Thursday, May 12, 1988 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will proceed with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed at this time with the Order Paper.
Introduction of Visitors?
Returns or Documents for Tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have for tabling some returns in answer to questions.
Speaker: Reports of Committees?
Introduction of Bills?
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
Bill No. 31: Introduction and First Reading
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 31, entitled Cabinet and Caucus Employees Act, be now introduced and read a first time.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Bill No. 31, entitled Cabinet and Caucus Employees Act, be now introduced and read a first time.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Notices of Motion?
Statements by Ministers?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I rise today to highlight three interesting new literary initiatives being undertaken by the Department of Education this year. These initiatives reflect the new policy of this government to highlight and encourage the arts, in this case the literary talent, found among the people of the Yukon.
The first event I wish to focus on is the Yukon authors display, currently being prepared by the Libraries and Archives Branch. This large, attractive display will be located in the foyer of the Yukon Government administration building from early July into late August. This display will feature approximately 40 authors who are residents of, or have written about, the Yukon, both past and present. The exhibit will present short biographical sketches of the selected authors, and will include photos, book covers and illustrations from the works of the authors. In conjunction with the display, a number of authors now living in the Yukon will be giving readings of their work, and readings from the work of some historical authors may be presented to the public as well. I think this will prove to be a most interesting, informative and enjoyable tribute to our writers, and I invite all Yukon residents to come view and take part in the activities surrounding this display.
A second new initiative that is being launched by the Libraries and Archives Branch, is the Writers-in-Residence program. Through this program, three authors will be invited to the Yukon for one week each - one adult author, one childrens writer, and one aboriginal writer and storyteller. As with the writers brought up for National Book Week, each author will travel to a number of Yukon communities, where they will offer public readings, writers workshops, and counselling for local authors, as well as being available to meet the public on an informal basis. The Writers-in-Residence program may link with Yukon College as well. We anticipate a writer will be residence in the Yukon during the months of September and November of 1988, and February of 1989, although the guest authors and final dates have yet to be confirmed. Building on this years program, the department would like to establish a full-time Writer-In-Residence program, in years ahead, where the guest writer would reside in the Yukon for a year at a time. The Writers-in-Residence program will provide a wonderful opportunity for budding and established Yukon writers to garner tips from experienced authors, and for the public to be exposed to a variety of literary talent over the course of the year.
Another important facet of Yukon writing and publication is the development of local curriculum materials - a topic of great interest to a wide number of parents and teachers in the Yukon. This brings me to the third initiative I am introducing today. I wish to give advance notice that a new locally based textbook is soon to be released by the Public Schools Branch for use in the Grade 3 Social Studies program in our schools. This textbook, entitled Exploring Yukons Past, has been published by the same company that published Part of the Land, Part of the Water - another excellent reference and general interest book released in late 1987. Exploring Yukons Past has been two years in the making, and the book will be placed in Yukon schools in September 1988. The development and production of Exploring Yukons Past involved the collaboration and input of a very wide range of Yukon people and expertise, and will be a fine addition to our growing selection of locally developed curriculum materials. I offer an advance copy of this textbook to the Member for Whitehorse Riverdale South, and the Member for Faro.I encourage all of us here to acknowledge the work of those Yukon people who have been involved in creating this attractive new resource book when the formal public release of the book takes place.
The three initiative I have outlined here are important to people of the Yukon. They acknowledge our literary and cultural roots, and encourage the development of new talent. I am pleased to watch these project develop, and I anticipate that we will all enjoy and benefit from them.
Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: I wanted to follow up on a number of questions I asked yesterday with regard to the Judicial Council press release and the situation where the Minister of Justice, at a public press conference in November, in effect, called the chief judge of the Territorial Court a liar.
I asked the Justice Minister very politely yesterday whether or not the Judicial Council told him, when it was asked to conduct an inquiry, that it was concerned about not having the power to secure examination and cross-examination under the section of the Territorial Court Act that he invoked. Could the Minister answer that question yes or no right now?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The answer is yes.
Mr. Phelps: Could the Minister tell us whether or not he told the Government Leader of this concern expressed to him by the Judicial Council at that time?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes.
Mr. Phelps: So is he telling us that he and the Cabinet were prepared to have this investigation that they ought to have known at the outset would not produce any final conclusion to the issues?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The phrasing of the question is substantially contorted. I would also like to address the original question.
I gave a press conference in November. I did not call anyone a liar, and I never had that intention, but I did have intentions of making statements of fact as I knew them.
The premise of the supplementary question is that I or the Cabinet ought to have known something is absolutely inaccurate. The question is the fact of an inquiry and the terms of reference of the inquiry, and the Cabinet made a decision and the next events are continuing to unfold.
Question re: Territorial Court Act
Mr. Phelps: That is very interesting. There was a Cabinet meeting this morning, I gather. Is Cabinet now prepared to say what it is going to do regarding this matter?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. The decision has not yet been made.
Mr. Phelps: Could the Government Leader tell me whether or not Cabinet is simply afraid of what might come of a full inquiry where witnesses are compelled to appear and compelled to answer questions under oath? Is the problem with the government that they are a little nervous about what might be found out about the credibility of their own Minister?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No.
Mr. Phelps: When are we going to get a decision? Is Cabinet going to wait until the House recesses before it tries to bury this matter?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot accurately predict how long the House will be sitting, but we will be dealing with this matter as soon as we can. The Member opposite will understand that we have a great many serious matters to deal with in Cabinet. As a matter of record, he may know that we were meeting until a few minutes ago.
Question re: Home Owner Initiative Program
Mr. McLachlan: I have some questions for the Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation regarding two recently announced housing initiatives programs. There appears to be some confusion regarding the building of multiple unit residential apartments on the part of the corporation and from impressions given to the media. The corporation is not doing a very good job of making it clear.
Is it true that no part of the Yukon Home Owner Initiative Program announced on Tuesday by the corporation, in no way allows the corporation to fund the building of multiple unit residential apartment buildings?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member for Porter Creek East asked exactly the same question yesterday. I am surprised that the Member for Faro is asking the same one today.
The Home Owner Initiative is to encourage home ownership. However, there are features of the program that can be of benefit to those persons wishing to build rental accommodation. Through the Joint Venture Fund, it is possible to build into any project the construction of rental units as long as the project also has, as a primary feature, the construction of units for sale. That is a very significant and practical possibility given the character of the interest that has been shown for the program already.
There is a program already in place called the Rent Supplement Program that has, as one of its features, the ability to encourage, through a contractual arrangement with a developer, the construction of accommodation for rental only. I also indicated that the Minister for Economic Development had designated the construction of rental housing as a strategic economic activity under the Economic Development Venture Capital Program.
There are three areas that encourage construction of rental accommodation. One of them is incorporated into the Home Owner Initiative Program that we announced on Tuesday.
Mr. McLachlan: I am sure that the Minister and the corporation realize that in the building of an apartment the amount of a money the investor can put up and the amount of money CMHC can put up falls short of the required building cost. It is that difference in the funding that nobody can meet. Why has the corporation failed to address that difference in the funding required to build an apartment building with that scenario.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member has to listen to the answers that I provide.
I just indicated that there is a Joint Venture Capital Program under which the Minister for Economic Development has designated bridge financing to developments of just the sort the Member has mentioned. I also indicated that where there is a project put forward by a developer, which has as one of its prime goals the construction of units for sale, that same developer can also include in that same project proposal units for rental purposes. Both the Joint Venture Fund and the Venture Capital Program address exactly the need for bridge financing that the Member mentioned.
Mr. McLachlan: The Minister knows full well that individual apartments are not sold in an apartment block. That answer applies perhaps to condominiums, if those projects could get off the ground.
Is it not true that the strategic investment division of the Venture Capital Program can be terminated or pulled at any moment on the decision of the executive member responsible for the program?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not sure I understand at all the import of the Members question. Is the Member suggesting that once a project that we have assisted is started that we can withdraw our participation?
Question re: Strategic investment program
Mr. McLachlan: Under the strategic investment division of the Venture Capital Program it is solely the discretion of the Member of the Executive Council to pull the funding for the program or to start it. I am asking if that is the case? Does the Minister decide if the money will be available for apartment buildings, if the need is fulfilled then he can withdraw funding for the program at any time? Is that the case?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I hope the Member is not implying that there would ever be a Minister in this or any other government who would ever be so cavalier or arbitrary as to designate an area of strategic importance such as the development of rental accommodation or the restarting of a railway, or some other matter which could be regarded as strategic, make a decision one month and then change the decision the next month. Clearly, I would believe decisions about what is a strategic economic activity would probably be made and reviewed on an annual basis, and no more frequently than that.
Mr. McLachlan: That is the point. It takes a year to get the land assembly project together, and it sometimes takes a year to get the planning and financing in place. By the time an individual developer goes to make application under the program if, in the opinion of the Executive Council Member responsible for the program, the need has been fulfilled, the Minister...
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mr. McLachlan: That is the concern I am worried about. Is it not true that the Member can take it off the market at any time?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I think the Members question is in the realm of a hypothetical question. The reason we would designate rental accommodation as a strategic activity would be at a time of a shortage of rental units. The Member talks about the time it takes to commission such a unit. Even in as traditionally a volatile housing market as there has been in Whitehorse, I doubt very much that any responsible Minister would give a signal one year and direct funds into this kind of activity and then withdraw them in the following year, unless there were the kind of market conditions such that the investors themselves would not want to proceed.
Mr. McLachlan: The investment climate is such that they do not wish to proceed at this point. That is the part that has not been addressed that well by the government. On the lease-now pay-later program, does the individual establish any equity in the home while the monthly lease payments are being made and his savings mount up, or is it just good rental he is paying for up to the five years he has to make a decision to purchase the home?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The details are clearly established in the program guidelines. Unless the person puts in equity beyond the normal carrying cost of the mortgage, either in financial terms or in terms of land, then the person would not acquire equity until such time as the agreement for sale had been concluded and the person had assumed the mortgage through the bank. If the person puts their own property toward the project, then that property would count as equity toward the project, and that person could carry that equity with them, if they chose to leave the project prior to assuming the full responsibility for the mortgage through the bank.
Question re: Landlord and Tenant Act
Mrs. Firth: In the Landlord and Tenant Act, clause 63(5) says the landlord has to pay a 10 percent per annum interest on security deposits. Is it the policy of the government to enforce that statement?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Landlord and Tenant Act has specific provisions in it about the enforcement procedures. The policy of the government is to follow those procedures. The policy is contained in the act.
Mrs. Firth: In clause 64(4) of the Landlord and Tenant Act, it says that, if the landlord proposes to retain any amount of the security deposit, he has to obtain the consent of the tenant in writing after receipt of the notice, or he has to obtain the order of a judge. Is it the policy of the government to enforce that?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is exactly the same question, in slightly different words, as was just asked, and I give the same answer. There is a provision in that act about the role of the government and the government follows the policy that is laid out in that act.
Mrs. Firth: In the same act, under the Offences and Penalties section, Clause 98.1 says that any person who contravenes section 63, 64, 74, 75, 78, 85 or 97 is guilty of an offence and on summary conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000. It also says that where the landlord is convicted on an offence under section 63 or 64...
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mrs. Firth: Yes, I will. The judge making the conviction order may order the landlord to pay the tenant the security deposit and interest in any part that was not unpaid. When charges are going to laid under this clause, how long does the department wait before it proceeds?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not specifically know. I am not aware of any charges ever being laid in the past. It would obviously involve the obtaining of legal opinions as to whether or not there in fact is a case here to charge any particular individual. There is no long term experience that I am aware of.
Question re Landlord and Tenant Act
Mrs. Firth: Is the department going to proceed with laying charges under Section 98 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, with the issue that has been raised in this Legislature?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I do not know. That is an administrative matter that would be brought before the courts, in any event. I, personally, have had no communication whatsoever about that issue with the department.
Mrs. Firth: Have legal opinions been obtained regarding this issue?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have already answered. I have had no communication; I do not know. That is an administrative matter, in any event.
