Wednesday, May 18, 1988 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will 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. Mr. Penikett: I would like to table some documents including legislative returns, most notably though, a copy of the Study on Youth Unemployment requested by the Member for Porter Creek East some time ago.
Introduction of Bills?
Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Notices of Motion?
Statements by Ministers?
This then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Land claims/selection maps
Mr. Phelps: I have some questions regarding the land claims process. I would like to know if any 1988 selection maps for any of the bands other than Teslin have gone in and an Order-in-Council passed freezing the new lands. I am specifically talking about the Kluane selection.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes. Two minutes before I came down to the House today, I had a glance at a Kluane selection, being an interim protection map for Kluane referred to by the Member.
Mr. Phelps: We have been advised that apparently the land claims negotiator did not want to make those maps public for a week. Was that because they were waiting for the Legislature to stand down?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As far as I know, I just received my copy of the Kluane map minutes ago. I would have no hesitation, if the Leader of the Official Opposition is interested in seeing it, in showing it to him.
Mr. Phelps: When will the maps be made public through the offices of Indian Affairs and Northern Development?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not have that information. I was, just a minute ago, shown the map of the Kluane selection myself. I do not know, but I will take as notice the question of when the map will be formally made public by the federal department.
Question re: Land claims/selection maps
Mr. Phelps: Does that then mean that the Order-in-Council withdrawing those lands has gone through Ottawa?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The fact that I have received the map means that, yes.
Mr. Phelps: Is there any indication of when the Champagne Aishihik maps will be withdrawn by Order-in-Council?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I apologize, but I do not have that precise information. Again, I will have to take the question as notice and communicate it directly to the Opposition.
Mr. Phelps: Can the Government Leader advise us whether or not his negotiators have received copies of the map showing the overlapping claims of any of the groups that reside outside of Yukon but are claiming lands within?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not if the negotiators have seen maps yet, but they are in Ottawa at this moment and may have, by this moment. I have had a conversation with the Government Leader of the Northwest Territories, who indicated to me they were at the point of agreement in the Northwest Territories. I, in turn, asked for a briefing on the particulars by officials in his office, by people in my office, which has not yet taken place. Very recently, subject to, of course, the House rising, I have received information that a meeting has been arranged for next week between myself and the federal minister, Mr. McKnight, on this very question.
Question re: Land claims/selection maps
Mr. Phelps: I am very hopeful that no land selections have taken place in that agreement in principle within Yukon - the Dene agreement in principle - without full participation by this government. Can the Government Leader assure us of that?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Given some of the difficulties that we have had around land selections in the Yukon, naturally we would be - to use the Opposition Leaders words - shocked and appalled to find that the federal government had consented to any such arrangement about the Yukon without our knowledge and consent.
Mr. Phelps: Does the report that we get about the Kaska Dena and the Kaska people within Yukon amalgamating - including Ross River Band, Liard Band, and Lower Post Band - spell out any changes with regard to the manner in which the claim of the BC resident band will be handled at the negotiating table?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: For reasons the Leader of the Opposition will understand, I do not want to rely totally on news reports about this arrangement. I am hoping that tomorrow our negotiator, or someone from the negotiating team, will be in a position to brief me on exactly what is involved here. At this point, however, I cannot, with authority, speak to the particulars of that agreement.
Mr. Phelps: My final question, since it looks like we are getting very close to the end of this Session, is: will the Government Leader undertake to provide the Members of the House with copies of maps of overlapping claims that may come into the possession of his negotiating team, whenever they come into his possession, as it will be impossible to table those maps in the House?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes, but I want to make sure that I am clear about the question. The Member is asking about interim protection maps, which become public as soon as the federal government Order-in-Council goes through. I assume that I can satisfy their need on that score by simply asking the federal government to make them available to Members of this House, rather than having them necessarily come through us.
The other maps for which there is a question on notice is the overlap maps. Again, as they become available to me as public documents, I will certainly make them available to Members of the House, even if we are not sitting.
Question re: Land claims/selection maps
Mr. Phelps: Just for clarification, those maps would show the actual claim of the overlapping group, whether it be the Atlin Tlingit or the Kaska or whatever. We have a map showing the claim in court of the Kaska Dena people of the Lower Post area. I am not looking for the Order-in-Council withdrawing the maps or anything else, it is just their claim within Yukon.
Question re: Northwestel
Mr. McLachlan: Has this government by now submitted a bid on the Northwestel sale, either by itself or in conjunction with another party?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. For reasons I was indicating the other night in the House, the final arrangements toward an agreement on a consortium have not been finally made. I will have to repeat my undertaking to provide a briefing to the Opposition critics or leaders at the time of the bid, if a decision is made to make one in which we are a part.
Members will no doubt know from news reports today that McLeod Young Weir, who are handling the sale, have extended the deadline for the first round bids until May 24. I do not know whether that is in consideration of a number of potential bidders having made a request, or whether it is as a result of McLeod Young Weir needing the time to put the arrangements together. That is a public announcement out of that companys offices.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the Government Leader prepared to say who the other group is that this government is prepared to enter a bid with? Can he identify who the party or parties are?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot. I have raised this question with the other potential participants. Until they finally sign on the dotted line and agree to participate or not, they have reiterated it is their wish not to be identified, save and except the fact that is public knowledge that the consortium Mr. Hougen had originally tried to organize, and with which we have been participating, has potentially the kind of membership we originally discussed in this House.
I say potentially because, until such time as all the parties to the consortium formalize their commitment, I am not in a position to make announcements on their behalf.
Mr. McLachlan: Is the Government Leader at least prepared to identify whether it is a private sector group or a non-private sector group?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It is public knowledge that the group Mr. Hougen was originally forming was, in its leadership and its major components, a private sector group.
Question re: Northwestel
Mr. Nordling: On the same topic, I am a little worried in that today was originally scheduled to be the last date for bidding, and the Minister is standing up and telling us the single northern consortium he was looking for has not been achieved yet. Has the bid been prepared, waiting for the consortium to be formed, or will we have to prepare a bid after the consortium is formed?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. The work toward preparing a bid is going on and some of the players in the consortium have retained agents in for the preparation of the bid. As the Member will understand the particulars of that bid and the participation of each of the players will have to be satisfactory to all the participants. Until such time as they have formally agreed to those particulars there cannot be an announcement about their participation.
The short answer is that the necessary work toward the preparation of a bid has been going on for some time.
Mr. Nordling: I think the short answer is that if the time limit had not been extended by a week the northern consortium would not be bidding on it.
Will this government pull out of the northern consortium if it is to be made up of groups including southern telephone companies that the Minister was so worried about several months ago?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Two things. I am certainly a person who recognizes some validity to the first of Parkinsons laws, which is in some sense the work that was expanse to fill the time available to do it and whatever the deadlines were would have been met. The second point is - and I am sure the Member would not want to misquote me - my concern about the structure of the original potential consortium led by Mr. Hougen was twofold: one, the domination by southern interests, and, two, the potential involvement by a southern government-owned company to a larger extent than by northern public governments. Those concerns exist and have coloured our attitude in the discussions about this matter.
Mr. Nordling: I am worried that this government will get Yukoners into a commitment that has not been well thought out. I would like to know from the Government Leader how committed we are to participating in the northern consortium? Are we waiting for others to join us, or are we one of the parties that may or may not join the consortium?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: We are not a wallflower. We are one of the people organizing the dance.
Question re: Workers Compensation Board/office building
Mr. Phillips: Yesterday the Member for Faro asked a question of the Minister of Justice regarding the purchase of lots in Whitehorse by the Workers Compensation Board. The Minister said he would confirm it.
How many lots have the Workers Compensation Board purchased in Whitehorse in the last six months?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I thank the Member for the question because it gives me an opportunity to come back on this issue.
The Workers Compensation Board, as previously announced through the Question Period, are contemplating building a building and doing a feasibility study. They purchased two lots in order to place that building. They were lots 303 and 305 on Strickland Street.
It was determined that those locks would not accommodate the building. They subsequently bought four lots in a row for which the municipal address is 401, 403, 405 and 407 Strickland. Their intent is to sell 303 and 305 Strickland.
Mr. Phillips: Has the Workers Compensation Board decided to build a building on these four new lots?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, not formally, although the feasibility plans that involve the planning for the site are now underway. The target date for the decision to either build or not build is June 20.
Mr. Phillips: Could the Minister confirm that it is the intention of the Workers Compensation Board that funds to build this facility will be taken from the Workers Compensation Board fund and repayed at a lower interest rate than if they invested in the open market?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No. I cannot confirm that at all. The policy guideline of the Workers Compensation Board, which will govern the decision that they make, is the opposite. They will only make a decision to go ahead if it is cost effective, if it is in the best interests of workers especially and the Workers Compensation Board fund.
Question re Workers Compensation Board/office building:
Mr. Phelps: These questions and answers caught my curiosity. We have a situation where two lots, side by side, are not big enough to house the building that is being studied for its feasibility. Is there any truth to the rumor that the building that is being studied would be some four stories high?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I have never heard such a rumor. I am sure that the feasibility study that is being done will present various options. That is the extent of anyones information at this time. We will not know the decision to either build or not to build - or if it is to build, what size of building - until after the completion of that study.
Mr. Phelps: Does the government not have some concerns that we have an institution of the government that is there to act largely as trustee of funds from the private sector and is now going to use those funds to go into competition with certain sectors of the private sector that it undertakes those trust responsibilities for.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The question is grossly unfair. The Workers Compensation Board fund stands at something in excess of $50 million. The consulting actuaries have said that it is responsible and prudent to invest a portion of that money, up to about seven or eight percent of it, here in the Yukon. It is in the interests of both the workers of the Yukon and the private sector generally to have funds invested here, if it is absolutely safe to do so, and if it is cost effective.
That question about the cost effectiveness is specifically being studied and is a crucial factor in arriving at the decision.
Mr. Phelps: The sad thing about this is that the Ministers answer is what is extremely and grossly unfair. I asked him whether or not the government, in principle, was concerned about the fact that here we have an institution using what is in effect money held in trust for certain business, to go into competition with those very businesses. He did not answer that question.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, I did. The money is being held in trust for the workers of the Yukon, and specifically, for the potentially injured workers. It is the duty of the members of the board to invest that money in such a way that it is protected with the maximum of guarantees to protect the fund. It is appropriate that they look at the cost effectiveness of their operating costs and the return on their various investments. That is exactly what they are doing.
Question re: Workers Compensation Board/office building
Mr. Phelps: An extremely left wing, socialistic and myopic answer, from an extremely left wing, socialistic and myopic Minister, if I may say so.
Is the Minister standing in this House and saying that the companies that contribute to this fund have no interest whatsoever in the balance of the fund?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The fund is trust monies, and the purpose of that fund is to be a guarantee in the form of insurance, to protect people who are potentially injured and who are in fact injured on the job. It is only prudent and wise to invest that money in such a manner as we get the best return possible, without putting the fund at risk. That is exactly what the board has always done and is now doing.
Mr. Phelps: We take it then, given that the investments are safe and the rate of return is there, that it does not matter what kind of competitive practices the Yukon Workers Compensation Board gets into in the Yukon against businesses which are forced to fund it. Is that the position of the Minister?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, that is not the position at all. Presently, the board invests in power companies in the Maritimes, in the bond market in the United States, at a rate of return that is lower that they would get here if the feasibility study agrees, as we suspect that it will. It is prudent for the Yukon Workers Compensation Board to obtain the best return possible, and it is sensible to invest in the Yukon, as well as everywhere else that they now invest
Mr. Phelps: The Minister does not want to answer the question because the position that he is advocating is very simple. He is advocating that the Workers Compensation Board go into competition, where prudent, against businesses here that are compelled to make payments to that very same Workers Compensation Board. That is the situation, surely, when it invests in an office building and is going to have offices for rent in the City of Whitehorse. Would the Minister simply agree that it does not matter one damn to this government whether or not that organization enters into competition with businesses that are paying the shot, so long as the investment is prudent?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The question is attempting to raise the prospect of competition. The owning of an office building is not a business that the Workers Compensation Board is benefiting from or holding trust monies for or in competition with in any way, shape or form. It is only sensible that that fund obtain their office space in the most cost-effective way possible.
If the Member opposite is suggesting they must rent, even if it is to the detriment of the fund, then there we disagree.
Question re: Workers Compensation Board/office building
Mr. Phelps: I know that, because of his radical views, the Minister does not like to be put on the spot and forced to tell the government or the people of the Yukon where he really stands on any issue. We understand that, and I am sure the vast majority of Yukon residents understand that.
Here we have a small office known as the Workers Compensation Board that wants to build an office building. Two city lots, side by side, are not big enough for it. It needs four lots side by side in the City of Whitehorse. That means to me that we are looking at a huge facility that will be in competition with other private enterprise in the city, because it does not make sense that the Workers Compensation needs four lots for its own needs.
