Thursday, January 12, 1989 - 3:00 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will proceed at this time with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed at this time with the Order Paper.
Introduction of Visitors?
Returns or Documents for Tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I have for tabling a document entitled Working Together: A Child Care Strategy for the Yukon.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have for tabling a number of Legislative Returns.
Speaker: Reports of Committees?
Introduction of Bills?
Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Notices of Motion?
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr. Lang: I move
THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Housing Corporation and the Government of Yukon should begin discussions with the City of Whitehorse to develop a childrens park at Sixth and Steele or, failing the development of such a park, the Yukon Housing Corporation should agree to scale down its apartment proposal to comprise no more than eight units.
Further to that, I move
THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Government of Yukon should lower its general and education tax rate to a comparable level where there has been a reassessment done in order to ensure property owners do not experience an increase in taxation.
Further to that, I move
THAT it is the opinion of this House that a sanding truck should be stationed at Fraser Camp.
I also move
THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Capital Budget should be tabled and debated in all future fall sessions of the Legislature.
Speaker: Statements by Ministers?
Yukon Child Care Strategy
Hon. Mrs. Joe: When this government released its green paper on child care, I stated that Yukoners responses are the most important step in developing a future strategy for child care in the Yukon. When the consultation panel presented its report to me in the fall, they asked that the views of Yukoners not just be heard but, also, be acted upon. I am proud to stand here before you today and inform the hon. Members of the Legislature that this government has not only listened to what Yukoners have said, but is acting on their concerns.
This governments child care strategy outlines not only the action that will occur in the immediate future, but carries our vision of a comprehensive and flexible system of child care into the 1990s. The foundation of the strategy is built on the priority concerns presented by Yukoners on the consultation report. It is a firm foundation on which to build, because the building blocks come from Yukoners themselves. It is a foundation that will move us forward in achieving equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for all Yukoners, especially our children, our most valuable resource.
This government is committed to supporting the development of quality, affordable and comprehensive child care services for families throughout the Yukon. The following objectives, over the next four years, will help us fulfill this commitment: to more than double the number of licensed child care spaces to provide services for up to forty percent of pre-school children in each Yukon community; to provide full financial assistance for all low income families requiring child care services; to have the majority of child care operators and workers obtain training in early childhood development; to provide child development services for special needs pre-schoolers in all Yukon communities; to recognize and support the aspirations of the Indian community to promote and provide culturally appropriate child care services; to recognize the value of child care employment through pay parity for child care workers with comparable service sector occupations; to contribute towards operating costs of licensed child care services in order to improve the quality of care and maintain user fees at levels comparable to those charged in 1988; to support infant, after-school, pre-school, respite, twenty-four hour and seasonal child care programming in Yukon communities; to provide and encourage services for parents to enable them to remain at home to care for their children, especially during the pre-school years; and to establish legislation which fosters the development of quality child care with community and parental involvement.
To help us fully realize these objectives, the child care strategy outlines the immediate actions and future development plans for six major elements. These include: the child care start-up initiative; the child care subsidy initiative; the child development initiative; the child care training and development initiative; the child care quality enhancement initiative and the child care legislation and program delivery initiative.
Our objectives cannot be fully realized without the continued involvement of parents, caregivers and community organizations. During the consultation process, Yukoners made it clear that they have a strong role to play in shaping the future of child care services. Working together, we will build a high quality, comprehensive child care system in the Yukon which meets the needs of parents, communities and, most importantly , our children. Working together, we can set a national standard for excellence in child care.
Mrs. Firth: Prior to giving this Ministerial Statement, the minister tabled a paper called Working Together: A Child Care Strategy for the Yukon, which I have not seen. It a little difficult to respond fully to a Ministerial Statement when part of the documentation is provided and the rest is not. However, my criticism of the Ministerial Statement still applies. I thought there would be more information in this document, but there is not.
The concern that we have on this side of the Legislature, and the concern that has been expressed to me from people involved in child care and child care services in the Yukon, is one regarding exactly where this government is coming from and what their policies are when it comes to the delivery of child care services in the Yukon.
Since August of 1987, we have had all kinds of emotional, motherhood, nice, good statements about children and how much this government likes children, but they have never come forward and been open and honest about exactly what their policies are. That is what the public wants to know. I will give you a perfect example. The child care policy principles in the Working Together: A Child Care Strategy for the Yukon talks about non-profit versus profit. that the best use must be made of public funds. Assistance must be seen to be going to the best possible child care. That is not a policy. What does that mean? Are they going to support both profit and non-profit? What is this governments position on any issue dealing with child care. I do not know, nor does the public.
The Minister has not told us. In all of the studies and discussions and bureaucratic committees we have not been given one concrete policy statement. I want to know when the act is going to be tabled. The throne speech said there would be a child care act tabled this session. This piece of information that I have just received from the clerk says that the comprehensive new child care act will be ready for presentation to the Yukon Legislative Assembly in the fall of 89. Now, we are either going to have one of the longest sessions in history, which is impossible, because we have to have an election first. Let us give the public some credit for intelligence, and for knowing what is going on and for heavens sake, let us answer their questions and tell them where we are coming from so that they can be less cynical about politicians. Thank you.
Mr. McLachlan: There is a great deal in the statement that seems to evolve towards goals that everyone would like to see happening, but my criticism of the statement, which I wish the Minister to respond to, is in the absence of announcements from the hon. Jake Epps Office, the minister responsible for federal legislation in this area, can we move in the directions indicated without knowing how the Yukon fits into the national child care policy, which is yet to be fully announced? The Minister has been to some national conferences on this issue, but we really do not know what is happening at a national level and I wish, if she knows something from those conferences, could she tell us. Has that been instrumental in developing some of these things we see here today?
I only see one other problem. I agree with trying to give as much training to those people. I wonder how we are going to give training to child care operators in the rural communities, but I see us heading for a bit of a structural problem, in that after going to the Yukon College for two years, or one year at least at BCE, I wonder if those people will still be content to work for $6.50 an hour when everyone else going to college is probably going to be able to demand jobs at $11.00 an hour. It is great, but will it work?
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I am not surprised at the kind of criticism that came from the Member for Riverdale South. It was anticipated, and it did not change my mind about anything she might have said, although I respect she does have opinions in respect to child care.
I have read their policy on child care, and there are certain things in there that do comply with ours, although not a whole pile. She talks about the intelligence of the public. We know there is an intelligent public out there, and that is why we had the child care consultation process. Those intelligent Yukoners told us what they wanted, and we have a good report. We will be looking at that report very seriously, and that is why we have it in the House.
We have used the intelligence of Yukoners when we put that consultation process in place, and we did listen. We will be acting upon it.
In regard to the Member for Faro, he talked about how it would fit in with the federal strategy. We have not had the federal Minister at our meetings to talk about their strategy, although we invited him to one of ours. He was going to come, but he changed his mind, but we did meet with him later in regard to it. There were ongoing consultation processes by each jurisdiction with the federal authorities in order to try to find out exactly what it was they thought the jurisdiction saw in their strategy and how it would fit in with ours. Those discussions are ongoing. We will have further announcements as this Legislature proceeds.
Hyland Forest Products Joint Venture
Hon. Mr. Penikett: With the consent of the Opposition Leaders but without proper notice, I rise today as Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation to report that the Development Corporation has agreed to enter a joint venture in Hyland Forest Products with Shieldings Incorporated and a local consortium. The new company will take over ownership of the mill on February 17 of this year. The local consortium is an Indian group led by the Yukon Indian Development Corporation including the Liard Indian Band and the Kaska Dena Council.
Shieldings is a merchant banking group owned by a Canadian chartered bank, the internal management of the company and some other Canadian financial institutions. Its headquarters are in Toronto and it has offices in Vancouver. Shieldings will own 50 percent of Hyland Forest Products and the other 50 percent will be Yukon owned, with 35 percent owned by the local Indian consortium and 15 percent will be sold to the employees by the Development Corporation in the next year.
The agreement meets all the criteria the Yukon government said must be met before it would enter a joint venture in Hyland Forest Products. These criteria were: that the new investor have forestry and management expertise; that it make a substantial new investment in the sawmill operation and intent to make further investment in the Yukon forest industry; that it have the financial resources to fulfill its commitments; and, that it might include employee participation in the company; that opportunity for local employment and business are maximized and that it operate in a sound environmental and social manner.
Shieldings has extensive management expertise in the forestry industry. It owns a state of the art veneer plant in Nanaimo, B.C. and developed a paper mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It has other investments in wood fibre and various industries across Canada. Shieldings will bring new investment, including a $6 million high tech sawmill. Construction of this project will begin by 30 June 1989 and will be completed by 30 September 1989. It will have five times the capacity of the present mill. I wish to advise that Hyland employees will be kept on during construction of this facility.
The new investors are committed to expanding wood-based investments in the Yukon and Shieldings will complete the necessary studies to that end by the end of this year. The company will continue to employ local labour and it is anticipated that employment and business opportunities in Watson Lake will expand with the new investment in the bill and consequent expanded logging.
The Yukon government will provide training for workers in Watson Lake to enable them to take full advantage of the new employment opportunities.
The Yukon Development Corporation sold Hylands assets at book value, subject to shareholder agreement. Further financial details will be available once legal documentation of the transaction is complete.
The agreement with Shieldings and the Indian consortium was reached after discussion with over 15 parties including several offshore investors interested in participating in Hyland Forest Products.
I am able to make the announcement today following the approval by the board of directors for Shieldings this morning.
Mr. Phelps: Rumours have been flying for some time now about the possible sale of the sawmill in Watson Lake. We were advised by the Government Leader at noon today. I have a lot of concerns about the arrangements, particularly in view of the fact we were told in glowing terms what the government was going to do and what the Yukon Development Corporation was going to do when they bought the sawmill in the first place. The result has been a continuing horror story from the point of view of mismanagement and losing money, with far more millions of dollars being lost yearly than was ever anticipated by the wildest dreams of the consultants who gave their advice to the Yukon Development Corporation.
We will have a lot of questions today and in days to come about what kind of a deal was struck. It is probably the same bunch who got us into this mess in the first place who sold this thing off to Shieldings. Perhaps we can breathe a sigh of relief for the industry itself. I am sure private enterprise can manage it on a profit basis, instead of a give away of the taxpayers money basis. It has been a sorry spectacle thus far.
Mr. McLachlan: As the Leader of the Official Opposition has indicated, we were only told minutes after noon today of the impending and completed sale to Shieldings of Toronto and Vancouver. One particular item in the announcement that we are pleased with is one the Liberal Party had told the Yukon Development Corporation they needed last summer, which was essentially a new mill A $6 million high-tech sawmill that an expert in the business is intending to bring in seems to back that. We are pleased that we will not be pouring any more money down what seemed to be a black hole, in order to keep the operation going and keep 94 jobs on-line.
So, that part we are pleased with, and I realize over the next few days we will get more announcements that, we hope, will further clarify the situation.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am pleased to take a moment to comment on the response of the Opposition Leaders, particularly that of the Conservative Leader. I would remind him that we participated in this project at a point when nobody else was interested in doing so. It is a perfect demonstration of the attitude of his party and his caucus on this project that they focus on the operating losses rather than the 100 or so jobs that were created there, the $10 million impact on the Watson Lake economy, or the reinvigorated forestry sector in the Yukon, which results from the Yukon Development Corporations participation.
As the Members opposite know, the operation has been in private management from the time that we took responsibility for it. I would want to reiterate that, in terms of the investment, employment, business opportunities and development of the forestry sector, our participation has achieved all our original objectives.
Speakers Ruling - Question of Privilege
Speaker: This, then, brings us to the Question Period. Before beginning Question Period, I would like to inform the House that I have reviewed yesterdays Blues and have not found any prima facie case of privilege. Rather, there was a dispute between Members as to facts.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products sale
Mr. Phelps: I have a few questions that have come up as a result of todays Ministerial Statement and the sale of this enterprise that has been losing millions of dollars for taxpayers in the Yukon. I guess private enterprise figure they can make a buck with it, but not government.
My first area of concern has to do with the statement that the new mill is going to have five times the capacity of the present operation. Can the government table any studies that have been done to show whether or not the existing leases can give a sustained yield that will meet five times the capacity of the present mill?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As the Opposition Leader well knows, I could not possibly be in a position at this moment to table any such study, should it exist. It may bring some comfort to the member to know that the federal forestry officials, who are, at least for the time being, responsible for the management of the forests in the Yukon Territory, were consulted during the course of these negotiations, and provided assurances to us and to the future new investors of the achievability of sustainable yield, even at the increased harvest which is contemplated with the new mill.
Mr. Phelps: It does not give me any comfort. I doubt that it gives the forest industry much comfort, because five times the current yield is one hell of a lot of lumber, in my books. I would like to know whether or not there is any commitment that would ensure that this new company is not simply going to put in a few bucks, rape the land and be able to leave with a huge profit in a few years.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am, of course, deeply saddened that the Leader of the Official Opposition would think so badly of me and so poorly of this government that he would actually think that we would contemplate, given a choice of fifteen or so purchasers, to select and choose to participate with a company that would rape and pillage our forests. That is entirely inconsistent with every action of this government, completely contradictory to its stated intentions and I believe that I will ultimately be able to provide assurances to the Member that that is not the case. I am sorry that he has so little faith in one, this government, two, the people in this community and, three, the private sector.
Mr. Phelps: I have little faith, all right. Everything the Minister of Mines and the Minister of Forestry touches is going broke or losing money or is mismanaged. I would like to know whether or not the industry itself in the Yukon, the Yukon-based industry and the association for the industry has been consulted with regard to the concern of this monopoly, whether it is going to squeeze out the small entrepreneur that is in the lumber business in not only the southeast Yukon, but the rest of the Yukon as well. Was that association consulted?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I doubt very much if there were formal consultations in the middle of a commercial transaction with other private interests, but I am sure the Leader of the Official Opposition will cast his mind back to the days when we first got involved and we were encouraged by a number of small operators who felt that if the forest sector in this territory were to achieve its potential, it needed the kind of initiative taken by this government. You know that we were overwhelmingly supported by the people of Watson Lake in terms of taking this initiative and one will know that the Development Corporation and the energy corporation have been highly profitable enterprises. We were able to lower power rates for people after only operating the company for a short while.
If one takes a look at mineral production in this territory, as compared with the days when he was Government Leader, you will see that it is many times higher than it was in his day. And out of their own mouths, we know that it was their position to do nothing when a mine went down. We have taken action in the community of Faro, Elsa and Watson Lake. We did it in Watson Lake. We did it under criticism from the Opposition. We do not apologise for taking steps to save that community, save that mill, save the employment.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Phelps: They took action in Watson Lake, all right. They flew planes down there to make big announcements, flew people up here, came before this House with studies that would show that there would not be any loss on their investment. They have been losing millions of dollars ever since. The thing has never paid, never come close to paying, because of miserable mismanagement decisions. I want to know who negotiated this deal that gave away five times the potential of that mill to the Toronto firm. Was it the same guy who got us into this mess in the first place, Mr. Alwarid?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not going to dignify personal attack on a public employee by the Leader of the Official Opposition, nor will I respond in kind to him. The negotiators of this arrangement were the officers of the Development Corporation that will not surprise him and the member of the board for Watson Lake and all the directors were fully involved. I am sure it will be very reassuring for Members of the Opposition to know that this particular proposal was unanimously approved by the board of directors of the Yukon Development Corporation, including private citizens from all over the territory, people of all political stripes and all walks of life.
