk to the business community in Whitehorse. That will be done. Discussions will be carried out with the business community and with the tourism association. I think we can do a specific study with respect to the tourists this summer. We can ask them if the location of the visitor reception centre were outside of Whitehorse, would they have come down to the City of Whitehorse. We can do that specific study this summer with the existing visitor reception centre.
Mr. Lang: I get the distinct impression that the Minister is winging it.
Would it be in the interests of the Tourism Department to phone and inquire what the effect has been to have the centre on the outskirts of town rather than right in town? There must be other communities that have studied the effect of having a tourism centre located outside of town, as opposed to having it right in town. It would seem to be a logical thing to do with not a lot of expense to learn from communities that have made the decision already. I do not think that would be too much to ask and would give you a good feel of the effect it has had in communities.
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is a good suggestion, and one we will follow through with.
Mr. Lang: Will we get the results of the inquiries made by the department?
Chairman: Will you repeat the question?
Mr. Lang: I sometimes find that Minister will say that it is a good idea, then we never hear about it, only to come back to find that the exact opposite has been done. It may not be the fault of the Minister; it is probably because the civil servants have decided it is not a good idea. I would like to know the results of that inquiry so that I can read it myself and make up my own mind.
Hon. Mr. Porter: All I can say is that Big Creek has closed its door and the Tagish day use area has been built.
Regarding the analyses that we do, I will undertake to make them available to the Member. If we are going to follow a decision that favours a downtown decision, I expect that we are going to have to be able to defend that decision. The information we will prepare for an eventual decision should be of a public nature and I will undertake that once we have done the analysis that will lead to a decision, I will share that with the public in general.
Mr. McLachlan: When the Minister mentioned the possibility of locating the visitor reception facility in the area of the Jim Light Memorial Arena, did he say there would be off-street parking for big RVs?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The area is huge, and there would be adjacent parking to the Jim Light Arena building.
Mr. McLachlan: I agree with that, I just wanted to check what the Minister had said. The other problem that results from RVs making a left hand turn off the South Alaska Highway onto Fourth Avenue to get there is the 135 degree curve off Fourth onto the South Alaska Highway the wrong way. I would suggest that Tourism and city officials have another look at the way that curve intersects the South Alaska Highway. Those 35 footers cannot get around the corner easily.
My understanding is that the biggest RV trailer park in the city, on Second Avenue, is in its final year of a five year lease and that, depending on the value of the property, the present owner may or may not be willing to release that for a longer period of time. Like it or not, government may soon be involved in developing, or at least lining up, larger sites for RVs in the city if that lease extension should not go on further. That site holds some 120 vehicles. Is the Minister aware this is the case? If so, has Tourism done any advance planning for another potential large RV site within the city?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, I was not aware of the situation described by the Member. For the most part, it is an area that we would prefer to leave in the hands of private industry.
Mr. Phillips: Several people have brought to my attention that when they approach the City of Whitehorse, some tourists are bypassing the turnoff and going right on by. That is why there is the concern for a visitor information centre at the top of the hill. Has the government ever thought of the type of signage they use in some of the other southern communities where they have an overhead sign over the highway, which is quite common and which you can see from half a kilometre away?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This was not considered in the study. At the time of the study, the location on the Alaska Highway had never been raised. So, we have a situation where a new site is desired. A study has been commissioned, five downtown locations have been targeted, a recommendation was made on the favourable location and, after all that had been completed, there was a move to try to pressure government to make a decision on another location that was not even considered in the first place. We have not looked at questions such as signage, but I would agree with the Member that, if we were to make a decision to locate the visitor reception centre on the Alaska Highway, we should do everything possible, including signage, to try to direct the tourist traffic to downtown Whitehorse.
Mr. Phillips: Part of the reason for the problem is the people who have the RV parks along the north highway have people driving into their parks asking where Whitehorse is. They have gone by it and are not quite sure where it is. There was a feeling that there should be clear signage, or some kind of an information centre, at the top of the hill where people could gather and be informed exactly where everything is. The overhead signs are quite common down south, and they seem to work very well. I was wondering if they would work here. Someone was telling me that we had such signs already made. Do we have them made and, if so, why are they not up?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not know of the existence of such signs but I will check with the Department of Highways to see if we do, in fact, have those signs available and to see if those signs can be placed on the highways.
Mr. Phillips: One last question. We seem to get all these undertakings but we never hear them until the next debate. I wonder if the Minister could come back tomorrow and let us know then whether or not these signs were made and whether or not they will go up this year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I will provide the information as soon as I hear, yes.
Administration in the amount of $26,000 agreed to
Chairman: We will recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will come to order.
Hon. Mr. Porter: As stated earlier, $41,000 was not spent due to the vacancy in the conservator position. This is partially offset by the following increases: $17,000 for reclassification of two positions, wage and salary settlements; $9,000 for additional travel for heritage legislation - the opening of the Northern Canadian Native Expedition of the British Museum of Man in London; a $3,000 increase in transfer payments to assist the Dawson Museum in interviewing for their vacant curator-director position. This gives us a total decrease of $12,000.
Mr. Lang: I understand that the roof of the Territorial Administration Building in Dawson still leaks, and they have major problems with the roof. What steps are being taken to correct that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is a Government Services responsibility.
Mr. Lang: I hate to be so personal, but if the Minister of Tourism had taken an interest in it - I had some observations made to me when I was up in Dawson and I am sure the Minister received the same - I am wondering what steps were taken, because the construction line item for the Old Territorial Administration Building was actually under Tourism when the work was done.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have not received any representations and was not aware of the problem, but I will discuss it with the Minister of Government Services.
Mr. Lang: Can we expect an answer back from the Minister during the Operation and Maintenance Main Estimates?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us just exactly what is happening with the MacBride Museum; also, could he give us an update on the transportation museum?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Those are largely capital items. I do not have the details, but I do recall that there has been a decision to continue with the upgrading of the MacBride Museum. In our last capital year, we budgeted funds - and I do not have specific numbers - to upgrade the museum. As well, there are additional funds for the Transportation Museum. They have spent money on architectural engineering design.
Mr. Lang: Just exactly what is the involvement of YTG in these two projects?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have been funding them through our capital program.
Mr. Lang: Are there plans for further financing for this coming year in view of the fact the plans for MacBride are either complete or in the process of being completed, and the same for the Transportation Museum? I know those have been completed and they are looking as high as $2 million to proceed with the reconstruction for that particular museum. I would like to know what the government is doing.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We are trying to find the information in the capital book.
Mr. Lang: It is fine if they say they do not know and have to get back to us.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will review our capital program and provide the answers.
Heritage in the amount of a reduction of $12,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase is due to: $8,000 required for salaries, wage adjustments; $5,000 for the literature focus group; and $11,000 reduction in travel; for an increase of $2,000.
Mr. Lang: Can he repeat the last part of that? I cannot really make out what he is saying and I feel sorry for the people who have to try to transcribe it.
Hon. Mr. Porter: There was an $11,000 reduction in travel.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister refresh our memory as to what the development side of this program is supposed to do?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As the Member is aware, the marketing arm of the department is to market the Yukon generally. Development is to encourage development of tourism destination sites in the Yukon. That is primarily their focus.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister inform the house of what sites were developed over the last year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: If the Member would like specific examples of development type projects that have been undertaken in the last year we would undertake to provide that information to the Member.
Mr. Lang: I would appreciate that because it is the only measuring stick we have for this program. Is this basically under the Canada Yukon Tourism Subagreement that this development is taking place?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Under the Canada Yukon Tourism Subagreement, the bulk of the $10 million is ear marked for development.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister table a full accounting in the Main Estimates of what has happened with site specific in the past two years? That will give us a better overview. Could the Minister give his undertaking to do that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Development in the amount of $2,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: The decrease in marketing is due to $125,000 not required for joint marketing promotion campaigns as a result of the cancellation of the Canada West, Yukon/BC joint promotion, which was for $25,000. This did not proceed. The Canada West contribution was originally earmarked at $50,000. The cooperative promotions for the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon was not required to the tune of $20,000. The Alaska Visitor Association Joint Marketing Council Agreement was less than budgeted due to more favourable exchange rates. That resulted in $30,000 for a total of $125,000.
There was a $40,000 decrease for freelance photography, miscellaneous print work, media and film location tours in the Yukon. There was $13,000 under budgeted for travel and agent familiarity tours. There were fewer than we anticipated. There was an $18,000 reduction in travel due to cancellation of meetings, et cetera. This results in a total decrease of $196,000.
This amount is offset by the following increases. There is a $60,000 increase in the literature program as a result of producing publications. The lure brochure is $68,000; Highway touring guide is $49,000; the Japan brochure, $16,000; increased costs for the production of the vacation guide, $14,000 for a total of $147,000.
This increase is partially offset by the reduction in other publication costs. The mini-guides were not produced, which resulted in $40,000. Brochure shelves not produced was $16,000. Reduced costs for maps was $21,000. For the tour planner and visitors guide, there was $10,000 for a total of $87,000. There is $67,000 to be reused for a recontact program that was not budgeted. This is a direct mail program aimed at persons who previously requested information on the Yukon.
There was a $30,000 increase in salaries due to overtime, familiarization tourism foreign travel and wage increases generally that all department of the government experienced. This is a total offset of $157,000. The decrease is $39,000.