Does the Minister understand the concern?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, I understand very well. The Member opposite has gone back to a question he asked three questions ago about the size of the lots, and I have answered that. I have answered that. That is dependent on a feasibility study, which is expected to be completed June 20.
Mr. Phelps: Can we assume the feasibility study was conducted for the other two lots, and that is the reason they found they were not big enough?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, there is one feasibility study. The feasibility is into the question of what is in the best interests of the Workers Compensation Board fund, what will enhance the fund to the maximum extent for the benefit of the workers of the Yukon and all the businesses who pay premiums.
Question re: Workers Compensation Board/office building
Mr. McLachlan: If the government has eight percent of $50 million to invest, or some percentage of that, would it not be more realistic to invest that money in the purchase of Northwestel, which has a guaranteed rate of return. Even this Minister would have to admit we do not have many possibilities in this city.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The preamble said if the government has eight percent of $50 million to invest. I must correct that because it is absolutely wrong. The government has no money to invest. This is trust monies. It is monies that are in the Workers Compensation Fund and they are not for the government to invest.
The trustees of the fund are the Workers Compensation Board and they have ascertained that it is prudent management or trusteeship of that fund to invest approximately seven or eight percent of it in the Yukon. That is a prospect that all Yukoners should be overjoyed to hear because they now invest in the Maritimes and the New England states. It would be a good idea to invest the capital here.
Mr. McLachlan: Has the idea of using those funds crossed the Ministers mind for investing in the purchase of the assets of Northwestel? That was the original question.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No.
Mr. McLachlan: When the government purchased 303 and 305 Strickland and then decided it was not worthwhile and then purchased four more lots further up the street, is it not true that the owners of the property saw them coming and managed to get even a higher price out of Workers Compensation Board for the four lots?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: No, that is not true.
Question re: Workers Compensation Board/office building
Mr. Phillips: How much did 303 and 305 Strickland cost, and how much did the Workers Compensation Board pay for lots on 401, 403, 405 and 407 Strickland Street?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: It cost us, in the sense of the government, nothing. The purchase price I do not specifically know. I imagine it is a matter of public record at the Land Titles Office, but I will check and return with the amount paid for the various lots.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister has told us today that the Workers Compensation Board has not yet decided whether they are going to build a building. They are going to be doing a feasibility study. If they are investing the money in the best way possible, as the Minister says, they bought four lots, do not need two of them and are going to turn them back, does he consider that the best way to invest the workers money in the territory?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There are two answers to that. The shortest answer is that the feasibility study is not yet done. The decisions are not all made as to whether a building will be built and if it is, what kind. I understand that there is a rapidly rising real estate market in Whitehorse and it is prudent, especially if you are doing a feasibility site study about a site, to secure the access to the site.
Question re: MLA participation in government publications
Mrs. Firth: During the debate on the Public Affairs Bureau, I asked the Minister what the policy was regarding MLAs participating in government publications and advertising. We were speaking specifically of the MLA for Old Crow narrating the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge slide production. At that time the Government Leader said that there was no formal policy. Can he tell us now if there is a formal policy in place regarding MLAs participating in government publications?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Since the Member first raised the question in the House, there has been no occasion for me to turn my attention to that matter at all.
Mrs. Firth: In that case, can the Government Leader tell us why the Minister of Health and Human Resources is doing day care ads on CKRW and CHON-FM radio stations?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Minister does not have to report to me on everything that she does. I do not know why she is doing it. Perhaps the Member could put the question to the responsible Minister and she would be able to explain why she is doing it.
Mrs. Firth: We have been less than successful at getting answers from the Minister of Health and Human Resources. She is here and knows that there is no policy in place.
Will the Government Leader stop the advertising until a policy is put in place to see that some guidelines are being observed?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No.
Question re: Land freeze/Hootalinqua north
Mr. Brewster: The Minister of Community and Transportation Services should be able to answer this question this time. I asked it on May 12, and it concerns the Hootalinqua north land application freeze that was announced on March 3. When will the freeze be lifted? How many of the more than 300 applications have been dealt with?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The freeze was for new applications only. It did not apply to the existing applications. The existing applications are being pursued in the normal course of events. I do not have the figures in front of me as to how many in the Hootalinqua area have been approved. I believe that some have been approved. The freeze was only to address those applications that may be only introduced now. It was not meant to address the applications currently on our books.
Mr. Brewster: I do not how I get answers to questions. The Minister promised that he would be meeting with the Lands Branch people that day and would get back to me. How many agriculture land applications have been received from areas outside the freeze area?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I did not catch the question. Is the Member asking exactly how many applications have been applied for outside the Hootalinqua North area? That really accounts for the rest of the Yukon. I did announce in the Legislature, and I passed around documentation on how many applications were on the books, how many had been approved, how many were shortly to be approved and how many required a transfer. I believe I tabled that in the Legislature.
Mr. Brewster: I will ask one more. Maybe I could get an answer to one out of three questions. That would be a good batting average. When will the freeze in the Hootalinqua area be lifted?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have indicated already that the freeze on new applications will be lifted as soon as the Hootalinqua North Steering Committee puts it recommendations forward to the government.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. Porter: I would request unanimous consent of the House, based on the agreement between the House leaders, not to proceed to Motions Other than Government Motions, and to proceed directly to Government Motions.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
All Hon. Members: Yes.
Speaker: There is unanimous consent.
Motion No. 21
Clerk: Item No. 1, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Penikett.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader
THAT this House approves in principle the Yukon Economic Strategy.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Almost two years ago this government set out to work with Yukoners on the state and the future of this territorys economy. Today, I am pleased to report to the Legislature on that process, Yukon 2000, and I am proud to open debate on this resolution to approve, in principle, the Yukon Economic Strategy.
This strategy is only the most visible result of the Yukon 2000 process. Many have said, and I agree, that much more has been achieved through the Yukon 2000 process than could ever be put between the covers of a report. I said that I am proud to speak to the Yukon Economic Strategy. I am proud because I believe that it is a genuine triumph for a community to put aside its differences and to find common ground. I think that all participants in the Yukon 2000 process will be proud of this strategy, both for what it says and for having been able to sit down with neighbours and learn from each other. As the then president of the Mine Operators Association, Bill Hales, said, at the close of the Dawson City conference, last fall, People come with their positions and their thoughts on how Yukon should be developed, but we all work together without standing on preconceived positions, and people listen to each others viewpoints. I think thats the most useful part of this process.
The Council for Yukon Indians vice-chair for economic development, Albert James, echoed these comments. He said, If I look back 15 years, native people would never have had the chance to sit around a table like this and discuss their own future. I am very pleased that we do have a chance to look at the future, not only for ourselves, but for the Yukon Territory.
This government is aware that not everyone agrees on all the points in the Yukon Economic Strategy, but overall, participants shared their ideas and aspirations and came up with some very important results for the future of this territory. I believe that we have captured the philosophy and the particulars of what Yukoners want for the Yukon in the years leading up to the 21st century. This government is committed to implementing the strategy, and to continuing to give Yukoners a voice on economic policy.
Our goal, right from the start, was a truly Yukon economic strategy. We realized that we could not just sit around Whitehorse and talk to a small circle of people. Major Yukon 2000 meetings were held in various Yukon communities: Faro, Haines Junction, Whitehorse, and Dawson City. I should also state that the federal government, especially Northern Affairs, helped us in the Yukon 2000 process, from the very beginning.
The process really began in June of 1986. The Town of Faro set a high standard in creating an atmosphere that fostered friendly and productive meetings. If anyone had any doubts about the ability of smaller centres in the Yukon to host meetings, Faro put them to rest. Faro set the stage for Yukon 2000. In addition to defining key issues in the economy, delegates at the workshop came up with four broad goals, which I will set out a little later.
They helped the government to sketch a work plan that would, in less than two years, produce a practical and dynamic strategy that it can use now and modify as the need arises.
In the fall of 1986, the number of people involved in the Yukon 2000 greatly expanded. Workshops were held for each sector of our economy, departments in the Yukon government pulled together background information on areas of the economy from transportation to training, from participation of disadvantaged people to the role of business and government in the economic process.
If people were to make informed decisions about the economy, they needed solid information. Also that fall, our staff went to every settlement in the territory to talk to community leaders, business people, Indian bands and ordinary Yukoners about the Yukon 2000 goals. We put a lot of information before Yukoners that fall.
In early November, about 200 people gathered in Whitehorse to review the work to date and to discuss options in the areas of resource allocation, equity in participation and the structure of our economy. The results were positive, and we were encouraged to carry on. Ironically, we were also told to slow down so that people would have a chance to absorb and consider the proposed principles and actions before making final recommendations.
It was one of those rare occasions where a politician is told by the public that he or she is moving too quickly.
During the winter and spring of 1987, staff interviewed members of the community, conducted another round of industry workshops, and held public meetings on the broader issues of infrastructure, science and technology, structural characteristics, the roles of the public and private sectors, and our human, natural and financial resources. Finally, they visited all rural areas for two more rounds of community meetings.
Throughout that time, indeed, right up to the end, we welcomed submissions from the public, either in person or in writing. The community of Haines Junction hosted a unique event in April, 1987. Approximately 40 women from rural and urban areas, from small business, volunteer organizations and from womens groups got together to discuss specific issues related to women in the economy. As at Faro, Haines Junction proved the communities could provide a fertile atmosphere for ideas.
As we neared the end of the public consultation process, the Yukon 2000 team found that youth had been under represented and, in response to the demands of youth, about three dozen young people gathered at Lake Laberge for a two day workshop in June of 1987. They discussed specific economic issues that are common to youth in modern society.
Over the summer of 1987, staff in the Department of Economic Development put together the results of the community and sectoral consultation into a report called The Things That Matter. I think that recognition should be given to those who worked so hard on Yukon 2000 and on producing The Things That Matter under the Yukon Economic Strategy, particularly Shakir Alwarid, deputy minister of Economic Development; Rob McWilliam, Catherine Read, Sandy Sewell and others, all who devoted themselves to the process and made it a reality.
Dawson City, a town well used to hosting large numbers of visitors during the summer months, asked that the final meeting of the Yukon 2000 process be held there. As with Faro and Haines Junction, we were glad to give a boost to the local economy by going to the community. About 130 participants travelled to Dawson City for this conclusory meeting.
The main item of business at the Dawson conference was to come up with ideas on how to carry out a Yukon economic strategy. It was clear that the large number of suggestions set out in The Things That Matter could not be accomplished immediately. The main message from Dawson was that the government had to make some hard choices based on the guidance received from the community and then begin acting on these choices.
The value of bringing people together continued in Dawson City. Jan Langford of the Yukon Status of Women, stated, As a woman, I do not get much opportunity to talk to representatives from business, from the mining community or from the Chambers of Commerce. This has proved a really unique opportunity for us to talk to each other and express our needs, concerns and interests.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce manager, Jack Shore, said, I think the various things that were brought out this weekend have been very helpful. I wish some of my other colleagues had shown up for this. They would have had their eyes opened.
I hope I have made one point clear in presenting this brief overview of the Yukon 2000 process. The government made the effort to consult with Yukoners, and people responded in the hundreds. What was said is significant. I believe any government, not just this government, would be doing Yukoners a disservice if they did not act faithfully on the Yukon economic strategy.
Before I talk about what has come out of this process, I want to quickly review why we needed to go through this process in the first place.
We must never lose sight of the reasons why an economic strategy is needed. In the early 1980s, a frank assessment was made of the Yukon economy. At that time, the Yukon sat on the edge of what was to become a long dark period in the territorys economy.
In a report on our economy, the then Government Leader, Chris Pearson concluded, Yukon has remained an under-developed region of Canada for too long. The reactions to the current economic difficulties taken over the next few months and the level of commitment to finding longer-term solutions could well determine whether Yukon moves in to the mainstream of Canadian economic life or remains lodged in an economic eddy.
Mr. Pearson rightly concluded that the Yukon was too dependent upon a single industry and too much at the mercy of external economic forces. Between 1982 and 1985, Yukoners watched events abroad close our mills, mines and railroads. Mr. Pearsons blank assessment of the territorys future came true. Unemployment soared. Many capable people were forced to leave their community and the territory. I still remember the sad day at Faro in October, 1984, when the then Northern Affairs Minister, David Crombie was met by over 100 school children. They pleaded with him to do something to save their town. The people of the territory were hurting, and Faro came to symbolize the disruption caused by a weak economy.
The pain extended to Carmacks, Watson Lake and Whitehorse. Things were to get worse before they got better. Ironically, the immediate solution to the Yukons economic woes suggested in the Pearson paper, but not implemented, were similar to our action plan when we came into office: to create community-based jobs through direct job creation and create a coordinated approach to the economy. People wanted and needed jobs. That was our first priority. It not only made economic sense but was the decent and right thing to do.