Mr. Phelps: Particularly people of the stripe of the party across the way. Patronage is an issue in the territory after all.
In reading this statement, we understand there is going to be a recoup of all of the capital investment into this mill. I gather that the citizens of the Yukon have no chance of recouping the millions upon millions of dollars that have been lost in the operation of the mill, the operating side, is that right?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Of course it would be ludicrous to suggest that any new investor be responsible for past losses on the property. It is interesting again that the focus is on the losses. I look forward to going to Watson Lake next week and conveying to the people in that community the attitude of the member opposite that they care not about the jobs, they care not about the mill, they care not about the investment, they care not about the future of the forestry industry, but they are concerned about our previous investment in the property. That their view is that we should have taken their position: do nothing, let the mill die and let Watson Lake suffer the consequences. I am very sad to hear that.
Mr. Phelps: The hon. Government Leader has mismanaged the mining industry in this territory, mismanaged his portfolio, mismanaged the finances, over spent, over spent, over spent, and now he wants to mismanage our position on this side, mismanage what we have to say about the sale of the mill. We are glad to see private industry move in. At least it will save the private sector from the mismanagement of the government who were terribly concerned about the deal made by the same guy who got us into the mess in the first place.
Is there any chance this deal would have gone through without allowing this consortium from the east to have the capacity, and I gather the permission, to saw five times the amount of logs that the present operation could saw?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It is not a question of the capacity of the present operation. The leases that Hyland has had and the cut it is allowed has been a matter of public record. In fact, negotiations of that will ultimately be a matter of public record. I do want to take on the misrepresentation of the facts bootlegged by the Leader of the Official Opposition in his preamble.
The objective fact of the matter is that the so called management of the mining industry which is alleged by the opposition, is something which is still in the federal jurisdiction. We have taken our responsibilities in that area and the mining industry, taken as a whole, is in better shape today than when we found it when we took office, far better shape.
If you look at the last budget, the finances of the territory had a higher surplus than when we took office. We have achieved enormous records: 3,000 new jobs in the territory. I do not call that mismanagement.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. McLachlan: Can the Government Leader tell us what has been negotiated with Shieldings that will protect the 94 jobs at Watson Lake when the new managers take over February 17?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: My understanding of the arrangement is that, while the new mill which I described in a statement earlier is being constructed, a portable mill will be put in place to maintain the employment at the mill and, of course, once the new plant is in operation, there will be many more jobs for the community as a whole.
Mr. McLachlan: Are we to infer from that answer that the jobs will remain at the same level, even during the four to five month construction period of the new mill this summer, or is that only until they start constructing and then have massive layoffs?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: My understanding is that no layoffs are contemplated during the construction period. The total employment that will result at the end of that period will be higher than it is now.
Mr. McLachlan: From the way the mill has been operating, there is no way that the incoming funds from the sale of products would possibly cover all the operating expenses and the repair on that mill to date. Where has that money been coming from to cover the operating losses that the mill has been incurring to date?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As the Member knows, the Government of Yukon advanced money to the Yukon Development Corporation to operate this facility. The Member knows the sale of product from the mill has been very good. In fact, I think the demand for some kinds of product has exceeded the capacity of the mill to supply them. In respect to that question and, indeed, to some extent, the question of the Leader of the Official Opposition I understand, and we are advised by people in the industry, the expectation that the reopening of a mill like this could become profitable in the extreme short term is not likely, that the investors coming in here are coming in for the long term. They do not expect to make a quick buck. They are making a substantial new investment in the territory.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products profitability
Mr. McLachlan: Yesterday, the Government Leader tabled a number of documents. Not among them was the year end report for March 31, 1988. It has been almost ten months. Is the Government Leader going to table the year end report for the Yukon Development Corporation, so Members on this side and the public can look at it and make their own judgments about the profitability of the sawmill?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The short answer is yes. The information about the year end report on the sawmill has already been made public. I made it public myself in Watson Lake. The actual report is not back from the printers yet, but I have a photocopy of the report as it was sent to the printer. If the Member would like a copy, I will provide him with one this afternoon.
Mr. McLachlan: I would appreciate the Government Leader photocopying that so all Members can have that. I find it strange it is available today only after questioning.
When we passed the legislation for the creation of the Yukon Development Corporation, contained in it a clause that the Minister will table legislation for the Members when the House is not sitting by sending it to their offices. Why do we have to ask for it in Question Period when it should be done as a matter of fact?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am sure the Member knows me well enough to know that if I had the printed copies back I would have made them available as soon as they were. I am quite prepared to give the photocopy. I do not think it would be proper to table the photocopy. The official copy is coming, but I will make copies available to all Members this afternoon, if they so wish.
Mr. McLachlan: It is my information that the mill which lost $1.8 million by March 31, 1988 continued to lose money in the first nine months of the year and that, at least for three quarters of the past year, that loss has now doubled to somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3.5 million. Can the Government Leader confirm that? Have those losses doubled?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No, I definitely cannot confirm that.
Mr. Nordling: Last May, the Government Leader undertook to provide me, as critic for economic development, with financial information on Hyland Forest Products, as soon as he received it. This promise was not kept. From the meager information that I have, it appears that the startup costs were not $18,700.00, as predicted, but closer to $2.6 million. These costs were spread over three years, leaving us with $1.7 million in outstanding expenses for the mill. Assets are valued at approximately $1.5 million. Can the Government Leader confirm that what we are doing is paying a purchaser approximately $200,000 to take the mill off our hands?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I definitely cannot confirm that.
Mr. Nordling: There is a lot of financial information that the Government Leader has and is not giving us. I would like to ask the Government Leader if it is true that we are still paying Jack Sigalet approximately $60,000.00 per year and that we need his permission before we can sell the mill?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No.
Mr. Nordling: Then can the Government Leader tell us if it is true that production at the mill right now has slowed down completely to leave logs in the yard for the new owners and that a million and a half board feet of logs are being sold for firewood.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: No.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Phelps: I always enjoy a short answer from the Government Leader, but I would like to know, when he said no, if simply he cannot answer the question, because I know that they are selling off their inventory for firewood?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Customarily, in a parliamentary system, when members are asking questions of such detail, they will provide notice and allow the minister to come to the house with the information. I cannot possibly provide answers to the kinds of questions asked by the member for Porter Creek West. Customary questions of the kind might be asked during estimates with notice. I will of course take the questions as notice and come back with answers when I can. I cannot confirm the allegations or assertions as made by the member.
Mr. Phelps: I take it that he cannot confirm or deny that Jack Sigalet is still getting a bunch of money and continuing to be paid long after he left the operation. Is that right?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The member for Porter Creek West made a very specific allegation as to the arrangements with Jack Sigalet, which are not my knowledge. The member for Hootalinqua seems to be making a different, more vague allegation. I will of course check into the facts, but I have no information that would confirm that.
Mr. Phelps: You are not taking the position that Mr. Sigalet did not continue to get paid sums of money long after he left as manager of the project?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The member will recognize that that is a much more cautious question. I do not know the precise terms of the severance with Mr. Sigalet, but I will of course ask, now that I have been asked it in the House.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Lang: I am a little taken aback with respect to the lack of knowledge portrayed by the Government Leader about the sale that he just announced today. There were some very specific questions asked in respect to the financial situation of Yukon Hyland Products that surely would have formed part of the information to make the decision to make the sale. Here we are sitting in this house being told that the minister is unable to table a report that was supposed to be made public in May or June of 1988 because it is still at the printers. That is the oldest trick in the trade.
It is still at the printers.
Can the Government Leader give us a full, up-to-date financial statement of Hyland Forest Products liabilities and assets?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot. I have not received such a report. The Act contemplates that we provide an annual report to the House and that we will do.
Mr. Lang: We have just seen a supposedly multi-million dollar transaction, and the Government Leader is saying to the people of the territory that he is unable to give us a good general financial statement on behalf of that Development Corporation that has asked this House for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to operate.
Did the Cabinet make the decision to sell Hyland Forest Products to this particular organization without having all the up-to-date financial information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member will know that Hyland Forest Products is a subsidiary of the Yukon Development Corporation. The Development Corporation does not provide monthly reports to Cabinet, neither does any other crown corporation. The transactions of the Hyland Forest Products are no doubt part of regular board meetings of the Development Corporation. If the Member is asking for me to provide a mid-year financial position on Hyland Forest Products, I cannot do it at this point because I do not have one.
Mr. Lang: Is the Government Leader trying to tell the public that has contributed millions of taxpayers dollars to this venture that the Cabinet was not involved in any way in this particular transaction and that the Government Leader did not have direct access to that information?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Of course I am not telling the Member that at all.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Lang: I recognize that the Government Leader has put himself in a position where he should never be questioned on any given subject. Could the Government Leader just come down to our level once and tell the public of the territory exactly what the financial position of Yukon Hyland Forest Products is today?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I hope and pray that I never come to the Members level.
The fact of the matter is that this member of this government has provided more public information about a whole range of things than any previous administration. When it came to making public the financial results of the operation of Hyland Forest Products, we did not hide anything. I held a press conference in Watson Lake, showed people the plant, let the reporters talk to the administration, talked to the community there, and had a public meeting. There was no hiding of it at all.
There is not a crown corporation in this territory that provides periodic monthly reports, certainly not one which operates in a commercial environment. I have said, I said it in my statement, that the financial information that the House will require, that the public is entitled to know, will be revealed when we have completed the legal transaction and subject to whatever agreements the other shareholders and participants are willing to make public.
Mr. Lang: I do not accept the premise that because the Minister has had a public meeting he has given all the information that is required to the general public. There has been no information provided whatever with respect to this transaction, none.
The Minister is saying on one hand that he was involved with the decision and on the other hand saying to the general public that he cannot provide the dollar figures of exactly what losses or profits were incurred in this transaction.
Speaker: Order, please. Will the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mr. Lang: With the sale of Hyland Forest Products, and with the amount of money the taxpayers have contributed to that operation in the past three and a half years, did the taxpayer make a profit in respect to that transaction? If so, how much?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: One, the public has not been involved in the operation for three and a half years. The public has been involved only for one complete financial year, about which there has been public information.
The statement has already been made that we recovered our capital investment and that the assets were sold at book value.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Phelps: We are told by the Minister responsible that Shieldings is purchasing 50 percent, and 35 percent is being purchased by the Indian consortium. Is Shieldings going to pay 50 percent, or is this being financed, in whole or in part, by the Yukon Development Corporation or the government?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I want to be careful about the way I answer this question. The Yukon government is not, in any way that I think the Member means, financing the participation of Shieldings. They are bringing new investment and new capital to this project. The Member will understand that negotiations were going on all through the last several days, and a decision was only made this morning by the Shieldings board. I have previously given him an undertaking in my office to make the financial information available to him as soon as I can do so at the completion of the legal transactions.
Mr. Phelps: May I ask the same question with regard to the other 35 percent that is being taken over by the Yukon Indian Development Corporation, the Liard Indian Band and the Kaska Dena Council? Are they paying for this, or is the Yukon government or the Yukon Development Corporation in any way financing that portion on their behalf?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: There is a complicated financial transaction there that does involve the anticipation of the settlement of land claims settlement money, but I cannot give any more details at this point. I will take the Members question as notice so I can provide him with a proper answer.
Mr. Phelps: I do not know if I understand that. Is the Government Leader now saying this government is putting up money for land claims? That was never supposed to be the situation in the past.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: In response to that supplementary, no, we are not talking about money that is forthcoming from the Yukon government from settlement of land claims. I believe it is the case that the consortium contemplates completing the transaction with the assistance of settlement funds but, again, I will take the precise question as notice.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Phelps: With respect to the power plant that runs from the sawdust and waste chips, and so on, is that part of the deal?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: It is part of the deal, but what we sought was assurances that the power would continue to be available to the community on the terms and arrangements we had previously discussed in this House. Again, I will take notice of the question so I can provide the precise information to the Member.
Mr. Phelps: I am looking forward to the precise information. I am wondering whether or not, once this deal is through, the new consortium that has bought the mill and the timber leases will own that power plant.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As the Member knows, the plant itself is an integral part of the operation of the mill, as well as a source of power for the community. Again, so that I do not unwittingly provide any misinformation, I will take that question as notice.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Lang: Has the Yukon Territorial Government given any financial guarantees to any of the parties for the purposes of purchasing or running the mill once the purchase is completed?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am not sure if I understand the meaning of the question. Is he asking whether we are guaranteeing profits or a rate of return? What is he getting at?
Mr. Lang: For example, if the native consortiums monies are not forthcoming through the settlement then how are they going to pay for it? Is the Yukon Territorial Government providing any guarantees or financial commitments if that worst case scenario were to take place?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Let me use the example of the employees. It is contemplated that we would facilitate employee participation through a number of programs, profit sharing or some other arrangement. As the Member knows we have a number of programs to do this with participation by the employees. We have a venture capital program which can help facilitate the acquisition of shares in a company for which they work. That is one of the elements of the program.
If the employees are not able to fund the acquisition then there is a series of options for other participants, including the Indian consortium and Shieldings to acquire those shares.
Mr. Lang: I am not clear on this. The impression that is being left is that the government is out of the running of the sawmill. That was the gist of the announcement made earlier. I do not think this side disagrees with this.
Now I am getting the impression that either, verbally or otherwise, commitments have been made where government financing is going to be made available for either the acquisition of the sawmill and/or the running of the mill. That is the area we want clarified with respect to not only what losses have taken place but what exactly is involved in the transaction. Surely the Minister has that at his fingertips he is the one who made the announcement not us.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: As I said earlier, the Yukon Development Corporation will continue to hold 50 percent of the shares with the intention that we will sell those shares to the employees. We will be involved in the financing of that acquisition by the employees. There are a number of ways in which that can be done. If the employees do not wish to acquire those shares, or cannot, then there are options for other participants to pick up those shares.
Until such time as the employees do buy those shares we will continue to have 15 percent of the equity in the mill.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Phelps: Does the Government Leader intend, as Minister of Forestry, Economic Development and Mines, to enter into any discussions or consultations with the association in charge of the industry for the Yukon with regard to the sale, and more expressly with regard to fears already expressed by that industry in the past over this monopoly that is being created?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I do not share the view of the Leader of the Official Opposition that industry-wide fears have been expressed. It is quite the opposite. With the exception of one companys temporary concern about their competitive position, we have been consistently encouraged by people in this sector to participate because it was felt that without our participation there was no one else available in the territory at the time who had the capital resources to be able to develop this sector.
As the Member knows, when he asked the question earlier, the productions levels of this mill or by a new operator are dictated by the terms of a federal license based upon the criteria of sustainable yield and good management practices. The fact of the matter is that we are only cutting a fraction of the sustainable yield in the territory and indeed the potential of the forestry sector in the territory is quite considerable. I believe the attraction of the new investment which todays decision means is a very good thing for the industry. I believe it will be seen so by other operators.
Mr. Phelps: He does not have any study that even shows that the forest can provide a sustained yield to the huge mill that is going to be built. I am wondering whether or not such a study is going to be done by an objective group for this government and for this Minister who is in charge.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: That statement is quite inaccurate. The federal officials have recently completed an inventory of the forest resource in that area and, as I previously indicated to the Member, even though that study is not yet public, the knowledge of the extent of the resource and of the inventory is in the hands of local federal officials and those federal officials were fully knowledgeable of the fact of these negotiations and the sustainability of the contemplated harvest.