Question re: Human Rights Commission/costs
Mr. Phillips: I have a question for the Minister of Justice regarding the human rights costs. On December 11, 1985, in Mayo, the Minister of Justice told the Yukon public that the act would cost only $50,000 to $60,000 annually to administer. Can the Minister tell this House why, in the second year of operation, they budgeted $242,000? Why did the Minister tell the people of Mayo and the people of the Yukon that it would only cost $50,000 to $60,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That allegation of a quote by me is not complete and is in the wrong context. The Members purpose is obviously to draw attention to the cost of the Human Rights Commission. The budgeted cost this year is $200,000 for the commission. For the Board of Adjudication, the cost is $42,000.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister has a very poor memory. He was specifically asked the question in Mayo: how much will this Human Rights Commission cost the people of the Yukon? His answer was that it would cost between $50,000 and $60,000. Why, only one and a half years later, the cost of the Human Rights Commission is estimated at $242,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The Member for Riverdale North persists in making an allegation, which I have already said is not complete and is in the wrong context.
Mr. Phillips: I can guarantee that there are a lot of people in Mayo who heard what the Minister said. They will be very interested in his answers today.
Last night, the Minister also stated that the act was different, and that was why it was costing a little more. In view of the fact that the administrative structure in this new bill is the same as the old bill, can the Minister tell this House which areas changed so drastically to raise the cost from $50,000 to $242,000?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It is not a responsible question. The situation is that during the substantial debate on the bill, which is now law and is in Hansard, about the expected costs of the commission. The statements that I made in the House and elaborated on were justified at the time. We find that we are within those limits.
Question re: Human Rights costs
Mr. Lang: I would like to pursue this a little further. My colleague has indicated this past year that the Human Rights Commission has cost approximately $370,000 in total. This year the Minister has budgeted $242,000. To jog the Ministers memory, on January 9, 1987, Whitehorse Star reporter, Mr. Butler, reported that Kimmerly had indicated that the new Human Rights Commission may cost as much as $200,000 a year to operate.
We asked about that in the House, and we took it that this was based on research and the necessary homework being done to justify the bill. The Minister stated, What I was trying to avoid last Thursday was the kind of headline that appeared in the Whitehorse Star that the commission was going to cost $200,000. It appeared to me to be a wrong interpretation of the debate and poor journalism. However, the fact has occurred. I will say that the cost of the commission will be less than $200,000.
There is a reason for printing Hansard. This is so that we are able to look back to see what the reasons for doing something was. Could the Minister explain that although he has budgeted $242,000 for the commission that was initially going to $50,000 to $60,000, how this could be called poor journalism in view of what has happened today?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The specific question is asking for a comment on a media report, which is beyond the rules, but the real question here is to publicize the cost of the commission. The cost of the commission is estimated at $200,000 this year, which is its first full year of operation.
Mr. Lang: The Yukon Human Rights Commission also has the adjudication and cannot operate without it so they are all one and the same for a budget of $242,000.
Why did he take the liberty of saying in the House that this headline was the consequence of poor journalism when within less than a year we are well over $200,000? We spent $370,000 last year for this particular commission. Can the Minister tell us why that occurred?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: That is the same question in different words. I will not answer the specific question, as it is beyond the rules as a comment on the journalism or the journalist. However, I will answer the real issue here, and the real issue here is are you for or against the enforcement of human rights, and we are for it and they are against it.
Mr. Lang: The issue here is financial accountability. The issue here is what you say in this House. All Members have a responsibility to give information to the best of their ability. People were mislead not only in this House but in public meetings about the amount of money this particular initiative was going to cost the people of the Yukon.
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister explain to this House whether this fits in with the principle of financial and prudent management that the government likes to espouse on a continuous basis?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, it does.
Question re: Land freeze/Hootalinqua north
Mr. Brewster: My question is to the Minister responsible for Community and Transportation Services.
On March 3, 1988 the Minister issued a news release concerning a Hootalinqua north land application freeze so that the government could deal with the over 300 existing applications. Can the Minister advise the House how many of these applications have been dealt with since March 3, 1988?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I know Lands Branch has the information. I do not have it at my fingertips, but I will take the question as notice.
Mr. Brewster: I struck out once already.
How many of the applications have been approved and how many have been rejected or are pending?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: If the Member is expecting a detailed answer of that sort in a situation such as this, then I guess he has struck out twice. The Lands Branch has the information and I will get the information back to the Legislature as quickly as possible. I will be talking with Lands Branch about it this afternoon.
Mr. Brewster: Like the Toronto Blue Jays I may as well strike out a third time.
How many applications for agricultural land have been received from areas outside the area and how many of these have been approved?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Strike three.
Question re: Crestview traffic flow
Mr. Nordling: I do not think I will strike out, but the Member may have to bring back some of the information I am requesting. On January 5, in a ministerial statement regarding the Takhini area transportation study, the Minister announced, I have directed one recommendation of the present study to proceed immediately. I have asked my officials to begin preparations for the installation of the required lanes of the Yukon Alaska Transport staging site on the Alaska Highway at Crestview.
In a legislative return dated April 14, the Minister told me, it is anticipated that construction will start in mid-July. What happened? Why could construction not start earlier?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is unfortunate that it is impossible for a Minister to ask officials to go out the next day and build roads. Unfortunately, the officials tell me that the required engineering needs to be done, and the design of the project needs to be done. There has to be tender specifics drawn and documents prepared so it can be tendered in the normal way. They do so they will protect the Minister from political embarrassment, should the Minister decide he is going to get it all done in one day, one week or one month. It has to be tendered fairly and it has to be designed properly.
Given those considerations, it is my wish that the proper design is done, the project is tendered in the appropriate manner and the construction take place in an orderly way. We have indicated we are going to be providing the turn-out lanes at the Alaska Transport terminal site, as I expressed in the legislative return, and we are going to do so in the time frame that I indicated we were going to do in the legislative return.
Mr. Nordling: The only thing the officials cannot protect the Ministers from is premature announcements. We get quite a few of them.
Can the Minister tell us if the department considered and rejected the need for a deceleration lane for southbound trucks from a safety point of view?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is nothing premature about the announcement. When I indicated as much in my ministerial statement, there was every indication we were going to be constructing these lanes. Unfortunately, in some respects, the proper planning has to be done. In order to carry out a ministerial directive, the preparation work has to be complete. I am happy to say that is going to be done on schedule.
The department did review the matter with respect to a turn lane for traffic turning right coming south from the Mayo Road cutoff, turning right at the Yukon Alaska Transport terminal, and determined it would not add to the safety of the terminal sight. In their expert opinion, they advised it would not be a wise expenditure of funds, and that the terminal site would be safe without it, and I have taken their advice.
Mr. Nordling: I do not want to get the Ministers back up because he has been very helpful with respect to this issue. I would like to know if there will be further initiatives undertaken by the government regarding the south entrance to Crestview at the Mackenzie RV Park, or at the Kathleen Road entrance to Crestview?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I understand that discussions are ongoing with the Department of Public Works, which is responsible for the road, about pull-out sites, and specifically about the two that the Member mentioned, and two others. When we come to some negotiated conclusion about the sites, I will be in a position to better describe what can be done.
Question re: Highway pull-out lanes
Mr. Phelps: I have a couple questions of the same Minister, with regard to the issue of pull-outs on the various roads in the Yukon. In particular, I wonder whether or not his officials have looked at the situation of the cut-off to the Hot Springs Road, on the South Klondike Highway. Are there any plans afoot to make some additional lanes there, to make it more safe?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There are no immediate plans, that I am aware of, but thanks to the Members interest, I have asked the department to look into the possibility of establishing lanes. We have not budgeted for any lane establishment at this particular site, but from personal experience, I am of the view that it would be an added benefit to the safety of this particular location. I come at the problem from that perspective. I have asked the department to investigate, and they will be reporting back in due course.
Mr. Phelps: Are there any plans for pull-outs on the reconstruction of the first eight miles of the Carcross Road, from the Alaska Highway?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: With respect to pull-outs or turn-outs on that first eight kilometres, I am informed that there are no plans for pull-outs, largely because the road is engineered to such an extent that the site lines are more than adequate to deal with traffic that wishes to pass slow-moving vehicles on the road. The road itself is wide enough that it allows for safe passage of traffic travelling on the road. I have been informed that for this particular stretch of highway the department does not plan pull-outs.
Question re: Traffic flow/old Yukon College
Mr. Phillips: I have a question for the same Minister, regarding a road matter. Earlier he was playing what appeared to be fast ball with the Member for Kluane. In this issue that the Minister and I have been dealing with it appears that we are in a game of slow pitch. I would like to ask the Minister about an analysis that his department was doing about the traffic flow in and out of Riverdale; is that analysis ready?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The most fascinating phenomena has been taking place in the Legislature over the course of the past few months. It seems that this particular Member strikes out on every pitch. As I have indicated on numerous occasions, the department has been working very closely with the City of Whitehorse to deal with the transportation network in and around the old college site. As I understand it, the city staff has almost completed its analysis of the traffic flows and traffic count. They had done some preliminary work, as I indicated in the Legislature once before, and they are about to conclude their discussion with respect to this matter. They will be recommending a proper course of action.
Mr. Phillips: That answer, in baseball terms, can only be described as a balk. I had the same answer the last time I asked the question. The Minister said, The analysis, I am told, is just about complete, and a draft report will be ready next week. Next week was last week. Is the draft report ready now? If it is, would the Minister table the report?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member has fouled out here. I indicated that the draft report would be ready a couple of weeks ago. There are a number of other equations to take into account, however. The appropriate course of action for the government to take is to have financial discussions with the City of Whitehorse. I am not in a position, at this point, to indicate what the proper course of action will be for the government to take.
I realize that the Member has no intention of waiting until the natural completion of this process, but I am afraid that I will have to disappoint the Member is he thinks that I am going to accelerate the process beyond what is reasonable to come to a premature conclusion.
Mr. Phillips: When will the Minister have the report? Will he either table it or send a copy of the report to me or other MLAs?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: We will be coming to conclusions on the course of action to be taken for improvements to the infrastructure and whose responsibility it will be prior to change in status of the old Yukon College. That is our plan. We are discussing the matter with the city, and after discussions have been complete, prior to June 1, I will make the conclusions known to the Member.
Speaker: Time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Bill No. 4: Second Reading
Clerk: Government bills. Second reading, Bill No. 4, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 4, entitled College Act be now read a second time.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Education that Bill No. 4, entitled College Act be now read a second time.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is with pleasure that I stand today to introduce the College Act. This act is the end product of an extensive public consultation process that will see the establishment of a public Board of Governors for Yukon College.
In 1986, this government expressed in the Yukon Training Strategy that one of its priorities would be to develop a White Paper on College Governance, which would primarily discuss the composition and mandate of a community-based governing board. The driving principle for establishing such a board was to ensure that the college would be increasingly sensitive to the adult educational needs of Yukons people.
The Yukon Post-Secondary Education Advisory council assisted in the development of the White Paper by spending considerable time deliberating the issue of college governance.
A workshop on College Governance, to which over fifty representatives of groups with an interest in post-secondary education in the Yukon were invited, was hosted by the Yukon Post-Secondary Advisory Council in May of 1987. The YPSEAC then forwarded its recommendations to the government and the White Paper was developed along the lines of the Councils recommended course of action. In November 1987 the White Paper was distributed to the public and generated a number of submissions from individuals and organizations. The opinions stated in these submissions were given careful consideration by this government and are reflected in the College Act before you today.
The College Act provides for the establishment of Yukon College as a corporation, consisting of a Board of Governors, which is independent from government. The main objective of this corporation is to provide educational programs and activities that are sensitive to the needs of the people of the Yukon.
A section of the legislation outlines the powers of the corporation. It is this section that establishes the independence of the College. The College will take responsibility for all organizational, financial, administrative, and operational aspects of the day to day affairs of the College.
Though the government will appoint the Board of Governors, these appointments will be based on recommendations from the various groups in the Yukon that have an interest in post-secondary education. There will be 12 members on the board, of which not less than three will be nominated by Indian bands in the Yukon, not less than three will be nominated by community campus committees, one shall be a student of the College, one shall be an employee of the College and one shall be the president of the College. Great care will be taken in appointing the board so that the diverse educational interests in the Yukon will be represented.