Even after local leaders forged a deal to reopen the Faro mine, and the government allocated funds to strengthen communities with worthwhile projects, we were painfully aware that a bad day on the metals market or cuts in our federal grant could ruin some livelihoods in the Yukon. What was not at all obvious was what we could do to change the situation.
Other issues beyond diversification exist in the Yukon economy today. One has only to review media reports to be aware of that. Over the past three years, we have heard about how soaring housing prices and high construction costs have discouraged builders. We have heard that more research needs to be done in the north to support development. We have heard that working people want accessible, affordable day care. We have heard about a rebirth of interest in Beaufort oil, but we have yet to see the Yukon service sector get is share of the benefits. We have heard many issues raised over land use and land rights.
In October 1987, at the Northern Resources Conference, we heard the Council for Yukon Indians report on the failure of the current boom to improve the prospects for most of the Yukons Indians. Another speaker at that same conference talked about the high cost facing mining companies here and the problems that placer miners have getting capital to move from exploration into production.
The economic issues are here and now. They always will be. There will be new ones all the time. The Yukon people would be lost without some framework, some guiding principles, some response to deal with those situations, without some economic strategies.
I believe that over the last three years Yukoners have done the things that needed to be done to create a positive climate for economic recovery and change. I feel that now is the time, if we want it to be, if we listen to what Yukoners say, for positive aggressive action to build a stronger, more democratic economy.
Some critics, some in the official opposition, have argued that we did not have a consensus. Not everyone agrees, they said. They mentioned, for example, that there was a lack of consensus over land use planning or giving equal economic opportunity through what has been called affirmative action. Yes that is true. Not everyone agrees with everything in the strategy. I think it is fair to say that there was more agreement, much more agreement, than disagreement, especially on the major economic questions that the Yukon 2000 process posed.
As the Yukon Economic Strategy states, we have agreed on some things and disagreed on others as is inevitable among strong-willed people.
What the Yukon 2000 process has done, and I believe that this is as important as the strategy itself, is to promote understanding between miners and environmentalists, between employers and employees, home makers and people living off the land. Two seemingly diverse sectors of our economy now know of their common interests and flexible working arrangements. All sectors of our economy have had an opportunity to hear and consider views that would not normally come to them, and they heard them in a forum that was not hostile, that assumed that all present had the best interests of the Yukon at heart.
Environmentalists have learned that placer miners want a clean environment and that they, too, like to hike and fish. Business people have learned of the strength that comes from cooperation and sharing of skills characteristic of Indian communities. As long as people are willing to talk, consider options and consider opinions of others there is a basis for coming up with solutions to issues that may not be the consensus of today.
While total agreement would be nice, there is value in plain old understanding. In other words, I may not agree with where you stand, but at least I know where you are coming from. With that perspective, people can make compromises and adjust their demands for the good of the community as a whole. I believe in this day and age that that is necessary. I believe, as I said when we began this process, that it was absolutely necessary that we achieve these kind of understandings and achieve this consensus because it is such a small community in such a big world that it is necessary to pull together for the common good, or otherwise we would scatter our energies in a dozen different directions and end up going nowhere.
As I have already said, I believe that consensus was reached on the important issues. Out of the Yukon 2000 process we identified the basic goals, the Yukon Economic Strategy:
One, the option to stay in the Yukon. Yukoners want development to offer us the chance to support ourselves and our families within the territory and within our communities.
Two, control of the future. Yukoners want more control over the economic future of the territory, higher levels of ownership and regional and local decision making powers.
Three, an acceptable quality of life. We want wages, business opportunities and public services comparable with the rest of Canada, but we will not sacrifice our unique lifestyle and environment in the process.
Four, equality. We want development to ensure an equal chance for all Yukoners including those who do not have it now.
The principles are listed in each chapter of the Yukon Economic Strategy and are too numerous to list here - these are the principles in the particulars of the strategy.
These principles which reinforce our goals were all reviewed at sectoral and public meetings throughout the territory. I would now like to mention some of the other new initiatives that have evolved through the Yukon 2000 process.
One of the strongest measures we heard from the Yukon 2000 process was the need to develop our existing communities. As a result, we have proposed that a community development fund that will provide a single, flexible, coordinating approach to community development be created. It would help communities, meet their job creation and long-term economic development goals.
A business fund would continue a process we began with the Business Development Office. This fund would bring existing programs together under one process. It would have a single application form, but the fund itself would have multiple uses. This is something that we hope to see in place within the year.
A development assessment process for all major projects is proposed, which would complement and eventually replace the federal review process. Regular round-table meetings of industry, government, communities, and aboriginal organizations and public interest groups are proposed to discuss resource policies, opportunities, and anticipated development. This is consistent not only with what we heard from the Yukon 2000 process, but is also heard in the sustainable development policy of the World conservation strategy and the Canadian conservation strategy process, which has been described in this House.
As well, with the assistance of the agriculture industry and the federal government, we will coordinate and develop research projects, aimed at new crop and technology developments, such as hydroponics, to enable Yukon products to replace imports, where possible. We will promote the export of products manufactured in the Yukon by setting up a central marketing service, in cooperation with the private sector, if that is their wish.
We will improve the trunk road network by rebuilding the South Klondike Highway and improving the North Klondike and Robert Campbell Highways. Much has been said about these things in this House but it is useful in this strategy to reaffirm these as the beginnings of our transportation strategy. This is just one of the many infrastructure improvements that will assist the tourism and mining industries, as well as the economy as a whole.
The strategy suggests that a percentage of the budgets of major public buildings will be allocated for the acquisition of Yukon works of art, which will be on display in these buildings. In cooperation with industry representatives, training programs will be developed with big game outfitters and wilderness guides. We will work to provide basic banking services, such as cheque cashing and deposit taking in our communities, and all Members know that work has already been done in this area.
Perhaps the most important initiative is that for the first time we are actually examining and analyzing our economy and taking positive steps to make sure that it works for Yukoners, rather than the other way around. We are doing so on the best advice available: the collective advice of Yukoners, the wisdom of the people in our communities. A coherent, coordinated economic strategy is a new thing for this territory, but I think it is a very good thing. I think that we have made a fine start at implementing this strategy in our most recent capital and operating budgets. We will do more in future budgets. We are going to have to be flexible about how the strategy is carried out and open to the communities needs and desire. We will review the strategy every year, to keep it up to date with current conditions.
The Yukon 2000 process has been exhaustive - some would even say exhausting - in its attempts to get public input on economic development. The Yukon Economic Strategy is comprehensive, it is coherent. It is coordinated with much thought put into the ways in which the various parts of our economy can work together. Over time, I believe that the concrete actions recommended in this strategy will be realized. In short, it is a truly democratic answer to the economic problems of the day, and as the democratic approach we have adopted and as economic planning continues, I would invite Members on all sides of the House to join with us and to participate in building the strategy. We will listen to their advice. We know that all of us have the well-being of the territory at heart. The economic future of the territory deserves our continuing attention, and it is my hope that as we debate this resolution Members of the Legislature can put aside our partisan divisions, just as the people of the territory have done in the building of the economic strategy. I submit that if we can do that it would be for the good of the territory and for the good of all of us. I think that we owe that to Yukoners.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will follow with a slightly different style of speech after that thorough statement made by the Government Leader. I have not been in this House as long as some here, but I was here when there was a serious and practical debate about the desirability of planning at all. We have come a long way in that six and a half years. We have now accepted the fact that there not only should be planning, but there must be planning.
In order to emphasize the Government Leaders words, we need to plan in order to have the economy work for Yukoners rather than Yukoners work for it. It is interesting that the City of Whitehorse has a another planning exercise, looking into the long-term future. I am going to mention that a bit later. I know that Members opposite have already mentioned that process in the weeks past.
I was going to comment yesterday. We had a fairly lengthy debate about the Public Accounts Committee. It was informative to just realize, for a moment, that the Leader of the Official Opposition was emphasizing the need for front-end planning of construction projects. The general principle is, if we put resources into planning for the future, we do not have to put as many resources into fixing the problems later on. I am glad that we have reached the point that we have accepted that in this Legislature. That is now completely uncontroversial. That is a significant step.
I am proud, in this debate, to be a New Democrat. We have done something even more. We have not only planned, we have planned in a truly and a fundamentally democratic way. This is democratic planning such as it has never been seen before. The planners are Yukoners. It is a fundamentally democratic process that has gone further in this process than in the City of Whitehorse 2020 process.
It is extremely significant that in the economic planning for the territory, for the first time to any degree at all, we have included women who work in the home, women who raise children. We have included representatives of Indian bands, of the Council for Yukon Indians and Indian businesses. We have included a consideration of those social concerns for the first time ever. I am proud because we have done that. That is a very significant achievement indeed.
The two Ministers at the two ends of the front bench, the Minister of Education and myself, have both have two responsibilities as well as the Crown corporations. It is interesting that one of them is primarily economic, and one of them is primarily social, or is involved in social policies opposed to economic policy.
I mention that, because it has been very informative for me over the last three years to see how those policies interconnect. I think we have reached the point here where we can say that what we are now doing, for the first time, is integrating social policy with economic policy. That sounds like a simple thing, but that has tremendous implications.
When we talk to Yukoners about what they want to see happen here, what Yukon they want to develop, there are some common threads, some common themes. Yukoners are here because we like it here. This is our home, and we want to make it a better home. We want our economy to be a Yukon economy. Or, to put it in another term, we want to develop an original economy here. On this side of the mountains, north of 60, we want significant trade, but we want a regionally based economy for the benefit of the people who live here.
That, generally stated, is the most general economic goal. What are the social goals? I think everyone here knows in their heart that it is true to say that the fundamental social question facing us here in the territory is we are two territories - the aboriginal people and the non-aboriginal people - and we live here on the same land, but we do not communicate together very much at all. In an economic and in a social way, it would be better for both the aboriginal people and the non-aboriginal people if we did so. We would get on with building a prosperous economy, and we would live in conditions of harmony, of peace and of social equality - true democracy.
What we are doing here with this process is we are, in a practical way, talking about how the segments and the parts of our society and our economy fit together, and how we can work together to make this place a better place, and to keep this place as the place we want to call home.
The provisions in this strategy about recognizing the non-wage economy for aboriginal people, and very significantly for women, home makers and mothers, are unique. They represent a practical strategy that, for the first time, includes all of us. We are not leaving anyone out. I am proud I was part of the government that did that.
Mr. Nordling: I would like to make a few comments on the document that we are being asked to approve in principle. It is a 68-page document, and on the cover it says Yukon Economic Strategy. In my opinion, it should have been called Yukon Economic Goals and Objectives. My reading of what strategy means is not to be found anywhere in this 68-page booklet.
What we have listed here are simply goals and objectives that have probably been listed for the past 10 or 12 years. At the head of every government department, there is a list called Goals and Objectives. I have compared them, and the story in this booklet could have been written by pulling them all together from past budgets and printing them. We would have saved, I suspect, well over $1 million.
I know that the Minister will agree with what I have to say because this is contained in his Ministers message in the front of the document, and that is there may be nothing in particular that is new about the strategy. It is true. We have a document here that is very difficult to argue with. We may strongly disagree with the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent to prepare it. We may disagree strongly with how the money was spent and the procedure used to reach the publishing of this document. We do object to the political public relations campaign that has gone along with the preparation of goals and objectives for the Yukons future.
This is a public relations campaign that has obviously been going on today by the list of speakers, the comments by the Minister of Justice and the Government Leader. That is exactly what is happening.
It is very difficult to argue with the comments. I open the book at page 34 under agriculture, under things to be done immediately, programs and policies, it says we are going to help the industry develop support services, such as produce storage and slaughter facilities if they are feasible, and producer cooperatives. We agree with that. There is no problem. What I am sure we will disagree with, and there will come a time, whoever the government is, in implementing these goals and objectives to help the agriculture industry, is how they are going to be implemented.
Developing support services, such as produce storage could be providing infrastructure, roads for the agriculture industry, or they could be building government storage houses. That is what we do not know. We do not know how this government is going to implement the goals and objectives outlined in this 68-page document that has been produced and, today, will be approved in principle.
I would like to bring up another report on economic planning for Yukons future, a report that looks 20 years further into the future than this particular document. That is the report of the 2020 Action Committee, entitled Laying the Foundation for Our Future. Most of the work for that report was done in the Yukon, and it did not cost hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire consultants from outside the territory to review the results and interpret what Yukoners had to say. Therefore, along with this document, entitled Yukon Economic Strategy, that we are asked to approve in principle, I think we should recognize the other group that is also concerned with the future of the Yukon. I hope that the amendment that I am going to propose is going to bring the Minister of Justice back to earth to make him realize and consider the future of the territory in a practical and common sense way, and to let him know that he is not the only proud and concerned Yukoner. With that I would like to hand my amendment to the Clerk.