Mr. Lang: It is very difficult to follow that closely because the numbers are being rattled off. Is the government and the tourism industry backing off on their commitment to the Worlds of Alaska and Canadas Yukon? If so, to what extent?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I take it that the Members question is related to our participation in the Alaska marketing program. The issue was discussed at cooperative marketing. A decision had been made that the Yukon be permitted to purchase a double-page advertisement in the Alaska Travel Planner at fair market value, that the Yukon be allowed to access labels from the list of respondents and inquirers to the Alaska advertising direct mail promotion campaign, that the State of Alaska join in a new partnership of a consortium including the Yukon, the NWT and BC for a total commitment from each of those jurisdictions of $200,000.
The idea there is to develop a consortium of those interested to develop a recreational vehicle promotion campaign. That is the position that the cooperative marketing program has mandated the Department of Tourism to advance to the Alaskans. To date, we have heard from the NWT and BC who have committed, but we have not officially heard from the State of Alaska on their position.
Mr. Lang: When do you expect to hear from the State of Alaska?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Hopefully, we will receive an official decision from them shortly. It should be within the next couple of weeks.
Mr. Lang: Will that particular advertising that I referred to, Worlds of Alaska and Canadas Yukon run through the State of Alaska? Will Yukon still get the same play in those booklets, or are we now relegated strictly as a commercial buyer?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, it would be a change. As you will recall, we were spending $240,000 U.S. What we got for that money was a double page Yukon advertisement, with a business reply card, four pages of editorial coverage in the Alaska/Yukon Vacation Planner, and a number of listings in the trade directory section. We are permitted to purchase a double page advertising in the Alaska Travel Planner at the market rate, at what actual cost is for those pages, as opposed to being asked to increase our participation every year. There is some suggestion that the increases this year are required because the Yukon is a special partner of an approximately 50 percent increase, if we continued on with that particular program. This was discussed at length with the Yukon Tourism Marketing Council. The recommendation by the council was unanimously approved by the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon.
We are trying to get a specific marketing effort underway that would be totally geared to the strength of the Yukons tourism industry, which is the RV trade aspect. We are trying to bring in these other consortiums on that particular marketing effort.
Mr. Lang: What is the cost today of fair market value for the purposes of advertising in the booklet?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The rate has not been set for this next years planner. Based on previous experience, it will be $150,000 to $175,000 American.
Mr. Lang: What happened to the Canada West consortium that had been set up over the years?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The effort folded because of the parties inability to agree on the strategy. One of the major partners to that Canada West program is the Canadian Airlines International. We have been trying to encourage them to participate in this new marketing venture we are proposing.
Mr. Lang: It is beyond me why they would participate if we are going to RV traffic.
Hon. Mr. Porter: One of the growth areas of tourism development in the Yukon has been the fly/drive method of travel. We feel it could be an attractive promotion for the Canadian Airlines International, in which they would pick the tourists up and deliver them to Whitehorse and, then, local businesses that are involved in the industry and the recreational vehicle rental can then move those tourists through the Yukon.
Mr. Lang: What steps has the department taken in conjunction with the Department of Community and Transportation Services to look at what our transportation costs are for flying, for example? That is one of the major deterrents for coming north, there is no question about that. Has the government made representation to Canadian Airlines International, and, if so, what kind of response has it received?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There have been meetings with the regional vice president of the airline company, and it has been our position that the airline can increase travel in this part of Canada by accepting promotional activity, such as the seat sales that are offered elsewhere in southern Canada, as a way to induce more travellers to come to the north. There have been discussions to that extent.
Mr. Lang: When do we expect a decision about that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The airline company has responded by introducing seat sales for this summer.
Marketing in the amount of a reduction of $39,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of a reduction of $23,000 agreed to
Chairman: Any comments on the Operation and Maintenance Recoveries?
Any comments on the Capital Recoveries?
Mr. Lang: What is the energy demonstration agreement with the federal government? How is the money spent?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That will be used to monitor the effectiveness of the cold storage of artifacts in the Old Territorial Administration Building in Dawson.
Chairman: We will close with the Department of Tourism operation and maintenance votes require a reduction of $23,000. Does this clear?
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of a reduction of $23,000 agreed to
Yukon Housing Corporation
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As Members can see before them, there is one item in the Yukon Housing Corporation that is in the Yukon Housing Corporation Supplementary, in the Capital side, for $250,000. This item is for the sole purpose of purchasing land for the senior citizens complex on First Avenue. As Members may remember, last year and the year before that, the Lands Branch had budgeted an expenditure to purchase land for the purposes of building a seniors complex. Now the Yukon Housing Corporation is once again extended from the Department of Community and Transportation Services in a separate vote. It is necessary that the funding be sought through the Yukon Housing Corporation and that the funding be dropped from the Lands Branch Capital Budget, which of course has been done.
This funding is for us to purchase the land from Public Works Canada for its full market value, which is determined as of 1986-87. Attempts were made by the Yukon Housing Corporation and by me to seek the land for a lesser amount - the development costs borne by the federal government - which proved unsuccessful, and the Housing Corporation, in order to acquire this property, had to pay the $250,000.
Mr. Lang: I have a series of questions with respect to this particular area. I would like to know how much land the government has bought for lots over the past year, and could he provide me with a list of where they are located?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will ask the Housing Corporation to provide that information.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister provide that information no later than Thursday? I do not think that is too much to ask. They should have a list of all the lots they have bought throughout the territory, and when. I would like the formal street addresses, if I could, in respect of the land bank that is under process.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Certainly.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us how much the duplexes on Bamboo Crescent are costing?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: My understanding is that the contract is for $148,570.89 for one duplex and $150,462.68 for the second duplex.
Mr. Lang: Does that include the price of the land?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not sure. I will check.
Mr. Lang: I would appreciate it if the Minister would get back to me on that.
All sorts of rumours are circulating with respect to the housing policy that was to have been prepared last year but which has not yet been put together. I understand a fair amount of work has been done on it. Has it been completed and approved by Cabinet?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not sure which housing policy the Member is referring to; the housing policies and principles that I tabled have certainly been approved by Cabinet. There have been procedure manuals for not only construction but also, I believe, for financial administration, which have been approved by the board. Home ownership has been approved by Cabinet.
Mr. Lang: When will the home ownership policy be announced?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It will be announced during the sitting.
Mr. Lang: The reason I am asking is that people have asked. Aspirations have been raised to the point that inquiries have been made. It has been said that the government has made the decision it is going to help people with their down payment to buy a home. I am bringing up what I am hearing on the street. It is one thing to say during this sitting that a decision has been made. Can we can expect that announcement to be made this week?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: No. It will be made during this sitting. People are making inquiries of the Members on this side, as well, and I am making sure the Yukon Housing Corporation pulls all the work together so the announcement is complete and the programs can get under way right away.
Mr. Lang: Cabinet has made the decision about policy, is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes.
Mr. Lang: Why can it not be announced sometime this week rather than a week or two down the road? We are going into the building season and it costs people money every day. Rather than play politics about the timing of the announcement, I think it would be advantageous for the general public to be made aware of it as soon as possible. I cannot see why we should wait until next week if the decision was made last week by Cabinet? Why can it not be made this week?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The decision was made pending all necessary administrative arrangements being in place. I am undertaking to do that, and when those arrangements are in place the announcement will be made.
Mr. Lang: Every Minister seems to have a different philosophy on announcements. We had the Mayo dam announced at least four times and we still do not have a formal customer. This is a very key one. What administrative details is the Minister referring to?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Everything from application forms to working out the administrative procedures in order to take applications, so when the announcement is made applications can be taken right away.
Mr. Lang: Is it true that the policy will contain a policy statement that will assist home owners who are purchasing a home and will pay at least a portion of their initial deposit?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will make the announcement during this sitting with respect to the details of the home ownership program.
Mr. Lang: I take it that that is an accurate statement because it is not denied.
It is important because we have had a number of inquiries with respect to this housing policy. Could the Minister tell us when Cabinet made the decision?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There have been a number of inquiries made to this side of the House. The government is desirous of announcing the policy as soon as the necessary arrangements are in place. It will be announced shortly and I will not divulge exactly when the Cabinet decision was made. I will tell the Members as soon as I can, and the Members of the House will be the first to know.
Mr. Lang: My understanding is that the Minister told us it would be announced the first of March. I do not know if the Minister is waiting for us to get out of the House, or what the delay is with respect to announcing this.
Could the Minister tell us why there is a delay from March 1 to May 1?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not recall saying there would be an announcement on March 1. That is the first time I have ever heard that.
Some Hon. Members: (Inaudible)
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are all kinds of opportunities for the Members for Riverdale South, Riverdale North and Porter Creek West to say their piece. I am sure the Member for Porter Creek East and I can give them time to get their comments on the record. I will certainly be prepared to give them as much time as they want.
I guarantee the announcement will be made this sitting, and the sooner the better. I too feel it is important that as much as the construction season is available to persons who may want to take advantage of the aspects of the program.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to put my comment on the record. My recollection is that the Minister announced the housing policy would be available March 1. That announcement was made last session. I specifically wrote it on my calendar and expected it on March 1.
Mrs. Firth: Just to refresh the Ministers memory I, too, wrote that date down when he made that announcement here in the Legislature.
Mr. Phillips: I would like to echo the words of the Member for Porter Creek West and Riverdale South that I, too, recall the Minister specifically telling us we would have a home ownership policy March 1.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I thank the Members for their opinion.
Mr. Brewster: This is not quite as funny as you think. I had a couple of young people talk to me, and we inquired about what kind of programs were available. They indicated we should wait until this week, and there would be something different. That is from the department.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is nothing funny about the housing programs. I have never betrayed there is anything funny about housing programs or anything this Legislature does. As I have indicated, I have received approval to announce the programs. I got approval for certain programs, pending the finalization of certain administrative details. I will make the program available in all its detail during this sitting.