Mr. Phelps: When are we going to finally have made public the complete financial picture of the operation up to the date that the sale takes place? When is the public actually going to be made aware of the millions of dollars that have been lost in refurbishing and operating the mill that Yukon Energy Corporation bought?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I previously expressed our position on when the public will be apprised of what we have gained as soon as I am in a position to make that information public.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Phelps: I think I am having trouble hearing. Is it the position of the Government Leader that the operation has been making money all this time, and that there was a gain?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: What we have gained is new employment, new investment and a new mill and I think a new future, and indeed a new era for the forestry sector in the Territory
Mr. Phelps: I was simply asking for the books. When are we going to know the actual dollars that have been lost to this operation?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member is asking two questions. The act of the Legislature provides for when the full financial information of the annual report of the Corporation will be available. I have also previously indicated to him that the financial information concerning this transaction will be made available under the conditions I previously described, as soon as I am in a position to do so.
Question re: Hyland Forest Products joint venture
Mr. Lang: I think the concern expressed by all Members here is just exactly what is the financial position of Yukon Hyland Products? I do not understand why the Government Leader , who prides himself, who pontificates at any given time and any given place, about how he is so open with the information about government. At the same time, the Leader of the Liberal Party and the Leader of the Official Opposition has asked continually today; when will the full information be provided to this House on the workings, both capital and Operations and Maintenance, of the Yukon Hyland Products? When can it be tabled in this House? I am not asking for a report in June of 1989.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: If the Member is asking for monthly or periodic reports of the financial position of crown corporations operating in this territory, or on a more frequent basis than is contemplated in law, we very much have to take that question under advisement. It was certainly never the position of this government, or any previous government, or probably any other government in the country, that in fact the day to day financial situation of a company, especially of a company operating in the commercial environment, be subject to public discussion. I have said that the financial arrangements concerning this sale, subject to the conditions I previously mentioned, I will hope to be able to the House at the completion of the legal transactions.
Mr. Lang: When do we expect the completion of the legal transaction?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Hopefully, very soon. As I told the Leader of the Official Opposition in answer to an identical question at noon today, the new company is due to take over on February 17 but, when I asked the precise question that was put by the Member opposite to the president of the new investor, he indicated to me some concern that the final transaction might take a little longer than that. I would hope it would be done as soon as is prudently possible.
Mr. Lang: I do not understand why this has to wait for the culmination of the legal transaction. I do not understand why we, the public, cannot have access to the books, even as of today, with respect to the running of that particular operation, which, on a daily basis, is being paid for by the taxpayers of Yukon. I do not understand . . .
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?
Mr. Lang: Could the Government Leader explain to the public why he is refusing to provide to us and the media, other than a prepared text of the books of that particular operation, which is obviously a concern to many people?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member asks why not. It is somewhat of a rhetorical question. I suspect the answer is that it is not contemplated either in law or in normal business practice. The Member has asked on another occasion about the particular financial circumstances of this transaction. I am sure the Leader of the Official Opposition will know, if this Member does not, that there are some dictates of commercial confidentiality and requirements to conclude legal arrangements that necessitate my waiting until that activity is complete.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Point of Order
Hon. Mr. McDonald: On a Point of Order.
Speaker: Point of Order to the Minister of Education.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I rise on a Point of Order to correct the record. I am informed that the 1983-84 budget figures provided to me and referred to in my response to the Speech from the Throne apparently presented over expenditures as under expenditures, and vice versa.
Therefore, I would like to advise the House that the budget figures in regard to that year were incorrect. In fact, only three government departments over spent in that year: Government Services and the Executive Council Office in the O&M Budget, and Highways and Transportation Services in the Capital Budget.
Speaker: We will now proceed with the Orders of the Day.
Replies to the Speech from the Throne.
ADDRESS IN REPLY TO SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Mr. Nordling: I appreciate the opportunity to reply to the Speech from the Throne. The reply allows Members to address the important issues of the day and to make representations to the Crown on behalf of their constituents.
I would like to begin by addressing some of the concerns of one of the most diverse and fastest growing ridings in the territory, that being Porter Creek West. Other than the municipal paving project in Porter Creek South and Porter Creek Central, and the perennial problem of the condition of the streets in Crestview, the most talked about issue is the proposed storage of PCBs and all of Yukons other hazardous chemicals in the Kulan Industrial Subdivision, just south of the Mackenzie Trailer Park and Crestview.
My concern is with the method by which the site was selected and what will happen in the future. My impression is that the site was chosen not because it was the best or the safest, but just because the zoning was industrial and it was the most convenient place to obtain the land.
I have not seen any analysis whatsoever of the amount of hazardous chemical waste that will be stored there, or the amount of traffic in and out of that area, or consideration of the prevailing winds that blow from the Kulan Subdivision over Crestview. What I see is an NDP government that has fiddled around and accomplished virtually nothing since July of 1985. I see no evidence whatsoever of the Minister giving any direction at all to the Hazardous Waste Storage and Disposal Committee. There has been no political will to address this problem and, finally, now with the grader station bunker shut down and no storage site, the department officials and the committee were forced to make a decision with no policy in place.
The Whitehorse Copper Mine makes a lot more sense to me, and the vast majority of PCBs are stored there at the present time. A lease agreement would be needed with Hudson Bay Mining. I am worried about the future because, if this government puts a $200,000 storage facility in the Kulan Industrial Subdivision, we will not be able to get rid of it and, in future years, we do no know how much chemical waste there will be or how dangerous it will be. I do not understand why we would choose one of the most highly populated areas in the territory, and one that is expected to grow in the future.
Yesterday, the Minister said nothing was done or said prior to May of 1985, when the present government took over. Nothing was said by the Opposition prior to May of 1985, either. The Minister was a Member of that Opposition. The reason was that, prior to July of 1985, the storage of these hazardous wastes was not seen to be a problem. In July of 1985, while this present government was in office, Environment Canada recognized the problem and entered into discussions to do something about storing and getting rid of these hazardous chemicals in the territory.
In 1987, the Department of Renewable Resources and, hopefully, the new Minister will take note of this was going to draft legislation to deal with the management of waste and hazardous waste disposal in Yukon. To date, we have not seen that legislation. It has been a long time in that department. In 1988, Environment Canada disposed of our hazardous chemical wastes for us, and they shipped a lot of it to Ontario for disposal. Perhaps the Minister of Community and Transportation Services should take note that this is a possibility, and we should be getting an commitment now to ship the present PCBs to Swanhills, Alberta. It may take three years, or even five years, but work should begin on that now. I hope that the Minister of Community and Transportation Services will remove his head from wherever it is and give some policy direction in this area.
I would like to move on to another area, so I can praise the Minister to some extent. Great concern was expressed by the constituents of Porter Creek West over the Yukon Alaska Truck Terminal and the safety with the trucks turning out of and in to the terminal with vehicles from the Mayo Road and McPherson passing them and pulling up behind them. The Takhini area transportation study recognized this and recommended that a left turn box be established for northbound trucks and an acceleration lane for southbound vehicles, to be a minimum of 350 metres long.
Some work has been done in this area, but residents of the McPherson and Mayo Road areas say the work has not been done to what they expected, or corners were cut with respect to the recommendations of the Takhini area transportation study.
I would like to thank the Minister for the work done so far, including the lights, which do make it safer. However, I will be asking for an assessment to see if the minimal amount of work that has been done is accomplishing the goals that we set out to accomplish.
Even more pressing than that assessment is safety at the two entrances to Crestview from the Alaska Highway: one at Kathleen Road and one at the Mackenzie RV Park. Nothing has been done with respect to these intersections since 35 new lots were sold. Many houses are being built in the old area of Crestview, and many new houses and trailers have been moved into the new area. A recreation vehicle park has also been added.
I drive out there myself, and the entrance to Crestview at the Mackenzie RV Park is hard to find with the lighting. It is dangerous, because it is on the corner and there is a lot of highway traffic.
The entrance at Kathleen Road is also hazardous. A vehicle has to stop on the Alaska Highway before turning left. It is dangerous coming down the hill from Kathleen Road onto the highway.
The Minister assured me in May and, perhaps, as early as last January that the department was reviewing these areas and he would let me know the result. I wrote to the Minister of Community and Transportation Services on August 24, 1988, to ask about the review. To date, I have had no answer. Of course, I was not able to ask questions in the Fall Session because the NDP government canceled that. So here I am, one year later, asking the Minister again to review the safety at those two intersections.
I think the least this government can do is make it a little safer for residents of Crestview and their children to come and go from their homes. After all, they have a truck terminal on one end of their subdivision, they had a gravel crusher at the other end and, now, it is proposed that all of the hazardous wastes in the Yukon will be brought in and parked beside them. Their tax assessments are way up, and the City has said they will not pave the streets for another couple of years.
Another issue of grave concern is the possible pollution of Porter Creek itself from the waste oil pit at the dump. I know that the City is looking into this, and I hope the territorial government will take the initiative to offer help and expertise in identifying and solving the problem.
There are many other problems that individuals in Porter Creek West are having, especially in dealing with this government. I will not list them all today. Getting a piece of agricultural land seems to top the list for sheer and total frustration.
I would like to move on to the Throne Speech and the performance of this government. Yesterday, the Leader of the Official Opposition and the acting Liberal Leader, not to mention the Member for Kluane, did a good job of pointing out the inadequacies of the NDP administration and their lack of touch with reality and financial responsibility.
When you start out this Speech, on the first page, it says the Yukon government, Council for Yukon Indians and the Government of Canada have reached a framework agreement to settle the long standing land claim of the Indian people of the Yukon. I notice on this page it is called a framework agreement. These parties started out negotiating what we thought was an agreement-in-principle. My understanding now is that this framework agreement is something less than an agreement-in-principle, and there is a lot left to do. When I looked at the last page of the Speech from the Throne and perhaps this is looking for a place in history for someone who only reads the conclusion it says, Working together, we have just secured a fair settlement of land claims.
If the Government Leader thinks that land claims are settled, he is farther out in left field than I thought he was. This Speech from the Throne must be an election ploy. It is so full of nonsense. What it is is a jumble of positive words, like better and good and solid. We are going to have better child care, better family support, better education, better health, good child care, good schools, good housing. There is nothing new here, and no connection with reality.
The Government Leader says the Throne Speech is a big shift in direction. This big shift is an illusion the Government Leader is trying to create. It has been clearly established that the economy and economic recovery is based almost solely on more and more federal money. Our continued good economy is assured only by the federal governments generosity in renewing the formula financing agreement for two more years. So as not to be overlooked, it was the previous Conservative government who negotiated and signed the formula financing agreement that has assured us of good economic times.
I certainly support emphasis being placed on social action. Attention should be paid to that area; attention that has not been paid to it over the last four years. To our environment, we see that the Tagish Lake and Marsh Lake water systems are polluted such that we who own cabins on the lake cannot drink the water. We hear stories of sewage being dumped into the Yukon River and polluting as far down as Lake Laberge. We understand there is no place to store hazardous wastes and PCBs. We just started a reforestation program for Watson Lake and, since that, we are going to cut five times the capacity of the present mill. It is time that some attention be paid.
Obviously from what we have seen, the Minister of Health has been in neutral for the last four years, waiting for this big shift from the economy to social programs to take place. I would like to suggest that she could begin with the extended care facility, which was put in the budget a couple of years ago and, then, taken out. Now, we do not know where it is.
The mental health act was a top priority of the Minister. If memory serves, it was touted in the last Throne Speech that we were going to have a mental health act tabled. We did not have it in the last session, and the new mental health act did not even make the government bills that are intended to be introduced in this session.
Perhaps now the Minister will start caring a little more for our young offenders that are still being shipped to Willingdon after four years of promises. Perhaps the Minister will get serious about the health care transfer and the transfer of health services from the federal government. Again, if my memory serves me, it was the Minister of Health who wrote to the federal government saying to hold off on the transfer until further notice. Well, things are starting to happen now, because the federal Minister, Jake Epp, came up here and prompted this government into action.
I know there are several people who will come after me and spend a lot more time discussing the failings of the Ministers in the front bench and do it far better than I. I would just like to look through the Speech. The Minister of Community and Transportation Services accused us yesterday of not covering all the bases. I have dealt with the introduction and the framework agreement that, from the first page to the last page, settles land claims completely. We are going to have a green paper on constitutional options for the future. It is nice that this is coming.
On page two, the state of the territory gives credit to this administration for no major tax increases having been necessary for three years. We have been getting more money from the federal government than ever before. The Formula Financing Agreement was signed before this government took office. They did not need the money. They had so much money they did not know what to do with it, and they increased the alcohol and tobacco tax. Then, we asked them about that and they said, Oh, do not worry, we are increasing it because it will stop people from drinking and smoking. Well, they have been questioned about that and, apparently, sales have gone up, not down. I do not think people are any healthier for paying that extra tax.
Yukon 2000 is described as a solid guide to our future. We all know that the Yukon economic strategy, Yukon 2000, is anything but solid. It is a broad outline of goals and objectives that every department should have and has had for many years.
Another line in the Speech reads, The Yukon government has already taken many social initiatives. As I have said, we are still waiting for almost all of them.
With respect to social action, as we have heard today from the Minister of Health and Human Resources, we may have legislation with respect to child care. The Throne Speech has it coming in this session, but her documents have it coming in the fall of 1989. Obviously, it has not been written yet: another indication that the governments intention to introduce these bills is somewhat suspect.
It sounds like an election list to me. I doubt if we will see a new education act or Wildlife Act tabled in this session, and obviously not the child care act, as has already been admitted.
Going along in the Throne Speech, it talks about a new education act. I doubt that we will see it. It goes on to talk about Yukon College. I agree with the statement that Yukon College, perhaps more than any other single facility in the territory, reflects our hopes and plans for the future. Absolutely true, and totally mishandled by this government. It will take years to develop the potential that the college should have right now. The marketing and the sales job should have begun years ago. I do not believe this government considers contingency plans necessary for anything.
On the subheading of Health, I have talked about the snails pace on the transfer. There is no mention in the Throne Speech of an extended care facility.
We move on to Justice. Special efforts will be made in Justice. The Minister of Justice will announce plans to increase support for native courtworkers. This is the same Minister who cut the funding off for the Native Courtworker Society with three days notice, to fix things up. Not much has happened in Justice for the good. I will grant you the department has been turned upside down.
Then we come to economic action. The Throne Speech says, Together, we have solved many of the economic problems of the past. Nonsense. We have not solved any of the economic problems of the past. We have created more economic problems. We have built things that will cost us more money to operate and maintain than ever before; more money than perhaps we will have in the future. We still have the problem of the boom and bust economy. The economic problem of mines closing certainly was not solved. I would suggest that, if this government wants to solve the economic problems of the territory, they should not refer to their Yukon Economic Strategy, which is described next, but they should read over the report of the 2020 Vision Committee. It is far more practical and realistic.
The Economic Development Agreement is mentioned next. This agreement has been discussed many times in the House. This side has advocated, and the other side has agreed. It was the former Minister of Tourism and Renewable Resources who said he also preferred a revolving loan fund to a system of grants. There is no mention in the Throne Speech about changing this Economic Development Agreement or having made submissions to the federal government whatsoever. I think we will continue down the same road toward making this truly a territory of grants. I notice when I read the recipients of Economic Development Agreement Grants that, often, government departments are listed as receiving money from the federal government.