THAT Motion No. 21 be amended by adding the following words: and urges the Government of Yukon to give careful consideration to the 2020 Action Committee Report entitled Laying the Foundation for Our Future", before implementing the Yukon Economic Strategy."
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Member for Whitehorse Porter Creek West:
THAT Motion No. 21 be amended by adding the following words: and urges the Government of Yukon to give careful consideration to the 2020 Action Committee Report entitled Laying the Foundation for Our Future", before implementing the Yukon Economic Strategy."
Mr. Nordling: I would urge the government to accept this as a friendly amendment to consider the report which contains specific recommendations and is what I would call a genuinely Yukon report. As I have said, it was prepared by Yukoners. It is not by any means a perfect report, but it certainly does face the issues that confront the Yukon and will confront the Yukon over the next 20 or 30 years, and from a very practical point of view. The report, Laying the Foundation for Our Future did not send hundreds of thousands of dollars outside the territory. It makes specific suggestions which are not contained in the document entitled Yukon Economic Strategy. In the Yukon Economic Strategy document there are no specific time tables and targets for achieving the goals so I would ask the government, the New Democrats, to look beyond their document and consider what other Yukoners have done to look toward the future development of the territory.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Just briefly on the amendment, unfortunately I do not think we will be able to accept the amendment. I want the Member to know that we have read the 2020 Action Committee Report. We would note that the authors of the report record their regret at the lack of public involvement and public participation in the preparation of their report. I think the Member would also want to note two other things. One, in a number of particulars, it could be argued that the particular recommendations of the 2020 Action Committee for this town, as opposed to the whole territory, may be at variance with the recommendations of the Yukon Economic Strategy. The final point is that the Members motion says, before implementing. As I indicated, and as the government indicated some time ago at the beginning of the session, we have already begun implementing the economic strategy. From that point of view, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to observe the precise text of the Members amendment.
Mr. Brewster: It gives me very great pleasure to rise to speak to this amendment to this motion. The report from the 2020 Action Committee laying the foundation for our future has restored my faith in Yukoners. It is a practical, common sense strategy. It is written in language that everyone can understand. The cartoons in it say more about the Yukon economy than all the high-priced outside consultant reports that were commissioned for the Yukon 2000.
The 2020 Vision Report was done by Yukoners for Yukoners. It was prepared by people who know the Yukon and are committed to the Yukon. Although it was prepared for the City of Whitehorse, it has territory-wide applications. It recognizes how closely intertwined all the parts of the Yukon are. What is good for one area can be good for other parts of the Yukon, if we work together and make the most of our opportunities.
When I looked through the contracts that were tabled in this House, I came across one for $99,000 for a tourism development strategy that went to an outside consulting firm. Presumably, this study led to the Yukon tourism strategy discussion paper for the Yukon 2000. The Yukon 2000 paper spelled out six so-called strategies, namely maintain the status quo, increase spending, increase volume, increase volume and spending, emphasize high dollar spenders, emphasize large overall return markets. This is all we got for $99,000.
To be sure, there is a fancy cover with the NDP national colours, but there is no substance. That has been the trouble with the Yukon 2000 process. It has been all for show. I would guess that more money had been spent on wining and dining the participants with the fancy banquets and the government leaders handing out flowers to his staff than on the entire cost of producing the 2020 report.
If you look at the final document resulting from the Yukon 2000 process, entitled Yukon Economic Strategy, you soon discover that it is not a strategy at all, but a group of goals and objectives. In the same instance, you can get more detail objectives out of the budget books, or the Yukon governments annual report. Most of the objectives are very good, but it took approximately three years to produce them, and there is no strategy about how these objectives can actually be achieved.
The government could have saved a lot of time, trouble and money if it had borrowed from the previous governments goals and objectives document entitled The Pearson Governments Goals and Objectives. Effectively, it has taken the government three years to get to square one, and even that is arguable, in view of the Yukon 2000 failure to address the most important economic issue in this century: free trade.
The Yukon 2000 final report simply states the effects on the territory of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement will be mixed. Canadians will have greater access to United States, but the country will also see increased international competition. There will be a greater investment from abroad, but there is also a chance of losing control over certain areas of our economy.
Is that all there was in the free trade agreement? It is not my intention to spell out all the failings in the Yukon 2000 process. As I have already mentioned, there are some very good objectives, and I commend the government for at least getting these started.
However, the Yukon 2000 lacks the 2020s vision. I want to get on with the job. Accordingly, I ask the Members opposite to carefully examine the recommendations of the 2020 Vision Report, particularly those that pertain to the Yukon government.
The first of such recommendations reads as follows: That the Yukon Territorial Government create a contingency plan of action for the Yukon economy in the event of a drastic cutback or a loss of federal transfer payments. It asks the following questions: What would happen if 50 percent of the federal funding disappeared? Could we afford to run the city? What services would be affected? Would the civil service be the first to suffer? What could be done to ease the tax burden? Would not taxes have to double, triple, or quadruple?
What are the answers? Has the Government of the Yukon developed such a contingency plan of action for the Yukon economy? Yukon 2000 just does not qualify. To quote a now famous ad: Wheres the beef? How much of the Yukon governments record capital budget of $143.1 million has been spent on projects that would help us get through the hard times. The Public Accounts Committees report that was debated in this House the other day clearly shows that this government does not know how to manage the publics money. The cost overrun on Yukon College alone is more than the entire capital budget for the year 1981. How many Ross River arenas - which doubled in cost, from $750,000 to $1.5 million and growing - will the Yukon be able to afford when the times get tough? How many Dawson train roofs, which went from $50,000 to $117,900, can we afford, if we are faced with another recession? Just think for a moment. If we had the cost overrun from these projects alone set aside as a contingency fund, as least we would have something.
Yukoners have always been a proud, independent, and self-reliant people, but our history has taught us over and over and over again that there are good times, and there are bad times. We have had cycles of boom and bust. The last bust was in 1982, when the world metal prices forced the closure of all or our hard rock mines. The previous Yukon government, with only a fraction of the resources of the present government, took us through those tough times. The Government of Canada, and in particular, our former Member of Parliament, Mr. Erik Nielsen, did their part in providing the money to reopen Cyprus Anvil mine. I know that the Government Leader has delusion of grandeur in this regard and has claimed many times that he singlehandedly had opened the Cyprus Anvil mine. I hate to bring the Government Leader down to earth, or to deflate his ego, but he is a very small actor on a very, very big stage.
I ask the Government to sincerely consider this recommendation plan now, so that we do not pay later.
There are other recommendations that I would just like to highlight. The 2020 report calls upon the Yukon Department of Tourism to take a major interest and role in lobbying for the constant restocking of all lakes along major Yukon roads. Tourists who come here expect to be able to catch some fish, and we should not disappoint them. The motion regarding the Whitehorse fish hatchery, presented by my colleague, the Member for Riverdale North, and passed by this House on May 11, is in keeping with this recommendation. Similarly, 2020 recommends that the Yukon department of Parks reassess its policy of moving campsites up and away from lake views. People from all over the world are attracted to the Yukon by our colorful brochures, which always show our numerous, beautiful lakes. You can imagine their disappointment when they come here and find that they have to camp out in the trees, and may not even have a view of the lake. Let us reassess the policy and not disappoint our visitors. The Yukon has a lot to show, so let the people see it.
We now come to my pet recommendation, which states that the Yukon government should establish its own task force to determine the extent of actual benefits from Kluane National Park to Yukoners. The companion recommendation is that the Yukon government recognize and accept our role to become significantly involved in the development of national parks within the Yukons borders. These are two very good recommendations.
Once again, the 2020 Vision Report has pointed the way, and it is up to us in the Legislature to follow through with it. Kluane National Park is a precious jewel. It should be protected, but at the same time, it should not be hidden from sight. The motion by the Member for Riverdale North, regarding road access to Kluane National Park, of April 27, 1988, and my earlier motion regarding upgrading mining roads to make a tourist attraction in Tatamagouche Creek and Quill Creek areas were both passed by this House after a lengthy delay.
These are all steps in the right direction but more is required. We in the Yukon must do the best we can with what we have, and all the Members know that we have plenty to show, and much to be proud of.
Another recommendation of the 2020 process suggests that ...the municipal, territorial and federal governments form a united front committee to study the question of air travel costs in and out of the Yukon. This is another worthwhile recommendation. As most Members are aware, I am concerned about the condition of our roads, particularly, the condition of the Alaska Highway, and there have been several motions regarding that.
It is also high time that we looked at the travel costs in and out of the Yukon. What can we do to make it more attractive for people to pick the Yukon as their destination?
These are just a few recommendations that I have taken from the 2020 Vision Action Committee Report. It is one of the finest studies to ever be done in the Yukon. I ask all Members to congratulate the members of the 2020 Action Committee. The best way to say thank you to them is to support this amendment to the motion.
Mr. Lang: I was a little surprised at the position of the Government Leader. Although there may be some political differences, there was a call from the Minister of Government Services to get away from the partisanship in the House and to look at the substance of what we are dealing with. Although there have been some critical statements, that is the nature of this business, that we have the ability to evaluate a report or an issue and to say whether or not we agree with any element of it. In saying that, a person may not disagree with the total package.
I am a little dismayed with the Government Leaders dismissal of the 2020 Action Committee Report. One reason given by Minister is that it only dealt with the City of Whitehorse. Obviously, the Minister has not read this report. It does not only deal with the City of Whitehorse, it also deals with the territory. It deals with issues, as outlined by my colleague, the Member for Kluane, such as airline fares, which are so critical to our tourism industry. There is a constructive recommendation respecting that issue.
There is also the issue of Kluane National Park. What should be done with the park?. We can go back to the policy of the Yukon Economic Strategy to which the Minister refers. There is no reference in this document to the national park, which would play such a key role in the future of the Yukons economy if access to that park was made available to visitors to the Yukon.
I am looking at the end of the Yukon Economic Strategy Report. There are other areas of concern that have a lot of merit and have to be considered in the context of the overall development of the territory. One of the major ideas about how it should be implemented is the one of developing themes in our various communities, not just in the City of Whitehorse. We need to develop an attraction that will encourage a Yukon tourist to stay an extra day or two, for instance, in the community of Watson Lake, instead of the situation that we have now. Now a tourist goes to the visitor reception centre, spends half an hour and goes on their way to Alaska.
I am pointing this out because if the concept that is so well expressed in this document is being considered in conjunction with the overall goals and objectives, as outlined in the Yukon Economic Strategy, they can complement each other. I do not think it should be dismissed out of hand because you do not like the wording of an amendment.
To me, that does not seem to be proper, nor fit, in the tone of the discussion we are having.
One of the firm recommendations in this report is that the Government of Yukon should investigate ways and means of using a tax system to attract new investment for the use of targeting specific markets, incentives to be explored or considered are business tax reductions, city tax holidays, federal rebate on mineral claim assessments, territorial stock saving plans, which would provide tax benefits to locals who invest in the Yukon.
In this particular case, there is no way the City of Whitehorse has the manpower or the mandate or the expertise to be able to look at an issue of this kind. That is the responsibility of the Government of Yukon and, perhaps, in conjunction with the Government of Canada in some areas. Are there benefits, are there areas, where we can investigate and methods of employing where we can generate new dollars into the territory, whether it be through the reduction of taxes in some areas of the economy? What are the long-term implications going to be?
To just dismiss it by saying that is is just for the City of Whitehorse, especially from a Member from the City of Whitehorse, I do not think is giving credence to this document. I do not believe it been given enough of a political profile throughout the territory and it has not been examined closely enough to see how it would affect the territory. There is no question in my mind that, when you deal with the City of Whitehorse, it affects the rural communities, and vice versa. One is dependent on the other. You cannot deal with the City of Whitehorse in isolation from the community of Watson Lake in the territorial context, or vice versa.
If you could, there would be no point in us having a Legislature. The idea of the Legislature and this House is to bring forward various ideas from the various areas of Yukon and discuss them. What is happening in Dawson City can be good for all of Yukon, not just for the community of Dawson. It is the same with every community in the Yukon. It is like Yukon College.
You cannot just dismiss a report of this kind out of hand. One of the reasons for bringing the friendly amendment forward was to give it that profile and hopefully, unanimous support from all Members of the House. It should be considered - not that every idea in here is the end-all and be-all. As it is pointed out, there are areas of weaknesses in this particular document. There are further things that have to be done. The Yukon Economic Strategy states that we want a viable agricultural industry. It does not go on to say how you are going to do it and what methods are going to be employed. I would say that, perhaps, that is where the political philosophies would be identified, and you may part company in how one political party might promote an area of the agricultural industry versus another party.