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister confirm the home ownership program will apply in rural Yukon, as well as the City of Whitehorse, in a slightly different fashion that recognizes higher rural building costs?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I thank the Member for the question. That is also a detail that will be announced. I will be announcing the home ownership program during this sitting of the Legislature as soon as I possibly can.
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Minister also confirm if the housing policy, to be announced with great anticipation on all sides - is structured in such a way that it applies only to single family residences?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will announce the home ownership program during this sitting of the Legislature. All the details will be made available to all Members, and the Members opposite will be the first to hear.
Mr. Lang: It is too bad the Minister is playing politics with this issue. I would have thought that, as soon as Cabinet approved it, there would be an announcement made within a day or two. It is not as if the Minister lacks staff.
I inquired about the cost to the Yukon Housing Corporation with respect to the major expansion that is going on, and what the cost of the moves were for the administration. Could the Minister report it to the House now?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not playing politics with this. I have indicated there are administrative arrangements that have to be undertaken so people can apply from the date the announcement is made. Those administrative arrangements will be in place in this sitting of this Legislature. I guarantee the announcement will be made. For the year end review, the Yukon Housing Corporation did not move.
Mr. Lang: I gather we are going to have quite a long debate on the Operation and Maintenance Main Estimates. Is it the plan for the Minister to announce the housing policy on the last day of the session? Is that the timing that has been discussed?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: No. I anticipate this session to go well into July. There is lots of time to announce the program. I realize there may be lots of time, but I would like to do it as soon as possible, and I guarantee the Members will be pleased that it will be done very soon.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister outline for us now what exactly has been spent for the homes that were presented in the Capital Budget this past year?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There were four staff houses constructed: one in Teslin, Ross River, Watson Lake and Destruction Bay. In Whitehorse, there were 30 units in the seniors complex. There were four units on Bamboo Crescent and one on Redwood Drive. Nine existing units were purchased. In Teslin, there were two detached houses, one fourplex in Watson Lake, and an attached house in Haines Junction that were purchased. The duplexes in Dawson City had to retendered, because the prices came in too high, and they were not undertaken. There is one other house in Ross River.
Mr. Lang: Has the Minister taken our advice and gone through the specifications on the duplexes in Dawson City to see whether or not they could be made realistic, and could be bid on in such a manner where prices would be competitive. I raised the question of the 10 yards of concrete required to put the propane tanks on, as well as the siding and the quality of the carpet. All these things were top of the line that no one in this House could afford, let alone the public.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not going to adopt all of the assumptions the Member has mentioned in the House with respect to tender specifications for the houses. I have approached the Yukon Housing Corporation and seriously asked them to have a very hard look at tender specifications, given the Member for Porter Creek Easts representations, as well as representations from the public. I have asked them to do their best to ensure the housing comes in on budget.
There is a maximum allowable unit price for social housing construction. We simply cannot exceed that. A number of things have been suggested to modify the tender specifications. I have broached the subject with the Yukon Housing Corporation with respect to all the items the Member mentioned. There have also been suggestions that the Yukon Housing Corporation modify its requirement for R-2000 classification for units in terms of their energy efficiency. Those things have all been considered, and the Yukon Housing Corporation has not come to conclusions about all of the specifications. I will be taking that up with the corporation prior to the construction season.
Mr. Lang: Is the Yukon Housing Corporation considering purchasing, as opposed to building?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Yukon Housing Corporation has a policy, in places where there is a very tight market, to construct new and, where there is a soft market, to purchase old. That is a long standing policy of the Corporation. This last year, the only reasons why there some purchases of old as opposed to new housing in Whitehorse was largely due to the fact that there was a very hefty waiting list for persons who could not afford home ownership but who were in the high need category. The Yukon Housing Corporation undertook a few purchases of existing housing in order to meet that quite severe demand. In most cases, in rural communities, if there is a soft housing market, the Yukon Housing Corporation has traditionally purchased houses that are on the market.
Mr. Lang: Specifically in communities such as Dawson City, Teslin or Watson Lake, has the government considered purchasing, or is it in the process of considering purchasing, as opposed to building?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I think it depends on the situation in each specific community. Certainly, it is cheaper for the Yukon Housing Corporation to purchase existing homes in rural communities. However, in at least two of the communities the Member mentioned, there is a very tight housing market, and the Yukon Housing Corporation would and has been criticized for thinking about purchasing existing housing in those markets, because they would be competing with other home buyers. So they have, even in those markets, considered new construction.
Mr. Lang: What is the cost of the house that is being built on Redwood Street?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will check with respect to the lot purchase, because I am not sure whether it is incorporated into the figure of $112,400.
Mr. Lang: This is strictly for a single family residence, is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have not seen it, but I think it is a single detached unit - one house.
Mr. Lang: I would like to move on to Teslin. Two houses were built there under the auspices of the infamous general contractor, the Yukon Housing Corporation. Can the Minister tell us how much each house cost? Could he give a full accounting for them?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Does the Member mean Teslin staff housing?
There was one detached house for $117,000 and two detached units under the social housing program for a total of $234,000.
Mr. Lang: Is that for a total of three units?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is correct.
Mr. Lang: That is the total amount of money spent on those units by the Yukon Housing Corporation including the costs of the corporation for general contracting, as well as all trades, sub trades, and anyone that had anything to do with that particular housing construction?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I say, I am not sure about the land purchase and will have to check those figures. I have two examples. I do not know which of the houses is in Teslin, but one house in Teslin was built for $116,000 and one was $117,000. They were both done by Construction Management.
Mr. Lang: I want this perfectly clear and I want to get the government on record here. If the Minister does not have the answer, I have no problem with him going back to the Yukon Housing Corporation to find out. I have heard lots of horror stories with respect to how these houses are being constructed and managed. I am not in a position to say whether or not they are true, but I am bringing concerns raised by the general public.
I want an answer. Is that the total amount of money? It seems of pure coincidence that of three units built they all cost $117,000, $116,000 and $117,000. Can the Minister stand in this House today and tell us that is the total amount of dollars those particular houses cost? If he is not satisfied in his own mind I have no problem with him spending some time making sure all costs are inclusive.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am told those are the total costs. I will, as a matter of course, given the Members specific interest in this matter, have the figures double checked. I will also see what the situation was with respect to land purchase. I am familiar with a couple of complaints by some contractors with respect to Construction Management. I would be interested in hearing the Members specific concerns with respect to Cnstruction Management and the way the projects were managed while under construction. I do know it is desirable to use general contractors whenever possible because it means less administrative work for the Yukon Housing Corporation. There are also other benefits.
There has been a problem with the bid prices by general contractors. The bid prices by the general contractors have been such that it made going forward to an award impossible, given our maximum unit price for social housing. In one case in Teslin that cost $116,000, the low bid for the general contractor was $180,000. The unit I mentioned for $117,000 had a low cost by a general contractor of $171,000.
Both of those would have put both projects right out of the ball park, as far as the Yukon Housing Corporation is concerned. Whereas they prefer to go by general contractor and tender the social housing projects, where the projects come in significantly higher than the budgeted allotment for the maximum unit price. They have investigated the use of Construction Management and, where they feel that even construction management is going to send the price out of the ball park, they have canceled the project altogether and considered a retender and, perhaps, a scaling down of the project.
However, there have been times when they have gone ahead with a general contractor, even though the low bid has been in the neighbourhood of eight, nine or ten percent higher than the maximum unit price. They did that in a number of cases.
Mr. Lang: I would appreciate if he would just double check to make sure. I do not have any problem if the figures are coming in at $180,000 because, obviously, it is not even within the ball park. I even find $117,000 high. I just wondered exactly what specifications are being asked with respect to these houses, when you equate them to what is being built in some areas of Whitehorse. I question how much responsibility we have as a taxpayer to build these houses to excessive standards. I think we can build a comfortable house and utilize such things as log construction that one company brings forward out of Watson Lake. Those are nice homes, and I think one could get them at a reasonable cost.
Does the $117,000 include the water and sewer hookup as well? I want to know exactly what these particular units cost. I am led to believe they may well have cost a lot more. As a Member of this House, I would like to know. If the Minister could take that as an undertaking, I would appreciate it.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will have the Yukon Housing Corporation provide full details of the costing, and we will discuss it again, perhaps in the Main Estimates when they come up. There are operation and maintenance implications, because the construction is financed through the Operation and Maintenance Estimates, as we do borrow the money to fund the social housing program.
If the Member has any more specifics with respect to standards and some of the specifications, I would be more than happy to bring them forward. I am not always the best judge, not being a contractor or a construction manager myself, with respect to standards. I do want the houses to be modest and durable, given they are for tenants in a rental situation. If those two can be met, I for one would be prepared to consider any number of things to bring the price into the budget limits.
If the situation continues in the future - the we are going to be priced out of the market - we will not be able to undertake social programs of any sort - or any construction, period, if tenders come in at what they are coming in at now.
Mr. Lang: I question the propriety of what we are doing here. In Teslin, for example, we have gone ahead and built three units at a cost of $350,000. We built a senior citizens home that cost $400,000 and we did not have anybody to put in it. In fact, no senior citizen is living in it now and we actually had to go out and entice somebody who was renting private accommodation to move into that particular complex.