The next heading is Energy. This government would have us believe that, for two years, residents and small business have benefited from a freeze on power rates. Baloney. For two years, residents and small businesses have suffered from the freeze on power rates. They have suffered $8 million dollars worth, which was the profit of the Yukon Energy Corporation. That money could have been given back and was not. Now, the government announces with great pride that it will act to reduce both power bills and fuel prices. It should have been done a long time ago.
The Minister has recently appointed a Yukon Utilities Board and, now, expects it to deal with a new rate application intended to come into effect on April 1. Then, this government will freeze rates again for two years. We will not be too afraid for the board, I think the present Minister will be gone and will not be able to disband it.
Fuel prices are talked about next. In the year ahead, the government will take several steps to reduce fuel prices for Yukon consumers. Included in these steps is seeking a National Energy Board inquiry into the White Pass pipeline system. They found that the cheapest way to bring gas into the territory was in the White Pass pipeline system. Now, they are going to lower the prices by trying to shut the pipeline down. There certainly is a departure from reality.
The Throne Speech talks about a Northern Accord and sharing northern oil and gas resources. I am not aware of anything concrete that this government has done to obtain amendments to the Yukon Act to give us control over our offshore, instead of it being with the Northwest Territories. We have not heard of any efforts this government has made to confirm the boundary between Yukon and Alaska as being the 141st Meridian.
The Throne Speech then goes on to talk about mining and tourism as the cornerstones of our economy. In four years, we have not come anywhere with respect to mining and tourism. The next heading is Forestry. This government contends that forestry is emerging as a major industry in the Yukon. That is hard to argue with. It sounds like, with the millions and millions of government dollars that have been poured into that particular industry, it has become a major industry in the Yukon. It is too bad that, at the present time, only the government can afford it. We will see how we make out with the sale.
Then we come to a big announcement with respect to business and community development funds. The government is going to bring together several small business assistance programs into one simple, easy to use, business development fund. I remember so well the Government Leader announcing the One Stop Business Shop, where everything would be simple. It has grown into an almost unmanageable size, and the one stop does not refer to getting everything done. The one stop refers to it being about as far as you go.
The Whitehorse waterfront is mentioned. It has great potential. I believe it was thrown in because it is politically popular. Not much has been done.
On transportation, the government advocates that we need good roads and air routes to enable our economy to develop to its fullest. The major artery into the territory, on which one of the cornerstones and, to a certain extent, the second are dependent that is tourism and mining is the Alaska Highway. What is the government going to do? They are going to continue to push the federal government for improvements to the Alaska Highway.
We should be taking some steps on our own. The Alaska Highway is the future of our tourism and, by standing around blaming it on the federal government, we are cutting off our noses to spite our faces.
We come to the big shift: environmental action. I have spent some time in this speech describing the inaction of the NDP administration in this area. Suddenly, after four years, they are concerned about the effects of pollution. They have developed a Yukon Conservation Strategy. You know what will be done in the next year with this Yukon Conservation Strategy? The only concrete thing that I can find is that the government will begin a youth conservation camp for students. It sounds pretty feeble to me.
For resources we are going to have a round table. We are going to sit around and discuss it. After we manage to get the people to the table, maybe sometime down the road there will be some action. On the environment, and on almost everything else that this NDP administration has been dealing with, it is all process and not much action. The Throne Speech mentions the Wildlife Act. I will be surprised if that is tabled. On the Fishery Initiative and Sustainable Harvest Fund, the Throne Speech says much work has already been done on Yukon freshwater fisheries. Yes, all that work was with peoples jaws. I think the government feels that, if they keep saying it, they hope it will happen all by itself.
The Throne Speech talks about the North Slope. I have already talked about the borders and lack of action. On an environmental protection act, as I said to the new Minister, his department has been working on this since 1987. We have not seen anything yet. Again, I doubt it will be tabled in this House. On clean water, the Throne Speech says the Yukon government will recognize its responsibility by starting a hazardous waste disposal program. It should have been started in July, 1985, when Environment Canada first came to this government and identified the problem.
The ship of state, financed by the federal government, has been sailing without direction while the crew has been sitting in the galley eating for the past four years.
They are talking about the wonderful future that the passengers will have. The passengers are getting restless. Now the crew comes forward with a Speech from the Throne promising that they might leave the table and do something if they are not thrown overboard.
It is interesting to note that two of the crew have already decided not to face the passengers. One has abandoned ship and the other has announced his intention to do so.
The Speech from the Throne is simply an attempt to polish the government apple. It will not work. We on this side and the people of the Yukon have seen the core of that apple.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: There is only one thing in the previous mishmash that deserves a response. That is that the Member for Porter Creek West appears to be learning the sleeze tactics of the Member for Porter Creek East. He is setting up what is called a straw man argument. He states that he is fighting this announcement by the NDP government of placing a PCB disposal site in Porter Creek West. That is not accurate.
As well as that, and to make it worse, he has learned the tactic of the Member for Riverdale North who says one thing in the House and then extends it to make it a different statement in the media. I have read his media statements and they are not accurate, they are false. Let me put this quite clearly on the record. The NDP government does not have a position to put a PCB storage site in Porter Creek West. It has never had such a position. That has never been our position. He is attempting to fight an issue that does not exist. He is attempting by a scare tactic to give the impression that he is protecting his constituents. There is nothing to protect them against. That is not the NDP position at all.
Other Members of this Legislature have started their speech by paying tribute to Dave Porter. I think it is a tribute to Mr. Porter that he has stimulated kind words from both sides of this House. It is something I am sure I will never be able to achieve.
Let me add my voice to that of the others. I have enjoyed and learned from working as a colleague with Mr. Porter over the years. I want to emphasize two points that have not been emphasized by the other side. They spoke yesterday about what Mr Porter said in the media. They forgot, or intentionally did not mention, what Mr. Porter said he was going to do in his new job. He said these things: he said he is going to make the commission less confrontational; he is going to make the commission more community based and he was going to make the commission more politically and cross culturally sensitive. Those are things that Mr. Porter can and will do. I cannot think of a better Yukoners to fulfill that task and occupy that position than David Porter.
I am happy that he has accepted that position.
Mr. Porter will forgive me for this slight indiscretion. I know that he had several job offers. some of them better and paying more money. He has not spoken about that, but none of his job offers, none had anything to do with patronage. None. He had several. Some of which paid more money, and out of a sense of commitment and public duty, he has chosen this job and just let me say, I can not think of a better person to do that.
The Members of the Opposition have said that they would not have raised the problem of Section 6(2) of the Legislative Assembly Act. Then on their first Question Period, after being away from the House for many months, they asked every question, except for the first two, about that issue. That proves the lie of their statement that they would not try to attempt to embarrass Mr. Porter or the Government. To quote another Member, I may have been born in the night, but it was not last night.
I went in to politics just over seven years ago, in 1981, and I have repeated several general statements. One that I have repeated most often, inside this Assembly and outside mostly outside is that the largest social issue and the most important political issue, in a non-partisan, and indeed in a partisan, sense that faces this territory is the issue of the community of this territory. It is the issue of the two founding peoples of this territory. We have been, and still are to a great extent, two communities, native and non-native, existing side by side, not talking to each other very much; living in the same territory but not living together in the same territory. And that issue is the central social issue that we as political leaders and as social leaders must face in all of our actions and in all of the things that we do and say.
The Throne Speech began with an account of a most historic event, the most historic event that has occurred in a political sense in our territory in the last decade. The two founding peoples have come together with a framework agreement to settle the aboriginal claim. It is our duty here, each and every one of us, regardless of party or constituency or racial origin, to show leadership on this question.
I listened yesterday to the responses from the front bench of the Conservative Party and of the Liberal rump, and what did we hear about that most central question? Not a word. Not a word.
It is the responsibility of all Members here to show leadership on these questions. What are they doing? They are lying in the bushes. I predict they will criticize it at some point. They will probably criticize the process rather than the substance. They have been entirely negative. The people of the Yukon know that. They know, they remember the racist ad of 1982 signed by one of the Members sitting opposite. They remember the irresponsible election promises made in previous elections that the Conservatives would settle land claims. We went into the last election with a slogan. It was on all our buttons, it was on all our literature.
That slogan was: working together. We have been working together. We have been bringing the two founding peoples of this territory together. Four years later we have substantial concrete achievements. The central one is the framework agreement.
The coming election, which we all know must come, will present Yukoners with a choice. They will have seen the comments and the negativity and the criticism and simply the lack of attention of the Conservatives, and they will see a record of concrete achievement of this government. They can make their choice on that.
I want to talk about a few issues in the Department of Justice and then a few issues in the Department of Government Services and then to make general concluding remarks.
What some Members may not know is that on Christmas Day last on BCTV there was aired a program that was filmed here in the Yukon. It was filmed in the correctional centre. It was a film of a feast. It was a native feast and there were in excess of 30 native men who took part in a religious ceremony on December 21, 1988. Those people are proud of their ancestry. Those people were ashamed of their past deeds and many of them said so. Many of those people were looking inward for an inner strength and looking outward to be accepted in this society. There are initiatives coming forward from jail today because of the sensitivity of this government in not denying cultural heritage but supporting it.
In the communities of Pelly Crossing and Kwanlin Dun, as the speaker for Old Crow has made reference to, there are communities working together with the government to solve their social problems around alcoholism. That is as a result of the community at work, the working together of this government and of native people in this territory.
While I am on the subject of jails, I want to make reference to the rural work camp that for two summers was in Haines Junction. Over the objections of the Member for Kluane, without support from the Member for Kluane, all the while criticized by the Member for Kluane, but not the townspeople of Haines Junction, that camp in Haines Junction and Teslin has performed in excess of 50,000 person hours of community work to beautify and benefit the communities.
I have been in a group of men who have been in jail who have taken pride, shown pride in their work. They have done something that is good and they are proud of that. I am proud of that. We do not see that very often. We see that when we work together and support each other.
The totally partisan, hypercritical attitude of the Conservative Party is doing the direct opposite. It is a destructive force in those most worthwhile initiatives.
There are some things about which they say nothing. I have already said that about the framework agreement that they must feel it is positive because they have not criticized it.
There are some things about which they say nothing, so it is necessary for us to draw attention to them.
There is another issue in the Department of Justice I want to emphasize. That is the issue of general access to the law, familiarity with the law, and, specifically, plain language legislation.
What we have done in the last four years is to show and we are the leaders in Canada that it is possible to write laws in simple, plain language. I am pleased to inform the House that the Province of British Columbia has recently had a commission into its justice system and the report came out in December. The first chapter and the first recommendation is to promote plain language in laws, regulations and government policies and contracts. They go through the history of the plain language movement. Under Canada, the first chapter is the Yukon, and the Yukon is recognized in starting this initiative four years ago. The Conservative Opposition never mentioned that.
We have also shown that it is possible to present bills in this House along with the regulations, not in every case but in some cases, and that is a new initiative which is a promotion of greater democracy in this House and in the territory.
I could go on. However, looking at the time, I am going to go on to the issues in Government Services. These issues are frequently neglected in general debate but it was raised by the Leader of the Official Opposition yesterday. He made a charge of over expenditures in Government Services, in Capital over expenditures, of $191,000. I would like to tell the Legislature exactly what that is. That is attributable to the buy out of two Operation and Maintenance leases for the Queens Printer and the central computing facility. We have bought out leases as a cost effective measure, which incured a savings of $18,000 last year and $15,000 as annual savings in future years each year, achieving a total lease savings of 19 percent over the expected life of the machinery. It is a cost effective measure. The technicality is that when we bought out these leases the buy out was classified as capital as opposed to Operation and Maintenance, where it previously was. The overall expenditures of the department are in fact under budget, just under $400,000 for the year. The Leader of the Official Opposition has the gall to call that mismanagement. The Yukon public can make up their own minds about that.
This government has promoted the manufacture of local furniture and other local wood products over the objections of members opposite. Years ago they were so critical of, and protective of, previous merchants who were having mark ups on government orders and southern-supplied products. What we have done is made viable a small furniture manufacturing industry in this territory. It is now viable and there are several small businesses in this area, some of them now turning down work because there is so much work for them to do. We are expending those initiatives by promoting Yukon woods.
Have we heard a work from the Conservatives about that? No, we have not. They obviously recognize they have lost that argument. It is a good initiative and they have decided to bury their heads in the sand.
We have a Yukon Business Incentive policy which, admittedly, is not universally popular, but is promoting new business and supporting sub-contractors as well as general contractors in the construction industry.
We have extended our computer technology and our computer communications technology into the communities, and our systems in driver records, the court registry and the Workers Compensation Board are leading the country in effective new technology.
The Canadian Regional Source and Opportunities catalogue is putting Yukon on the map concerning parkas and camping equipment and other products. We are promoting an unique technology in the public sector purchase of those. We have entered into a memorandum of understanding with the federal government concerning a source of supplies and joint forces, which is a cost effective measure concerning a supply.
We have, for the first time, a maintenance plan and we are promoting the purchasing of local products by the public sector to an extent that has not been done before. The Leader of the Official Opposition really had one new point not really new, but in his lazy speech that showed absolutely no leadership concerning the land claims question and he talked about what he termed a false economy. He wants to have it two ways. He wants to say that the government has lots of money and the reason why they have lots of money is that we Conservatives have negotiated a good agreement with Ottawa and we ought to get a pat on the back for that, however, the New Democrats ought to be condemned for spending it, and indeed this is a false economy.
What gives the lie to that statement is that the private sector has grown faster than the public sector in the last four years. That is a fact you cannot deny. It is a demonstrable fact. I could go through many figures, but I will not, immediately. A fact is a fact. The private sector has grown faster in the last four years than has the public sector.
This will, undoubtedly, be the last reply to the speech from the throne that I will give, so I wish at this time, on perhaps a more personal note, to say a few thank yous to people who have assisted me in the last, in excess of, seven years.
First of all, I would like to take this moment of public time to thank my wife, Carol, for putting up with me being in politics while we were married. Thank you.
I would, secondly, like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to our leader, Tony Penikett. The Government Leader, Mr. Penikett, has a rare combination of qualities. He is both a leader and a diplomat. We do not often find that combination, and although we have disagreed over the years and indeed, in rash moments, I have said rash things, so has he. In the last years I have learned an immense amount from his leadership. Tony, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I wish to also thank some public servants who I am going to name: Bill Byers, Jo Thompson, Frank Fingland, Andy Vantell, Brian Booth, George Salmins, Bob Mather, Lulu Tizya, Debby Pauch, Laurie MacFeeters and JoAnne Bill. All of those have assisted me greatly. Thank you very much.
Lastly, I wish to thank the voters of Whitehorse South Centre who three times put their faith in me and elected me. To those people, thank you.
In 1981, in the summer and fall, I went around door to door, and I said I am really making a simple promise. I promise to work with my whole heart and soul and I will do my best. I have done it.
Mr. Phillips: I would like to begin today, like others before me, by saying a few words about the MLA from Watson Lake and the former Minister of Renewable Resources and Tourism. Many times in this House, we spoke on the same issues, but not always on the same side. I enjoyed my debates with Mr. Porter, his sense of humor and his sincere understanding of the renewable resource field will be missed. Although I do not particularly agree with the new position he has taken, I would like to wish him well in his future.