Those are the choices the general electorate makes every three or four years, to see whether or not the proper choices are being made and handled well. There are no problems with that from my point of view as a Member of the House. That is the peoples choice.
I want to go back to the 2020 Vision Report and the amendment that is before us. For example, there is a recommendation from this group of Yukoners who live here, and are going to be here in years to come when these various policies are implemented. These people have a stake in the Yukon.
These are not people who are coming in from outside on consultants fees, being paid $100,000, and then leaving again saying that it was great to have had a northern experience. They can tell all their friends in the cocktail lounge that they have been the Yukon, made a good buck as a consultant and had a great time. They will be back in ten years time to see if we have even read the report and implemented the recommendations.
In fairness to my colleague, the Member for Porter Creek West, this report is from Yukoners - people who have their families here, pay their property taxes here, have had their kids graduate from our high school system, people who know their city and their territory. I do not accept the principle that because it is a City of Whitehorse document that those people should not have some thought or something to say in the realms of the territory as a whole because obviously the report does not say that. The report does not say just to stick to the zoning of the City of Whitehorse. It talks about going to the federal government and asking them to establish a five-year time frame for Parks Canada to operate on a revenue dependent, break-even basis.
The question is do we agree with that? That is a firm recommendation. We are not talking about establishing a viable agricultural industry and saying that they will come forward with some strong recommendations next year. We are dealing with a report that not only outlines the problems, but also is recommending some solutions and some advancements that we should be taking at the territorial, federal and municipal levels.
If you go further into the recommendations of the RCMP, on which the Minister of Justice has a fair amount to say, they consider adopting Whitehorse as the permanent home housing the bulk of their long and colourful history. That is a very general recommendation, but maybe it does have some substance. Maybe we could do something in that area with one of Canadas most respected institutions. Maybe we can make some movements in that area. This is something we would have to evaluate. Maybe there is an area here where we can increase our attractions and have something more for the tourists as well as for you and I who live here.
I think the Government Leader would reconsider. I understand his concern about the word before in the amendment. If it were changed to the word while, that may answer, at least in part, the Government Leaders concern.
With that I would move:
THAT the amendment to Motion No. 21 be amended by deleting the word before and substituting for it the word while.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Member for Whitehorse Porter Creek East:
THAT the amendment to Motion No. 21 be amended by deleting the word before and substituting for it the word while.
Subamendment agreed to
Speaker: Is there any further debate on the amendment?
Amendment agreed to
Speaker: Is there any further debate on the main motion as amended?
Mr. McLachlan: As one who attended all three conferences in this particular exercise of economic strategy, I have some definite feelings about the process. At the outset, I want to say I was very pleased in April 1986 to hear the Government Leader announce that things worked out on our time table, and it was his plan to have the first one in Faro. As matters turned out, the long weekend in June happened to be exactly two weeks after the first shipment of concentrate left Faro for the first time in four years.
The strategy of development I had been most familiar with in Faro had seen my home riding shattered and battered by a roller coaster ride of depressed metal prices. Although things are different now, after three hard years of struggle, I have some concern that apathy may tend to let people slip back into that mode. It must not be allowed to happen, for we have shared too much and too often, the tears and the pains of what happens in Faro when factors outside our world result in depressed metal prices, and we are all familiar with the consequent results.
I am quite in agreement with the recommendations of the Yukon Economic Strategy in a number of resource-based industries: timber, agriculture, fur, hides and fishing, such as it is. I believe the direction outlined in the strategy is one the territory must continue to follow, because I fully believe in utilizing the resources we have here to the fullest and best of our abilities. I have some reservations with the manufacturing industry and the rather go-slow approach there because the cost of raw materials we are often forced to import into this territory makes us, except in a few classic cases, on a bit of an uneconomic basis to compete with large manufacturing industries in southern Canada.
The goals and objectives have been well identified in the economic strategy. Feelings of the Yukon people were sought, and the process of participatory democracy has been served. However, I do feel that government should be doing a lot of the things anyway, as a matter of public policy, a policy for which the government was elected to do. How far ahead do you give yourself a pat on the back for doing what you were elected to do anyway?
I have no problems with the process of consultation with the people who are being affected by the moves of government in various fields. The planning, or the lack of it or the misguided direction of it can affect all of us. We have seen with recent federal budgets the move by people to be consulted beforehand, rather than having to do a quick reverse stand when people have programs announced and thrust upon them with very little front-end planning.
If I have any criticism of the process and the mechanisms by which the economic strategy has been developed, it is in two areas. The major one has to do with the mechanics. I was somewhat concerned with some of the people in the working groups who compiled a gigantic wish list, which was at times often seen to be a reflection of their personal goals and aspirations. Often, I felt that some of the groups with which I was involved seemed to have a narrow approach and a lack of understanding of some of the strategic objectives that are often part of the overall government planning.
We may be criticized for looking too far and too hard at the area, because I realize that a number of the people who were invited to these conferences to give their opinions often do not think in the terms that we, as legislators, think. I believe that the government does have some definite problems with the applications, in a very practical sense, of all the results that have been garnered from the three meetings. For example, without being unduly harsh, there is the scatter-gun approach of the something-for-everyone scenario. A planning process directs involvement to volunteerism, housework, subsistence - all of which are very important in their own right, but which are extremely difficult upon which to place an exact price tag of their contribution to our economy. We are on a circular route in these particular areas because they are instances of things that we cannot get along with but are very difficult to measure exactly.
The second area, although it is somewhat minor to others - major, perhaps, to others - has to do with some of the cost of producing the results. I believe that we are not getting the full story. In a quick trip through the contracts tabled in the Legislature in April, I was able to identify, in 60 minutes, over $200,000 contributed towards this process. The Government Leader has identified a cost of $450,000, but little drabs keep coming up, such as the $1,100 in the Womens Directorate budget, of which we had no prior knowledge.
In conclusion, I would simply like to say this: I support the process. I believe that the consultation is one that must be followed, that people must be given an opportunity to express their feelings, concerns, and fears for the future. I am unable to say whether or not the process will be fully workable over the years to come. Only the direction that this government, or other governments, place upon the results in this report will be able to tell us that for sure, and I am afraid that, for now, the jury is still out on that decision.
I support the process of consultation. I believe that it is one that is worthwhile and one that must be continued to be followed in this territory. Without it, I have only fears that we will repeat, in some cases, the scenario that I witnessed, only too painfully, in my home riding.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I rise in support of the motion before us today. I would like to start off by complimenting the territorys men and women who were the authors of this strategy through their involvement in the Yukon 2000 process. The strategy was not devised behind closed doors by a select few. We have heard from Yukoners working in all sectors of the wage and non-wage economy. Their innovative ideas are in this document. Yukon input will guide us boldly into the future. This is an accomplishment that we can all be proud of, and I would like to congratulate and thank the territorys residents for helping our government to set the course we will take into the next century.
Improving our economy is not done in isolation. Social development complements economic development, and Yukoners gave many suggestions on how we might achieve this. Employment and life skills training was emphasized in many of our public discussions as necessary for all economic sectors, be it mining, cultural industries, forestry, tourism, guiding and outfitting or volunteerism. From elementary school through to adulthood, self-awareness training will help people in bands, communities, and other areas, acquire the confidence, motivation, and self-esteem necessary to pursue formal training or work in either the wage or the non-wage economy. Unique Yukon curriculum and courses in this area will improve individual contributions to the community and the economy.
The strategy highlights the importance of including aboriginal people, women, seniors and the disabled, in all aspects of economic activity. The governments role in this will be to provide the framework to help traditionally excluded groups overcome the barriers that they face in starting their own businesses or obtaining general employment. Providing seed money that banks deny these high-risk groups will help lower the initial hurdles faced in the business world and in the labour market. These groups can be encouraged to participate more fully through programs that recognize the special skills or needs. Government assistance to the private sector can encourage employment of people who are generally outside the regular labour market.
Sometimes all that is necessary to accommodate a disabled person is a phone with an amplifier or a curbed ramp up a single stair leading to the business. Heightened community awareness in this regard will improve the economy for everyone.
Regardless of employment field, Yukoners told us they want child care that meets job needs. On-site child care for workers, campus child care at Yukon College for students and trainees, and other care methods were suggested by Yukon men and women. The consultation process will compile those ideas so we can develop a care system that provides the types of care children require while their parents are working to improve our economy.
One of the strategies from Yukon 2000 is a health and social service board that Yukoners wanted to develop. Through the board, Yukoners will influence social programs delivered by Health and Human Resources, Justice, Education, and Community and Transportation Services. Representatives from government, the public, volunteer organizations and others would be invited to work on this board to make sure social development complements economic development.
Training is a clear area where a health and social service board would serve the Yukon well. Already out of the Yukon 2000 process, Health and Human Resources and Education are working on a new arrangement to expand the formal social development worker training program. Starting in 1988-89, we will increase the learning opportunities for Yukoners who want to pursue a social service, education and employment in the territory.
Many other ideas are included in this strategy. Yukon 2000 shows that we can devise workable solutions to increase the economy, the economic growth and stability for the Yukon. The ideas and concerns expressed by Yukoners from all walks of life are released in our Yukon Economic Strategy. Over the coming months and years, implementing the strategy will be a challenge our government readily accepts. I am eager to start work with my department and Cabinet colleagues to make Yukoners visions of today a reality of tomorrow.
Ms. Kassi: This Yukon Economic Strategy is just the beginning. It is the beginning of a new approach to economic development in the Yukon. It is a different way of doing things as a government. Through the Yukon 2000 process, and with this Yukon Economic Strategy, we see the Government of Yukon recognizing the importance of Yukon communities, respecting the aboriginal culture and aboriginal rights, accepting a strategy based on sustainable development, and recognizing the subsistence or Indian economy as something that is both viable and desirable. These are all things that the people of my community want and need for the future.
The Yukon Economic Strategy is not just about economics, about dollars and cents. It is also about how the economy affects the lives of people in other areas, like cultural development and social development. We cannot separate these, and I was glad to see this fact was acknowledged in the strategy. The strategy says, Human resource development can only be achieved by recognizing the interdependence of the economic, social and cultural aspects of the community, and individual viability of the human character and talent. Recommendations in the report reflect this awareness.
They also reflect the recognition of traditional knowledge of aboriginal people and the scientific knowledge that aboriginal people have of the land and of the animals. We need to use these aboriginal sciences a lot more in our studies. The strategy wants these to be recognized and incorporated into planning and many kinds of activities. The strategy is based on the concept of sustainable development. This fits in closely with the ideals of my community. It means we must develop our renewable resources only at a rate that will ensure these resources are not depleted.
This also means we must respect important wildlife habitat, like the calving grounds of the caribou on the north coast. There are many other places all over the Yukon that must be treated with care and respect in order to keep up the wildlife populations. It also means there must be more community, regional and national involvement in decisions about wildlife. I want to commend the Minister of Renewable Resources for opening up that process already.
Commercial and traditional activities is another part of the strategy that incorporates community views in the objective of incorporating commercial activities with traditional activities. Here we are talking about making better use of our fur resource. We have to look seriously at ways of doing more manufacturing with fur harvested here in the Yukon instead of just shipping them outside. This will take a lot of research and effort to create and sustain cultural industries like this.
Trapping, of course, is central to all of this and we all know how big the threats are to this industry that so many people here in the Yukon rely on.
This government has done a lot for trappers, especially recently with the Fur Enhancement Program that was announced a while ago. This is all good news, but we must make stronger efforts to get a stronger lobby force out of the Yukon to fight the anti trapping movement. It is something we must do more of and do it now. We must ensure the concerns of the trappers in the territory are heard.
I want to commend our Member of Parliament for going to London, England to speak with the British Trade Minister about the proposed fur labelling law. As we all know, this law could harm our wild fur industry and lead to complete destruction of the market. Many people have gone to lobby the British government. Our MP, Audrey McLaughlin went there at her own expense because it is so important to the Yukon and to northern trappers.
The Yukon Economic Strategy speaks a great deal about community control. I am glad to see this response from the government because this is what the communities all over the Yukon have been asking for. This means more consultation, especially about resource use decisions that effect people. The development assessment process that is proposed in the strategy will give the public a formal way of getting input into really big projects. I think we need to consider the smaller-scale things as well and the strategy takes this into account.
Training is very important in the communities that want more control over themselves, especially the tribal councils and bands, and also for the volunteer sector in our communities. They can provide more training and want to help people get more skills through training. They can accomplish a great deal, and the strategy proposals that we give them the resources to get started.
By training we mean, not just for careers in renewable resources, or trades and other occupations, but also in life, such as true life skills programs and basic job readiness training programs. We need to develop our own full human potential in the communities to build a firm foundation and bring up strong leaders for the future.