The Minister is sitting there grimacing a bit, but it is true. It turned into the new apartment block in town with the Yukon Housing Corporation trying to fill it up so that it could satisfy some political objectives, at least in part. It adversely affected some other people. I know of one person who had a trailer rented, and the people moved out. That is common knowledge. I really question just how far we are going and how much really has to be provided.
I have no problem recognizing that we have some responsibility, but I really think that we have gone overboard. Now we have two brand new units in the community that have cost $234,000. I think that where we are going and what we are doing is something that should be looked at very seriously. If this side questions what the government is doing, it is as though it is not legitimate questioning. I think that the MLA for Faro shares our concern about just how far we are going regarding social housing and the purchasing of land and the various other aspirations of the Yukon Housing Corporation, which seems to have been given a free rein to do any thing, any place, any time. The Minister does it with the political statement: Oh, they are all working.
I want to know whether or not the prices of the homes include the management costs of the Yukon Housing Corporation, for overseeing these particular units, both from Whitehorse and on-the-site management.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is not a lot of the Members preamble that I agree with, which is not surprising. I realize that the Member for Faro does agree with the Member for Porter Creek East. That is a detail that has not been missed by a lot of people.
The staff who support the capital program charge their labours against capital projects. That is generally how they are funded. The matter is the same for the Housing Corporation. I am almost positive, and I am prepared to triple check that detail.
The units in Teslin were single family homes. The seniors complex that was designed to house seniors over a longer period of time, has one-bedroom units that are unsuitable for families. That is why there is a range of alternatives placed in each community where there is a recognized need, in this case, family accommodation in Teslin.
A number of things will clear up over the course of the Operation and Maintenance Main Estimate debate; however, I am not justifying social housing on the basis that the people who reside there are working. I justify it as our highest priority because the people in social housing are poor and cannot afford home ownership. It just so happens that a great many of them are working. That is not the moral reason why I would ever justify social housing in this Legislature. I just wanted to clear that up because I would not want to leave the Members with the wrong impression.
I will be more than happy to come back, if I can, and clear up some of the questions on total construction management for the Teslin projects that the Member has asked if I can get the Housing Corporation between now and 7:30 p.m. Otherwise I will have to leave the answers until tomorrow or until the Main Estimate debate.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell the House if the Housing Corporation is following the contract regulations set out by the Government of Yukon?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am sure the Member knows the answer. The Housing Corporation follows its own procedures, as ought to be the case with respect to the legislation, et cetera. They do have their own procedures, and I am told that the procedures that were approved in 1986 are the procedures they are following today.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister table the bylaws that apply to contract tendering for the Housing Corporation?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes, I could have the Housing Corporation table its tendering procedures.
Mr. Lang: My question to the Minister is: is it by bylaw?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: They revoked the bylaw that they passed before. They approved tendering procedures in 1986 and I will table those.
Chairman: The time now being 5:30, we will recess until 7:30.
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We are on Yukon Housing Corporation.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will begin by providing a little information that I was able to gather during the dinner break with respect to questions that were asked prior to 5:30.
Firstly, there was a question about the costs of the two housing unit examples in Teslin that I mentioned, the costs associated with the whole construction as compared to the low bidder costs on both projects. I have a breakdown of the costs for both units. To cut a long story short, I will indicate up front that the costs I quoted with respect to the construction managing technique and the general contracting route did include land, Yukon Housing Corporation fees and water and sewer. They are all-inclusive costs. For example - Members can take both examples if they want - when you break out land acquisition, architectural design, preliminary costs, site preparation, all framing materials, the labour for roofing, basement and insulation, the exterior finish materials, plumbing, electrical, drywall labour, painting, interior finish materials including flooring, interior finish labour, appliances, miscellaneous and contingency and the staff project management costs, you come to a total of $115,000 for one unit and $114,000 for the other. We were talking about comparing the two social units.
For the same project, the other option, the low bid for one of the social housing units was $146,000. On top of that, add land costs, the preliminary costs of blueprints, tendering, advertising, et cetera, utility connections, the appliances, the site preparation and the construction supervisor, and the total comes up to $163,000; the construction contingency is budgeted at another $8,471.
For the other unit, the low bid was $155,600; add on the other incidental costs, and total is $180,000 for the unit.
To cut a long story short, both the figures I quoted are all-encompassing figures, and include all the costs associated with the project.
The Members asked questions with respect to vacant lots. There has been a preliminary cut, so I will check the figures for tomorrow. Of the preliminary figures, there are no lots in the inventory for Whitehorse; there is one lot in Watson Lake, which could hold as much as a fourplex; there is one lot in Teslin; there are two lots in Ross River as a result of the swap; there are two lots in Carmacks. As I recall, they were lots that were vacant by the removal of some mobile units. There are three lots in Mayo, plus a fourplex site, and there are four lots in Dawson. Some of those lots are vacant because the building or mobile unit has been removed. There are no lots in Old Crow, and there are no other lots in the rest of the communities.
Mr. Lang: Are the houses that were built in Teslin the exact same houses that were put out in specifications asked for with respect to the tenders that were called?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: My understanding is yes.
Mr. Lang: Does the prices of $115,000 include appliances?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister supply the House with the resolution or bylaw passed to this House that authorized the Yukon Housing Corporation to change and revise their contract procedures in 1986?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I did not catch the question.
Mr. Lang: In some quarters, there seems to be a misunderstanding with respect to the contracting procedures of the Yukon Housing Corporation. The Minister informed this House there had been a significant change in 1986. Could the Minister provide the motion or bylaw authorizing that change from the previous contract bylaws to the new revised policy procedures? I would appreciate it if he could table it in the House.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Before 5:30, I indicated I would make those public. I assume they are public anyway, but I will bring them here. There are some changes and differences, but I do not recall saying there were major changes.
Mr. Lang: I would like to go back for a minute to the subject of housing and my concern about the tendering and how it is done. There is quite a discrepancy. I do not argue if your figures are accurate. I question, though, whether or not all the costs for the project are included. I have been in government, too, and I know how things can be moved over, one allocation against another. I just hope that I do not find out down the road that that is the case. That is my only point. I am taking the Ministers words at their face value and I am assuming that he is going upon information that he has been provided with. He is responsible for the department and as long as it is clear and understood that those are the all the costs and all that the Yukon Housing Corporation has incurred for those houses.
I would like to go a little further and forget about the costs, for a minute. It concerns me, when I see the Yukon Housing Corporation going and building houses that cost $110,000 or $120,000 - whether it be for staff or social housing. I represent a constituency where probably over half, if not 70 percent of those taxpayers are contributing to society and trying to pay for their mobile homes and various things. When they find out the high quality and standard that the government is maintaining, primarily in the area of social housing, for the life of me, I do not understand why we could not provide a house on, say, Redwood, in the neighbourhood of $90,000 or $95,000 and provide a nice, adequate home that would meet the needs that the Minister has described. I just do not understand that. I would like to see the policy that the government has - and I would like it tabled - regarding the requirements that make these houses cost so much.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is the same point that the Member was making prior to 5:30. I indicated already what transpired between the time that the Member made the point a couple of months ago, in the so-called Fall Session, and now. I indicated exactly what the subject of the my conversations with the Yukon Housing Corporation was. Clearly, it is in the Yukon Housing Corporations best interest, and in the governments best interest, to stay within the maximum unit price.
Mr. Lang: What is that?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It varies, depending upon the isolation of the community and the size of the house, and the number of bedroom units. It is based on a formula that is set by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for units across the country, and it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. We have to stay within that maximum unit price. It is in the corporations best interest to do it. In building modest, durable housing they have to design -
Mr. Lang: You call $112,000 a modest house?
Chairman: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member does not have to get too excited about this. The housing that is provided is free for everybody to see. I think that the Members will be surprised, when more private construction activity starts taking place and people have a chance to see what the real costs of construction are in the Yukon.
When you look at some of the big prices coming in and you can see the low bids for single family homes coming in at $150,000 or $160,000 must say something with respect to housing construction costs in the Yukon.
The Member made a point about specifications and I have already indicated what the Yukon Housing Corporation was doing with tender specifications. The Member can repeat his point if he likes.
Mr. Lang: Is the Minister saying to the public that $112,000 a house is a modest home? Is it the policy of the government that $112,000 for a house on an unpaved street is a modest home?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: With Land acquisition, to build to the public standards that have been set, that is what it is. The Member made a case for the concrete underneath for holding an oil tank in Dawson City. I brought that to the attention of the Housing Corporation.
If Members have other instances where they think specifications are too high, I am more than happy to take it up with the Corporation. I would like the construction price to be kept within the maximum unit price. To keep the construction costs down obviously means that the cost to the Housing Corporation and government are kept down. That is why it is desirable to keep a handle on construction. That is what the government is trying to do.
Mr. Lang: You start out by saying we are allocating only $95,000, so give us the various options for design for a $95,000 house. What do you think the guy in the street does? Does he just close his eyes and go and order a house without giving the contractor the parameters, and tell him to give him the bill when it is all finished? It is a sad state of affairs when you see what is going on.
Can the Minister give us the exact figures on the cost of the staff house and social house in Ross River?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The staff house cost $111,900. The social house cost $114,700.
Mr. Lang: Does that include land, water and sewer hook-up, and all the other various things, construction management costs include?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I understand that is the case. If I am wrong, then I will bring back the information.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister tell us why a staff house prefab would cost $111,000 in Ross River and a stick-built house would cost $115,000 in Teslin? Could he explain to this House the obvious discrepancy or difference, because the Minister told us it was going to be significantly cheaper with a prefabricated houses versus a stick-built?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not know. I will have to ask why there is a difference of a few thousand dollars between the units. It could be any number of things. It could have been the purchase price for the land; it could have been the size of the unit; it could have been specific construction problems for a particular construction site. It could be any number of reasons and I will have to take notice on that question.