The Board will be obligated to consult with various councils and committees so that the Board will be well informed as to the needs of the Yukon people.
Specifically, the legislation provides for the formation of a program Advisory Council. This council will advise the board on the training needs of the people in the Yukon and on programs of the College. It will be comprised of the College president, the chairperson of each community campus Committee, a student of the College, an academic staff member, and a minimum of five other persons chosen to achieve an equitable representation of the diversity of educational groups and interests in the Yukon.
The Board will also be advised by the community campus committees on the needs of the community served by that campus. The role of these Committees has been enhanced in the legislation to include the management of funds allocated to the committee by the Board of Governors for the provision of local training courses, and to provide for participation in the hiring of staff at the campus of that committee.
Being an independent corporation, the Board will have the authority to raise operational funds from non-governmental sources, such as private endowments or donations. However, the government anticipates that the College will require government funding in addition to those monies raised from other sources. Provision has been made in the legislation to fund the College through a government grant. As the College is a charitable organization, it will undoubtedly receive additional funding from other private and public sources interested in the success of post-secondary education in the Yukon.
The government has made a significant financial commitment to the College in the past and will continue to do so in the future. In order to ensure that public funds have been spent appropriately, the legislation includes a provision for a yearly audit and a requirement that the College provide the Minister of Education with an annual report on the work of the College, which will be tabled in the Legislature.
The transfer of programs and staff from the government to the College will occur gradually once this act has received assent. An implementation period of approximately two years is anticipated so that a considered and orderly transfer of programs, activities, personnel, and movable assets can take place. In order to assist in this transfer, the Act provides for the appointment of an interim Board of Governors for the transitional period.
College governance through a public Board is a new and exciting concept for the Yukon. Through the board of governors, the program advisory council, and the community campus committees there is an even greater opportunity for the people of the Yukon to take an active role in shaping their community College, from the community level through to the central planning of the College. After two years of hard work by many interested Yukon people, I submit that we have an Act that will give our College a new maturity, and that will serve our communities well. I am pleased to be able to bring this proposed new College Act to the Legislature.
Mrs. Firth: We will be having quite a few questions for the Minister regarding this piece of legislation. I would like to state that we understand the reason we have to move in this direction. We have agreed with the principle of the independence of the college.
I would like to give the Minister notice of a few questions we will be raising. The first one has to deal with the regulations. I notice there are no regulations accompanying the College Act, and I would like the Minister to be prepared to answer some questions regarding the regulations and whether we are going to be able to see them at the time we are going to be asked to pass the act.
We have some concerns about the bureaucracy that is going to be created with the College Act. As I looked through it, I find we could have anywhere from as many as 37 people to about 31 people responsible for administering this area of the Department of Education. We are looking at a president and, then, a board of the college with 12 members on it. Through the act, you find there is going to be a program advisory council, which can have anywhere from 9 to 14 members on it. Then, we are going to have a community campus committee, with 10 members on that committee. So, we are creating quite a structure of people to administer and make all these decisions on the college, so I will have a few questions to ask about that.
The Minister mentioned something about the interim board. This is of concern to us, as well as to many people at the college; firstly as to why we have to have an interim board. I am particularly concerned about the specific words in the clause that allow the Minister to give the same powers to this interim board but, to deviate from the composition of the board as is stated in the earlier clauses in the law, I would like to find out why the Minister needs all that flexibility. It effectively says that the Minister can appoint whomever he wants on that interim board, and they will have the powers of the board under the College Act.
The implementation time the Minister talks about, being a two-year period, is not specified in the act. So, therefore, the Minister has the ability to have the implementation time at his leisure and will. I do not really think that is something that is positive or conducive to the efficient functioning of that board.
I have some concern with the fact it has to be interim. If the board is appointed and they do a good job, they should stay as the board. If they do not do a good job, or if there is some reason the Minister wants them off the board, there are proper processes in place to take care of that.
I have also had several concerns raised with me, since the act has been public now for a few weeks, regarding the employees who are presently protected by the Public Service Commission, and who are members of the union and are worried about their jobs - whether their jobs are going to be there after this act comes into effect, and the fact that the committees and boards will all be involved with the hiring of the staff at the campus.
I guess that we will be looking for some specific direction that the government is going to go in in that area, and some reassurances for people that their benefits and salaries will carry on, and some idea of what exactly the government is proposing. I think that the regulations are extremely important for us to have for this area if the employees are no longer going to come under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.
I have raised just a few concerns. We will have more when it comes down to the clause by clause debate in Committee of the Whole. The bill does give the Minister an extremely large amount of discretion and maneuverability when it comes to appointing the boards, and it still allows the Minister a great deal of control over the administration of the college. We look forward to having some interesting and lively debate on this bill.
Mr. McLachlan: I have some similar concerns as the Member for Riverdale South has enumerated; a lot have to do with the make-up of the board and the mechanisms thereof, which may be simple routine questions that can be answered quite easily by the Minister. I realize that the act before us was benefited by a long study. Unfortunately, the Members on this side do not have the notes that went into the reasons for some of the clauses, but I am hoping that he will be able to deal with those fairly swiftly and effectively.
There is one amendment coming on article 4(d), which we will give the Minister advance notice on. I have some concern over the structure of the community campus committees. I am curious how, in some of the smaller communities, we are going to get enough members to make up those campus committees, and have some fear that the Minister may be creating a situation of school committees with no powers.
The Minister has also said that he will make regulations governing the performance of the committees. I am curious to see how we make a regulation that governs performance. I am curious, also, about the duration of the interim board of directors for the period of only two years. I find that the longer something stays in place, the more it tends to become permanent. Like the Member for Riverdale South has enumerated, I am also curious about what the Minister plans to do with the benefits of a number of these employees, some of them employees of 15 to 20 years in the college. How will those benefits be transferred, if at all, especially since the college will now not operate under the jurisdiction of the Financial Administration Act. Thank you.
Speaker: The hon. Member will close debate when he speaks. Does any other Member wish to be heard?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is a real pleasure to be here this afternoon. I think thank the Members opposite for the comments that they have made. I am not daunted by any of the issues that have been raised. I will take the opportunity, during Committee of the Whole debate, to answer the many questions that have been raised. There are many more issues that have been discussed in the establishment of the act, and the authors have taken great care to try to meet the needs that have been expressed by various stakeholders in this situation.
We will have a good debate. I do not know spirited it will be once the Members hear what I have to say. There are a couple of points I would like to make about the administration of the college, but I will make them during committee debate, because there is not a great deal of appetite to deal with them this afternoon. I will deal with it on Monday or Tuesday, whenever we get to this act. Maybe I will even take some opportunity this afternoon to indicate my preliminary response to them so that they can get full benefit of what will ultimately be my reaction during debate.
It has been a real pleasure speaking to the House this afternoon. Holding the microphone feels more comfortable than standing in front of it.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We will recess for 15 minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Bill No. 50 - Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89 - continued
Department of Renewable Resources - continued
Mr. Brewster: Our hearings last night were short but very interesting. I would like to start out with a quote that the Minister made. I recall that the Minister said he was not a biologist. Then on May 11 he said, With respect to the collars on wolves, the practice of the department is not to take those off. The reason is that there is usually a high rate of mortality with wolves and other animals, and that usually the studies have found that, within the first year of collaring, the animals do, in fact, end up being found dead.
Could the Minister produce any documentation to prove that statement?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have any documentation with me, but I will request the biological staff to produce such documentation.
Mr. Brewster: I am going to accept that but I will be quite frank. I asked 12 questions last year that were going to be researched and returned. I still have not got them, and I am getting a little sick and tired of this.
We can go to the bear collaring. First he told me there were nine collared out of 18, then he corrected that to 11 out of 18. I do not understand what is going on or why it is going on. This document was handed to us half an hour ahead of time; we do not have time to read the documents. Then they get a little cute with me about what side of the road things are on, and I do not appreciate it. If I had the opportunity to read this we would not have gotten into the situation like we did the other day. However, I have a map that I suspect I was not supposed to have, and it is very interesting.
Let me point out a couple of things in regard to this situation. On the one map there are three places on the other side. I realize the Minister is going to say they are only looking after the Kluane side. This is not true. The Yukon government and Renewable Resources is responsible for animals all over the Yukon whether on federal or territorial land. That was a gimmick, and I did not catch it, but you are now getting animals on both sides of the highway, therefore, you are responsible and apparently you have not signed any agreement regarding the animals on the other side.
The first question I have is on reports. It says the University of British Columbia shall provide to Renewable Resources not later than November 1 of each and every year or portion thereof that the experiment is in operation a written report as to the progress of the experiment. Could I have a copy of that report?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. I have received a copy from the department, and I am sure, upon reading it, that the Member will find that a lot of his questions relative to what is happening in those other areas will be answered because different activities will occur in the different areas of the study zone.
Mr. Brewster: Now, we are getting somewhere. We have some reports. Somebody must have woke up and moved a little bit on some of these. I am going to table a list of contracts for wild animal studies. I do not expect this today; I do not expect it tomorrow, and I do not really expect it all in a month, because I realize it will be a lot of work. I do not want the actual contracts and prices and who flew, and such things. I would like to know just what these studies are. There are studies on wolf-prey; there are studies on wolves being collared; there are studies on moose being collared, and I would just like these. I expect it will probably be a month or six weeks before I get them, but I would like to give that to the Minister.
Is it possible that I will get some of those?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As the Member indicates, it will take considerable time to do research on each specific contract, but we will undertake to do that for him.
Mr. Brewster: I thank the Minister for that reply. With respect to collaring, is there a policy on what you do after you have completed a study and collaring these animals?
Hon. Mr. Porter: For the most part, the general policy is, if the collars are deemed not to affect the animal, they are left on. The position of the department is that, for the most part, the collaring of animals does not generally inhibit the movements of those animals. There have been concerns expressed specifically on the question of collaring grizzly bears brought by the Member last year, and we undertook to research that question and to remove those collars. I understand the Members position on the question of collaring, inasmuch as it comes from a point of view out of concern for the animals, but collaring is a process of study that many wildlife agencies throughout the world utilize. For some instances, it is the only way, short of actually tracking the animals in the field personally on foot, of being able to monitor the movements of the animals. There is also the question of costs related to removing collars, once collars have been put on animals. In many instances, that basically puts you in the situation of doubling your budgets.
Mr. Brewster: It is very peculiar that the cost of putting them on does not matter, but the cost of taking them off does, when you have interfered with an animal that did not do you any harm to start with. It is also very peculiar that they find animals that have been collared die within a year. I wonder what happened there?
However, I have taken the trouble to phone Alberta to find out what their policy is, and this is their policy. Yes, we have a policy to remove collars. It is a condition of the permit authorizing the study that the collars will be removed at the end of the study for, more likely, if this is not done there will be a break-away collar that is guaranteed to break at a certain time.
Do you have this type of collar?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There has been a study in which break-away collars have been used in the Yukon. Through the advance of science and technology, they are now more sophisticated collars coming onto the market. In recent experiments that we have done on the wood bison, there are small transmitters that we use that do not necessitate a collar being put on the animals. In the future, I expect we will be moving more towards those kinds of tracking devices for our animals.
Mr. Brewster: At least, we are gaining a little. Maybe while it does some good, it does not, however, solve the problem. Will break-away collars be used on the moose and bear in the studies that are being done this year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will have to research that question to find out if there are going to be collaring programs this year. If there are, we will have to find out what type of collar will be used.
Mr. Brewster: I will give the Minister numbers to prove that it is being done. This contract says, to collar approximately 20 moose. The contract is 7-0205. There are five or six others in this book. I would also like to give the Minister this information on collars from Alberta where they do not have to chase moose and bear all over the place. They can just push a button, once the collar is on, and the animal gets a drug dose and go to sleep.
With the money that we are spending, I would think that the department would be up on the most modern equipment there is instead of the government running around like they are. I also have some information on the wood bison project that I will send over to the Minister. Maybe he can explain why the sentence stopped in the middle and nothing else was said on the explanation. I have it underlined in yellow.