We are also talking about community hire and the strategy supports this as a government commitment. We need to make sure local people get the jobs on the government contracts, and other contracts as well. This will help keep people in our communities and, therefore, make our communities stronger and more in control. For Old Crow, we will make our Kutchin nation a lot stronger this way.
The most important thing overall about this strategy is that it recognizes the Indian economy, the subsistence economy that is vital to our future. We now have a government commitment to supporting this economy and this way of life that has been chosen by many people. This is a way of life where our people go trapping part of the year, hunting part of the year, fishing, berry picking and engage in other traditional policies, along with wage work at other times of the year. There are recommendations in this strategy along these lines, quite a long list of things that will be done to strengthen the subsistence life styles.
I am supportive of this strategy and the process that took place. I look forward to more of the recommendations being implemented. I look forward to more consultations with local people, interest groups, and communities as time goes on about the details. With this strategy, my village and other communities around the Yukon can look forward to a better future, to a future that to a great extent they will decide by themselves with the support of an active government.
As a final word, we must always keep in mind how the social side of things must be balanced with the economic side. This is of very great importance to my village. With that I want to thank you. Mahsi-cho.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I will allow Members to know I have joined a self-help organization called short speeches anonymous. I am practicing making short speeches, and I am supposed to call a specific number in case I get the urge to drone on and on. Keeping that in mind, I am going to practice this afternoon.
I support the amended motion, largely because I believe we, as a Legislature, should support all sincere efforts to improve the economy through a planning process. It is important to diversify and improve the economy for local benefit. I think the 2020 report throws up some interesting ideas, each of which ultimately will have to be reviewed.
I draw Members attention to the fact that some of the review processes have yet to be done and will ultimately cost money. In the Legislature, over the course of the last couple of years, we have taken ideas from the Members opposite, such as the Tarr Inlet idea and the tramway idea down to Skagway, and we have reviewed those at a cost to the taxpayer. Nevertheless, we have been able to determine the inherent value of those ideas over time.
It is important to briefly note that I agreed with the Member for Faro on every count. I think that is a major accomplishment in and of itself and ought to be recorded in Hansard.
Another somewhat major accomplishment is that I did agree with much of what the Member for Porter Creek East said, which I find absolutely surprising, even given the fact that he delivered the speech at a running shout, as usual.
I did not agree with much of what he said with respect to the pointed remarks about the background papers to the Yukon 2000 strategy. However, I will not dwell too much on much of what was bootlegged on the discussion in his remarks.
The Member for Kluane gave what I would consider to be a conservative formula speech, talking about much of the things we have talked about in the Legislature in the past. I am very tempted to talk about all those things. If I get through my speech in short order, I will come back to the Member for Kluanes remarks. I am constrained by my fellows who want me to speak quickly.
The Member for Porter Creek West dismissed the Yukon 2000 strategy far too easily. I think he expected the report should be controversial in order to be real. He considered the process by which the report was determined to be inappropriate. In fact, he strongly disagreed with the procedures that led to the strategy, in his words, and I think that is where we disagree wildly in our debate this afternoon.
I support the motion, because a strategy is a reflection of our ability as a community to take control of our future and to establish our priorities by speaking together. I think it demonstrates faith in the Yukon, in our people, both in the private and public sectors, to manage our own economic affairs and to become more self-reliant.
I do not think we need to depend on the decisions made in board rooms or Cabinet rooms outside the territory for our prosperity. We can initiate economic activity, take advantage of our strengths, and participate in national and international communities from a position of greater strength.
I think that we can trade with others in the world, but not necessarily as a vassal state. It is not the mega project that will lead to long term economic prosperity and self-sufficiency, it is what we do best in our own communities that will do it. That is probably another area where this side disagrees fairly significantly from the position of Members of the Conservative Opposition.
It encourages the diversification of the economy while recognizing the value of our traditional industries, by recommending ways by which they can be enhanced. It recognizes the changing patterns of our economy and realistically assesses our ability to take advantage of opportunities that may emanate from the way that our economy evolves.
The advent of land claims, which will likely have the most significant single impact upon our economy, to the increasingly important role of small business, are all recognized in the report.
What makes the strategy so important for me is the way that it was developed. Again, this is where the Opposition and I part company. The people who took part were important. As the Government Leader mentioned, there was not unanimity on every point, but there was consensus on major points. People who do not usually speak to each other, spoke together. People who do not usually meet together, met together. There was an understanding of a wide variety of perspectives and opinions during the process. People looked at the economy, not just from the view of their own business or industry, but from a global perspective, as well. They recognized that there were others in our community who have varying opinions, and they benefited from those opinions.
I think that the strategy developed a more comprehensible understanding of the economy and the people who participated in it challenged each other to invent ways to make things work better. The reports theme does say that the government and the private sector should work in partnership. The government should work, not in isolation from the rest of the community, but should recognize that market forces are a reality. If anything, the report speaks to what is realistic. The government should develop infrastructure that will allow the private sector to compete better within and outside of the Yukon.
In reviewing the Yukon Economic Strategy, I am pleased to note that the Department of Education has already been implementing many of the recommendations arising from the public input, and is taking steps to start addressing many of the remaining recommendations for the future.
From the very beginning of the Yukon 2000 process, the government has been committed to assist Yukoners to gain education and training that they want and need, to fully participate in a future that meets their individual and collective goals. This commitment was fully established in the Yukon Training Strategy, which was a parallel but integrated planning process. The Yukon Training Strategy, as you will recall, outlined a number of new programs and directions to guide the Yukon governments training priorities. It included a commitment to prepare a College Act, which is now before the Legislature. The Yukon Training Strategy further indicated that training would continue to be strongly supported through the community campuses of Yukon College, through Department of Education programs and services, and through the encouragement of greater partnership with industry and business.
Significant steps in each of these areas are already taking place. Consultation over the past three years, through Yukon 2000 and through the Yukon Training Strategy, the College Act, the Education Act Task Force, and the Joint Commission on Indian Education and Training, have brought to the forefront a number of themes of particular importance to the Yukon, each of which has implications for education and training.
I have already outlined to the House, on a number of occasions, my commitment to the two predominating themes of improved educational opportunities for Indian people and increased opportunities for all Yukon people to be involved in education decision making. Actions and directions pertaining to both of these themes are woven throughout the Yukon Economic Strategy.
I would like to take the opportunity to focus on how the department is already helping Yukoners address their key interests, as expressed through the Yukon Economic Strategy. It has, over the years, established a good relationship with business employers who are interested in developing the training necessary to their industry, and it will continue to do so.
As one example of cooperation, the two training institutes have been established, one for mining and one for tourism. These institutes will play a strong role in setting directions for training pertinent to their economic sector. In the future, the mandate of the institutes may expand to include other things, such as industry-related research activity.
The department has been a partner in the process of establishing development agreements with employers and will continue to strive to ensure training opportunities for Yukon people on projects receiving government support.
The Yukon Training Opportunities Program, first implemented last year, provides for on-the-job training opportunities in the communities, both in government settings and with private employers. Yukon College is also actively involved in addressing interest expressed in the Yukon Economic Strategy by offering courses in band management, business administration and administrative services in a number of communities.
Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I think the Member wants to know the phone number that I was speaking of.
The Yukon College, furthermore, has a full-time carpentry program.
Mrs. Firth: Do they have a cooking program and a nursing program too? How about an equipment operators program...
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is going to be awfully difficult to finish. It also has a carpenters helper course and a basic home repair automotive course.
The Department of Education has done many great things in the last few years, and it will be doing many more things. I apologize to the department for not continuing to expand on all the many great things that they have been so instrumental in bringing to fruition.
The Department of Community and Transportation Services has been charged with the responsibility of developing stronger municipalities and making them a better place to live. It has raised considerable financial support and has provided advice to help make the communities a much better place to live. That is a major recommendation of the Yukon Economic Strategy.
A major feature of the strategy is to develop a better transportation network, better infrastructure, a long-term plan, to discuss issues as diverse as the port of Skagway development to resource roads to fish camps, mines and timber stands and the development of the main highway system. That, through our capital planning process and under our Capital Budgets up to this point, has been a major feature that has been promoted through direct government action.
The use of communications technology to support development, the replacement of the VHF, has been captured both in the communications strategy, which we have already announced, and the replacement of the VHF, which we have already announced. There are many ways in which this department is expected to participate, but I will not detail them all.
I am committed to the democratic approach to economic planning. The most significant feature of the planning process to date has been the involvement of so many people who have never participated in economic planning in the past. Contrary to the views of some Members opposite, that feature alone has proved to be the single most attractive feature in the democratic planning process that we have devised to date.
I think the community needs to be brought together. Like the Member for Faro, I have been through some very tough times in this territory. We have all ranted about repeating mistakes from the past, about failure to diversify, about our fixation on mega projects, our approval of the mega-project junky mentality and at the same time have been able to get down to business and diversify the economy so we can fend better for ourselves.
We now have an opportunity to capture prosperity. Through the strategy, and through the process that the strategy was developed, I think we can capture prosperity; we can become less dependent upon outside sources whether it be the federal government or the largess of private sector activity. We can develop our communities; we can capture the economic benefits that may evolve from better economic planning in the Yukon. For those reasons alone, the strategy stands large in terms of the economic development of the future of the territory.
Some of the criticism that has been leveled this afternoon that the strategy is unfair and misguided I do not share. I do support the process. I do support the strategy and I have a phone call to make.
Mr. Phelps: I was not going to speak to the motion but upon reflection I would like to say a few words and brighten up everybodys day. When I say a few words I mean a few words, unlike some who have spoken today.
First of all, I am quite prepared to support the motion as amended. I think exercises such as what is known as Yukon 2000 as well as the 2020 Vision are extremely useful. They are useful largely because of the fact that they bring people together, often groups that do not communicate with one another as often as they really should. It gives people from all walks of life the feeling that they are part of the whole, part of the body of politic, part of the society, and they do have a role to play. That, in itself, is also extremely healthy. I looked very carefully at the end result, the end document itself. I do not think there is much there beyond some goals and objectives and there certainly is not much there that is surprising or new.
I think there has been a tendency on the part of some Yukoners to think that the exercise would produce much more than it has or even think that it has produced much more than is the case. There is certainly a concern that has been expressed by some of the players. The concern, I suppose, is that it is very difficult to speak in terms of a consensus on much more than some vague goals coming out of Yukon 2000.
There is certainly is no consensus, or economic plan at all, if there is an economic plan at all, in terms of the methodology of implementing strategies that will achieve some of the goals outlined in the document.
A fear that has been expressed by some is expressed in the annual report for the Chamber of Mines that states that Yukon 2000 is a territorial government attempt to consult with the people of the Yukon on social and economic issues.
The Chamber has attended all three of the major meetings, paid for by the territorial government, in Faro, Whitehorse, and Dawson. The forum is convened with the express purpose of providing input to government of many issues, one of which is the mineral industry. The format is one of discussion groups, where issues are debated and then the results incorporated into one large summary report, which purports to be the consensus of the meeting. As a matter of practical experience, there are virtually points of common agreement or real consensus in or between any of the groups at the last meeting. This has been a characteristic of all of the major meetings.
The government has plans to take the consensus from these meetings to produce policy direction for government, early in the new year. The Chamber believes that this is a means for government to pick and choose amongst the issues brought to the table and adopt those it feels the most politically favourable, whether or not they are good for the economic and social health of the Yukon. In essence, the process was a costly public relations exercise.
This conclusion can only be arrived at through the observation that no detailed discussion of the issues or ramifications of the proposals at the conferences by the delegates was permitted, and that any details that were discussed became submerged in a sea of paper.
It will be interesting to see if the Chambers perspective will be borne out.
I do not think that the government has, in fact, taken the much-feared steps that are raised in the annual report, and I certainly, for one, hope that they do not. I think that it is healthy for people to discuss goals. I think that the exercise is good, but I do not think that it results in what I would call real economic planning. For that reason I am pleased that we have not had too much rhetoric in recent months about the master plan for Yukon between now and the year 2000. These kinds of exercises are healthy. I think that all those who worked and participated as volunteers are to be commended, both in this exercise and in the exercise known as 2020 Vision. Having qualified our support in as positive way as we can, we - certainly I, for one - will have no hesitation in voting for the amended motion.
Speaker: Are you prepared for the question on the amendment?
Motion No. 21 agreed to as amended
Speaker: May I have your further pleasure?
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved that the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker now leave Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will come to order. Is it the wish of the Committee of the Whole to take a brief recess?
We will recess for 10 minutes.
Bill No. 7 - Languages Act - continued
Chairman: Committee of the Whole will come to order. We will continue with general debate on Bill No. 7, Languages Act. I have again received a petition that has been filed before me that requests the appearance of witnesses. They are Mr. Lawson and Mr. Byers. Is the Committee in agreement?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I believe that the witnesses may be only be necessary if there are any questions in French during the course of this discussion.