Mr. Lang: Would the Minister agree that there is a discrepancy? We were told last fall that the reason it was going to be prefabricated was because it would be considerably cheaper. It was done by the same method as it was in Teslin. According to the Ministers figures, the only contractor who would do anything for a reasonable cost is the Housing Corporation, and the Minister provided the figure of $114,000 or $115,000 in Teslin, and for the staff house and social house in Teslin cost roughly the same amount, yet were prefabricated. Would the Minister agree that there seems to be a difference?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Firstly, I did not say that the only people who would ever do anything at a reasonable cost is the Housing Corporation. I indicated exactly what the Housing Corporation is doing with respect to the reasons why it might adopt construction management on a particular unit. In this particular case, I will have to take notice on the question because there may be any number of reasons why those costs are as they are. Again, I take notice on the question.
Mr. Lang: In Ross River, has the land been purchased in connection with the infamous swap that took place with respect to the Kings housing unit, so that they did not have to be moved?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I believe that was a question put in Question Period today and I have not had a chance to get to the Housing Corporation with respect to that matter. I indicated in Question Period that I did not believe the final legal documents had been drawn up. I indicated the board had made a decision to go ahead with the swap but the legal documents which finalized the swap had not yet been drawn up.
Mr. McLachlan: In respect to the costs the Minister has mentioned for the general contractor units of $173,000 and $163,000, has the Corporation given any thought to calling for a tender bid by local builders in places like Ross River, Teslin or Watson Lake, and allowing them to put the units up, knowing full well what their intended purpose was, and agreeing to a long term lease of 10 years - at least eight - and allowing the private sector to put the house up in return for the guaranteed lease term on those houses, as a means of getting around the $115,000/$116,000 price quotes we are seeing here?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: To put the picture in a slightly different light, the Yukon Housing Corporation does have a rent supplement program that allows a private sector contractor to build a unit, or a number of units. The Yukon Housing Corporation would then agree to rent those units, put special housing clientele in the units, pay the landlord full price and charge back as rent a portion of the full price, depending on the clients ability to pay. That is the rent supplement program. In a number of cases, they have discussions with contractors that do exactly that when the landlord does want to have some long-term support for a particular construction project.
Mr. McLachlan: Who looks after the maintenance of the units in these rural communities under the rent supplement program? Do the Yukon Housing Corporation officials do that, or is it up to the landlord/owner to continue to look after the maintenance of the unit?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The landlord would continue to act as a landlord for the units, and the Yukon Housing Corporation would pay the landlord a certain predetermined rent for those units. The landlord would continue to undertake the maintenance.
Mr. McLachlan: I have run into this type of program in Whitehorse. I have not seen much of it in the rural communities, unless the Minister can say differently. Does he have any figures on the up-take he can provide us with? I ask it for two reasons. The local builder/developer has a better feel for costs in his or her community than the ones coming from Whitehorse, who may bid everything at the top price and, also, on the maintenance, he or she alone seems to do the best job of maintaining and looking after their unit. I do not know how successful the program is in the rural communities.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will have to check to determine what the take-up is in rural communities.
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister has indicated there are no lots available in Whitehorse. One might read between the lines and wonder if it is the intention of the government to set aside lots in Granger for the Yukon Housing Corporation to build units on, should that need present itself here in Whitehorse. Is that in the planning?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: No.
Mr. McLachlan: What are the plans of the corporation to secure land in Whitehorse, even if the numbers are small?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: They can go through the same procedures other people do in terms of the access to lots in Granger and try and secure lots on the private market, the way they do elsewhere in other communities. In the meantime, if other lots are opened up, they can have a crack at those, like other people have. Hopefully, they can find what is necessary to complete the necessary program in Whitehorse, and they must do the same in other communities.
Mr. McLachlan: Is it a policy of the corporation not to secure country residential lots as part of the land bank? Would land in Mary Lake be out of the question for the corporation?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do not believe so. There are social housing units which are not hooked up to water and sewer systems. Most places in rural Yukon do not have access to a formal water/sewer system. I would not think it unreasonable for the corporation to build outside the water/sewer infrastructure in Whitehorse.
Mr. McLachlan: CMHC does not insist that social housing administered by the Yukon Housing Corporation be on water and sewer. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I understand it, there are houses that are not on the water/sewer system. Take the houses in Ross River, for example. There are social housing units there. In any case, the local housing authority and the municipality would have a lot to say where social housing units are going to go. I personally would not be affronted at all if the corporation were to put some social housing units in Mary Lake or any place else.
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister probably has the exact figure on the housing units in Faro, most of which are the employee program rather than staff housing. I can think of seven or eight at least that are currently vacant. That should be about 50 percent of the entire inventory with no tenants. I realize when I ask the question that some of the teachers are married to Curragh employees and have a house under a different scheme. Facing a vacancy rate of 50 percent or upwards, I am wondering if the corporation has any plans. With half the units empty, do they intend to dispose of any of the older mobile units? Are we going to wait until the new teaching year in September dictates? What are the corporations plans in Faro.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I know the Department of Education and the Yukon Housing Corporation have been meeting to discuss housing requirements for next year. I am not sure exactly what Educations request has been for Faro. Certainly more than half the staff vacancies in the Yukon are found in Faro. It is certainly an anomaly that I think most Members will be aware of. If there was a market for housing, I am sure the corporation would consider selling off some of its units. I will check and ask what they have in mind for Faro and report back to the Member.
Mr. McLachlan: I think the Member may be in trouble with part of that answer; we may have to ask the Government Leader. When he says market, what does he mean? Selling the units in town, renting the units in town, or putting them up for sale outside of Faro? Does it conflict with the current Faro Real Estate deal to have Yukon Housing Corporation rent units or sell them in town, if that is what he meant?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will ask the Member to permit me to check with the Yukon Housing Corporation on that matter. I cannot honestly say that I know whether or not the sale of a unit in Faro would be contrary to the agreement with Faro Real Estate. Obviously, sale for removal would not. I will check on the other matter.
Mr. McLachlan: That is fine. I realize that it depends upon which teachers are coming from where, and it varies, certainly, every September. It influences drastically the requirement for employee housing in Faro. Although we do have a divisional superintendent coming, it is the only new situation that I can think of, if he wishes to use Yukon housing.
I only have one final question. I realize that the Minister probably cannot announce anything in the Legislature, but has the Yukon Housing Corporation picked a name yet for the new senior citizens home on First Avenue? Have you arrived at that?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The answer is yes. There is supposed to be an announcement. It is a federal-territorial project, and I was under the impression that there was supposed to be an announcement of a federal-territorial nature. I would not want to betray the name itself until I know that I am not stepping on others toes.
Mr. McLachlan: What are we projecting now for a final completion date, when the contractors are gone and it is ready for the move in?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I understand that it will be very early in June.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to know a little more of the involvement of the Yukon Housing Corporation in this Rural and Native Demonstration Program. The Minister said this afternoon that they were not administering it. Is the Yukon Housing Corporation funding it at all?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: No. The first year was the year that the Yukon Housing Corporation worked with CHMC to administer a CHMC program called the Rural Native Demonstration Program. It was piloted in part in the Yukon; it achieved a measure of natural notoriety from its tenure here, even to the extent that when I was in Ottawa visiting Stewart McInnes, his staff repeatedly asked what the situation was in Carmacks - which I found fascinating, given that they had to be shown a map to know where the Alaska Highway was located in Canada.
After the initial year, the Yukon Housing Corporation Board took the decision that until the administrative arrangements could be worked out and the program could have a set of rules which were considered appropriate to our jurisdiction, that it was not until then that the Yukon Housing Corporation would entertain, once again, the possibility of being a partner in this program, or assisting in the administration of the program. The Yukon Housing Corporation has, since then, not been administering it or cost sharing it.
Mr. Nordling: Would it be safe to say the Yukon Housing Corporation considers the program a failure? If so, are we losing very much territorial money with respect to the initial program? We funded 25 percent. Has that been a good investment?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member is asking for my opinion? The government supports the Yukon Housing Corporation in its decision to pull back on the partnership agreement on the Rural Native Housing and Demonstration Program. There were some very attractive aspects of the program. For one thing, it was a good deal less cost to the taxpayer to provide a social housing unit than the normal housing program. If administered properly, it meant only a short window of activity, as far as the administration is concerned, whereas other housing programs will involve administrative work for the life of the house - 20 or 30 years or more. Properly administered and with the right clientele - clientele who can actually build a unit with their own sweat and labour - the program has the attractive quality that it encourages people to sweat their own brow and build their own home. The unattractive elements are, I think, fairly clear to all Members. Even though we were instrumental in getting the program guidelines changed, I do not think the Yukon Housing Corporation board felt it was desirable to be a guinea pig for the program any further, until such time as many of the administrative arrangements had been ironed out.
I think the program has been reviewed carefully at the federal level. I am not sure exactly where it stands, in terms of the view of federal politicians. Given the reaction from the Ministers personal staff and the raised eyebrows from the Minister, I would doubt the federal government is going to rush into continuing or expanding the program without careful thought.
Mr. Nordling: In the original announcement of the program, it was said the Yukon Housing Corporation would provide an on-site construction manager to provide supervision and training. Did the Yukon Housing Corporation do that for the five or eight units that were, or may have been, built?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: In some cases, the Yukon Housing Corporation went farther than that and provided some construction work itself.