Hon. Mr. Porter: It appears to be an incomplete sentence" Two graduate students who have worked on the project", and there are no words following that. I suspect that it would be: with the Department of Renewable Resources.
Mr. Brewster: There is a legislative return on buffalo, and I do not think very highly of some of the remarks made in it. I am not exactly a dumbbell, but if the boys want to play that way, they can.
I fully realize that animals get killed when they are moving around, but I do not really think that the last quotation in there was required at all. However, if that is how the department wants to play the game, then we can play the game that way. I have no problem with it.
Regardless of what I say, I have a great deal of admiration for biologists. I feel, however, that biologists are a very strange breed of cat. They go one way and they cannot understand anything else other than what they are studying. That is not a discredit to them. They are so wound up in it that science, animals, and everyone else can go down - it could not matter less to them - as long as they get their study done. I suppose they learn this at university, but I have a problem with them.
I think that it is up to the Minister to be the cooling head that says, slow down on some of this, you are going a little too fast, you are running around too much, and what are you really getting out of this? That is why I would like to see some of these reports this year because I wonder just what you are getting running all over the country like you are. If you want to have game count, I have no problem with that. I understand game counts, but when you are collaring animals here and collaring animals there, and then you turn around and tell me, well, nine of them must have died because they did not show up or no, 11 died out of 18" or we caught 11 but there are 8 gone and we do not know where they are" there is something wrong with the system, especially with the amount of money that we are using here. It is really questionable just what is going on. I have a real problem with it.
I would like to go on to something else. This will probably be explained to me, but it will be awfully hard to do. I have gone over your diagrams and I have noted your correction. However, you have 98 PYs and yet if I go to the government telephone book you have 102 - now wait until I have finished this before you jump on me. There are two vacancies, so there are two out of that, but I know, from my experience, that there are at least seven or eight or ten people in the Marwell area who do not have telephones. I know that you have truck drivers who do not have telephones, so explain to me how you came up with the 98 personnel?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Main Estimates book breaks down each branch into numbers of person years. My briefing book is organized section by section. If the Member would like me to proceed I can go through each section and list the person years in the particular sections.
Mr. Brewster: Maybe I am wrong but I do not understand how you can have 102 telephones, with a separate name for each one - and I know that there are people who do not have phones in that department. I know this from personal experience. In the garage and carpentry shops they do not telephones, yet you tell me that there are only 98 employee - and I count 102. I know there are more. All I am asking is: what is the total?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Ninety-eight is the number that has been given to me by the department and it is the number that we forwarded to the Department of Finance. As far as we know, that is the number of employees who are currently under the Department of Renewable Resources, permanent or term.
There are auxiliary employees, for example, the campground attendants and casuals that we hire occasionally, but there are 98 indeterminate or term permanent positions in the department.
Mr. Brewster: I am not going to carry on any further, but I would like to get it in Hansard. Number one, you have 100 phones up there with 100 different names to start with. I know there are at least six or seven carpenters and labourers who stay in the Marwell Area who do not have a phone. We can add this on. I want the total. If you are going to tell me the total is 98, then I am going to have to accept it, but I really question it.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I can check on the question of the listings of the phone book and the numbers that that has produced, but the total number we indicate is 98.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to go on to campgrounds now. There are two types. There are three of them now where we are putting up a collection box, and the others are being collected by individuals. Are all three of these volunteer ones successful?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The self-registration idea is one that was experimented with in British Columbia and Alberta and has proven successful in those jurisdictions. As the Member knows, we started that process here in the Yukon last year. In terms of the data we have received with respect to compliance, we have found that the tourist who comes to visit Yukon has, for the most part, complied. There is a very high success rate of compliance. We have had some problems with local Yukon compliance. In terms of the visiting tourists who, for the most part, use those campgrounds, there has been a good success rate.
Mr. Brewster: I realize that one was, because I phoned and checked on it with another person. You are saying the other two are. Where are the other two? Were they successful?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have that information here. The director of campgrounds will provide that to us. Hopefully, we can pass that information on to the Member before the debate finishes.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to go on to campground signs. The Minister and I always like this situation. I think the Minister of Community and Transportation Services should be in on this one, too. I wrote a letter a month ago pointing out that in one of the pull-outs near Haines Junction where you have your garbage cans, you have a great big sign up there with a trailer on it and a big circle around it, and you mark NO, which means that trailer should not come in there: no camping. I know that circle means no camping, but it does not say that. It says NO, and there are the two garbage barrels there. Are those campers supposed to go in there, throw their garbage on the floor and not go in there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Is this in relation to a campground in Haines Junction, or a roadside area?
Mr. Brewster: It is one of the roadside areas. This has happened in quite a few areas. In the letter we sent, we suggested you start getting back to English so everybody can understand it. I know what it means. It means do not camp there but, when you put garbage cans there, you are confusing the issue and, then, you wonder why in the next campground they pull in and stay. Of course they do. Half the people do not understand these signs. I do not care if they are international, or what they are. Even the national parks is having problems with this. I suggest, when you do not want them to stay overnight, you put that sign up, and you do not put these in where there are garbage cans and tell the campers and the RVs no parking, because that is what it is for, at least in my indication.
That sign has been there for a year. They clean the garbage cans out really good in the summer, but nobody seems to catch that except the tourists and me and, you know, we are not bright. I do not understand how people do things like this. They spent the money to make a really nice pull-out and, then, they put a sign up and chase them all out, or try to. They do not succeed because most tourists have enough brains to ignore signs and go ahead and do it. I will bet you that, if I made a trip right up the road, I could pick up five or six like this that are in the wrong places completely, and you completely confuse the tourists. Some of the tourists park on the road, and everybody gets mad.
Hon. Mr. Porter: First of all the question should be clarified in that the Department of Renewable Resources is not responsible for campgrounds. The pull-outs are the responsibility of Highways, and if there are problems with respect to signage, we can discuss that with the Department of Highways so we can make sure that the best possible signs are available. We certainly do not want a situation where we are misinforming people because of the cumbersome signs that we have. We will look at that particular question.
Mr. Brewster: One of the reasons I have brought it up is because I have waited and waited for an answer.
The other concern that I have brought up before is contracting for wood. On the legislative return it was indicated that all the wood for the north highway is being cut at Haines Junction and people are sent up there to haul it out when there are people in the other areas who could cut it. Have you an idea what the average cord of wood costs that is put into these campgrounds?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have a specific amount of money allocated per cord of wood, but I will try to get that information to the Member shortly.
Mr. Brewster: I wish the Toronto Blue Jays would trade me because I keep striking out. Maybe I should get on with Detroit so I can do a little better.
I notice that you have built a few new campgrounds. What really is the policy in determining where there should be a campground? Does someone just stick a pin in the map to determine the area? The legislative returns I got for some of those campgrounds certainly do not warrant the amount of money that was put into them for the number of people who stay there.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The criteria for construction is set out in our capital plan, but for the most part we will not be constructing new campgrounds, and I am going on memory here, except in Old Crow. We are in the process of building a new one at Faro, but only because the old one there was in such bad use, and because of representations from the community of Faro, we will be completing a new campground at the Johnson Lake site. As the Member is aware, we have constructed a new one on the Dempster.
As far as I am concerned, I think the Yukon has a satisfactory number of campgrounds, and there will probably be no new campground construction with the exception of the North Canol Road and the Macmillan Pass area. The new campground activities in the future will be relegated to rehabilitating existing campgrounds that are in bad shape. In some cases we may have to relocate a campground.
Mr. Brewster: I gather from that that the government has no policy or criteria, it is just decided one should go here and one there, is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will table the specific policy; we have a policy on campgrounds.
In answer to an earlier question about where the self-registered campground systems are located, they are located at Lake Creek, Fox Lake, Marsh Lake, Simpson Lake, Moose Creek, Aishihik Lake, Kusawa Lake and Tombstone Mountain.
Mr. Brewster: The Minister said Aishihik Lake. Does he mean the one at Otter Falls or the one at Aishihik Lake itself?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is Aishihik Lake.
Mr. Brewster: That is the one that is right up on the lake, 10 miles from Otter Falls Campground. If we are doing this, and I have been protesting it with the Department of Highways for some time, is a decent road going to be put there so that it is accessible? Are people still going to be busting up their vehicles getting there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There was no money set aside in the Capital Program this year for road construction at that campground.
Mr. Brewster: Why would a campground be built way out in the sticks and advertised when RVs just get torn all to pieces getting there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: If that is a problem, the earliest that we can look at it will be in the next Capital Budget year. We will be stating our planning this summer, and it is a problem that will be discussed during the planning of that Capital Budget.
Mr. Brewster: Well, that only took me three years. I got to first base on that one. Now I will lose on this one, but I will go after it anyway.
Back on June 8, 1987, I wrote to the Minister regarding historical signs at Burwash. I received a letter back on July 15, 1987: Thank you for your letter of June 8, 1987. I appreciate the historic significance that Burwash should be recognized. I have instructed my staff to install two signs, one on each side of Burwash. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I look forward to seeing the signs later this summer. It was signed by the hon. Minister Margaret Joe for the hon. Minister, Dave Porter.
I brought this up a little later in the House, and I was told it would be put in the Streetscape Program. What are we supposed to believe? This letter was here long before the Streetscape Program, and the signs were supposed to be there. These signs really have nothing to do with the Streetscape Program. It is an historic place, one of the oldest in the Yukon. All these people asked for is to have a simple sign put there like there is at Braeburn.
When we got this letter, we assumed that the sign would be put there. We were looking forward to seeing it later in the summer. I brought it up last fall, and we do not even have a contract on the Streetscape Program, yet the second year has almost passed. We are talking about a simple sign that should have not taken any time to make, and I know we have the money. My impression is that the process was stated and then stopped. Why was it stopped?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is the responsibility of Heritage Branch under Tourism. The situation was as the Member recounts. There was a request for signs, and upon review of the request it was decided that because we were making funds available to the community under the Streetscape Program, it was best left to the community to decide what kind of sign should go where. That program is available to the Community of Burwash and will be proceeding this year.
Mr. Brewster: Has this ever been brought up with the committee that is doing the landscaping?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We basically leave it up to the local committee to decide what they would like to see done in its community. There are some guidelines that are laid out that specifically state what we think is acceptable for the funding. We also try to impress upon the communities that the kinds of development projects that they fund should not be of a nature that require long-term operation and maintenance funding. In the final analysis, the decisions made at the community level will be done by the streetscape committee in conjunction with the representative of the government.
The Member earlier asked about the cost for a cord of wood to be delivered in Beaver Creek. That costs $90.00. In Haines Junction, it is $70.00 to $75.00.
Mr. Brewster: Actually, when I asked what the average cost for a cord of wood was, I meant for the whole Yukon. I realize that you cannot answer that right now, but I would like to average it out across the Yukon and see what the average cost would be.
I still disagree with the Minister on the matter of the sign. The Streetscape Program is to beautify places and these signs would not be right in town, they would be out on the road a little bit, but that is the way things are. The next time that I get letters signed by one Minister for another Minister, I will just throw it in the waste paper basket, because it is just a waste of time.
Now I would like to go on to one of my favorite subjects, the policy on elk. What is your policy for this seed stock herd of elk you brought in? Are you going to make the available for other people?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I did not clearly hear the question, but I understand that the Member wants to discuss the governments elk herd program.
As the Member is aware, we do have an elk herd in the Yukon, thanks largely to the efforts of Elk Island National Park and a local individual in Whitehorse. What has occurred is that we have struck a contract with that local individual for the care and feed of those elk. After we had tendered the project publicly we received in the neighbourhood of a dozen responses, we decided to go with the individual who had the necessary land base and have reached an agreement with that individual that provides for covering costs related to expenditures incurred by him.
The long-term goal of the elk project is to be able to provide offspring from the seed herd so that animals in the future can be transplanted to the wild. As the result of a growing desire by many Yukon people to try elk ranching and elk farming, we have added to that original purpose and have amended it so that we now have a two-pronged approach. Not only are we going to provide elk for transplanting to the wild, but, as well, we will be offering for sale to Yukon people a percentage of the offspring from the seed herd.