At the same time, I would like to welcome the Member for Klondike to the front lines. I think you will find it a great difference from the back benches. I look forward to hearing from the new Minister on what changes he plans for renewable resources and tourism in the future.
The Throne Speech stated that Yukons economy is healthy. I will agree in some way that there are certainly a lot more dollars floating around, but the problem is that the whole economy seems to be government driven. We have almost every sector of Yukon economy becoming more dependent on government spending. This government has talked about a diversified economy, but, in my view and, I believe, in the view of most Yukoners, it has not achieved it. Let us look, for a moment, at some of the other sectors.
Tourism figures this year have not increased. In fact, in some areas, they are down. This is an area where we probably have the greatest potential for expansion. Yet, in four years this government has done very little.
During Christmas, I heard some very disturbing news and I think the new Minister of Tourism should listen well. It seems that in one case a large tour company that operates cruise ships to Alaska has experienced some interesting trends. This company has four ships. Three of those now dock in Skagway and one crosses the Gulf of Alaska; it goes directly to Anchorage. This particular ship, by the way, completely bypasses the Yukon with all its tourists. What appears to be happening is that the direct route to Alaska, missing Yukon, has sold more trips for this next year than all three ships combined that dock at Skagway.
This is something we should be concerned about. This could have a major impact on the Yukon in the future. We have to become a destination or we will be left out. We have to act now to develop more attractions such as the Whitehorse waterfront development and Kluane Park. We have to pressure Ottawa, no matter what party is in power, to get off their backside and fix the Alaska Highway.
I have spoken out against the federal government policy on the Alaska Highway and I will do it again. I will agree with the Member for Kluane. This highway has to be upgraded and upgraded now. It will not be much of a celebration of the bicentennial if the tourists cannot get to the Yukon. I would suggest that we look at it together, we make a petition to be signed by all parties, try to get each and every Yukoners to sign that petition and present that petition to the new Minister when he takes his position in Ottawa. I would suggest that if we do our work we could have 15,000 to 20,000 names on that petition and it may have an impact on the new Minister when he takes his office.
This highway should not have taken 50 years to complete. There are literally hundreds of thousands of RVs we could attract if our roads were brought up to an acceptable standard. As well, lots of private traffic would attempt this highway as well. I might add that in most cases I am very proud of the job that the Government of the Yukon and the previous government has done in upgrading highways in the Yukon. This government, though, has to take more of a lead role in the upgrading of the Alaska Highway. It only takes one or two travelers to have a bad experience on the highway and word spreads very rapidly amongst the travelling public.
I would like to talk on the poor attempts of the Yukon government last summer when we had the huge highway washouts in the Kluane area. The government did respond quickly to repair the roads under the conditions, but it did little to inform travelers that the road was again quite passable. I talked to many people in the tourism business and they told me the traffic simply died after the washouts. This government has to be held directly responsible for not getting that message out to the travelling public.
Last spring, I introduced a motion to this House to support better access to Kluane Park. Ever single Member of this House supported that motion. Its intent was not to see massive roads into the park but was rather to see some controlled development to allow the 70 percent-plus tourists and Yukoners an opportunity to view this beautiful park. It basically supported the needs of the people of Kluane and spoke directly to the need to make the Yukon a destination place and not just an area to pass through.
In the Throne Speech the government said, and I quote from page 12, It must find the people who want to come to the Yukon, not just pass through it. People who see the Yukon as a destination, a place to spend their vacation. To do so, we have to make the Yukon interesting to them. This means good market research and creative, well-targeted promotion, but it also means investing in such important things as attractions such as Kluane Park, the Whitehorse Water Front and museums and parks across the Yukon.
So you can see, after I read that quote, why I was so surprised when we did not hear one single peep from this government one way or the other at the recent Kluane Park hearings. One has to ask: why? Is it because Kluane has a good MLA who is supporting limited and controlled development and they did not want to give him any credit, or is it because they are just not interested in Kluane at all?
I am greatly disturbed about this inaction. We, in this Legislature, passed a motion, and every single Member supported that motion. We had an opportunity this summer to express our feelings that the same Members across the floor expressed in this House, and yet the Government of the Yukon neglected to take that opportunity to speak on behalf of all the people of the Yukon. That is shameful. When we talk about diversifying our economy and the policies of this government, they simply missed the boat, and because of this Yukon may be missing the boat in the future.
I think the Government Leader must have a lot of gall even to mention Kluane Park in his Throne Speech. Tourism has not been a priority of this government. Let us take a brief look at another sector, the mining industry. A few days ago we were all saddened to hear of the shut down of the mine at Elsa. I believe all of us here must share the concern over the well being of the workers and their families in Elsa. I know that as a Member of this Legislature that I will do everything possible to ease the burden of the mine shutdown.
I would at this time like to commend the mine itself for the very generous severance package it has given to the workers. As well, we all have to appreciate the work now being done by the Government of the Yukon to assist the laid off workers. Unfortunately, this is where I do have some problems. I, like other Yukoners, listened to the many comments on the CBC and other media about the reasons for and the impact of the closure. What was evident to me was that every one that they talked to in Elsa knew that the mine was going to close. It seems that the only two people in the world that did not know that the Elsa mine was going to close was the Government Leader and the MLA for Elsa. It is puzzling to say the least.
Yukoners are not stupid. The mine was losing $500,000 a month, their third quarter report said they were millions of dollars cash short, they had just laid off in November, and all of this makes you wonder what has to happen to bring reality home to this government. They had an opportunity to sit down with a company several months ago and work out a program to try to keep the mine alive. They failed in this regard and are now rushing to put out the brush fire. It is simply crisis management, not long term management.
As well, other areas of the mining community are dealing with problems of their own. Precious metal prices are low. The reserves are low in some cases in some mines in the Yukon. At Mount Skukum they completely shut down.
It is not all doom and gloom. There has been an upsurge in exploration but as is the nature of the industry, it is a high risk business and it is unfair to say that the mining industry in the Yukon is booming.
Let us look at the forest industry for a moment. In this speech the government talks about the devolution of forestry to Yukon, and in particular about its flagship Hyland Forest Products. It was extremely important to the people of Watson Lake to revitalize the Mill, but what really has happened is that we have seen the most poorly run, inefficient plant in Canada. It is creating jobs but it is costing the taxpayers of the Yukon millions of dollars to do so. It could have been done better. It simply could have been run more efficiently. If it had been run more efficiently in the beginning it certainly would have guaranteed long term jobs for the people of Watson Lake. The inefficiency is not the fault of the workers. The fault lies directly with the Government of the Yukon.
Let me give you a couple of examples of problems at the mill. Because of their outdated equipment, they have never been able to meet the production targets that they have set because of their outdated equipment. In the governments own admission, the mill is losing thousands of dollars a day. I have been told by people of Watson Lake of the recovery of logs cut in British Columbia during the Cattermole days. When these logs arrived at the mill they were known to be infested with worms. Since the new timber has arrived and has been piled on top of these logs, the worms have moved up through the new logs and my information tells me that about a million and a half feet of lumber is now absolutely useless.
In fact, in the past few weeks, the mill has been selling these once valuable logs to the Watson Lake residents for $20 a pick-up load. I would like to ask you, Mr. Speaker, if this is what the Government of the Yukon would describe as sound financial management.
I was pleased to see mention of the Whitehorse waterfront in the Throne Speech. I fully support this initiative. We are in no way touching the potential of the waterfront of the Yukon River system completely. This is something that we must work on closely with the City, but act now.
I believe, as well, that the establishing of a Capital City Commission is a good idea. I think we would be remiss if we did not compliment the downtown business people, and especially Target Downtown, for the excellent job they have done with downtown Whitehorse. I believe every resident of Whitehorse is proud and appreciative of their hard work.
I am pleased to see that the government is placing the environment higher on its list of priorities. In the past few years, people from all walks of life have become more aware of the effect of the environment on our lives. I was a little disappointed yesterday when I heard the Member from Mayo tell us that this higher concern for the environment came from their side, and that the last government did not care one little bit about it. He seems to forget that in the last government he was a Member of the Opposition and he certainly never raised it as an issue. Neither did Mr. Penikett. I think it is time to come back to reality. It is time to tell the truth to the people of the Yukon. The fact of the matter is that environmental concerns are a higher priority now with everyone. That is why we should be dealing with this. It is not because it is just politically expedient.
As most of you know, I have been working in the environmental field for over twelve years and in fact in my private life I am doing something about it. It pleases me to finally see others waking up to the environmental problems that we face every day.
I was involved several years ago in working with the task force on northern conservation, which has been used as a background paper for the Yukon Conservation Strategy. In general, I agree with the concept of the Yukon Conservation Strategy, but I do believe that more effort should have been made to involve the mining community. After all, without their co-operation, it will not work. They will be the key players and they have to be involved.
I am pleased to see sewer and water plans for areas such as Carcross and Teslin, but it should not stop there. In this session I hope to be introducing a motion to ask the Yukon Government to act now to ensure the long term future of good, clear, clean water for the residents of Whitehorse and downstream users.
I listened closely to the comments made yesterday by the Member for Mayo regarding the PCB storage, and I agree with the Member from Porter Creek West that these types of storage facilities should not be located in or near populated areas. I am sure that in the 186,000 square miles in this territory we can find a safe place to store these toxic chemicals.
On land claims I am pleased to see that some progress has been made. I congratulate the parties on that progress, but a lot has to be done yet. There are a lot of unanswered questions that Yukoners will have to have answered before a final deal is made. There are two main concerns that I would like to express here. Many of my constituents are concerned about equality after the settlement. Will there by two sets of rules: one for a native person and one for a non-native. My constituents are telling me that when it is all over, they want to see Yukoners treated equally and for the deal to be final.
The other area is an area of caution that I would like to give to the Government Leader and other community leaders. It appears that a trend of intimidation is developing. If one asks questions about the land claims deal publicly, the Government Leader and others describe ones comments as racist. I think this is unfair. Land claims is a very serious and important area for all Yukoners and one should be able to freely ask questions and state opinions without immediately being labelled.
I will be looking forward in this session, if we get to it, to the introduction of the Wildlife Act and its impact on hunting and fishing in the Yukon. With respect to the FISH Fund, I am pleased to see that the government is acting on a motion that I introduced to this House last spring. I will follow with interest the ways that the government plans to provide money for this fund. It was interesting to note that this government is so close to an election that it is capitalizing on the good ideas of local organizations, and trying to take all the credit for their programs. It would have been nice if the government would have taken the time to mention the good work of the Yukon Fish and Game Association and their attempts to restock several Yukon lakes.
I would like to remind all Yukoners that the new announcement of the Yukon Governments youth conservation camp, again, was an independent project spearheaded and organized by the Yukon Fish and Game Association and yet this government has touted it as one of its main programs for this summer.
Let us give credit where credit is due. After three and a half years of an NDP government, I hoped to congratulate them on their areas of devolution. Unfortunately, the record is very poor. There is no health transfer, no new hospital and, most important, no extensive care facility. Finally after three and three quarters years of badgering, we finally have the construction of a young offenders facility. After three and three quarters years, we may get the responsibility of freshwater fisheries in April.
In the area of forestry, there appears to be little or no movement. The Northwest Territories is ahead of us on that one. We signed a Northern Accord, but that was only after the Northwest Territories did.
There was a time, not too long ago, where we were years ahead of them in devolution. It is clear that the government has been negligent in this area.
Let me move on to the area of justice. This is an area where, unfortunately, I do not have many good things to say. The current Justice Minister has literally brought the justice system to a standstill. He has had one fiasco after another, and I would like to take the time today to refresh your memory.
When the Minister first took office, we started out having changes in hiring the Yukon native courtworkers. He fired them all for political reasons. This was the same Justice Minister who just condoned the appointment of one of his former colleagues to the non-political office of the Human Rights Commission. The justice review inquiry was not supported by this government, but they established a review committee of two chairpersons who later became NDP candidates.
The initial young offenders facility was canceled and, now, we are finally getting a young offenders facility. Meanwhile, we have been sending all our young offenders to Willingdon for the past three and a half years. The failure of appoint JPs in the communities because of the gender and racial balance has created all kinds of problems in the communities.
The Young offenders group home, 501 Taylor Street, was a fiasco where the Ministers ran around getting people to sign petitions. There was the Judge Rowe incident, where the Government of Yukon paid $30,000 to Judge Rowe and, now, we have the same judge back working and hearing cases in the territory. We have a lack of Territorial Court judges. Next week, we have one deputy judge in the territory, one judge on circuit, and no judges to sit and hear cases in Whitehorse.
Is the Thomson inquiry not a strange one, where someone who knows who, the Territorial Court Chief Judge Daleatta Ilnicki or the Justice Minister himself directed the firing of Bill Thomson because of his reaching the age of 65. Today, we still have no answers to that. I understand that the real answer is laying on the Justice Ministers desk, but that will not be released until after an election, either.
There was the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, where we had incident after incident of young offenders being placed with adult offenders, people lying under oath and, then, receiving their jobs back, and the government protecting that. It has been a strange and bizarre three and a half years in the Justice ministry, and I would suggest that not only I will be pleased to see this Justice Minister move on. I wish him well in whatever he moves on to, but I think many people in the Justice community in this territory will be just as pleased as I.
In conclusion, I would like to follow the example of the Member for Old Crow and the Member for Tatchun and list the governments accomplishments in my riding of Riverdale North. First of all, I would like to thank the Minister of Community and Transportation Services for putting calcium chloride on Wickstrom Road. I am afraid that is it. The only other thing that happened in my riding was the movement of all government employees and students from the old Yukon College. That is my list. There is one item in Riverdale Norths share of the huge Yukon budgets.
Like the other Members did before me, I would like to present a short wish list to the government. First of all, I would like to see the Yukon government act immediately to ensure a safe water supply for Whitehorse and downstream users.
Second, I will be asking through a motion in this House to work with the city in providing safety pull-outs for parents dropping off their children at Selkirk Street School and F.H. Collins.
Third, I would like the Government of the Yukon to upgrade, chipseal or pave their portion of Wickstrom Road in the area of the new housing development.
Fourth, I would like to see the government go slowly on the movement of the government employees into the old Yukon College. Many constituents have suggested to me that this location is prime real estate and should not be used for another government office complex. Someone suggested that this area may be a prime location for a future convention centre overlooking the S.S. Klondike, the Yukon River, Rotary Park and the new planned waterfront development.
I would like to see the acceleration of the construction of the third lane in the bridge to alleviate Riverdale traffic congestion. This is long overdue.
I would like to see the government get on with the job of building an extended care facility for seniors and elders. This should have been built years ago. It is time we gave dignity to our elders and had a facility that was equipped to handle their every need in their later years.
Last, we should endeavor to finalize the health transfer and get on with the construction of the much needed Yukon Hospital.
It is not a long list, but it is an important list for the constituents of Riverdale North.
In closing, it is not time in my view to change gears from an economic agenda to a social one. The economy is not as strong as the government would lead us to believe. We have seen signs of this only just this week. The government has shown the Yukon people over the past few years that they are not capable of managing money. They are consistent with other NDP governments in British Columbia and Manitoba. Millions of dollars of over spending is dismissed, they manage by crisis and they interfere in the free enterprise system pretending to understand the business community.