What basically happened was that the federal government assembled some lots on First Avenue for what they thought what was going to be the new post office/federal building site. After they had assembled the lots and determined the lot size, the lots they assembled were too small in total and they decided to surplus the lots. They had spent $60,000 acquiring them, so the Yukon government asked if they could purchase the lots for the federal governments development costs. The federal government said no, they were not going to do that as they had just developed a new policy to sell the land at market value. So, the Housing Corporation and I made vigorous representations to the federal government based on the fact that Indian and Northern Affairs was providing the land to us basically for nothing and that DPW had a different policy. Nevertheless, DPW was not prepared to change its mind on the matter and we felt we should purchase this land, given that there was no other land assembled and available in the downtown. We budgeted a few years ago in the Lands Branch capital budget $250,000 or so for the purchase of this site. When the Housing Corporation became a separate vote, it became necessary to vote the money for the Housing Corporation rather than the Lands Branch and delete from the Land Branchs budget $250,000. That is what we did for last year. We deleted Lands Branch by $250,000 and we added $250,000 to Yukon Housing Corporations budget for land purchase.
Mr. McLachlan: If there is nothing else asked for under the line item for the Seniors Complex, can one presume from that that the rest of the project is on budget?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I do think it is on budget. It is budgeted, I believe, in a total of $3.8 million and it should come in on budget.
Mr. McLachlan: In previous discussions, I believe I asked the Minister if he had an idea of the unit cost for each housing unit in there? So much - $30,000, $50,000, $60,000 - and I believe he promised to come back with some further information about that. Does he now know what that is?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I understand it, the total project cost is $3.8 million for 30 units plus and managers suite and commercial space. I do not have a calculator here but I can do a quick computation.
Mr. McLachlan: That is fine. I am interested because that particular figure is of interest to those people who are interested in apartment blocks. I think the Minister is quoting somewhere in excess of $100,000, so that is not entirely fair, given the amount that is due to the commercial space and the high value of the land, perhaps, on First Avenue. I was wondering if there was another way of getting a cost for the 30 or 31 units?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There must be some official way of determining unit price for the purpose of the calculation the Member wants. I will ask the corporation what they interpret it to be.
On Social Housing-Seniors Complex in the total amount of $250,000 agreed to
Yukon Housing Corporation in the amount of $250,000 agreed to
On Yukon Liquor Corporation
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will be very brief in general debate. All of these items are capital items, and I can explain them as we go through the line by line. The first one is the completion of a project and all the rest are new projects identified in the year. I can explain the nature of them as we go through.
On Docking Ramps
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is at the central warehouse in Whitehorse. We were planning to repair the docking ramps, but it proved more cost effective to replace them. The docking ramps have been replaced.
Mr. McLachlan: How many have been replaced for $78,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Two. That is the total cost for both.
Mr. McLachlan: If those are street level elevation docking ramps, not below grade docking ramps that the Minister is referring to?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Phillips: First, we have $48,000 in the original budget for building docking ramps. It seems absolutely incredible that it rises to $30,000. Why is this $30,000 more? Can he tell us what the ramps are made of that they are so expensive?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: They are made of concrete. We were looking at repairing existing ones but they were not repairable on a cost-effective basis and were replaced.
Mr. Phillips: How big are these ramps?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not know the square footage, but they are so that a large trailer can back up to them and they have elevators attached to unload the liquor and load it again into these semi-trailers. They are easily observable on the side of the building if you drive past. I do not know the square footage, but they are docking ramps for large trucks.
Mr. Phillips: For $78,000, they should have a plaque on them. They sound like they are pretty fancy loading ramps.
The previous loading ramps were there. Did they not have the same kind of elevators? Could they not use that equipment and adapt it to the new ramps?
At the same time, could the Minister bring back to the House exactly what size they were, how many yards of concrete, and that type of thing? It seems to me that, to build two ramps nowadays for $78,000 is rather excessive.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have explained it twice. I can arrange a briefing and a tour for the Member. If he is asking for the yardage of concrete and the like, I would expect the best way to answer those questions is to have the Public Works people give you a briefing, and I will be pleased to arrange that, if you like.
Mr. Phillips: I will be taking a look at it. I know for a fact there are very few, if any, free enterprisers out there that have trucks and all kinds of loading ramps, and they do not build them for $78,000. I would be glad to have a look at this rather extravagant loading ramp.
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister said they have elevators. Are the elevators to lift the trucks? What is the hydraulic part of the operation?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, the trucks are not lifted. This is a ramp that joins the truck and the building to allow the fork lifts to drive over them.
Docking Ramps in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Electrical Upgrade
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is in the old part of the warehouse, and is a replacement of most of the lighting. It was done after an inspection by the Occupational Health and Safety people to keep the lighting to proper warehouse standards.
Mr. Phillips: Why was this not done when the other renovations went on in the liquor store? There was a $1 million addition plus all kinds of renovations to the existing offices. I wrote the Minister a letter and received a reply from him about renovations in that area and who had actually done the work. You would have thought they would have kept to the standards as set out and would have done that work then. It probably would have cost a lot less than calling for a separate contract to do it now.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not believe it would have cost less. This is work on the old part of the warehouse. It was not contemplated by the new addition. It is independent of the new addition.
Mr. Phillips: Surely, when the government looked at upgrading the liquor warehouse, and the need for a liquor warehouse, it certainly had to look at its existing facilities. When it looked at what it had for existing facilities, I would think that someone would have said that the lighting was not adequate, or the electrical wiring was not adequate and had to be changed, too. I know, being a contractor, that it is cheaper to do it all at once than it is to have someone come in, and then have to add to the contract down the road, or call separate contracts for all of the parts.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That was not done. The work was done as a result of an inspection report by the Occupational Health and Safety Branch.
Mr. Brewster: All of the office part has been completely remodeled. I know this because I deliver a package there every week. They have changed all of the offices around. They have changed everything around. Where would this show up in this budget? This has just been done this winter.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That was not as expensive as it looks. It was moving furniture around but the expenses were in the major maintenance line of government services. They are not here at all, and I will provide the figure. I do not think that it was a particularly large figure.
Mr. McLachlan: As the Minister has just said, it was done on the recommendation of the Occupational Health and Safety, and that is mainly to do with the fluorescent lighting. Is he saying that there is some standard that the warehouse building had to have for employees working there, which is so many lumens per square foot or something? Is that what he is saying, that the building was far below our standards and that it had to be upgraded to a current illumination standard?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Lang: I was lead to believe that were major renovations also done to the general managers office when the change in personnel took place. Could the Minister check into that and verify, one way or another, and see if new furniture was bought, as well?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I can provide that. I believe that there was new furniture but it was not purchased specifically by the Liquor Board. It was owned by the government and it was not a specific, identifiable expense, per se.
Mr. Lang: I guess if we get it over in Education we are never going to have to declare it, if nobody asks the question. It is the taxpayers money and to sit there and say that it was hidden in Government Services - and that is what you are telling us - how devious do you want to get? I asked you how much it cost, can you get me the figure? I did not ask whether or not it was a capital expense of the Liquor Board or the Government Services. Can the Minister get me that information? I would appreciate it.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The first part of my answer was that I would get the information. Yes, I will, and I will provide it for the Member.
Electrical Upgrade in the amount of $40,000 agreed to
On Whitehorse Warehouse Canopy
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is the price for the canopy that goes over the loading docks and which provides protection from the weather, especially in the wintertime, of course.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to ask one question. Since we are getting so fancy here, when are the outdated liquor warehouses in the outlying districts going to get things like this so that when they unload icicles do not fall on their heads and so that they do not have to run out the ramps about a foot lower than the truck or the truck drivers will not unload and the liquor vendors people have to unload it themselves because the truck drivers are scared they will hurt their backs when they come down off it. We spend a lot of money here; I wonder when we are going to straighten out some of those that have been that way for 20 years now?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will take that as a suggestion and look into it for the future.
Mr. Phillips: Just so that I get this straight, is this to add to the comfort of the new loading ramp? Is this a canopy over the loading ramp to keep the snow off so that the liquor can be loaded and unloaded? I just want to make sure we have this straight. We have a $78,000 loading ramp and now we have a $55,000 canopy over top of it; so we have gone out, as government, and wisely spent $133,000 so that trucks can back up to the door and unload liquor at the liquor warehouse, is that true?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. McLachlan: Certainly, I have seen the ramps to protect against weather as a bumper block that the trucks back up against and it seals the remaining part of the opening. Why is this design so fancy that it costs $55,000 to cover two ramps?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: If the Member goes by it, he can see it on the side of the building. It is there not only for comfort but also for safety and is a substantial asset for loading and unloading, especially in the wintertime.
Mr. McLachlan: If the canopy is this fancy, I am wondering if the Minister perhaps could sell some advertising to OKeefe and Labatts and get some of the revenue back? Has that crossed the Ministers mind?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, but it has obviously crossed the Member for Faros mind. It is not our policy to advertise liquor in the territory.
Whitehorse Warehouse Canopy in the amount of $55,000 agreed to
On Dawson Liquor Store
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is to complete the planning. The planning is now, in fact, completed. If Members are interested, I can arrange a briefing. It will be a very interesting building. The planning was done in cooperation with Parks Canada. The Parks Canada plan originally called for the renovation of a saloon and the Red Feather Saloon will be a useful building. It will partly be a display of some of the saloon and will also be an operating liquor store.