A final decision as to the cost of the elk has not been made. An elk committee has been set up that has representation from the department, and the individual. Recommendations regarding the costs associated and the process by which we will make elk available to local people, have gone to the deputy minister and will be forwarded to me.
Mr. Brewster: When you arrive at this final price, are you costing out what it cost you to look after all these elk, along with the 19 bulls? Is this being charged to anybody who wants some breeding stock?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The original intent of the program is that it should be self-sustaining.
We have to look at the program from the basis of recovering the costs for the operation of the program. Yes, that will be a major factor in determining the final costs - the care and feed for all the elk during that particular fiscal year.
Mr. Brewster: The government goofed. If you read the contract, the minimum was supposed to be 30 head of elk. There was to be 20 to 25 females, which left you with less than 10 bulls. You brought in more bulls, or almost the same number of bulls as females. Now, when you sell your seed herd out, you tell me you are charging the new farmers who are trying to start, because you made a mistake and brought these bulls up, which you should not have done. You said you could not catch anymore of them, and I have no problem with that. You still should not have trucked all these bulls in because, what did you do, you trucked some of them out, and I will get to that a little later.
Why should people who want to start a seed farm have to pay for a mistake the government made by bringing these in? I do not think this contractor got a square deal. He was supposed to get 20 to 25 cows. With that 30, you brought 40, so the ratio is a little different. He ended up with just about half and half, and he has had to feed these and look after them. He is certainly not going to get very many little ones out of those bulls.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member is correct. When the project was initiated, the sex ratio of the herd that was brought to the Yukon heavily favoured males, as opposed to a balance between males and females. To rectify that, we have gone back to Elk Island National Park and received an additional shipment this year of 13 cows.
Mr. Brewster: That is fine and dandy; at least we have that rectified But the poor guy who wants to start out in the elk business has to pay for the two winters we fed all these bulls, which are no use to anybody except, possibly, the person who has them can get the horns off them and make some money. Otherwise, they are of no use unless they are shipped back outside for meat.
Why should a young farmer starting out have to pay for feeding those bulls, which should never have come here in the first place? It is admitted, when they brought 13 more in, that somebody goofed. I do not care who goofed, but somebody goofed and, now they are going to pass it back to the little farmer and put up the price of breeding cows so that the average little farmer is not going to pay for them.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I understand the point the Member is making. He is trying to bargain for a lesser price for the animals. In a sense, you are arguing the government should subsidize the industry. I have continuously said that our approach to agricultural development is that we would like to see agriculture move in the Yukon, but we do not want to get into a situation where the government is creating the industry in such a way as to put subsidies on the line to help the industry get started.
In this particular case, our original position was that it should be self-supporting. On this particular question, I can say that the cost that we will sell the animals at will be lower than what it would cost individuals to go south to these auctions and pick up these animals at the average price and bring them back to the Yukon.
Mr. Brewster: Horse traders start bargaining before they know a price. How can I bargain for a price when I do not know what the price is? I know what the Alberta government does. It is $1,000 to $1,500, and that is it. That is the price of theirs. It does not cost a dollar a day to feed elk. In fact, I am told you can feed one elk on the same amount it would take to feed six or seven cows, so feeding elk does not cost you very much. I am going to suggest that your price should not be a great amount over and above $1,500.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The information we received on what the costs are for elk breeding stock from outside is different from what the Member received. The information we received is that on average the elk do go from $3200 to $3700. I will give the Member the assurance that we will sell these elk in the Yukon under those costs.
Mr. Brewster: Is the Minister talking about Alberta?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes.
Mr. Brewster: Park Management has indicated this is the last year they will be giving away elk for transplant or ranching project. From now on limited numbers will be sold for anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.
That is in the Whitehorse Star.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not know where his cost figures come from. The numbers I am giving to the Member are numbers we received from the most recent auctions that have been held in Alberta.
Mr. Brewster: I am not talking about auctions. I am talking about one government giving to another, or producing a seed stock and selling them as cheap as they can to get people into it. That is all I am asking here. Be reasonable with the price so an individual can take four, six or seven and start a business and not be priced out of the market even before he can get started. He is going to wait five or six years before he can recover his money. If you are going to price him out of the market to start with he is not going to do it.
I do not want to hear that one is going to have take the same number of cows as bulls because that is ridiculous. The government made the mistake on the bulls and the government can keep them. I do not care what they do with them.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I suspect that is no bull.
On the cost, if the Member is arguing that we should take his representations into consideration when establishing the figure for the sale of the elk, that may mean that the government will have to subsidize that cost. If we do that, it would be as a relative to the arguments made by the Member today, and probably only for the initial sale. If the argument is that, because the original costs of transport and skewed ratio of animals, we have put the project in an untenable position, I will consider that argument and take it into consideration before we establish a final cost for the sale.
Mr. Brewster: I am almost on second base now.
As an old horse trader let me suggest a price. They are $1,500 down there and you brought in 15 to 20 head in a truck, then sell them for $2,000 an animal. That is $500 an animal. You cannot tell me they would cost $500 an animal to feed them for the last two years.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Is the Member suggesting that $2,000 is the price that we look at? We will look at it.
Mr. Brewster: I might even back the Minister on that.
Chairman: Is there any further general debate?
Mr. Brewster: Could the Minister roughly outline how the reindeer situation is and if it has been a success?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have a detailed briefing on the reindeer project, but we can undertake to deliver a statement to the Member.
Mr. Brewster: I guess I got caught off second base. Is the Minister aware that BC and Alberta forbid any more reindeer to be brought into the provinces due to a disease that cannot be found upon testing?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. Apparently, it is suspected that the reindeer have a parasite that is deadly to other species of deer. We have, as policy, the assurance that prior to bringing reindeer into the Yukon, that those reindeer be certified by a professional veterinarian. In the instance of the shipment that we did undertake, those reindeer were certified. We are of the opinion that there is no problem posed by the local population of reindeer presently.
Mr. Brewster: That rather amazes me, because I read a little about the Alberta decision where there are three stocks now, which they are going to allow to continue. However, they are not going to allow any more into the province. BC does not have any. My understanding was that this disease could not be detected.
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is some argument as to the detection of the disease by blood sampling. For the most part, I recall that the parasite is fatal to deer, but so far we have not been made aware that it is dangerous to any indigenous species of the Yukon like caribou.
Mr. Brewster: Has the Minister or his department ever checked out with Alberta or BC why they are not permitting reindeer to enter the province?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. There was a conference call among the jurisdictions, and this question was discussed. It is presupposed that the indigenous species of the Yukon are immune to this parasite.
Mr. Brewster: Why would the animals in the Yukon be immune to it, and animals in Alberta and BC are not immune?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We do not know, but I suspect that, because caribou and reindeer are so close that there being very little difference between them. For the most part, reindeer are domesticated caribou. They have found that other deer species are affected by this in the south. Regarding caribou, which is a major concern in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, there has not been any situation where we have found caribou that have been affected.
Mr. Brewster: I do not know how you can say that, when biologists say they cannot detect it. I would like to point out that, for instance, if someone around Stony Creek buys one or two of these reindeer, which they can do, because you do not have control over them - it is the Agriculture Department that has control over them - and they get in amongst those elk, are they going to guarantee me they are not going to hurt these elk?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, I cannot make that guarantee. He asks how we can say this with certainty. You know, for example, that the reindeer that have been shipped to the Yukon come from Tuktoyaktuk. For the most part, from the time they were moved from Alaska, they have been allowed to range freely, and have intermingled and, in some cases, interbred with caribou, and there has been no effect according to the biologists we talked to in the Northwest Territories.
With respect to the concern in Alberta and British Columbia, the Member knows those two provinces have a huge population of mule deer and whitetail deer and, yes, it has been proven that those two species are susceptible.
Mr. Brewster: I do not think you have a count on it, but you have a lot of deer around the Hot Springs, you have a lot of deer around Stony Creek, and there is one in my field in Haines Junction. A year ago, there were two little bucks seen there. So, there are deer scattered all over the area that have come in on their own and are acclimatized. You admit these reindeer could affect these, and we are killing our stock that came in here on their own after the burn at Stony Creek.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have done no studies in the Yukon because we do not have a free-ranging reindeer herd. The herd we have here in the Yukon is completely fenced. Yes, there is always going to be the possibility that a violent storm will happen and a tree will knock over the fence and deer will make it out. Those are circumstances we cannot predict and we cannot build our programs in anticipation of. That possibility does exist. I agree with the Member that it is quite possible it can happen.
Mr. Brewster: As I said, the reindeer are under the Department of Agriculture. They are not under you. If he chooses to sell four of them to somebody in Haines Junction or Stony Creek, there is no authority for you to stop him from selling them. I am not trying to make a hard time for the individual who has them. I am just pointing out things that could happen. You cannot stop him from selling a live animal as a pet any place. If he has to start selling, and that is what he brought them in here for, and if he starts selling to the individual farmers, we are going to have them scattered all over. I am not blaming the individual who has them here. He brought them in with the goodwill of the government to make a living. He has to make a living on them. There are more and more deer coming into the Yukon all the time, and even in Haines Junction we are seeing sign of deer where there was nothing five years ago. There is nothing stopping me from buying two of his reindeer and putting them in my field out there. Therefore, you are losing control, because you have no control because they are not yours. They belong to the Department of Agriculture.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member states that the government has no ability to restrict these particular animals. Certain parameters were agreed upon by the government, the individual involved and the EDA, which funded this particular program. One of the perimeters was that this would be a fenced project. The individual came forward and said that he wanted to transplant reindeer to the Yukon and that he would fence them. He said he would take them off the natural lichen diet and move them to a pellet diet, and we agreed with that. In principle, in philosophy, we are agreed that we should start farming species such as reindeer and elk and that we should cut out the expensive beef that we bring in from his former province, to cut down on costs and become more independent.
Unfortunately, I do not share the Members opinion about whether or not the individual can turn the reindeer over to whomever he chooses. We are developing a wildlife ranching policy and that policy will clearly address questions like that of fencing. It would be my opinion that movement of animals at this particular point would not occur unless the original conditions, as set out in the EDA Agreement to fund this individual, were met.
Mr. Brewster: I find that very strange. I have even heard stories that some would be sold as pets. I also find it very strange because I can recall talking one time to an official in the Department of Renewable Resources when there some elk trucked through to the United States. Some of them were down and crippled in the truck. I asked why the government did not stop the truck, as could be done for a truck of horses. He said that he could not, that they were under the federal Department of Agriculture, that they had no control over them.
Here, again, the government did just what we said a year or two ago: you have the cart before the horse. You put these in now and you make a mistake in finding out. Incidentally, a government study came out and it said that the reindeer was the worst animal to have in the area - prepared by a government policy study.
While I am on my feet, I will ask one more question on elk, then I will let my colleague have a go. Have any of the elk put to pasture excaped?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, two bulls did get out and one is still at large, in the wild.
Mr. Brewster: What happened to the other one?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The other one was shot.
Mr. Brewster: Was it shot with a tranquilizer gun or with a lead slug?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The individual involved in the elk project was concerned about the possibility of the elk that was at large breaking down the fence and causing the rest of the herd to escape. I presume it was with manufactured lead.
Mr. Brewster: Could the Minister answer one more question then? That was a pretty expensive lead slug worth $5,000. There are a bunch of biologists going all over the place, and the poor little elk cannot get through the fence because they are tranquilized.
This brings me back to the buffalo again. We turned all of the big buffalo loose and kept all the breeding stock in. What assurances do we have that they are not going to tear the fence during rutting season this fall?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is no assurance whatsoever about those possibilities. Our reasoning for the buffalo project is to have a free roaming herd so that eventually all of those in the pen will be hitting the Yukon brush as well. They are not going to be penned forever.
Mr. Brewster: I notice in the Legislative Return that I received it was stated that the Canadian Wildlife Federation pays for part of this. Last fall, the Minister told me that the territorial government was paying for everything.
Hon. Mr. Porter: It was extended an additional year because the original project was delayed a year.