Three and a half years ago, this government had an opportunity to determine a strong economic future for the Yukon. They had more money than ever in the history of the Yukon. They held all the cards. Mismanagement, overspending and departments out of control will be a legacy of this government, and Yukoners will soon be able to judge this government. I for one will look forward to that day.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I would like to start by paying tribute to my former colleague, the Member for Watson Lake. It seems different not having him here, but the years I spent working with him in this Legislature have been a very good experience for me, as well as for Yukoners. From speaking with Yukoners from all walks of life, many comments have been made about the work he has done and the kind of person he is. Despite all the rhetoric in the House with regard to his new job, many people are pleased that a man of his caliber has taken that position. I am very proud of him and pleased for him. It has been a pleasure to work with him.
I would also like to extend a welcome to the new Minister, the Member for Klondike. He has certainly learned a lot sitting in the back benches and it is great to see him sitting in a front bench. Welcome.
I listened to the speech from the Member for Riverdale North and there were some things he said that made a lot of sense. There were certainly other things he said that did not make a lot of sense. I will comment on a couple of them.
With regard to the extended care facility he speaks about, I share his concern that it is a much needed change to the care given now. One of the things that causes that is the fact that senior citizens are living longer because they are getting better health care. The services needed for them have had to be expanded. I have just received a report back on the operational review for the Whitehorse General Hospital that offered options for the extended care patients. It landed on my desk yesterday.
With regard to the health care transfer I would like to let you know that this is the first government that has ever been so close to negotiating an agreement for the transfer of the health care and hospital.
It is a fact that I have been around for a while, and I have learned, and I have watched, and I have talked to people, and we are closer to a transfer than the former government ever was, because they did nothing.
It is the same thing as we have been saying. They are a do nothing government. I remember talking to somebody who read the article in the paper about the criticisms from the Member for Riverdale South in regard to the transfer. In the Indian community, there were some people who were laughing. They said why, she was the one who was over here trying to tell us not to support the transfer.
These are things that sometimes come out when you read the papers. It may not have been yesterday, but it was some time down the road.
From the time there was first talk about a transfer, there really was nothing done until 1985, when we proceeded to talk to the federal government in regard to the transfer. I though I should set the record straight on that.
The former speaker thanked the Minister for Community and Transportation Services in regard to what he has done for Wickstrom Road. On an ongoing basis, I had continued to talk to the same Minister as well, even though it was not in my riding, to improve the road as well. I was doing the same thing as the Member for Riverdale North. I started a long time ago. I had some people from my riding who had to drive over there often. The problem was brought to me.
With respect to the young offenders facility, there have been complaints about that but, let me tell you, we have saved money because it cost less. It cost less than the proposed facility that was going to be built under a Tory government, and I am proud of that. About the 501 Taylor facility, which the Member calls a fiasco, I would like to say that I have spoken to people in that area without the Opposition breathing down their necks. They have come to accept the fact that it is not a bad thing to have in that area. Recently, someone phoned to tell me that he no longer felt the same way, that it did not work out the way people told him it was going to. That is a fact.
At the end of the Member for Faros conclusion to reading his reply to the Speech from the Throne, he said, I find that I cannot support the glossy efforts that are outlined in this document. There are many good things outlined in the document, and it is going to be interesting to know that there are people out there who will recognize that the Member for Faro does not support all those good things written in there. I will not forget that. There are a lot of good things in there about child care, family violence, and all sorts of other things.
I have been representing the constituents in the riding of Whitehorse North Centre for almost seven years, and I am proud to be a Member of the first New Democratic government in the history of the Yukon. I have the privilege of serving Yukoners both as a Minister of Health and Human Resources, and as the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. It is a special honour to be an elected Member of this Assembly. I have enjoyed working together with Yukoners throughout the territory. Much has been accomplished, and we are building on this foundation. The key is working together.
Yukoners have clearly endorsed our approach, and have said that they want a government that works with people and gets things done that matter most.
We have come a long way since 1985. Our goals in the government set the Yukon on a new course. We said that the government must be open and accountable. Yukoners must be able to participate in the making of laws and decisions that affect their lives, families, communities and their future.
We said that jobs and economic development must be a priority. Yukoners must have the option to stay and prosper in the Yukon. Our young people must have opportunities. We said that equality is an essential aspect of a Yukon society and must be based on respect and culture, the aspirations of women, aboriginal people and rural Yukoners.
The status quo of 1985 has changed since I have been a Minister responsible for Health, Social Services and the Status of Women. Substantive measures have been taken to achieve equality for women and recognize their role and importance to society, our communities and families. Prevention, promotion and community-based services have been given priority. Health and social services must continue to complement the natural support systems of family, neighbours and organizations at the community level. It is essential that services continue to be coordinated and Yukoners participate in their development and delivery.
My goal as the MLA for Whitehorse North Centre has been to serve my constituents well in the great tradition of this Assembly. I believe in listening. I believe in consulting with my constituents about issues and their concerns. I believe in being available to assist where I can.
It helps to go back and look at what has been accomplished, what we have made, the progress we hoped for. Have we been true to our goals? I think the answer is clear. Much has been accomplished and I am happy about that.
I am not the first to say that we have not done it alone. We have worked together with Yukoners from all walks of life. Women, families, aboriginal people, our youth and our elders, working people, people in the communities and people in business. We now have a solid foundation on which Yukoners are building a secure, prosperous and satisfying future for themselves, their families, their businesses and their communities. I would like to highlight some of our accomplishments.
First, as a government we have made significant progress in a number of areas and have contributed to the well-being of Yukoners throughout the Yukon. As Members know you do not have to hear the Throne Speech, read the latest report from the Yukon Economic Council or study the statistics on consumer spending, employment and unemployment levels, new business starts and new building permits to know that the individual Yukoners readily understands a lot of things are right about the Yukon today.
This government has consulted with Yukoners and has implemented a wide range of new measures.
The importance of the Yukon economic strategy and actions being taken by this government to help diversify and develop Yukons economy are underlined by the recent announcement about the mine in Elsa.
We have resurrected the Yukon Housing Corporation and established new programs to enable more Yukoners to afford new homes and to provide social housing for seniors and low income families. The previous government had virtually dismantled the housing program. We have developed residential, recreation, industrial and other lands in the communities.
There have been many new developments in education and training. Programming has been extended, business training, new technologies in computers, social services and so on. There are community campuses in most Yukon communities.
The new Yukon College has opened, together with a new governing board, and a northern studies program is being developed. There have been improvements in community services, some provided by the government directly and others through the municipalities with our financial support. Examples include roads, recreational facilities, street signs and water and sewer projects.
Enterprising Yukoners and existing businesses have benefited from our business and economic development services. We pioneered the One Stop Business Shop. We have established business development offices in Watson Lake, Dawson City and Ross River.
We have worked with the mining industry and the federal government to reopen the Faro mine and open several new ones. This has created hundreds of jobs.
Improvements have been introduced in matters affecting Yukon employees. Occupational health and safety services have been expanded. Improved benefits for seasonal and on call employees have eliminated the grossly unfair use of casual employees by the Government of the Yukon. Pay equity has been implemented in the Yukon Public Service. The minimum wage has been increased. We have supported the trapping industry. We have invested in research and development and provided other assistance to the agricultural community.
We are involved in a long term land use planning to ensure the wise use of our resources. Yukoners participated in the development of the Yukon Human Rights Act. Community crime prevention has been given priority. Our Minister of Justice has been recognized nationally for the preparation of legislation in simple language.
Now, on to the land claims. In cooperation with the Yukon Indian people, through the Council of Yukon Indians, and the federal government, an agreement-in-principle for Yukon land claims has been successfully negotiated. All Yukoners, but particularly aboriginal people, have waited a long time for this day.
I remember the dark days of 1985, the number of people who could not find work, layoffs, uncertainties, people having to go on welfare to survive. I remember, too, the view Yukoners had of government in 1985. It was isolated from the people. It lacked ideas and a vision of the kind of future Yukoners wanted. It was a divisive government that overlooked the interests of women, aboriginal people and disadvantaged Yukoners.
I remember vividly the response from Yukoners who were able to participate for the first time in the determination of directions through the Yukon 2000 process, the task force on family violence, the Human Rights Act, and other community and industry consultations initiated by this government. Yukoners have been encouraged to provide input and to participate actively in planning and decision making. We have talked with Yukoners, and we have acted on their concerns. The Yukon Economic Strategy is a stunning example of the kind of democracy we believe in.
The Child Care Strategy is another important example of a caring and sensitive government acting on the priorities and concerns of Yukon families. What a contrast between the old and the new. I hope that Yukoners will continue to support the new. This is a government that works with people.
Secondly, I would like to report on the progress and many accomplishments during my time as the Minister of Health and Human Resources. In preparing for this debate, I took time to review Ministerial Statements, budgets, the legislation and annual reports I have presented to this House. There can be no doubt that we have addressed matters of importance to Yukoners. Examples include child care, family violence, health services, home care and Indian child welfare. We have introduced practical changes to existing legislation and programs, and we have introduced major new policies and services.
Yukoners know that we have provided good government, and we have demonstrated sound financial management. It is easy for Members opposite to try to misrepresent it. I do believe that the truth prevails over such talk.
Through hard work on the administration of cost-shared agreements, we increased recoveries by nearly 20 percent in a single year, involving $1.7 million. The federal government has agreed to pay most of the cost of the new young offenders facility. The previous government would have asked the Yukon taxpayer to foot the entire bill.
We have implemented energy conservation measures in all our facilities, allowing more of our limited dollars to be directed in services to Yukoners. During the spring session, I identified a wide range of specific new programs we had introduced through internal reallocation and implementation of efficiency measures. Even the Public Accounts Committee has been happy with our efforts in this area.
I think that Yukoners recognize that this government is spending sensibly on things that matter most. They appreciate, too, the elimination of the regressive tax known as Medicare premiums. They appreciate, too, that there has not been an increase in income tax during the past four years. In keeping with the governments goals, I have set out to involve Yukoners in the development of new policies and programs through community consultation processes and through formal advisory committees to me and, through me, to the Cabinet.
We have brought ordinary Yukoners into the inner sanctum of government to help us. We have involved Yukoners from all walks of life.
I note with some pride the work of the Task Force on Family Violence, which explored a very difficult and troubling social issue in our community. The community consultation of young offenders reinforced our view that we must have a made-in-Yukon approach to the development and rehabilitation of youth in conflict with the law, which emphasizes prevention and community involvement. The review of community health services in Dawson City, Mayo, Faro and Watson Lake, has identified a number of areas where it may be possible to make concrete improvements on the levels and types of services provided.
And the list is not complete without identifying the child care consultation process. The report of the panel, We Care: Yukoners Talk About Child Care, which I tabled on Wednesday, provided a thorough and complete message from Yukon parents, care givers, bands, educators and individuals about their concerns, needs and priorities.
Through the establishment of the ministerial advisory committee, I have been able to provide for a special involvement of many Yukoners in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse and Indian child welfare.
The advisory council on womens issues has provided a useful forum for women around the territory to deal with issues of importance to them.
Some people may say that other people are tired of such involvement. Trying to maintain an active democracy is hard work. I believe that Yukoners, now that they have been able to participate in our government, will never give it up. There have been improvements in every area of public service administered by the Department of Health and Human Resources since 1985.
In the area of family and childrens services, we have introduced new family violence programming such as support and treatment groups for child victims and safe home services. Developing child abuse protocols with investigating agencies is part of implementing the report of the Task Force on Family Violence. We have created the family support worker program to provide intensive support to families to help keep children in their own homes and we have increased the financial support given to foster parents providing homes for children in care.
Through increased family counselling services and effective parenting training through the Yukon Family Services Association, we have developed a childrens treatment group home service in Whitehorse, replacing the use of outside institutions, completed new policy and procedure manuals for adoption, fostering, children in care and other areas of child welfare, introduced new adoption disclosure and access to information regulations and procedures, undertaken a major review of childrens services receiving, assessment, and group home services. We have renovated child care facilities to support programming requirements and implement energy conservation members, and we have increased support for the Mayo Group Home Society.
We have supported the establishment of family mediation services through the Yukon Public Legal Education Association. We have implemented a pilot project for the provision of additional family counselling services to Watson Lake. We have increased support for transition home services in Whitehorse, including provision of a child care worker and funded the opening of second stage housing for victims of family violence.
In the area of child care we have expanded child development services provided through the Child Development Centre in Whitehorse by more than tripling their budget. We have introduced a new operating subsidy program for day care centres and family day homes. We have implemented a new day care capital development program. We have increased, in two stages, the financial assistance for families provided through the day care subsidy program and we have introduced new regulations for centres and day homes to improve standards and consultation with child care givers.
Through these measures, the number of licensed child care spaces has increased by more than forty percent. The number of low income families assisted financially has more than doubled. The number of communities with licensed child care services has increased from two to eight. The number of licensed spaces for infants and special needs children has more than tripled. Over seventy people have participated in college training courses. These are all very positive developments.
In improving services to the communities we have opened community social service offices in three additional communities to better serve the people of Pelly Crossing, Carmacks, Ross River and surrounding areas. We have increased the amount of permanent employees living and working in rural communities from twenty-three to thirty-six. We have implemented a computerized communication network between Whitehorse and the communities to expedite business and improve client services and we have introduced the social service worker training program to provide entry level employees, primarily in the communities, with access to accredited social work education to improve their effectiveness and career mobility in the territory, and we have implemented a variety of new services in a number of communities.
Important changes have been made in the Financial Assistance Program to recognize the higher cost of living in rural communities. Examples include social assistance, foster homes and day care subsidies for centers and family day homes. We have implemented a pilot project in Watson Lake to provide additional family counselling services in cooperation with the community and the Yukon Family Services Association. In the area of alcohol and drug services, we have reinstated the community addictions program, including positions for permanent staff in nine communities.
We have established the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Substance Abuse to coordinate the efforts of both community and government agencies in this area. We have worked with the federal government to introduce a National Drug Strategy and administer the Community Action Program. This program has provided useful funding to a variety of community sponsored projects in the communities of Dawson City, Whitehorse, Carcross, Teslin and Burwash Landing. We have redesigned the public education service to our alcohol and drug services including new themes, training and approaches to promotion of public awareness. In the area of social assistance services, we have implemented new rates for social assistance, which for the first time are based on Yukon specific data, the needs of Yukoners and the cost of living differences between communities. We have changed several policies including one to parents to receive assistance when they choose to remain home to care for preschool children and we have expanded the Yukon opportunity plans for provision of additional staff and resources to assist in the job placement and training of employable Yukoners receiving social assistance.
In the area of services to seniors, we have introduced the home care program, initially focused on homemaking and home nursing services. We have increased our support to the Yukon Council on Aging for the Seniors Information Centre and we have increased the Yukon Pioneer Utility Grant.
In the area of services for the disabled, we have increased financial assistance available for subsistence and maintenance of disabled Yukoners consistent with changes in the Social Assistance Program and we have established the Supported Independent Living Program for disabled persons. We began the repatriation of disabled Yukoners who have been cared for in the Woodlands Institution in British Columbia. We have initiated a major review of policy and program direction for rehabilitation services in cooperation with local agencies and we have established new funding agreements for the community associations for special needs people, Special Olympics and community living.
In the area of Young Offenders Services, we have developed a made in Yukon approach for young offenders services following a major community consultation process. We have established new open custody services in the territory as well as wilderness placement options for young offenders. We have encouraged the creation of community committees responsible for alternative measures, pre-court options for dealing with young people. We have delivered innovative public education activities to help Yukoners understand the Young Offenders Act and discourage new crime. We have designed and are constructing a new young offenders facility. We have negotiated positive cost share arrangements for the federal government to fund the construction of a young offenders facility and support implementation of programs required by the Young Offenders Act and we have developed the Yukon Young Persons Offenses Act.