Mr. Phillips: I am just never going to get used to this. It was not too long ago that $100,000 would have put the whole building up. I actually thought the Minister was going to say we were half built and we have $100,000 and things are going along just fine. Now we find we only have a set of drawings, and that is all we have. I wonder how much this complex is going to cost when it is all done.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That was identified in a previous capital budget. I believe I may be slightly wrong, but it is roughly $700,000 in total for the project. That includes a warehouse in back of the liquor store. That includes the display, the liquor store and the warehouse.
Mr. Phillips: Is that consistent with building standards? If you build a building worth $700,000 it takes $100,000 to plan it? That seems to me that is high to draw plans for a building that is going to cost less than $1 million.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: This is an unusual project. It is planned in association with Parks Canada. It is a truly unique building. It is accurate to say that we could have built an entirely new building with the same square footage cheaper. However, the addition of the renovation of the Red Feather Saloon will be a substantial benefit to Dawson, in particular, and the Yukon in general.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister said it was going to be a unique building. I agree it will be a unique building. At the same time he said we would be working with Parks Canada. Parks Canadas job in Dawson City has been rebuilding unique buildings. They should be experts by now, and I hope they are. They have done some excellent jobs in Dawson at some marvelous costs, I might add. You would think they would have this down to an art. It seems to me that it is a little irresponsible to spend $100,000 to plan a $700,000 building. There has to be a better way to do it.
Mr. Brewster: Parks Canada and I get along really well. How much money did they put in?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No money. The land is transferred to us for one dollar, but they are giving us the benefit of their expertise for free. The value of that I really cannot say. I can ask and find out.
Mr. Phillips: That makes it worse. We have called in the experts and now they are doing it free. It is still costing $100,000 to draw up the plans. Who is getting the $100,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is an expense for assessing the current structure, for planning the new structure, and for planning the integration of the old structure and the new structure. For the size of building we are getting in the unique location, it does not appear to me to be out of line.
Mr. Phillips: I am not going to go on about this much longer, but that is a perfect example of the other side that just takes everything that comes before them by some of the people who make these fantastic forecasts and accept them. There is not a Yukoner out there who does not think $100,000 is too much money. The government had better seriously start looking at the types of money they are spending, how much they are spending and what they are getting for their dollar.
Does the Minister figure the report he got was worth $100,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have already answered that.
Dawson Liquor Store in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
Yukon Liquor Corporation in the amount of $225,000 agreed to
Chairman: Before we turn to the Yukon Development Corporation, we will recess for 10 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
On Yukon Development Corporation
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The one item here is, of course, the $29.5 million equity grant, which is the largest single item in the Supplementary Estimate. As I explained in general debate, there was a $19.5 million debt due from the Yukon Development Corporation to the territorial government. We made a decision to convert the promissory note and $10 million of cash advanced to the Yukon Development Corporation to an equity grant. This $29.5 million equity grant is in the nature of a long term investment and therefore is a capital item rather than an Operation and Maintenance item.
Earlier on in the Estimates, I was asked questions about the Mayo dam. Unfortunately, I cannot be much more precise about the number that the Member is asking for until we go to tender, but I would like to provide this information to the House. As Members may know, the hydro installation that serves the communities of Mayo and Elsa consists of two interactive dams. Power is generated at one, which is located at the Mayo River, approximately five road miles from Mayo, and the flow of water to this dam and power house is controlled, in part, by the storage dam at Mayo Lake, which is located 26 miles upstream. This hydro development was constructed by Northern Canada Power Commission in 1952, at which time it had an expected useful life of 15 years. Now, 36 years later, the dams are still serving their original purpose. On taking possession of the NCPC assets, the Yukon Energy Corporation made attention to these dams one of its first priorities. As I mentioned in the House today, the NCPC had proposed to rebuild the Mayo storage dam, at an estimated cost of $8 million. Since then, the Yukon Energy Corporation commissioned an expert inspection and assessment of the dams and learned that an alternate solution is available. The best rough estimate - and I would emphasize rough estimate - at this moment is that it can be done for a cost of $4.5 million. Last May 1987, the Yukon Energy Corporation began a process that will result in the provision of, we hope, reliable and affordable power to Mayo area residents and to industry in that area.
When flood studies were commissioned from Acres International, Yukon Electrical Corporation was instructed to conduct miscellaneous inspections and repairs and to begin preparations of documentation required by the various legal and regulatory regimes. The Yukon Energy Corporation was instructed to issue requests for proposals on preliminary engineering and required geotechnical work.
In August last year the Yukon Energy Corporation retained the services of Mr. David Dogood, one of the engineers designed in the original design and construction of the Mayo Lake storage dam. Mr. Dogood was commissioned to advise the Yukon Energy Corporation, Yukon Electrical and the engineers selected to undertake the rehabilitation project.
In September, the corporation retained Monenco Limited, the original designers of the installation, to make an assessment of the Wareham Dam spillway, followed by site inspections of rock conditions.
In February of this year, 1988, the Energy Corporation authorized Acres International to proceed with final engineering in consultation with Monenco Limited. As with all hydro developments, rehabilitation of the Mayo Lake storage dam has been a matter for lengthy study, detailed planning and extensive consultation.
Because hydro development is a costly undertaking, a steady demand for the electrical power that will be produced must be in place before such a development becomes economic. For this reason the Yukon Energy Corporation has undertaken negotiations, which I mentioned previously, with United Keno Hill Mines to ensure that this major customer will continue to utilize the power produced by the Mayo dam, and United Keno Hills payments will assist in the amortization of the expenditure of the cost of the project.
Also, over the next five years, it would be the intention of the Yukon Energy Corporation, the project going ahead, to spend a little over $1 million to replace the transmission line that carries power from Mayo to Elsa.
Final engineering begins this month and it is estimated that a final application will be placed before the Water Board this spring. Construction is hoped to commence this summer. Engineers have been instructed to split construction components into sizes appropriate for Yukon firms to participate in the project rather than have a huge outside concern undertake all the work, and provided schedules can be maintained, construction of the project could be completed by freeze up in 1989. The latest the Mayo Lake storage dam will be completely rehabilitated will be by the spring of 1990.
While I am on my feet, I would like to briefly answer another outstanding question that was asked about the Yukon Development Corporation. It had to do with BC timber harvest licences held by Hyland Forest Products. I was asked a question concerning the assertion that the Yukon Development Corporation had paid a total of $90,000 for the BC timber licence previously issued to Mr. Cattermole, the former owner of Watson Lake Forest Products. It was understood at the time of the purchase in December of 1986 that the licence would expire on May 31, 1987, but a one-year renewal of the licence was granted to YDC.
Members will recall that the BC licence was included in our bid because an offer to purchase all the assets of the corporation at the time was deemed to be more attractive to the receiver. In the knowledge that the licence would expire on May 31, 1988, Hyland Management maximized the use of these rights and they have, I think, received something like 21 million board feet from the BC licence. To put that into context, of the two sets of leases from BC and Yukon, the Hyland Forest Products has harvested something like 38 million board feet from its term leases in both BC and Yukon. In November of 1987, Hyland Forest Products and the Development Corporation applied for renewal of their BC leases, only to learn in January of this year that the BC Ministry of Forests and Lands had undertaken a five year planning process that would curtail the availability of the timber supplies.
BC Forest officials will, apparently, continue to accept applications for minor timber sale licences of less than 10,000 cubic metres annually. Hyland Products will be making its decision in the next few weeks on whether it wishes to compete in this bidding process, but the main point is that they have enough supplies from the Yukon leases to adequately keep the mill in operation.
Even though neither of those items is particularly in reference to the Supplementary Estimate before us, they were outstanding questions put to me earlier and I wanted to provide the information to the House.
Mr. McLachlan: We have certainly heard about the rebuilding of the Mayo dam but this is the first I have heard of rebuilding the power line. What is wrong with the power transmission line to the minesite?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Among other things, the poles which support the line are apparently all rotted, and that is why a decision has been made to replace them.
Mr. McLachlan: Is that part of the $4.5 million or will it be additional to the $4.5 million?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It is part of the project.
Mr. McLachlan: To prevent the poles from rotting again, will we use steel transmission towers?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: That is a technical question. Off the top of my head, I do not know what the material will be for the poles but I will be happy to bring back that information for the Member.
Mr. McLachlan: Thank you. This is technical, too, but we have an earthen dam at Faro as well, for a different reason; it leaks a bit, as all earthen dams do, but what is the nature of the problem that requires the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the dam?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Basically, the material in the dam has outlived its usefulness. Rather than having to be completely replaced, in the opinion of the engineers it can be rehabilitated and therefore that can be done at less cost than a complete replacement.
Mr. McLachlan: Dopes that involve simply pouring more material around the front of the dam to buttress the front, or pouring it over the back to reline the inside on the water side? What is the nature of the rebuilding?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member is basically correct. The engineering work that is being done now - which I referred to in the statement I made a few minutes ago - will provide us the actual plans for going ahead with the project and, also, give us a more accurate estimate than I have heretofore been able to provide to the House about the actual cost of the project.
Mr. Nordling: With respect to the Mayo dam, the Minister mentioned the ongoing negotiations. Could he give us an update on how they are going?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: There have been two negotiating sessions so far, with another scheduled soon. I hope we can reach an agreement in short order. I am not in a position to divulge much more than that about the negotiations, other than I did indicate, probably imprudently, in the House the other day the kind of term of agreement we are looking for.