Mr. Phillips: I would like to get back to the elk herd for a moment. Could the Minister tell us what the status of that herd is right now? How many elk are there in the compound?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There are approximately 50 animals.
Mr. Phillips: What is the bull-cow ratio?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have the information. If the Member is really interested, I will make sure that he receives it.
Mr. Phillips: I hoped that the Minister would have had it because we asked for this in two previous debates. It is not something that is a standard bull/cow ratio. I understand that the number of bulls is extremely high. They did get some more cows in there this year, but my concern is that there is an excess of bulls in the herd. What are they doing with the excess of bulls?
Hon. Mr. Porter: A proposed management plan is being worked on by the department. I will be in receipt of those management efforts in the future, and I will make a decision.
The first shipment of animals was skewed mostly to the male of the species, but we had an additional shipment of 13 cows this spring.
Mr. Brewster: How many calves is the Minister expecting this fall? Perhaps I could give him an idea of how to get rid of the bulls. We have two sets of elk, one at Stoney and one at Braeburn. They are undoubtedly inbred by this time. Why were the extra bulls not just turned out with these cows? It would solve the problem of one getting shot, because he tried to get in with some cows. He would have had all the cows he wanted; his girlfriends would have all been there.
This would have solved feeding all these. This meant we would not be charging the poor farmer who is trying to get seed stock because the bulls are all gone. We are producing more out there because they will put a new life into a new generation of cows out there and the whole problem could have been solved. It amazes me that a poor, blind, bald-headed man like me can figure this out and 98 people in that department cannot figure it out.
Hon. Mr. Porter: As the Member knows, the original intent of the program was to be able to inject additional elk into the wild herd that exists in the Yukon. We are, in cooperation with the Fish and Game Association, involved in an elk study, but that study will not be complete until June of next year.
It is a suggestion that I thank the Member for making, and we will take it under advisement in terms of determining our future management decisions.
Mr. Brewster: It would have saved a lot of costs, trouble and saved one from dying. The other one got out and he went and found a girlfriend in the area. It would have probably saved a lot of trouble in the pen. They would all have been out except for two or three bulls and the rest could have survived out there, it was proven on the bison that were turned out in the 1950s. It would have put a new strain into the ones out there that are not producing the calves they should.
There are a number of questions why, and this brings up something else. I notice in your contract where you are flying around to count the collared ones and the calves. How many collared elk are out there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: As of March 31, 1988, nine elk were equipped with radio collars.
Mr. Brewster: My understanding is that some animals were shipped out for sale. I hope those were bulls. How many of those died going out?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Five were shipped out and apparently there was a mortality of one animal.
Mr. Brewster: Did a private contractor or the government do the shipping?
Hon. Mr. Porter: These were shipped by the private contractor.
Chairman: Any further general debate?
Before we get to the first program is it the wish of the Committee to take a 15 minute recess?
Chairman: The Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We are beginning on page 225, the first program, Administration, general debate.
On General Management
Hon. Mr. Porter: The net increase in this area of $53,000 is largely due to a combination of wage settlement, annual salary increments, and increased travel and honoraria payments.
General Management in the amount of $301,000 agreed to
On Finance and Administration
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $20,800 is largely due to increase in salary expenses as a result of wage settlements and position reclassification.
Finance and Administration in the amount of $665,000 agreed to
Administration in the amount of $966,000 agreed to
On Policy and Planning
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is a net decrease of $46,600 and is largely due to the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs contribution agreement funding that was identified for the conservation strategy development of 1987-88, which was not included in this years budget.
Director in the amount of $174,000 agreed to
On Policy Programs
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is an increase here of $31,000 and this is due primarily to, again, personnel costs: wage settlement.
Policy Programs in the amount of $361,000 agreed to
On Strategic Planning
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is an increase of $4,000 due to the wage settlement and allowance for annual increments.
Strategic Planning in the amount of $66,000 agreed to
On Analysis and Development
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is a total increase of $15,500: 5.3 percent annual salary increase and $10,000 for contract services.
Mr. Brewster: I am curious about why most of the increases here are wages, and yet I have not heard any of the other departments singling out each branch like that.
Hon. Mr. Porter: As the Member knows, the public service union did negotiate a contract in this last year, so all departments are affected.
Analysis and Development in the amount of $203,000 agreed to
Policy and Planning in the amount of $804,000 agreed to
On Parks, Resources and Regional Planning
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is a net increase of $5,800. This is, again, due to salary increases.
Director in the amount of $119,000 agreed to
On Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is an increase of $12,100 for the wage settlement and the allowance of the annual increase.
Parks and Outdoor Recreation in the amount of $360,000 agreed to
On Regional Planning
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $13,200 increase is due to wage settlement and allowances for annual increases.
Regional Planning in the amount of $335,000 agreed to
On Development and Operations
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase here is $164,200. This largely due to personnel increase costs, which is $42,000 and $122,000 increase in other costs due to contracting out campground maintenance, a change in method of administration and an increased budget to accommodate increased campsites. The Member is aware that the maintenance and control of campground services were with Fish and Wildlife. We have transferred campground activities out of the hands of Fish and Wildlife and into the Parks, Resources and Regional Planning Branch. That is way we have the $122,000.
Mr. Brewster: You mentioned contracting out campgrounds. Has that been very successful, and how many campgrounds do you have contracted out that way? Does the contract include cleaning and gathering fees and such things?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Last season was our first contract maintenance campground attempt. We were very successful with the one that was arranged for and that was in the Rancheria area. A good reason for the success is that there was an awful lot of season passes bought at the Rancheria campground. We are going to continue with this project. It looks positive, so this year we are going to contract out additional campgrounds. I believe the Yukon River campground at Dawson is one of them.
We attempted to contract the Wolf Creek campground out. We have already received initial bids from Wolf Creek, and they appear to be quite high, so we may hold back on that campground and do it ourselves.
Mr. Brewster: I think the contracting out is a good idea, but I might caution that the one at Rancheria is probably the first one where both roads come into the Yukon; therefore, it is going to have a surplus where some of these others may not have.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes, the Member is correct. That is exactly what we suspect. The increases were phenomenal.
Development and Operations in the amount of $938,000 agreed to
On Yukon Land Use Planning
Hon. Mr. Porter: As I mentioned earlier, this is a new activity. This fund is totally recoverable from the federal government.
Mr. Brewster: I talked with the Minister before about getting municipalities involved. The deputy minister phoned the Haines Junction area. I am a little concerned now about the other areas such as Teslin. Will they have representatives on these land use corridors committees?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The local government in the region that will be affected by planning will be contacted directly for their input. There was a decision made by the Policy Advisory Committee to begin planning in the Kluane area as the first regional area to be exercised under this agreement. We suspect that it will be a couple of years given the experience of the NWT in their planning before the planning for Kluane is concluded.
For the life of this agreement, we will probably only get into planning of one or two areas, but the same principle will apply when we get into another region in the future. Those local governments will be contacted directly for their input.
Mr. Brewster: I am a man with two hats. I do not have a problem with Haines Junction having an input into this, but I do have a problem with the north highway, which includes Destruction Bay, Burwash and Beaver Creek. Maybe they should have a representative as well because Haines Junction only looks after Haines Junction. The people of Destruction Bay, Beaver Creek and Burwash would appreciate those people making decisions for them.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Mr. Van der Veen from Destruction Bay and Mr. Smith in Beaver Creek were contacted by the deputy minister.
Yukon Land Use Planning in the amount of $415,000 agreed to
Parks, Resources and Regional Planning in the amount of $2,167,000 agreed to
On Fish and Wildlife
Mr. Brewster: I asked the Minister about the Aishihik Lake Campground because only Otter Falls is mentioned in the upgrading. Is the Minister confused, because there are two distinct campgrounds?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Otter Falls is a day use area, and the campground at Aishihik is a campground.
Mr. Brewster: I mentioned that because I do not see it anywhere on here, yet we talked about it. The number of trails is seven. Which trails are these besides the Dalton Post Trail?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Before we clear this item, hopefully we will have the names of the trails involved for the Member.
Mr. Phelps: I just wrote a letter to the Minister about the problem with the Tagish day use area, and I do not know if he has received it yet. I am seeking assurances that the letter be looked into and followed up.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have not received a recent letter, but I did receive last years. We acted on that one. I will give the Member a response to his letter as soon as possible.
Mr. Brewster: I just learned another secret. In politics, one has to be a leader to get a quick answer to a letter. I play around here, and I do not get answers for weeks. Then, my leader gets up, and bingo, it is going to be answered right now.
On Fish and Wildlife
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase of $11,000 is for personnel costs.
Director in the amount of $136,000 agreed to
On Small Game Management
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is a $1,000 increase. It is attributed largely to the increase in costs.
Mr. Brewster: I noticed a contract for hauling building logs in for lynx. Are they putting a cabin up to study lynx? Why would that be?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Was that in the contracts information I gave the Member?
Mr. Brewster: No, that was in the big list of contracts. I will ask that as notice. I believe I have that as one of the contracts. I would like to know what they are doing.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We will answer that question for the Member.
Small Game Management in the amount of $624,000 agreed to
On Big Game Management
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase is a total of $76,400, and is largely for merit increments. As well, it is an increase of funds for research and draft background papers on hunter allocation policy and new game management plans for game zones 7 and 9.
Mr. Brewster: I would just like to, again, express my concern at the way we are flying around and collaring all these animals with no provision to take them off. I would like to have it on the record that I am very concerned at what is going on. I hope that, somewhere along the line, the Minister can see that some of this is ceased. I do not mean to necessarily stop the study, as I do not believe in that, but to make them responsible to take these collars off these animals.
Mr. Phillips: Last week, there was an ad in the paper about some public hearings in Whitehorse on Tuesday night. They are talking about establishing a corridor on Ketza Road and another mining road, will this corridor be a corridor that both native and non-native will respect, so there will be no hunting on either side of the road for one kilometre?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Before the Member asks the question, he knows the answer. In this instance, we have the ability to restrict non-aboriginal hunting, but we do not have the ability to restrict aboriginal hunting, because of section 17(3) of the Yukon Act. So, the answer is that it cannot be restricted as it pertains to aboriginal hunters.
Mr. Phillips: What is the governments policy with respect to that after land claims is settled? I understand that under land claims clause 17(3) will be removed. Under the Yukon governments policy their position now is that after it is all over everyone will respect those types of right of ways?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not want to get involved in the land claims issue because we will not get involved in the details, as hard as the Member may press. That is left to the negotiating process to determine to a large extent.
I will say that from the game management perspective we would like clause 17(3) to be exchanged for something else. As the Member knows, and as the critic knows, clause 17(3) conveys to aboriginal people in the Yukon totally unfettered, unrestricted right to hunt in the Yukon. We think that in the negotiating process, if both parties can be reasonable, we can reach an accommodation on wildlife management in the Yukon so maybe in the future clause 17(3) will become history, and through the involvement of aboriginal people directly in wildlife management through the agreement process we hopefully can gain the consent of the aboriginal people of the Yukon to remove that particular section willingly.
Mr. Phillips: The reason I raise the issue is that on the current maps we have out now there is some indication of strip selection. If you, along with the strip selection, expand the policy on corridors along roads not only to these two, but more roads in the future, you alienate an awful lot of land from Yukoners who may otherwise be unable to walk a kilometre. There are some that are not as healthy or agile as the Minister of Renewable Resources, and I am a little concerned with that. I am also concerned that if we put a corridor along a road and then allow strip selection after that, it ends up being quite a distance that anyone has to go to get to an area. I am concerned that we are alienating more land.
I want to know what the governments position is. After land claims is settled is it the governments preference that everyone would respect the corridor. The corridor along the Dempster has worked very well. Would everyone respect that corridor, both native and non-native?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have not been involved in negotiations on that specific question and cannot tell the Member whether or not the corridor idea is one that has been dealt with at the claims table. Generally, on unrestricted access to wildlife resources, we are of the mind that there must be compromise on that question, and there must be a single management process that is integrated and involves all people of the Yukon.