In the area of community health services, we have increased the level of services provided through the Communications Disorders Clinic for Yukoners with speech and hearing disorders. We are funding the construction of a new community health centre in Pelly Crossing and a major addition in Old Crow. We have increased nursing services in the communities of Teslin, Carcross, Carmacks, and more recently, Faro, and made the Family Life Program permanent.
In the area of hospital and medical services, we have eliminated the regressive tax known as health care premiums. We have broadened universal health care through the establishment of a chronic disease and disability program. We have supported the revision of medical services not previously available in the Yukon, such as visual aid screening and laser treatment.
We have initiated negotiations for the transfer of the Whitehorse General Hospital to local control. We have participated jointly in the planning and designing of the proposed new Yukon Regional Hospital. We have helped with the recruitment of a doctor to serve the community of Faro. We have completed a major review of community health services in Dawson City, Watson Lake, Faro and Mayo.
In the area of extended care services, we have introduced a new resident care system together with professional nursing personnel to care for the residents at Macaulay Lodge. We have implemented a range of improvements to address the care needs of the elderly at Macaulay Lodge, including recreational programs, physiotherapy, nutrition and drug management and we have completed renovations of Macaulay Lodge to support level one and some level two extended care services.
We have initiated facility planning for the proposed new extended care facility in Whitehorse.
In the area of vital statistics we have developed and implemented, with the blessing of the House, a new Vital Statistics Act. We developed and implemented new changes of name legislation.
In terms of services to Indian people we have supported the successful Champagne-Aishihik child welfare project, recruited additional Indian people in social service occupation to the department in various communities, including several affirmative action positive employment positions, established a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Indian Child Welfare, taken measures to improve cultural sensitivity of our group home and young offender services in particular, provided cross-cultural orientation and training for many of our staff and supported bands in the start up of child care centres in a number of communities, such as Pelly Crossing, Carmacks, Mayo and a new work place day care in Dawson City, and we have funded the construction of a new community health centre in Pelly Crossing, and a major addition to the centre in Old Crow, supported various community initiatives sponsored by bands, such as youth development conferences and alcohol awareness.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak of all these developments in Health and Social Services. I would now like to turn to my other portfolio.
As the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, I take great pleasure in reporting on the progress and many accomplishments of the Womens Directorate. As Members will recall the Womens Bureau was being phased out by the previous government. It was a very small division of the Department of Justice, dealing with matters other than womens issues being staffed on a part time basis. The level of commitment to the concerns of women was at an all time low.
When this government came to power, we believed then, as we do now, in the promotion of economic, social and legal gender equality and set about to establish the new Womens Directorate. The directorate was established on September 12, 1985 as a free standing agency reporting to me as the Minister responsible for womens issues. The key objective was to consider womens concerns when developing government policies and programs. In the past four years, the Directorate has demonstrated its worth by consistently fulfilling its mandate at the national and territorial level despite limited resources. As a central agency, the Directorate has an opportunity to provide a leadership role within the government on womens issues. It has worked well with other departments on issues such as pay equity, career counselling for girls, women entrepreneurs, child care, family violence and affirmative action programming.
Many of these issues will be ongoing. For instance a second career fair for young girls will take place in the spring and follow up on the study of women entrepreneurs will involve a specific examination of matters relevant to native women.
I feel that one of the biggest accomplishments of the Directorate is in its ability not only to work with other departments, but to include, and work with, womens groups on issues of mutual concern. The Directorate was instrumental in encouraging womens participation in the major government initiative, Yukon 2000.
Yukon women, native, non-native, rural and urban have come together at the Annual Womens Conference, International Womens Day, and more recently, the Annual Yukon Indian Womens Association where many non-native women attended a workshop.
Though this may not seem insignificant, it certainly speaks to the improved quality of life this government is committed to. Empowering women to work and work together speaks to an improved quality of life for all Yukoners. The establishment of the Yukon Advisory Committee on Womens Issues has been extremely valuable to my ministry and to this government. One of the most positive aspects of this council is the participation of native, non-native, rural and urban women. It is a group to watch in light of the settlement of land claims and the establishment of boards of native representation.
Another method the Directorate has used to fulfill its mandate is an inventive and certainly a successful process. Women on Wheels travels to the communities to receive and identify womens concerns and priorities. Travelling with the Directorate are representatives of three womens groups and two government agencies. These methods, which may appear small when compared to major government initiatives, are methods that are working and allowing people to participate in the decision making process of government.
In informing the public about womens issues, the Directorate has done a commendable job in the past four years. Its first major publication was the employment hand book for women, How to Find a Job. This hand book was well received, not only at the community and territorial level but also at the national level.
The follow up on the publication of a handbook on employment rights, a Guide to Unemployment Law, as well as fact sheets on Yukon women and their income levels, have been published and distributed and will be updated and reissued this year. Two more fact sheets will follow on Yukon women in education and employment.
The directorate has also been involved at the national level on major issues affecting women, such as child care, wife battering, training and health. In 1986, the Yukon participated in the development of a document of a labour force strategy, a framework for training for women, which was endorsed at the First Ministers Conference. This document emphasized the commitment of this government to economic equality for women.
We are a small jurisdiction. However, I am pleased to say that the Yukon was instrumental in placing the issue of native women and economic development onto the national stage in 1987 and keeping it there. Today, positive action is taking place in the Yukon on these issues, in conjunction with the Indian Womens Association. This is particularly encouraging, in light of the pending settlement of land claims. The government intends to continue to promote economic, social and legal gender equality. We still have a long way to go in reaching this goal, and we are all responsible to see that we achieve equality for all Yukon women in all aspects of life. I am proud of our accomplishments on behalf of Yukon women.
Finally, I would like to highlight development. As the Member for the riding of Whitehorse North Centre, my role and objective as MLA has been to address the needs and interests of my constituents. This has created a two way flow of information between the residents of North Centre and myself. They bring their concerns to my attention and provide input in our governments initiatives, and I keep them up to date on our accomplishments.
My constituents and I have witnessed a number of important and positive changes beyond those of territorial significance to all Yukoners.
The move of the Kwanlin Dun Village from the Marwell area to the new subdivision is a milestone. I applaud the efforts of the band in their determination to obtain better housing and create a greater sense of community. As the MLA for Whitehorse North Centre, I have kept in close contact with my constituents and have brought the collective wisdom of downtown residents to our governments attention. In turn, we have been able to build on the knowledge and contribute to many positive changes. There have been many improvements in the downtown area implemented by the City of Whitehorse with the assistance of funding by this government.
This government implemented block funding to give local administrations more financial flexibility and responsiveness. This has led to positive developments in Whitehorse. It is a pleasure for me to be a player in creating the needed changes this government has started. I have seen our economy grow and prosper immeasurably since 1985. We have more public consultation on issues such as social housing and economic housing.
As the MLA, I have also been able to promote private sector consultation with the public. I feel this is a trend that should continue, especially in Whitehorses dynamic downtown core. Skookum Jim Friendship Centre has again taken a leadership role in developing and providing community services primarily in the downtown area for Indian people. People in my constituency have also benefited from the new seniors complex constructed near the waterfront, Closeleigh Manor. It is a good example of what can be done.
The school committee, teachers and parents in my riding have worked hard for our children. Their work has not gone unnoticed. I would like to make special mention of Ellen Harris, who received the Commissioners Award for public service recently. Ms. Harris taught at Whitehorse Elementary for 24 years and, in that time, showed much dedication and caring for each of her students. It is that kind of outstanding service that makes the Yukon a unique place to live.
Another area of importance in Whitehorse North Centre is the planned waterfront development. Input from people living in the area, such as the Shipyards and Sleepy Hollow residents, the government, business and the Whitehorse community as a whole, will help us work together to make waterfront development beneficial to all while, at the same time, being sensitive to local needs.
I continue to encourage our government and other agencies to consult and work with the residents of my riding. I have enjoyed serving as their representative in this House, but we must look ahead to the future. That is what the Throne Speech is all about.
The Throne Speech proposes new directions, building on the foundation of the last four years of New Democratic government.
Speaker: Order, please. I would like to remind the Member she has three minutes to conclude.
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I would also suggest that we are representing Yukoners with a clear choice. As a government, we have developed and are recommending to Yukoners important measures in social, economic and environmental action. Working together, we can build on a foundation of progress and accomplishments made since 1985. I am personally delighted with the efforts of Yukon Indian people to negotiate the agreement-in-principle for the settlement of a long standing land claim. The opportunity for a significant step toward true equality toward native and non-native Yukoners is within our grasp. As a native person, I am pleased to have helped bridge the gap between the Indian community and the territorial level of government.
It takes effort, talking, listening, learning, patience and understanding from us all. This must continue. In the Throne Speech, we have identified what I believe are very important principles to guide the social actions of government to meet the needs of Yukoners. Our policies and our programs must involve a partnership of communities and client-based services, recognizing cultural sensitivity and emphasizing preventative approaches that involve integrated delivery.
The Throne Speech offers a balanced and positive program of initiatives to Yukoners. We are, and have been, listening to you. We are, and will continue, to act on your concerns and priorities. Our new direction recognizes needs, realities and priorities of Yukoners.
In my capacity as the Minister responsible for Health, Social Services and womens issues, I am very happy to endorse the commitments made to Yukoners by this government.
Mr. Webster: Before I begin, I want to pay tribute to Dave Porter by simply saying that he was treasured as a colleague for being both friend and advisor. Everyone I know associated with our tourism industry, or who was involved in Renewable Resource matters, has a great deal of respect for this man and, as his successor, I am keenly aware that I have some large shoes or mocassins to fill. I will try my best to meet the high standards that Mr. Porter has established, and the Yukon public has come to expect, in dealing with issues and concerns related to these two departments.
It has been a busy time since this House last assembled to hear a Speech from the Throne. You may recall, we opened the Fifth Session of the Twenty-sixth Legislature in Dawson City in the fully restored Council chambers in the Old Administration Building. It was a momentous occasion for, by sitting in those chambers, we acknowledged that the Yukon has two legislative chambers, a situation unique in the entire country.
Conducting our business in a heritage building of the same vintage as legislative chambers in the prairie provinces served to remind us that our Legislature has a long history and our traditions date back as far as those in the prairie provinces. By returning to those chambers in Dawson City to hold special sittings of this Legislature, you are adding to our rich heritage. It is a responsibility we cannot ignore, and I call upon all Members to support the practice of this Legislature assembling in Dawson City at regular intervals.
It has been a busy time for the placer mining industry, which has recorded another outstanding year. Official figures indicate a production of 154,000 Troy ounces of raw placer gold. That is 26,000 ounces more than last years production, which was a seventy year high. The value of this industry to our territory is estimated to be $65 million, a 50 percent increase from just three years ago.
The contributions of this government to the success of this industry should not go unrecognized. Initiatives such as removing the tax on fuel for off-road use, establishing a Yukon Mineral Exploration Incentives Program, providing financial assistance to the first two Dawson City Gold Shows, reviving the Prospectors Assistance Program, introducing a Regional Resources Roads Program, and many more, have gone a long way to promoting our placer mining industry.
I am pleased that the Throne Speech mentions the continued involvement of our government in the development of a new regulatory regime for the placer mining industry. The governments objective is to ensure that this new regime provides for legal certainty and economically achievable standards for placer miners while, at the same time, maintaining water quality and providing for protection for aquatic resources.
Tourism is another sector of the economy that has enjoyed a good year. In part, it is a result of efforts made by this Yukon government as long as three years ago with our strong presence at Expo 86. Financial assistance to key players in the industry, such as the Klondike Visitors Association, to conduct an ongoing marketing campaign directed at Alaskans, and the introduction of the Magic and the Mystery campaign, have enticed more visitors to explore our territory. With planning well underway to celebrate the Alaska Highways 50th anniversary, as well as centennials of the Klondike gold discovery and the Gold Rush, visitor participation will increase dramatically in the next decade.
Yesterdays announcement by White Pass of plans for construction of a new passenger ship dock at Skagway indicates that cruise train and cruise bus traffic may well increase significantly in the coming years, contrary to the doom and gloom predictions of the Members opposite.
As revealed in the Throne Speech, implementation of strategies outlined in the Tourism Action Plan will begin this year. Now is the time to introduce measures that will make the Yukon become a destination for visitors a place to spend an entire vacation. We need to present a greater variety of creative attractions and unique special events that will maintain the interest of tourists. The expansion of the joint marketing program of Alaska to include British Columbia is welcome news, as this attraction will support our efforts to reach wider tourism markets.
Transportation plays a large role in improving the future of our economy in the above mentioned areas of mining and tourism. For the past few years, a sizable portion of Capital Budgets has been earmarked for the continued development of our resource roads and public highway system, and this year is no different. Reconstruction of the Klondike Highway affords safer travel and improves services for every resident living in Carcross and all communities north of Whitehorse. The Throne Speech indicates that improvements to the Klondike Highway will remain a top priority of this government. This guarantees the establishment of a reliable transportation corridor connecting the Pacific and Arctic Oceans a corridor essential for the development of our north. It also means that, with further improvements planned for the Top of the World Highway, this alternate route for visitors travelling to Alaska will become more attractive and, as a result, Dawson Citys tourist traffic will climb. Naturally, I agree with comments made by the Members for Kluane and Riverdale North that updating of the Alaska Highway is absolutely necessary if we are going to attract increased tourist traffic to the Yukon. This government will continue to do whatever is necessary to get the federal government to make a commitment to this project.
With respect to airports, we in Dawson City are looking for a new facility that will provide better service for our residents and will accommodate larger aircraft to carry more tourists. A review of the suitability of sites is currently underway, and we have a commitment from the federal government to contribute towards the construction of a new airport if the project is sponsored through the Government of Yukon. What is now required from the City of Dawson is a comprehensive study that makes credible forecasts of the number of new tourists a new airport would generate, and which estimates the related economic benefits to Dawson City, the Yukon and Canada.
It has been a busy time for the construction industry, as well. It is encouraging to see so much activity in the private sector with hotel expansions, more housing starts, improvements to established businesses and new building for new enterprises.
By any measure of the economic activity, there is no doubt that we are enjoying prosperous times. The start of our economic recovery was a result of this governments action on a variety of fronts, including the reopening of the Faro mine and the sawmill in Watson Lake. The continuation of the recovery can, to a large degree, be attributed to this governments attention to improving the public infrastructure in rural Yukon, and policies that encourage the use of local hire and local materials.
There seems to be some dispute in this House as to how real or false our economy is. I would just like to read in the record a few economic facts. Employment Activity: 3,000 new jobs were created between June of 1985 and June of 1988. The unemployment rate has dropped from 13 to nine percent between June of 1985 and June of 1988. Yukons population has grown by almost 4,000 between June of 1985 and June of 1988. Economic growth in the territory was 20 percent in 1986; we are talking about gross domestic product. It is estimated at 13 to 15 percent in 1987, and 8 to 9 percent for this year. Retail trade totalled $132 million in 1985, and reached $158 million in 1987. It is estimated to reach $165 million to $170 million in 1988. Residential construction activity has increased 91 percent from $14.7 million in 1985 to $28.1 million in 1988. Whitehorse housing starts from 1986 to June 1988 totalled 343.