Mr. Phelps: We certainly did find the witnesses helpful in our session last night and I would like to thank the Government Leader for first of all making available to me the cases cited, which we have had the opportunity to peruse. Unfortunately, they do not shed much light on the issues we were discussing because they deal essentially with different issues.
I would also like to thank the Government Leader for making arrangements for me to speak with the official in the federal Department of Justice who is involved very heavily in the committee discussions in Bill C-72, and who is on the other side of the negotiating rounds held between this government and the federal government on this issue that led to the agreement and the subsequent language bill we are discussing right now.
The materials we received and the discussions we have had have been of a great deal of benefit to us, we are now prepared to proceed through the bill clause by clause in order that we can pinpoint the areas of concern and get through the areas that we are essentially in agreement with.
On Clause 1
Hon. Mr. Penikett: On Clause 1(1), I am not sure what the wishes of the opposition critic are in this area, but I can provide brief explanations on each clause as we go.
I believe that this clause is pretty well self explanatory and recognizes the legal status of English and French as official languages in Canada as a whole. That is what it does.
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Mr. Lang: This is an area of major concern. Questions were raised when the initial agreement was tabled by the Leader of the Official Opposition and then the Government Leader assured us that the concerns we had about the Legislature making and standing by its own rules had not intentionally been abrogated through the section that is referred to in this bill as 12(b).
When I first viewed the tabled bill I was quite taken aback. In view of the fact that I have been a Member of this House for so long that when I read in a piece of legislation that anybody would consider intruding into the responsibilities of the Legislature, I think that the Government Leader would agree with the position of the Leader of the Official Opposition stated last evening.
That was a major concern. At the outset, I was quite taken aback when I initially viewed it, and I seriously considered raising a Point of Personal Privilege in the House of even going further to debate legislation that would have this principle outlined in it. As you are aware, I did not proceed with that course. I was pleased to hear the Government Leader recognize the error of his ways and sees another method of getting to what we want yet, at the same time, not having to do it through the Executive Council by regulation.
I am going to move an amendment that is fairly similar in context to some of the other bills across the country.
THAT Bill No. 7, entitled Languages Act, be amended in clause 3 at page 1 by adding to section 3 the following new subsection:
(2) The Legislative Assembly or a committee of the Assembly, when authorized by resolution of the Assembly, may make orders in relation to the translation of records and journals of the Assembly, Hansard, Standing Orders and all other proceedings of the Legislative Assembly.
The principle of it is to ensure that this Legislature and the Legislature itself is the body that makes the rules as far as how we proceed in the House, how the translation is done, whether it is done in English, French, Japanese or whatever language we wish to use, and that it is our decision to make and our decision alone.
I feel very strongly that this particular section meets the concerns we expressed and, also, meets the good intentions, - although, as it appears now, misguided intentions - of the government in respect to taking this responsibility under regulation. I feel strongly that, if there are going to be changes in this House, it has to be by resolution and, probably in all events, through Rules, Elections and Privileges and recommendations coming back to the House.
I believe the amendment is very straight forward.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I wish to say that the error in terms of the recommendation in 12(b) is nobody elses but my own. I hope the Member will understand that I put it down to my own intellectual limitations. I was trying to deal with one problem identified by the Leader of the Official Opposition, a concern that we might lose control over proceedings of this House locally. Not being sufficiently agile to be able to deal with two problems at once, I failed to recognize the problem identified quite correctly by the Members opposite that it would be entirely inappropriate for the Cabinet to set regulations for the governing procedures of the House. Therefore, we will have no problem with the amendment.
Amendment agreed to
Clause 3 as amended agreed to
On Clause 4
Mr. Lang: How much is it costing the Government of Canada to translate our present statutes into French?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: The short answer is that I do not know. I do have some information on that issue. I have discussed it with the federal Ministers of Justice, both of them in the last while, and I believe every occasion I met them. I was asking them to place a set of whatever was translated into the public library here. If they do exist, they are not present in the territory. The federal government was very far behind in the translation of the laws over the years.
I do not know precisely where I have asked the question and have not received a precise answer. However, it has been established that it would be most efficient to not go back and translate all of the past laws but to start with the revised statutes that we now have and have recently adopted. The translation work is being done on the revised statutes as we now have them. I do not specifically know the status of that. It is a question of changing priorities in the federal bureaucracy. I doubt if we will ever get a sensible answer in figures.
Mr. Lang: We are passing legislation, and I find it difficult to understand. Perhaps it is because of my many years in government. I am surprised to find out that, in many cases, there is no idea of what the cost is, and this is just one instance. There is the question of services that will be provided and what that is going to cost the taxpayer. If it is territorial or federal should bear some scrutiny. Are we going to have all our acts translated by January 1, 1994? If we do not, they are not in effect.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I expect that we will have that done. The costs of this translation will be charged to the federal government. The Member opposite has raised the prospect of not having them translated and what will happen. We obviously will renegotiate an agreement, but I expect that we will.
Chairman: Is there anything further on clause 4?
Clause 4 agreed to
On Clause 5
Clause 5 agreed to
On Clause 6
Mr. Phelps: Subclause (1) remains somewhat controversial. The problem that we have on this side is that we are not at all sure what 6(1), in its present form, will mean in terms of services in or at the central office of institutions of the Legislature Assembly or of the Government of Yukon. I realize that 6(1) is pretty well fully plagiarized from 20(1) of the Constitution of Canada.
In a small territory, with only a population of less than 30,000, why do we have to make this differentiation between offices in Whitehorse and offices elsewhere?
Certainly it was apparent to me that the Government Leader, in his explanation of the bill, felt that the qualifier, significant demand and reasonableness would really qualify all of section 6(1). In any event, I am going to be proposing the following amendment to clause 6(1), which I feel, if passed, would put the bill on a footing that would truly represent the desired goals of the Government of Yukon, resulting from its negotiations.
I move THAT
Bill No. 7, entitled Languages Act be amended in clause 6(1) at page 2 by deleting the words after services from and replacing them with the following: any office of an institution of the Legislative Assembly or of the Government of the Yukon in English or French where
(a) there is a significant demand for communications with and services from that office in both English and French, or
(b) due to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications with and services from that office be in both English and French."
I am convinced that the government will, in its regulations, proceed in the manner that was indicated, after thorough consultation with the interest group that is primarily affected, and represented by the Association Franco-Yukonnais. I feel that this language more properly reflects the intention and the principles of the bill as expressed during second reading. I commend, therefore, this motion to all Members of the House.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am afraid that the particulars of this amendment come as a surprise to me, so that I cannot in any way be ready with any analysis of the import of this. I believe that the witnesses last night indicated to the Leader of the Opposition the probable response of the federal government and the other parties, including the Commissioner of Official Languages and the national federation of francophones outside of Quebec to an amendment of this kind, and might regard an effort to change 6.(1) in a way that had not been approved by the federal government as an effort to undo the agreement, or the import of the bill. I do not know what the exact implications of these particular words are, but I believe that the Leader of the Official Opposition understands that an amendment such as this may be potentially of great consequence, in terms of the agreement that we have with the federal government and the parties to the agreement.
Because I am not a lawyer, I wonder if it might expedite debate on this point to ask if the witnesses here before us could give an opinion as to the likelihood of this being acceptable to the federal government, the national francophones and the Commissioner of Official Languages, who have been consulted about the previous draft.
Mr. Byers: I guess I would have to respond to that by saying that, from the negotiations I participated in in this agreement over the past three to four years, the proposed amendment would likely not be found to be acceptable by those minority language groups. They put great stock in the parroting - if I can use that word - of section 20 from the Constitution, and section 6, with the possible exception of substituting the Yukon for Canada is an exact replication of the right enshrined in the Constitution, and that was a fundamental issue with the francophone community when we negotiated this. Any change at all in the wording of section 6 would not be acceptable.
Chairman: Is there any further debate on the amendment?
Mr. Lang: My concern is that, last evening when this particular section was the focal point of debate for approximately two hours, it was made very clear to us by the Government Leader, initially, that the two qualifiers for available services were that there had to be either significant demand or take into consideration the nature of the office.
Later on in the debate, we were told by the witnesses that that was not the case, and the Government Leader was correct, that the qualifiers only applied to offices outside Whitehorse, which was basically what we were discussing to the end of the debate. My concern is not the Association of Franco-Yukonnais. My concern is where an individual comes in, demands a service, we do not have the service, or the service takes some time to provide, and he or she decides to go to court. This provides the foundation for that court case.
My understanding is that the court will make the definitive decision whether or not the service has to be provided. If it has to be provided, it will decide how it is to be provided. That is what we are debating here, the question of law of how it is going to affect us down the road.
My concern is there are no caveats or qualifiers to that initial section of the bill that the court has to consider with respect to rendering their decision. I believe that, in legislation, we have a responsibility to set the laws and try to define the parameters in general terms of how we see the law coming into effect and being interpreted. No matter how the Government Leader or I like it, what is being said in this House and what our interpretation of the law is by the witness who is in front of us, through the vehicle of Hansard, will not be read into the record in a court case and cannot take part in a court case.
My concern is that we are trying to clearly define that there is one qualifier for rendering a decision, and the court has to take that into consideration. When you say there is a right, and somebody demands it, it is unequivocal in law that you have to provide it.
The other aspect of this is that we better be aware that this is going to be part of our constitution, in the Yukon Act. We cannot do any less than what is in this bill after it becomes part of the Yukon Act. The Government Leader has his hand up. I would like to hear if he has some comments on that.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I understand the concern being expressed by the Member, and I would reiterate that I believe the practical application of this law will be found as the result of the consultations with the client groups and the arrangements we put in place, which will describe the reality and will be the situation that will apply.
I am advised that the present situation in the Yukon with respect to certain federal offices is somewhat helpful in terms of understanding the impact here because of the questions raised by the Member and his colleagues last night. I am going to invite Mr. Byers to respond to that if I could.
As I understand the situation right now, the federal government is officially bilingual. Its federal public service is officially bilingual. There are federal offices that you can go to in the Yukon where there is no francophone. That is the case in many federal offices across Canada. There are many significant regional headquarters of offices, such as the RCMP, where a francophone may be able to go on any day and not find someone there who can provide francophone services. I am informed that there has been no successful court case, even under official bilingualism, that suggests that someone can walk in and demand instantaneous service as an individual right then and there in their own language.
I would appreciate it if Mr. Byers could describe what we have heard from the people in Ottawa about the practical experience in the area of language rights elsewhere in the country.
Mr. Byers: By the provision of the Constitution, Mr. Penikett is quite correct. The federal government is deemed to be bilingual, as is the province of New Brunswick. Section 20 of the Constitution has never been litigated in the courts in any fashion. It has never been questioned since it was put into the Constitution in 1981. The federal government adopts the opinion that the qualifier in the section appears in the use of the expression available services and the power to pass regulations and the Cabinet can, therefore, control to an extent, provided it is reasonable and done in good faith, the services that are available.
Mr. Penikett is also quite correct that a number of federal institut,ions be they head offices or regional head offices of the federal government, which is officially bilingual, must rely on those services being performed centrally in Ottawa. Not too long ago, the Commissioner of Official Languages was very critical of the RCMP as an institution of the federal government that was not bilingual. What they are doing is trying to recruit more francophone members, but neither in the federal civil service nor the federal government in its institutions nor in the province of New Brunswick has Section 20 ever been raised in the context you referred to in an attempt to expand it to that level. It simply does not happen in the officially bilingual jurisdictions, so there is no reason to believe that in any jurisdiction that is not officially bilingual that the court would place that interpretation.
Mr. Lang: There has been no litigation so there is no case law to say how it would effect us. That is my point in speaking to the amendment and trying to ensure that if there is a court case there are some parameters. That is my only observation with respect to the section, and that is why the amendment is here before us.
Chairman: Are you ready for the question?
Chairman: The disagreeds have it. The amendment is defeated. Any further debate on Clause 6(1)?
Mr. Lang: In view of the argument that has been put forward that we could not amend that section as it is written - and I appreciate the governments position on that to some degree, that it is in the charter and the bureaucracy having control of the political arm of all levels of government the way it does and never wanting to change their ways - the wording, as the government has voted for it, is accepted by the Legislature. I still think there is another method of further qualifying and ensuring what is going to be done in the future, as outlined by the Government Leader, that I want to stress that this side has no difference of opinion on if that is what is going to happen.
I would like to propose another amendment to clause 6.
The proposed amendment is to elaborate on what clause 6 means. It is to ensure that if the worse case scenario takes place, if we are involved in a court case, at least there is a principle that outlines what the court has to take into account in rendering a decision again.