Mr. Phillips: It scares the living daylights out of me for the Minister of Renewable Resources says he does not know what is going on with land claims negotiations.
The Minister must give some direction. If you are going to establish a policy on corridors and highways it certainly is going to affect the overall land claims settlement down the road and that should certainly be up front so people know where we stand on that. I would hope that you have given some kind of direction to the renewable resources people who are talking to the land claims negotiators.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member is obviously attempting to put the land claims question before the House in his debates. The long-standing policies of government in this Legislature that have dealt with the claims issue has been very clear; it is a negotiating process that has clearly defined guidelines, and it is not going to be negotiated in this particular forum. That was the position of the previous government, and that is the position that is adhered to by the government that is in office today. I am sorry that the Member may want to engage in a debate, but that will be resisted.
Mr. Phillips: I hope the Minister is not telling me I cannot bring these concerns to the House. I have a lot of constituents out there who are extremely concerned about what is happening. I am not asking to negotiate here. I am asking the Minister if he gave his people who talk to the land claims negotiators some direction with respect to where you are going, so that can flow with what they are negotiating at the table, so you are not working apart from each other.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The general response I have given to the Member is the same response I will give on the repeated question.
Mr. Lang: I did not intend to get up in this debate, but I think it is important to register a couple of observations. First of all, we are elected, so I guess we just get a dark room like a mushroom, and you just feed us once a day. Is that the idea?
These are very important questions with respect to what is taking place. Various principles had been accepted and agreed to in 1984. Slowly, as information is being spooned out to the public, we find out the various constraints and principles that were agreed to at that time are not being followed. As a Yukoner who represents an area of Whitehorse and the Yukon, and has a family here, I want to say, on behalf of a lot of people in my riding, that they are beginning to express more and more concern about where this government stands. Because a question is raised in this House, we get one of two rebuttals. One is that we cannot discuss it because it is at the table, and the other is You are a redneck or a bigot, instead of talking about the issue at hand.
If the government continues in that direction, it is going to fall on their necks and be their responsibility when she all comes to a halt. I have to agree with my colleague, the MLA for Faro, and the perspective of the Liberal Party in the last Yukon News with respect to ignoring people and ignoring very obvious and legitimate questions being raised.
I have a concern that has been raised by the people in my riding. You may discount them because they do not happen to be on a grant, they do not happen to be on the dole with the government, or do not happen to be a political hack, but they are people who pay taxes and happen to have made a long-term commitment to this territory, own their own homes and pay for this government to operate. They are very concerned about the suggestion by the government that, prior to a land claims agreement coming out and people knowing what the terms and conditions are, setting up the strip development, or strips of land along these highways, which effectively says that, because I do not happen to be of a certain ancestry, I cannot hunt there but somebody else can.
I think it is safe to say the Minister of Renewable Resources could, but I cannot. To me, that is unfair. I want to register my concern at bringing in this kind of regulation until we know the final outcome for the purpose of managing our wildlife. When you have a situation where 25 percent, if not more, of the people in this particular case do not have to abide by the general laws of application, then you is breed social discontent.
I want to register my concern as the MLA for Porter Creek East that, when those regulations come before Cabinet for the purposes of being put into effect this coming year, these comments be taken into account.
Mr. Phillips: Just a brief comment on that: the reason that I raised the issue is that the Ministers department itself has just released a report that says that about 75 percent of the hunting in the territory is done along our highways. The Minister would agree with that report. What I am saying is that if you are starting to adopt a policy of corridors on all Yukon roads, you are going to start alienating that area from 75 percent of the Yukon public that likes to hunt and fish and get out into the outdoors on the weekend.
Some of them cannot fly to remote lakes like the Minister may be able to do, or someone else may be able to do. I understand that there are some areas where maybe we should look at that type of corridor management; I am not disputing that. I am just saying that these people are going to be awfully upset if they find out that this is turning into another private hunting reserve for other people, and that they are required to respect laws, while others are not.
What direction did the government give its land claims people and what direction did it give to its officials who went to the land claims table? Did it have a set policy or is it developing these types of regulations without talking to the lands claims people at all?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The regulations that are before the Wildlife Management Committee were developed by the department for consideration by that board. The board has chosen to hold a public review of those proposed regulations. Once they have completed that review, they will then, in turn, make their recommendations to my office. At that point I will take the recommendations to Cabinet.
On the Casino Trail, there was concern over the idea of introducing a corridor concept management, because when we went into that area, we found some of the lowest density of moose in the Yukon, due to activities of the various sectors of the our economy that promote road construction in areas that were previously inaccessible except by aircraft. This does cause new problems for wildlife management. Once you open up a road, it does not make any difference as to how we perceive it. The reality is that those roads are used by people, and most often they attract people who want to hunt. Once that occurs, the game populations are eventually affected. The Casino Trail situation was a clear indication that the moose numbers were down and that some measures should be put into place to effect a rebuilding of the population.
Regarding the proposed Ketza Mine development, the road into the mine is quite some distance, and there is a local sheep population in that area that is going to be easily accessible now with that road. You can drive with a two-wheel vehicle quite comfortably on that roadway so tremendous access is being opened up to the public. The regulations that are proposed by the management committee are attempting to address that particular problem. The Cabinet will make a decision once the public has had an opportunity to make their views known to the committee.
Mr. McLachlan: Is this the line item under which the money will be appropriated to study the migration patterns of the stone sheep at Faro in relation to the mine haul road?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The project that the Member is referring to does fall under this vote.
Mr. McLachlan: Is that study budgeted for in the 1988-89 fiscal year?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Yes. We are hoping to conduct the study in this fiscal year.
Mr. McLachlan: How much money is budgeted in the current year for that study?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The amount is $14,000, but I will double check that number.
Mr. McLachlan: In the event that a hazard is posed to the sheep by mine haul trucks, and there is no regular pattern of protection established as they try to cross the road when the trucks are hauling, what has the department planned to protect the sheep?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The thought behind the project is to allow the sheep population to be able to cross over from their winter to their summer range, and vice versa, without being affected. To a large extent, we have to try and encourage the sheep through construction of a new access to do so without them suffering any casualties.
If we are not successful, there may be instances where sheep are hit and run over by the ore trucks. We cannot develop a contingency plan that would make that impossible.
Mr. McLachlan: Will sheep go through a large culvert in a roadway to keep them off the travelled surface of the road?
Hon. Mr. Porter: In some locations, they have been known to cross through culverts.
Mr. McLachlan: Is sheep hunting banned on the Blind Creek Road because of this study, or is there a different reason for that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is a very similar situation to what we described at Ketza Road and Casino Trail. There is completely open access to those sheep.
Big Game Management in the amount of $961,000 agreed to
On Habitat Management and Research
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is an increase of $41.700, which is due primarily to increased personnel costs, costs for annual increments, and positions in the department that were vacant for sometime in 1987-88.
Habitat Management and Research in the amount of $508,000 agreed to
On Field Services
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is a net increase of $22,000. Again this is for wage settlement and adjustment.
Mr. Brewster: I had campaigned a year ago to have the poor conservation officers work on weekends, and I think I proved my point. Charges went up by 71 percent. How about putting this right through the Yukon, now?
Hon. Mr. Porter: It is our policy to encourage conservation officers to work weekends and to stagger the shifts in all areas of the Yukon so they are available.
Mr. Brewster: Was this done last year or is this just a new policy?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We started it last year.
Mr. Brewster: Were the other areas as successful as Haines Junction or are we in a bad area of the Yukon?
Hon. Mr. Porter: Generally, the statistics are the same across the Yukon, but if the Member would like we can look specifically.
Mr. Brewster: Just for curiosity. If it is just my people who are bad we are going to have to do something about them.
Field Services in the amount of $1,148,000 agreed to
On Wildlife Habitat Canada
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase under Wildlife Habitat Canada is $93,200. This is due to the fact that the program was not implemented last year as early as we wanted. We were delayed in the implementation of the program and we are going to carry that program forward to this year.
Mr. Brewster: Is that a new program then? Could I get some more information on some of the terms and guidelines in the near future? There is quite a lot of money being spent there and I am not too familiar with the program.
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is a new program in conjunction with Wildlife Habitat Canada and the purpose is to map key and sensitive wildlife areas throughout the Yukon. What we would undertake to do is a cost recoverable program with Wildlife Habitat Canada. I will send a letter to the Member detailing the scope of the program and the expense break down.
Mr. Brewster: As I understand it, we recover most of that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member is correct. We recover most of the funds.
Wildlife Habitat Canada in the amount of $209,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: I have a few questions on the statistics. I noticed for the first time we have polar bear in there. I know our quota used to be two, which we used to give to the Northwest Territories. Why, all of a sudden, do we have polar bear in there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is the result of an international agreement reached between Canada and the United States affecting the northern part of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska.
Mr. Brewster: I realize that, but, as I understood the situation, our quota was two polar bear. As we did not use these, we gave this quota to the Northwest Territories. I have never seen the polar bear in there until now. Does that mean we have taken the quota back, which I strongly wanted when I was there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: No, we have not taken those quotas away. Those quotas continue to exist and are used by the Inuvialuit of the western Arctic.
Mr. Brewster: In time, suppose the Old Crow people decided they would like to get into trophy hunting for our two quotas. Would we get some back from the Northwest Territories? I do not like giving things away unless I know it is going to stop one of these days and come back to us. After awhile, people claim things. They forget they did not belong to them to start with.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have not discussed this particular idea with the people of Old Crow, but the Member can appreciate there has already been a final agreement regarding the Inuvialuit of the western Arctic, which covers the North Slope of the Yukon. If we were going to do anything that affects that agreement, we have to receive the consent of the Inuvialuit on that question.
Mr. Brewster: As I understand it, they come into the Yukon to get those two bear, but they only take the two. Is this correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We do not know if that quota is still two, but we will check on that.
Mr. Brewster: I am concerned because, say, the Northwest Territories quota was eight and we had two. If they decide that, as they have our quota, they can come over here and take more than the two and deplete ours and leave theirs alone for future years. I would be rather concerned with this. I realize polar bear do not stay in one area for very long, but they do den in certain place, and I believe they do come back to try and den in much the same area. The females would probably try to come back.
Hon. Mr. Porter: Apparently, in terms of the biology of polar bear, the denning sites they establish are ones they usually come back to.
Mr. Brewster: I notice that the number of traplines have dropped by three. We now have 377, and last year we had 380. What happened to those three traplines?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The speculated answer is that there was some grouping of traplines where some smaller traplines were grouped with larger ones. I will double check on that.
Mr. Brewster: There is also a musk-ox mentioned here. Is there more than one running around up there? Did he have some girlfriends come in there?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There has been a recent phenomena of musk-ox that were Alaskan residents migrating into the north slope of the Yukon. The highest count of musk-ox seen in the north Yukon was 23. Some of them were wearing the collars that were put on by the Alaskans. We hope that they like the Yukon and that they stay.
Mr. Brewster: I presume that this just happened in the last two or three years. They were not there five years ago.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Member is correct. This has happened over the years. Initially the sightings were one or two, but the high was a couple of years ago.
Fish and Wildlife in the amount of $3,586,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: Under Director, the increase for this year is $15,700. This is due to personnel costs and an allowance for merit increases. Last year, the Directors position was vacant for some time.
Mr. Brewster: I am very pleased that we have a permanent director, and I really hope that he is tough and a little bit mean. I hope that he can handle himself with the biologists and get some of that money for agriculture that is being spent.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I have had the opportunity to meet with our new Director of Agriculture on several occasions. In my mind, he more than handles himself.
Director in the amount of $163,000 agreed to
On Program Services
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is an increase of $24,000 due to additional funding provided for assistance in the grazing lease evaluation.
Mr. Brewster: I am very pleased that there is a 44 percent increase. I would be much happier if it was 144 percent. However, we have to take little steps at a time.
Program Services in the amount of $79,000 agreed to
On Demonstration and Research
Hon. Mr. Porter: There is a decrease here of $13,900. There is an expected decrease in travel costs and program materials. This year our travel costs will be less than the previous year.
Mr. Brewster: Does that mean travel costs for within the Yukon or outside the Yukon?