Construction activity has increased 33 percent from $152 million in 1985, and is estimated at $203 million for 1988.
With respect to mining activity, mineral exploration expenditures are expected to reach $50 million in 1988. Over five new mining properties are close to productive development: Wellgreen, Skukum Creek, Mount Nansen, Mount Freegold and Silver Hart. Mine production levels have climbed from $56.7 million in 1985 to an estimated $456 million in 1988.
Electrical energy consumption has increased 229 percent in the past three years.
With respect to tourism activity, border crossings by Americans and Canadians in the Yukon from Alaska increased 10 percent from June to September 1985, and same period of 1988. Tourism related accommodation available increased by 186 units in the last three years.
With respect to diversification of the economy I, as the Minister of Renewable Resources, would like to focus only on renewable resources industries, given the time constraint.
Renewable resource industries have seen significant growth. From $4 million in value in 1986, the primary renewable products value has increased to about $12 million this year. Significant gains have been made, especially in forestry and fisheries. Fisheries has expanded due to greater utilization of the resource. We now export smoked salmon and caviar, as well as fresh frozen salmon, mostly from the Han Fishery in Dawson City. In 1989, Arctic Char will be in commercial production in the Yukon.
Like all rural constituencies, we in the Klondike have benefited tremendously from such measures. Large capital projects sponsored by this government, such as restoration of the Old Territorial Administration Building and the construction of a community complex to house our new school, have provided us with more modern facilities that the entire community can enjoy, as well as jobs associated with increased economic activity.
The one initiative of this government tailored to meet the aspirations and needs, both economic and social, of rural Yukon has been the introduction of the Local Employment Opportunities Program. This program provides capital funding to recognized non-profit organizations, registered societies, Indian bands and local governments for projects that make extensive use of local materials, are labour intensive, and are a benefit to the community as a whole. Examples of projects undertaken in Dawson City through this program include upgrading of our day care centre, restoration work on Moosehide Village, stabilization of the Oddfellows Hall, construction of the Yukon Order of Pioneers Hall and the Jack London Interpretive Centre, and reconstruction of the concession building in Minto Park. This year, radio station CFYT-FM, St. Marys Church, the Drama Society and the Dawson Indian Band are taking advantage of this Local Employment Opportunities Program.
In addition to putting people to work, our community has acquired many improvements, most notably new tourist attractions and more facilities for our organizations to hold social functions, meetings and conferences. Both will do much to enhance Dawson Citys status as a tourist destination and as a centre to host small conventions and conferences: a growing industry in this next decade. Both translate into more visitors staying longer and spending more money in Dawson City.
In summary, large capital projects carried out by this government to improve infrastructure by replacing condemned buildings with new ones that will be cheaper to operate and maintain, in conjunction with numerous small projects undertaken by organizations through LEOP, continues to be an exercise in spending money wisely.
Four years ago, the federal government signed a formula financing arrangement to enable our territorial government to improve Yukons infrastructure. This is exactly what this government is doing and, in the process, is creating new job opportunities 12 months of the year. That is getting maximum value for our dollars spent. Last years successful negotiation of a two year extension to the original Formula Finance Agreement is a clear sign that the federal government endorses this territorial governments approach to fiscal management and has faith in its ability to continue managing money in a judicious manner.
Having said that, I will be the first to admit, as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, that some mistakes have been made. The committee noted flaws in the design and construction phases of large capital projects, which have adversely affected some undertakings, such as the Ross River arena.
Over the past year, the Public Accounts Committee has received evidence from various government departments that improvements in checks and balances have been incorporated into the planning and construction process, which will eliminate a repeat of that situation and will ensure the Government of Yukon gets full value for its money. In addition, our Public Accounts Committee was somewhat horrified to discover that the Government of Yukon has never had a system in place to ensure all agreements entered into by this government were being honoured.
Operating as such, it was not surprising to learn that the City of Dawson was not living up to the terms of its agreement with the Government of Yukon with respect to water and sewer payments. Consequently, the City of Dawson had managed to build up a considerable debt for all the years that the Government of Yukon made no collections. I am pleased to report that the finance department, some time ago, implemented procedures to monitor all agreements with other parties, that the City of Dawson is repaying its debt of $1.5 million and interest of $500,000 over a period of four years as agreed to by the city and this government. I want to thank the Minister of Community and Transportation Services for his persistence in successfully resolving this matter with the Mayor and the former council of Dawson on behalf of all taxpayers of the Yukon.
It has also been a busy time for the three parties negotiating the land claim agreement. The contribution by this government of additional human and financial resources over the past year to reach a framework agreement has met with success. I was delighted when the Council for Yukon Indians, Government of Yukon and Government of Canada signed an important and historic document on November 8.
As emphasized in the Throne Speech, settling the land claim will add to the territorys economic strength and diversity. It means that land and resources will now become the responsibility of Yukoners to use and to manage for the benefit of all Yukoners. This greater control of lands and resources will provide the foundation for the new era of development envisioned in Yukon 2000, one with an even more diverse and sustainable economy with jobs to meet our needs.
At a local level, I see the land claims settlement acting as a catalyst to improve services and infrastructure. In my community, for example, the Dawson Indian Band and the Dawson City Council will work closely together to expand the water and sewer system in order to bring on stream more lots for residential and commercial development. I foresee more cooperation in planning to meet the demands of our community, be it for recreational facilities or local social services. This land claims agreement will encourage all Yukoners to work together for a society that meets our needs.
With a healthy economy and signs of continued growth and job creation, we can now take further steps to improve social services, such as housing, education, child care and family support. I should point out here that although the temporary shutdown of the United Keno Hill Mines will have a serious affect on the regional economy of the Mayo area, our economic model indicates that our economic growth rate for the territory, one of the highest in the country, will be affected by only one percent.
With respect to the transfer of health services and facilities, it is important that our negotiations with the federal government conclude as soon as reasonable positions are established. Only then can we in Dawson City end the considerable duplication of services offered by the two different levels of government through McDonald Lodge and Father Judge Nursing Station. In their place, we need a single community health complex that will offer public health and emergency health services, obstetrics, short term in-patient care and long term care. I look forward to the creation of such a facility for effective delivery of an integrated health and social services system as proposed in the Throne Speech.
Another area of interest to all Yukoners is education. My wife, who was recently honoured with a long service award by the Government of Yukon in appreciation for 15 years of teaching, will rejoice with her colleagues over the Throne Speech news of more teacher hirings and the implementation of special education programs in our school system. The new education act, which will ensure access to high quality education for all people of the territory and a greater public role in school administration, will also be introduced. Dawsonites are excited about these initiatives, just as they are at the prospect of moving into a new community complex and school, as modern and well equipped a facility as you will find anywhere in the country, for a community with student enrollment of our size. Interior layout and exterior design of our community complex was a product of a lengthy exercise undertaken by representatives of all potential user groups of the facility, and serves as a good example of what can be achieved through public consultation.
The practice of our government to consult with Yukoners on matters of interest and concern, be they local in nature such as our community complex and school example or territory-wide, is a commendable one. It is democratic government that involves the public in decision makin. It is a responsible government that seeks informed public comment on problems, issues and challenges that face our society. It is good government that acts on that advice.
One area of social action to be addressed is that of child care. It is a matter of keen personal interest, as my son attends a day care centre in Dawson City. This government has a commendable record of improving the Yukons child care system, beginning in 1986 with operating grants, continuing in 1987 with capital grants for both new and existing centres and homes. Without the operating grants of $40 per licensed space per month from this government, it is doubtful that our Dawson City day care centre would have been able to offer salaries necessary to attract and maintain a skilled and dedicated staff. I am delighted with the announcement in the Throne Speech that recommendations of the Child Care Consultation Panel will be implemented by our government. The plan to double the number of child care spaces in five years, introduce new training opportunities for workers, support parents who choose to stay at home with their pre-school children, and provide specific programs for special needs children and after school care, is evidence that this government intends to deliver quality child care that is affordable and comprehensive.
On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Dawson Indian Band on the opening of their new day care operation, located at the Indian Heritage Centre.
Another measure to support families outlined in the Throne Speech is increased help for victims of family violence through more safe places in communities, better counselling and treatment and increased public education. With some financial support from this government, we have had a safe place operating in Dawson City for more than a year. The protection and support offered to such victims during times of crises is something this government recognizes as an essential service requiring more attention.
The strong record of this governments support for rural communities is demonstrated in a variety of ways. One highly visible example is the presence of government employees delivering services and information on government programs. For the last three years, our Government of Yukon has demonstrated its commitment to decentralizing the delivery of services from Whitehorse to the creation of the following positions in Dawson City: a business development officer, a recreation consultant, the regional superintendent of education and a secretary, a building inspector and a mechanic for the Highways Branch. All individuals recruited for these positions, in addition to being well qualified for the tasks, are residents of the Dawson City area.
You may recall that, in consultation of a significant role this matter plays contributing to the stability of a small community and the well being of its residents, I suggested in my reply to the Throne Speech of last March that an advisory group on decentralization, with representatives from government, communities, Indian bands, business and labour, be struck to investigate the possibilities for decentralization of services and to make firm, practical recommendations to our government for action.
It is my pleasure to report that such a committee has been established, and our community representative is Bill Bowie, a most respected individual, who brings to the committee a wealth of experience in business and municipal politics and a long commitment to improving the quality of life for rural Yukon. I wish this committee every success in its work and look forward to receiving its recommendations.
I know many Yukoners will join me in expressing satisfaction with the attention the environment has received in the Throne Speech. We, as Yukoners, take great pride in our northern land and the pleasures it offers, and are fierce about protecting the integrity of the environment. An important aspect of environmental protection is dealing with the growing problem of pollution. Support this government will provide to enable communities treatment of sewer and water projects as a priority is welcome news. I am encouraged by another measure mentioned in the Throne Speech: the introduction of an environmental protection act that will protect our environment and prevent pollution.
The territorys overall environmental agenda will be guided by the Yukon Conservation Strategy, a strategy that will reinforce national and international efforts to encourage sustainable development in harmony with the conservation and preservation of the Yukons wilderness characteristics and heritage. I might add that the goals of the conservation strategy fit very well with the Yukon economic strategy and the framework land claims agreement. In order to bring all local environmental and economic interests together, the Yukon government will be holding a conference this year. Delegates at this resources round table will be representatives of major industries, resource users, interest groups and governments. The work of this group as a major part of the Yukon Conservation Strategy will be to propose sustainable development projects for the territory. As Minister of Renewable Resources, I am very pleased with the initiatives highlighted in the Throne Speech that address issues related to both the economy and the environment in such a responsible manner. I look forward to introducing amendments to the Wildlife Act that will address environmental concerns expressed by the public during public hearings of the select committee. Together, the Yukon Conservation Strategy and a new Wildlife Act will give Yukoners a chance to preserve the wilderness we all value and to mesh those values with new economic opportunities.
While I am still on the subject of renewable resources, I want to assure Members that our government will be increasing its efforts to negotiate a settlement with Alaskans on the Yukon River salmon fishery. Although Yukon rivers and streams produce 50 percent of the Yukon River salmon, Yukon fisherman take only 10 percent of the harvest. We will continue to work to correct this inequitable situation. A delicate balance must be drawn between ensuring the continued health of a dwindling resource and giving Yukon fisherman their fair share of this resource.
With respect to the freshwater fishery, the responsibility for which will be transferred from the federal government on April 1, the creation of a fishery initiative and sustainable harvest, or FISH Fund, will support community plans to enhance local fisheries.
I complement the Yukon Fish and Game Association for its accomplishments over the last few years on several projects to improve stream habitat and fish stocks.
I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Dawson chapter of the Yukon Trappers Association and, in particular, organizer Jack Fraser, for staging its first fur display last week. Sixteen trappers participated by entering five pelts to be judged for quality by the experts. The event was well attended by school children and the public and was most successful in not only raising the profile of the trapping industry on behalf of the 45 trappers and assistants working the Dawson area, but also getting across its message that, like environmentalists who are quick to condemn this industry, trappers too want carefully managed development of the wilderness that their livelihood so much depends on. They have a keen interest in preserving wildlife habitat.
Yukoners are much better off today than they were just four years ago. More importantly, the prospects for an even more prosperous future are bright. The cost of living will decrease as plans by this government to reduce the cost of electricity and the price of fuel for residential and business consumers are put into place. There are no plans for increasing taxes which, with the elimination in 1987 of medical health premiums, have actually decreased for the majority of Yukoners. With the announcement in the Throne Speech of the Yukon Governments intention to increase capital block funding to municipal governments for use of their own choosing, there is no reason to expect an increase in property taxes as well.
With a feeling of improved financial and economic security, we are now in a position to turn our attention to the future with optimism. It is now a time for the Yukon to enter a new era, one in which we can prosper by building on the foundation that has been established over the last four years. Over those years, this New Democrat Government has tackled major issues affecting the fortunes of all Yukoners with innovation, determination and action, issues such as the reopening of the mine at Faro, revitalizing and stabilizing the economy, upgrading the infrastructure of rural Yukon, and improving the quality of life with social services to meet real needs.
We need the strong leadership that New Democrats have provided to continue the important work described in the Throne Speech that will achieve a more prosperous and caring Yukon. Working together, we can realize a Yukon that socially, economically and environmentally is full of opportunity.
Mrs. Firth: I move the debate be now adjourned.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. member of Whitehorse Riverdale South that the debate be now adjourned. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
Motion No. 1
Clerk: Item number 1, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Speaker: Is the honourable member prepared to proceed with item 1?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice THAT it is the recommendation of this Assembly that the hon. Mrs. Joe be appointed to the Advisory Committee on Finance.
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: If I may speak very briefly, I wish to thank the Leader of the Official Opposition for his cooperation in the timely debate of this motion. This is required by the Yukon Act.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am advised that in order to make the proposal before the house complete, that I should move that Motion No. 1 be amended by adding the following words after the word Finance: and that it is the recommendation of the Assembly that the hon. Member, Mr. Webster, be appointed as an alternate member to the Advisory Committee on Finance.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Motion No. 1 be amended by adding after the word Finance, the following: and that it is the recommendation of the Assembly that the hon. Member, Mr. Webster, be appointed as an alternate member to the Advisory Committee on Finance. Are you prepared for the question on the amendment? Are you agreed?
Amendment agreed to
Speaker: Is there any further debate on the main motion as amended? Are you prepared for the question? Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to as amended
Speaker: I declare the Motion carried as amended.
Motion No. 2
Clerk: Item number 2, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Kimmerly.
Speaker: Is the hon. Member prepared to proceed with item 2?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes, Mr. Speaker.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader THAT the hon. Mr. Kimmerly be appointed to the Members Services Board. Are you prepared for the question?
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried.
Motion No. 3
Clerk: Item No. 3 standing in the name of Mr. Kimmerley.
Speaker: Is the hon. Member prepared to proceed with item 3?
Hon. Mr. Kimmerly: Yes. Mr. Speaker.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader THAT the hon. Mr. Webster be appointed to the Standing committee on Rules, Elections and Privileges. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mrs. Joe: I move that the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Health and Human Resources that the House do now adjourn. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. Monday next.
The House adjourned at 5:16 p.m.
The following Sessional Paper was tabled January 12, 1989:
Working Together: A Child Care Strategy for the Yukon (M. Joe)
The following Legislative Returns were tabled January 12, 1989:
Log exports - timber exported (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 551
Log exports - jobs (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 551