I move THAT
Bill No. 7, entitled Languages Act, be amended in clause 6 at page 2 by adding to section 6 the following new subsection:
(3) For greater certainty, section 6 does not imply that the Yukon is to be officially bilingual in the sense understood as flowing from section 20 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Official Languages Act but means that, in particular reference to the level of service to be provided by a head or central office, and without qualifying the right provided under section 6, a member of the public may expect to receive a functional minimum of services in his or her language, and that the circumstances of particular situations may be taken into account in making determinations as to the immediacy with which such services must be made available.
The key area of the amendment is minimum of functional services. There is a minimum of services that will be required by the government, and we all understand that. The other key word in the proposed amendment is immediacy. That is the debate that has gone on here, whether or not, if I walk into an office, the section says that the people in that office must be bilingual and must be able to serve me in the language of my choice, French or English? Or, can we have a situation outlined by the Government Leader - which we agree with - where we can have a translation bureau, or whatever available to the government, to which an individual in a department phones, asks for someone to help, and the story goes on.
This ensures that the immediacy is taken into account. This basically outlines what the Government Leader has said in this House, what he envisages the purpose of the section in the bill to be doing. I cannot see why we could not include that in the bill. Because of the position put forward by the government, there is no reason why that section cannot be put into the legislation and explained to the Government of Canada.
This agreement has been accepted, as I understand it, by the Government of Yukon with the understanding that the principles included in this section are the ones by which the act is interpreted if we had the misfortune of going to court.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I am only one of the five lawyers in this room. Speaking as a Member of the Legislature with a legal background, I will comment on this amendment. One of the problems is the language in the amendment. There are things like the phrase, in the sense understood as flowing from section 20". I do not quite know what that means. I do know what one of the clauses here means; it is approximately in the middle. The clause here is, without qualifying the right provided under section 6".
Explaining it as simply as I can, when you have that phrase in, the rest of the words essentially mean nothing. We are attempting to qualify something, and we are saying without qualifying the right provided under section 6". The words, without qualifying", are very clear simple words not only in the English language but, also, are legal terms of art.
As a lawyer, when I read the words without qualifying, I know what that means. I am quite clear that this amendment would be no comfort to the Member opposite, who wishes to say that section 6 is a right but is qualified by this amendment. It is not. The amendment does not do what he is attempting to do.
Mr. Lang: I appreciate the help from the Minister of Justice, and I have no problem in moving that we remove the words and without qualifying the right provided under section 6". I move that motion in light of the comments made by the Minister of Justice. With removing those words, I think he would agree that this section clearly spells out the understanding of the act and the interpretation of the act for Members of the House, as well as for members of the public.
The important element of the section before us is that should be done. Otherwise, we are abrogating our responsibilities and are telling the court that they should decide, because the Members of the House are just elected and do not have the ability to do that.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I will intervene again very briefly. If that phrase, without qualifying, is taken out, we are in exactly the same position that we were with the previous amendment. The situation is that the federal government, with whom we have already agreed, and the minority language groups will not accept qualifiers on this wording, which is taken from the Charter.
Mr. Lang: Who the hell is running the country? We are trying to be as cooperative as we can. We are trying to bring forward what we believe to be a legitimate amendment in outlining how the government envisages this particular section working. Now we are being told that it would be totally unacceptable to the other two parties. Here, we are being told one side of the story. There are then two other parties who have entirely different interpretations of the act, so we will go to court to find out. That leaves the statement of the section in question, with no attempt to put in law our understanding of how this is going to work.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I respond to the question of who is running the country by saying, in terms of the country as a whole, that the national government is. I go back to the original reason of why we are here. The national governments purpose and intent, as expressed in Bill C-72, was to make the Yukon Territory officially bilingual, in all of its institutions and in all of its offices. This government judged that this community was not ready for such a step. This government judged that the aboriginal community here - the aboriginal language speakers - were entitled to equitable treatment when dealing with minority languages. This government judged that the francophone community here was entitled to improved services. This government sought to negotiate an agreement, had an agreement twice at the officials level, which was rejected by the federal Cabinet, who felt we should official bilingualism imposed upon us.
Bill C-72 is in a committee before Parliament right now. The agreement reflected in this bill was an agreement negotiated over two years in many meetings. We have been told, as has been reiterated by the witnesses, that the kind of changes that are proposed by the well-meaning amendment from the Member opposite would nullify the agreement and have the consequences of having the federal government proceed with Bill C-72. That is something that we want to avoid.
Mr. Nordling: I would just like to express my concern, perhaps not so much with exactly what is written here, but perhaps it is more with the negotiating skills of the Government Leader. Last night, the witnesses argued that section 6(1) did not mean we would have to provide instantaneous service. The Government Leader said that his understanding, when he negotiated, and the intent of the all the parties, was that we would not have to provide instantaneous service. Our fear on this side is that section 6(1) may be interpreted by a court to mean instantaneous service. Now, the Government Leader is standing up, and the witnesses are telling us, that we cannot add a clause - and it does not have to necessarily be the exact wording suggested by the Member for Whitehorse Porter Creek East - that says that section 6(1) does not mean that we have to provide instantaneous service.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As I said before, it does not mean that now, and I have already explained, as the witnesses have confirmed that, even under the regime of official bilingualism in the federal government, it does not mean that. Logically, it is unlikely to mean that in the expression of a languages act that does not provide for official bilingualism, but that provides for certain services and certain rights that are admitted and stated boldly by the Minister of Justice not to be official bilingualism and do not constitute official bilingualism.
Mr. Nordling: Why cannot we, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, with our expert witnesses, add a subsection to section 6 to clarify exactly what the Government Leader has said? I am willing to take half an hour or an hour to fix the wording so we are talking about instantaneous services not being contemplated by section 6(1).
Hon. Mr. Penikett: This week, I believe as early as tomorrow morning, the federal Minister of Justice wishes to go before the committee, which is coming to its conclusion of Bill C-72, to indicate whether the Yukon is going to legislate this agreement or whether we are not.
If we were proposing to change clause 6 which, from the federal governments point of view, is the heart of the agreement. It is, as the Leader of the Official Opposition says, plagiarized from other acts and other legislation.
We would have to go through the chain of consultation that we went through in this bill, not only with the local francophone community, not only with the national francophone community, but also with the Federation of Francophones outside of Quebec. We would be, in essence, asking to change the agreement we have signed with the federal government. We would have to take the process back to the federal Cabinet. I think we have received every indication from federal officials that their view on that score would be that we were making an effort to escape or undo the agreement.
Mr. Nordling: I have a comment. It appears to me that the Government Leader is telling this side that section 6 will pass the way it is, word for word. The gun is at our heads and, if we mess it up in any way at all, the whole agreement comes unraveled and we will likely be forcing Bill C-72, or official bilingualism, on the Yukon.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I would not have put into exactly those words, but I think the Member describes the potential consequences quite well.
I do not want to use the expression gun at our heads, but I doubt if there is anyone here who believes that the Parliament of Canada does not have the legal ability to impose such a regime on us. I do not believe they have the moral right. I believe this Legislature and this community is entitled to make its own judgments on this score but, unfortunately, we are not a province, so we do not have the constitutional right.
Mr. Nordling: I am glad we cleared that up and established which way we will have to vote on this bill.
Chairman: Just so that everyone knows what we are voting on, and because a Member cannot move an amendment to his own amendment, I will ask if someone on the opposite side would move
THAT the amendment adding (3) of clause 6 be amended by deleting the words and without qualifying the right provided under section 6".
Would someone move that?
Chairman: Now we are on the amendment.
Chairman: Is there any further debate on clause 6(1)?
Mr. Lang: I have a question for the witnesses. It goes back to the question of institution. That particular phraseology bothers me, because the Yukon Housing Corporation is a creation of the Legislature, the Workers Compensation Board is and the municipalities are as well. How does the deputy minister justify his answer of last night that the word institution in the legislation would not apply to municipalities?
Mr. Byers: They simply are not. The municipalities have separate legislative authorities and powers that a corporation does not. If you want a full answer to it, it is difficult to give it here. I would rather do it in writing. The municipalities are not institutions of this Legislature in the sense that I think he means it, not in the same context as a corporation is, which is responsible to this Legislature.
Mr. Lang: Then the answer is that the legislation does not apply to municipalities and we have the assurances of the government that it will not apply. We will see how history writes itself.
Clause 6 agreed to
On Clause 7
Clause 7 agreed to
On Clause 8
Hon. Mr. Penikett: In the second word there is a typo. It says nothing is this Act and it should read nothing in this Act. If the Committee would accept it as a typo I would appreciate it.
Clause 8 agreed to
On Clause 9
Clause 9 agreed to
On Clause 10
Clause 10 agreed to
On Clause 11
Clause 11 agreed to
On Clause 12
Mr. Lang: I would move, in conjunction with the previous amendment that was adopted by the House on section 3;
THAT Bill No. 7, entitled the Languages Act be amended in Clause 12 at page 3 by deleting paragraph 12(b).
Amendment agreed to
Clause 12 agreed to as amended
On Clause 13
Clause 13 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that you report Bill No. 7, the Languages Act with amendment.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I now call the House to order. May the House have a report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole?
Mr. Webster: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 7, Languages Act, and directed to report the same with amendment.
Speaker: You have heard the report from the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
Bill No. 50: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 50, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 50, Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89, be now a read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Bill No. 50, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 50, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89, has passed this House.
Bill No. 66: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 66, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 66, entitled An Act to Amend the Municipal Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 66, entitled An Act to Amend the Municipal Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 66, entitled An Act to Amend the Municipal Act, has passed this House.
Bill No. 95: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 95, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 95, entitled An Act to Amend the Occupational Health And Safety Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 95, entitled An Act to Amend the Occupational Health And Safety Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 95, entitled An Act to Amend the Occupational Health And Safety Act, has passed this House.
Bill No. 55: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 55, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 55, entitled An Act to Amend the Legal Services Society Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 55, entitled An Act to Amend the Legal Services Society Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 55, entitled An Act to Amend the Legal Services Society Act, has passed this House.
Bill No. 22: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 22, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 22, entitled Arts Centre Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Education that Bill No. 22, entitled Arts Centre Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 22, entitled Art Centre Act, has passed this House.
Bill No. 37: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 37, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 37, entitled Motor Transport Act, be read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 37, entitled Motor Transport Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 37 has passed this House.
Bill No. 4: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 4, stranding in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 4, entitled College Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Education that Bill No. 4, entitled College Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 4 has passed this House.
Bill No. 31: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 31, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 31, entitled Cabinet and Caucus Employees Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Bill No. 31, entitled Cabinet and Caucus Employees Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 31 has passed this House.
Bill No. 81: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 31, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: I move that Bill No. 81, entitled Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 1988, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 81, entitled Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 1988, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 81 has passed this House.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I would request the unanimous consent of the House to waive Standing Order 59(3), in order to give third reading to Bill No. 7, entitled Languages Act.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: There is unanimous consent.
Bill No. 7: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 7, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 7, entitled Languages Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Bill No 7, entitled Languages Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 7 has passed this House.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move
THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Government Leader, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;
THAT the Speaker give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and
THAT, if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.
Speaker: It has been moved by hon. Government House Leader
THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Government Leader, that the public interest required that the House shall meet;
THAT the Speaker give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and
THAT if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I would like to inform the House that we are now prepared to receive the Commissioner in his capacity of Lieutenant Governor to give assent to certain bills that have passed this House.
Commissioner enters the Chamber, escorted by the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms
Commissioner: Please be seated.
Speaker: Mr. Commissioner, the Assembly at its present session passed a number of bills, to which, in the name and on behalf of the Assembly, I respectfully request your assent.
Clerk: College Act; Languages Act; Arts Centre Act; Cabinet and Caucus Employees Act; Motor Transport Act; Second Appropriation Act, 1988-89; An Act to Amend the Legal Services Society Act; Fourth Appropriation Act, 1987-88; An Act to Amend the Municipal Act; Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act, 1988; An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and An Act to Amend the Highways Act.
Commissioner: I am pleased to give assent to these bills as enumerated by the Clerk.
May I take this opportunity to wish all Members and officers of the House a very pleasant summer.
Commissioner leaves the Chamber
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
Hon. Mr. Porter: I move that the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned.
The House adjourned at 5:27 p.m.
The following Legislative Returns were tabled May 18, 1988:
Study on youth unemployment - recommendations and responses (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 177
Executive Council Office: Bureau of Statistics - Yukon hotel/motel vacancy survey (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 176
Executive Council Office: Bureau of Statistics - Yukon Spatial Price Survey/Model Feasibility Study (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 176
Executive Council Office: Bureau of Statistics - CEIA Data Automation Project (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 176
Monitoring of financial agreements by Department of Finance (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 447
Electrical consumption statistics (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 550
The following Sessional Paper was tabled May 18, 1988:
Yukon: Unemployment Report, August 6, 1987