Hon. Mr. Porter: This is for travel conducted in the Yukon. We had field testing plots in various locations throughout the Yukon that required constant travel.
Mr. Brewster: I was excited by the 43 percent increase. Now I find out that I have lost 22 percent of it already. I am not very pleased with research being decreased, because there is a lot of research that has to be done in the Yukon. When you look at the little figure of $52,000, when the other figures are up in the hundreds of thousands, I wonder if that gentleman up there is being tough enough, because he certainly lost on that battle.
Demonstration and Research in the amount of $52,000 agreed to
Agriculture in the amount of $294,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: Under the COPE line item there is a net increase of $84,6000 and this is due largely to implementation delays that we experienced last year in the responsibilities of COPE.
On Policy and Planning
Policy and Planning in the amount of $294,000 agreed to
On Parks and Resources
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase of $32,700 is due primarily to the fact that the fact that the park was not operated during the entire 1987-88 season.
Parks and Resources in the amount of $251,000 agreed to
On Fish and Wildlife
Hon. Mr. Porter: The increase under this particular vote is $30,700 and is due largely to the transfer of the biologist position from Policy and Planning.
Fish and Wildlife in the amount of $212,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: I noticed we have increased the number of personnel that we have. We have four now. Are these four stationed out of Inuvik, or where are they stationed?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have taken a position that was in the Capital Budget of our department and moved it to Operation and Maintenance for the park ranger position. The park ranger II position is located in the Yukon, and I believe the other park rangers are located in the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Brewster: Where is the warden in the Yukon stationed: Old Crow?
Hon. Mr. Porter: During the winter months the individual is stationed in Whitehorse and during the summer months the individual goes directly to the island.
COPE in the total amount of $757,000
On Revenues and Recoveries
Mr. Brewster: I noticed that Safari Club International did not donate money to the government for this coming year.
Hon. Mr. Porter: We have not received any indication from them that they will be funding us this year. The $5,000 that they provided last year was for assistance in the bison project.
Mr. Brewster: Do you apply for these funds, as you do for the funds from the Foundation of North American Wild Sheep?
Hon. Mr. Porter: We are not sure of the detail as to whether or not an application has been put before the Safari Club for wildlife work. We will check on that particular question.
On Grants and Contributions
Hon. Mr. Porter: The two grants received for the Fur Institute of Canada and for Indigenous Survival International are to continue the anti-trapping fight. The Porcupine Caribou Herd Management Board funds have been increased, and it is part of our responsibilities under the agreement reached among ourselves, Canada and the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Brewster: There is just one question I should ask on that. I noticed in the list of contracts where you contracted to fly that management board around. Does the department pay for that or does it come from the federal government?
Hon. Mr. Porter: What happens is that the three sponsoring governments contribute an equal amount of money to the board. The board then sets its agenda and disburses the funds.
Mr. Brewster: The contract for that airplane to fly the management board is with the territorial government so you must have paid for it or contracted to. Do you get that money back?
Hon. Mr. Porter: On travel last year the funds were accounted for in the department. When there was a request for travel by the board they would approach the department, make the request, and the department would fund the board. In this instance, we think it is a better system where we simply fund the board directly for travel costs as well up front and the board then makes the decision as to how it spends that money.
Mr. Brewster: I take it that what you did was contract it out then charge that to the other two partners, in other words the Northwest Territories and Alaska. This year you are giving them a lump sum and they will be doing their own contract flying, is this correct?
Hon. Mr. Porter: That is correct. The three jurisdictions would all contribute equally to the function of the board, and the board will decide how the money is spent, in conjunction with the secretariat.
Renewable Resources in the amount of $8,574,000 agreed to
On Department of Tourism
Hon. Mr. Porter: If we can, may we have a brief recess so I can get my material? I would appreciate it.
Chairman: We will recess for five minutes.
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Department of Tourism, general debate.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The budget for the Department of Tourism has been increased this year by 10 percent, or $342,000, over the 1987-88 forecast level. Briefly outlining the changes in the Operation and Maintenance Budget, the administration program will increase by a net total of $20,000, representing a five percent increase over the 1987-88 forecast levels. Personnel costs will increase by $76,000 by filling positions that were vacant in 1987-88 and a couple of merit increases and salary adjustments for 1988-89. This gross increase of $76,000 is partially offset by a decrease of $56,000 in other costs, and funds will not be required for outside recruitment, and contract services have been reduced.
The Heritage Program will increase by a net total of $72,000, representing a 16 percent increase over 1987-88 forecast levels. Personnel costs will increase by $68,000 as a result of merit increases, salary settlements and recruitment of a conservator for the museums activity, which is recoverable from the National Museum of Canada. An increase of $15,000 in transfer payments will provide additional funding for the Yukon Historical and Museums Association and the historic sites program. This gross increase of $83,000 is partially offset by a decrease of $11,000 in other costs as a result of reduced travel.
The development program will increase by a net total of $70,000, representing a 22 percent increase over 1987-88 forecast levels. The special events program, formerly in capital, has now been transferred to operation and maintenance. When that program was originally established, the program had a primary focus on capital expenditures but, over the last three years, it has become evident that the expenditures have largely become operation and maintenance. In recognition of this shift and the need to continue to provide the support to special events, the transfer to operation and maintenance of a total of $70,000 has been made. While there is an additional $6,000 increase in the Development Branch for personnel costs, this has been offset by a reduction of $6,000 in contract services.
The marketing program will increase by a net total of $180,000, representing a nine percent increase over 1987-88 forecast levels. Personnel costs will increase by $116,000 for merit increases and salary settlements, and for the new auxiliary position of marketing technician. Other costs will have a net increase of $84,000. The break down is $80,000 for the Canada West Consortium and our contribution to a joint marketing program with Alaska; $25,000 for familiarization of tourists and promotional items; $17,000 for contract services for the marketing advisor to the Yukon Tourism Marketing Council, which is 100 percent recoverable from the Tourism Subagreement; and $7,000 for incidental changes.
The increases total $129,000, and other costs have been partially offset by two reductions. The first of these is for $30,000 in not reproducing the Japanese language brochure and by effecting efficiencies in our tourism literature program. The second reduction has been made in postage and freight, totalling $15,000. Transfer payments have been reduced by $20,000, for the reduction of the contribution payment to the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon for the cooperative convention promotion program. This is in line with the terms of our four year agreement with the industry association, and there has been no change in the 25 permanent and term person years for the department between 1987-88 and 1988-89.
Auxiliary positions in the department total 26, of which 24 are for seasonal staffing of the visitor reception centres, one on-call secretary and one on-call marketing technician referred to earlier.
Mr. Lang: What is the government doing to encourage and enhance Indian peoples participation in the tourism industry? Specifically, I mean historical, cultural or traditional activities. They can reap financial rewards from such endeavours as well as promote the Yukon tourism industry. Hopefully, it will create more interest and more activities for people who stay here.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I am interpreting the Member as inquiring about encouraging aboriginal people to participate in tourism. A tourism native adviser has been hired over the last year through the subagreement to work with both Tourism Yukon and the tourism industry generally. That position has been accessed by CYI tourism office. The Tourism Industry Association, last year, made some changes to their constitution. They called for the participation of aboriginal people to sit on the board of directors, and there has been representation made. At the annual meeting, the vice-chair of CYI economic development was present at last years annual meeting and indicated support for those changes.
One of the key things that is necessary is to encourage aboriginal entrepreneurs to access the tourism programs. I do not have specific figures, but it is safe to say that of most of the money that we have spend in the tourism development industry in the Yukon, very few of that money has been accessed by aboriginal entrepreneurs or organizations. We hope that, with the hiring of a native tourism coordinator, that this individual will travel to many Yukon communities and inform them of the availability of these programs in government as well as the one that we cost share with Canada. Hopefully, then there will be more of an uptake in the future on application to those programs.
Two years ago, in the heritage area, we made a decision to hire a native heritage adviser in the Heritage Branch. That is working well in that that person can liaise with bands throughout the Yukon. Their input on heritage matters can now come forwards.
Some bands have applied to LEOP. The Dawson band is looking at developing the Moosehide project, and they have been successful in the last couple of years in receiving funding from LEOP. They have indicated that they would be interested in taking into account, long-term tourism historic cultural goals. I have met with the Parks Canada person in Dawson and encouraged that development. In many areas, there has been significant improvement in Tourism.
Mr. Lang: The Minister indicated that he will be going to Dawson this weekend. Who will be going to Dawson this weekend on behalf of the government?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The government will be represented in Dawson City this weekend by the Government Leader. I was asked to speak to the organization on Saturday, but because of personal physical problems, I decided to stay home. The Member for Dawson has kindly agreed to give my speech for me.
Mr. Lang: I want to say that I am pleased to see the money being maintained in the area of marketing. I think that it is a key area for the Department of Tourism.
I noticed that we spent $33,000 to send people over to Japan last year. A good portion of that was paid for the translation and the production of a brochure. I seems strange to pay all that money and then not go ahead with further brochures, this year, to try to encourage the Japanese market. My question is: why are we discontinuing that?
Hon. Mr. Porter: The $16,000 that we spent on producing the brochure for the Japanese market paid for a two year supply, so, in fact, for this coming tourism year we have enough brochures to meet the demand.
Mr. Lang: I also noticed in the information provided that there is a two percent decrease in the number of international travellers to the Yukon. I always view these statistics with a great deal of reservation, but at the same time, it gives us a guideline to follow.
Could the Minister tell us why there was such a decrease?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I do not have a specific answer for that decrease. Regarding the statistics as they relate to the numbers, for the most part we are relying upon data that was produced in 1982 as result of the exit survey that was done that year. Over the years there have been guesstimates made that utilize border crossings, provided by the federal government through the operation of the customs system. We undertook last year to try to bring those numbers into greater focus and undertook an exit survey. That was done, and once we have compiled the data for the exit survey, the numbers will become more clear.
The VRC statistics that we had available for 1987 in fact showed an increase in overseas travel. The VRC registration statistics last year showed nine percent from outside of North America, and that was in 1986. In 1987 that percentage increased to 10 percent.
Mr. McLachlan: I have a story from the Whitehorse Star about Japan Airlines and Canadian Pacific Airlines having their entire flights booked between Tokyo and Vancouver, Vancouver and Tokyo. Nobody has any excess capacity or excess aircraft. We figure there is a very high number like 180,000 tourists into Canada from Japan, a third who come into western Canada, a third into eastern Canada, and a third into Canada from the US.
Considering the expenditure of $33,000 last year, and the goodwill trip and the trade we do between the Yukon and Japan, it would be nice to know what sort of return we get from Japanese tourists in the territory. Do we have any way of monitoring those figures, or their spending levels? I think the newspaper details that Japanese tourists for 12 days spend $7,300 Canadian dollars in this country.
Hon. Mr. Porter: The Japanese market last year did materialize in the Yukon. There was an individual private operator who brought in Japanese tourists. As well, the individual who represented the private sector on the trade mission last year has booked 38 groups of tourists to come into the Yukon for this particular season.
Mr. McLachlan: How large of a group is that? How many people are in each group?
Hon. Mr. Porter: There are six groups of six people each, and 38 groups of 10 people, and the total expected revenue is $400,000.
Hon. Mr. Porter: In view of the time, I move that the Chairman report progress on Bill No. 50.
Some Hon. Members: Agreed
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Some Hon. Members: Agreed
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. May the House have the report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Mr. Webster: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 50, Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89, and directed me to report progress on same.
Speaker: Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
Hon. Mr. Porter:I move that the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. Monday next.
The House adjourned at 5:29 p.m.
The following Legislative Returns were tabled May 12, 1988:
Capacity and occupancy of open custody homes at 501 Taylor Street and 5030 - 5th Avenue (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, p. 466
Printing of Green Paper on Child Care (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, p. 467
Employable social assistance clients (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, pp. 470 and 472
Medical Travel Charter Trips (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, p. 472
Graduates of social service course hired by Department of Health and Human Resources (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, p. 478
(1) Chronic Disease Program; (2) Macaulay Lodge (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, pp. 463 to 470