Mr. Nordling: I hope that an agreement can be reached in short order, too. I do not envy the negotiator for the territorial government, who is not exactly negotiating from a position of strength, the project already having been announced over a month ago.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not going to engage in debate with the Member, but the consequences of not replacing the project, on the basis of the failure of an agreement, are that the company would probably end up having to use diesel power, and that would have negative consequences. I am sure they know that.
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister said he is not at liberty to reveal much. Is the Minister at liberty to reveal what the mining company now pays for kilowatt hour for power?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not have the exact figure on the top of my head, but I would be quite happy to provide that answer to the House. I believe that is public information from the rate hearings.
Mr. McLachlan: Is it fair to assume that, as a result of the rebuilding, that rate will inevitably be increased? Is it the intent of the government to maintain the same rate to the mining company?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not think it is fair to conclude anything in advance of the negotiations. I would really rather negotiate this with the company than here.
Mr. Nordling: While we are talking about rates, does the Minister know when we will have a rate policy? The Minister of Justice would not be very specific when asked. A newspaper report said the long-awaited rate policy was expected in April, and it is now May. As the Minister of Economic Development, perhaps he would have a better idea.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not know who is making announcements on my behalf now. With respect to April, I previously told the House last fall I was expecting a report from the Yukon Development Corporation in May. I have not yet had that report. That report will come to me; I will then take the proposals to Cabinet. Once Cabinet has made the decisions, there will be a public announcement.
Mr. Nordling: For the Ministers information, it was a Whitehorse Star article. The heading was Yukon Utility Board runs out of Members, and the quote is: The long-awaited rate policy may be announced in April, Kimmerly said. That is where the announcement came from.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not know if the Member was misquoted, or if his normally excellent memory failed him in a small respect, because I am sure he was paying his as close attention to my statement in November or December or whenever it was, as I do to all of his.
Mr. McLachlan: That concerns us too, if the Minister of Government Services memory is failing.
The Minister has referred to an inadequate supply of timber on the Yukon side. Irrespective of layoffs due to the fire, I received a report over the weekend that some of the people doing logging may have been laid off or been told that there is insufficient timber in Liard.
Can the Minister confirm that there is a lack of timber in Liard, which has resulted in some of the logging companies being told that they can have a two or three month holiday?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not know, off the top of my head, if the logging contracts that we have out have been completed, but we have plenty of supply in Liard at this moment.
Mr. McLachlan: What is plenty of supply? To some of us, that is plenty, to others, something else. Is that four million cubic feet in Liard? Does the Minister have a quantitative measure?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Enough to operate all summer and certainly into the fall.
Mr. Nordling: Last year in April the Minister said The sawmill operation in Watson Lake is forecasted to almost break even in the first year. The consultants report on which we are doing our planning estimated a worst case scenario of a loss of $18,700 in the first year.
Can the Minister tell us today how close that prediction was?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No, I cannot. I have not had an annual report from the Corporation, nor have we had the audited financial statements.
Mr. Nordling: When can we expect that report?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I doubt that the annual report would be ready before the Fall Session of the Legislature.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to know if and why the Minister cannot give us an approximation sometime before the fall. We do not need the annual report to be published and printed in order to have some idea of how the operation is doing financially.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will take the question as notice and will try to provide the Member with a report before the annual report comes in.
Mr. Nordling: Last year, I asked if the Minister had an estimate of the start-up costs with him. He did not last year. Is there an estimate that is available now? Has the amount needed to start up that mill been determined?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The figure that comes to mind as the start-up costs for the mill, which were about $1.8 million, but if the Member wants a precise figure I believe I can come back with that.
Mr. McLachlan: The answer, we have sufficient timber to provide us all through the summer and into the fall is only valid if you know how much is being sold per month. How many million board feet is retailed by Hyland Forest Products a month, both rough and kiln dried?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Again, obviously the answer I gave previously was an estimate but if the Member wants to know what the sales are I will provide that information.
Mr. Phillips: I have a question about policy: does Hyland Forest Products follow the same policies as the Government of Yukon when it lets contracts and subcontracts for timber?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I believe I previously answered that question for the Member. When the operation first started up, the answer was no, it operates in the commercial environment and operates as a private company. It is under private management.
Mr. Phillips: The reason I asked the question is because it has been brought to my attention that there are some subcontractors who worked for, more or less, a general contractor cutting timber in the area and they are experiencing some difficulty in getting their money. I know the territorial government has a policy in place now where, as a general contractor, before I receive my last payment I have to show proof that I have paid all my subcontractors. I am just suggesting to the government that maybe that would be a good policy for Hyland Forest Products to follow, so that we do not get into the situation we were in years ago with Cattermole and people not being paid in Watson Lake.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I would be extremely concerned if that were the case, and I have not had this brought to my attention previously. If the Member will give me the relevant facts, I will look into it immediately.
Mr. Phillips: Thank you; I will bring it to the Members attention tomorrow.
Mr. Phelps: Getting back to the Mayo dam, the Minister mentioned which engineers had been brought in - David Dogood being one of the original engineers, as I remember. My first question about the Mayo dam is that I am wondering why the major rebuild of that dam that was done in the mid seventies does not seem to have sufficed. Has the government any information about that major rebuild?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am sorry. I do not have that information at hand but I will take the question as notice and provide an answer to the Member. My apologies, but I do not recall any precise information about that rebuild at all.
Mr. Phelps: My next question has to do with the actual takeover of the asset from NCPC. To what extent was the apparently poor condition of the dam factored into the cost?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The condition of the dam was known. The Member, I think, will recall that NCPCs estimate of $8 million to replace the facility was already public knowledge. It was in the capital budget of NCPC, so the condition of that particular asset was well known and its schedule for replacement was also, I think, known.
Mr. Phelps: Could the Government Leader provide us with the figures from NCPC for the replacement of the dam and transmission line from the knowledge that was available to this government at the time of the takeover?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I would obviously have to take that question as notice, and I will do that.
Mr. Phelps: Moving over to the Hyland Forest Product situation, we have the statement now that there is inadequate timber on the Yukon side. Could the Government Leader provide some projections to show how the Yukon Development Corporations comes up with that statement.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I wonder if the Member would be content to have me take that question as notice. I would be happy to provide the information. I was not anticipating it with respect to this supplementary, and it is not in my notes.
Mr. Lang: It has been sometime since we dealt with the Executive Council office. A number of questions were taken as notice, and I am wondering when we are going to get some answers to those questions. Almost a couple of weeks have gone by.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I took notice of a similar question before I left for Ottawa. I have not had occasion since I got back to see if there are any other draft returns on my desk. I will check tomorrow morning and if there are any, I will bring them to the House as soon as they are ready. I will again have the record checked to see what outstanding questions there are.
Mr. Lang: I appreciate that because it seemed to me the last session there were a lot of things taken as notice, and in some cases it was well after session before we got answers. Sometimes the answers give rise to other questions. That is an observation.
Mr. Nordling: With respect to the corporate objectives, the first one is still to acquire the assets of the Northern Canada Power Commission. I assume that it has been done now and all the assets have been acquired. If I am wrong the Minister can correct me.
I would like to know if there are any, or if the Minister foresees any selective strategic investments that will come forward and be added to this particular budget?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Not to this particular budget, because this is a supplementary for the year now passed. That is the reason why, since the effective date of the acquisition of NCPCs assets was April 1, this objective still has to stand for that year. The objective inevitably would be revised for this new capital year. As the Member observes, the first part of the objective is history.
There is one project where a strategic investment may come to pass. I hope within days to be in a position to be able to make some announcement about participation in a consortium I previously mentioned on the telephone company. I am not in a position to make any announcements yet, except that there were negotiations this past Friday and Saturday in Vancouver. Negotiations will be continuing this week.
Mr. Nordling: On that issue, could the Minister bring us back the names of the parties we are negotiating with?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not sure that would be consistent with the requirements of commercial confidence about who we are negotiating with, but I will check that. Once a decision is made, if a decision is made to enter into it, I will advise the House as to who the people are and, if we are working with a group, who the component parts are.
On Grant to Yukon Development Corporation Equity
Grant to Yukon Development Corporation Equity in the amount of $29,500 agreed to
On Schedule A
On Sums Required This Appropriation
Sums Required This Appropriation in the amount of $37,014,000 agreed to
On Sums Not Required This Appropriation
Sums Not Required This Appropriation in the amount of a reduction of $7,669,000 agreed to
Schedule A in the amount of $29,345,000 agreed to
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Clause 3 agreed to
Clause 1 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that you report Bill No. 60, entitled Fourth Appropriation Act, 1987-88, without amendment.
Motion agreed to
Bill No. 50 - Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89 - continued
On Department of Economic Development: Mines and Small Business
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Could I ask if you could give me a moment to get my notes on the Main Estimates, or allow us to proceed tomorrow afternoon?
I move that you report progress on a bunch of interesting stuff, and beg leave to sit again.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Chairman: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I now call the House to order. May the House have the report from the Chairman of Committee of the Whole?
Mr. Webster: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 60, entitled Fourth Appropriation Act, 1987-88, and directed me to report the same without amendment and, further, the Committee has considered Bill No. 50, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89, and directed me to report progress on same.
Speaker: You have heard the report from the Chairman of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried. May I have your further pleasure?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The House adjourned at 9:23 p.m.
The following Sessional Papers were tabled May 2, 1988:
Canada-Yukon Language Agreement, Ottawa, April 28, 1988 (Penikett)
Main Terms of the Bill Respecting Language Rights and Services (Penikett)
Ninth Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 1988 Report (Phelps)