Monday, December 11, 1989 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper.
Introduction of Visitors.
Are there any Returns or Documents for tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mr. Webster: I have for tabling our governments museums policy.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have for tabling various documents pertaining to the draft education act.
Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees?
Introduction of Bills.
Are there any Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Notices of Motion.
Are there any Statements by Ministers?
Yukon Museum Policy
Hon. Mr. Webster: Over the years, museums have become increasingly important to the present and future social and economic development of the Yukon.
Knowing our past helps define who we are and forms part of the social foundation we are building for the future. A better understanding of our collective history paves the way for improved cross-cultural communication among all peoples of the Yukon. An enhanced awareness of the Yukons past also helps newcomers make a stronger commitment to the territory as their permanent home.
Tourists also have a strong interest in attractions that illustrate the unique history of the Yukon, a fact reflected in the 1987 Yukon Visitor Exit Survey. Improving the appeal of our museums to our visitors will result in positive economic spinoffs to local businesses.
The Yukon museums policy, which I am announcing today, is a commitment to the growth and development of community museums as the primary vehicle for displaying and interpreting the Yukons historic resources.
By placing the emphasis on strong, independent museums operated by local, non-profit volunteer boards, the museums policy is reinforcing and acting upon the advice provided by the Yukon Economic Strategy and commitments made in the Yukon Tourism Action Plan.
The policy also reflects the advice provided by the Yukoners who contributed to the policys development, following the 1987 release of the Yukon Museums Policy and Systems Plan for public review.
The Lord Report, as the study was known, subsequently formed the foundation for consultations held in 1988 with individual community museum boards, the Council for Yukon Indians and the Yukon Historical and Museums Association.
The policy, which is the result of those consultations, will see the heritage branch act as a catalyst, coordinator and facilitator for the Yukons system of community museums. To allow the branch to play that role, the policy establishes guidelines for the overall delivery of territorial museums assistance programming.
Assistance will be provided to museums through a mix of current and new approaches in several main areas: inventory and cataloguing; conservation and security; exhibit and museum operations and development assistance; improved research capabilities; conservation training for museum workers; and the development of historic research educational programs and kits.
The policy will also enable the branch to seek the repatriation of artifacts when suitable repositories are available.
The policy that I am releasing today also contemplates the eventual establishment of a Yukon Historic Resources Centre as a base for the technical resources, both human and technological, which the branch is developing.
Another function of the Historic Resources Centre will be to provide public display and educational facilities as a means of heightening public awareness of the Yukons historic resources. The Historic Resources Centre will also be designed to support the territorys archaeological artifact conservation and historic sites responsibilities.
However, having said that, I should add that I do not wish to encourage false hopes. In the current climate of fiscal restraint imposed by federal budgetary policies, there is not an immediate prospect for the construction of the Historic Resources Centre.
The museums policy will lead to improved inventories and cataloguing of artifacts. It will help ensure the proper conservation and security of both displayed and stored artifact collections. It will enable museums to develop their infrastructure, staff and programs, so that Yukoners and visitors alike will have access to museums that foster a better understanding and appreciation of the territorys collective history.
The formal recognition of the Yukons community museums in this policy, and the improved conservation capabilities that it will produce, may also enhance community museum access to federal museums funding assistance programs for further growth and improvements.
In conclusion, we believe this decentralized approach to the presentation of the Yukons historic resources will foster education, tourism, employment and local business opportunities, which will enhance the quality of life in communities throughout the territory.
Mr. Phillips: I am pleased to see that finally, after four years, we have a new museums policy, but I would like to make a few comments about the statement the Minister has given here today. First of all, I agree with the statement that says in the policy, Tourists also have a strong interest in attractions that illustrate the unique history of the Yukon, a fact reflective of the 1987 Yukon Visitors Exit Survey.
I would hope the Member for Klondike, who has become the Christmas-Grinch-Who-Stole-Our-Gold-Panner-And-Klondike-Theme, would use this very argument to support the Yukon public who do not want the new Yukon licence plate. The Minister has become totally inconsistent with his announcement here today, reflecting a higher priority on community museum development and, while at the same time, the figures he proposes in the current budget before us show a downturn in this activity.
For example, he states that the Yukons museum policy will lead to improved inventories and cataloguing of artifacts. That is a great statement but I would like to ask the Minister why he has, in his 1990-91 budget before us, proposed a 50 percent reduction in funding in this area.
He stated that it would help ensure the proper conservation and security of both displayed and stored artifacts collections, but again, in the 1990-91 budget we see a whopping 59 percent decrease in funding. It is odd, to say the least.
He stated, as well, that this policy will enable museums to develop their infrastructure, staff and programs and then with the other hand he cuts the budget by 42 percent in this area. How is that supposed to help small community museums develop their infrastructure? The Minister said that this policy will help museums with exhibit assistance and again he demonstrates this in an odd way by cutting the 1990-91 budget in this area by another 33 percent. I know we are in a time of restraint but one would have to look long and hard through this budget to see if any other department is cut as badly as this one.
In another area of concern at the same time, when we are announcing that we have to tighten our belts, fiscally, the Minister announces a totally new facility and programming: the establishing of the Yukon Historic Resources Centre. This, I am sure, will cost a great deal of capital and O&M costs in the future, and, at a time of limited dollars, maybe we should be looking at supporting the many small community museums we already have. It seems to me that the Minister cannot have it both ways. On one hand, he is bragging about his governments concern for a higher priority for community museums, and then, on the other hand, he drastically reduces the budget and the funding in this area.
I would like to conclude by saying that this Minister is totally inconsistent between the figures that he has brought forward in the budget and the ministerial statement he has given here today. He just cannot have it both ways. You cannot, on one hand, announce a priority to take care of, or look after, the community development of museums, and on the other hand announce a 30 to 60 percent decrease in the budget in that same area.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I want to thank the Member opposite for bringing forth his concerns with respect to the budget for the heritage branch, and specifically for museum assistance. I look forward to the opportunity to debate them more fully when we come to debate the budget.
Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Hazardous waste diposal
Mr. Phelps: I have some follow-up questions on an issue I raised in the House a couple of weeks ago on the PCB storage shed built in the middle of the City of Whitehorse, contrary to this governments policy about not storing PCBs in highly populated areas.
This government asked for input from the City of Whitehorse about the storage shed, in particular, and a letter was sent to the Yukon government by the city engineer on August 30, 1989, outlining numerous concerns about the proposed shed, including its size, fire protection for it, the entrance gate to it, and so on.
Why did the government proceed with building this storage shed without replying to the letter of August 30 from the city engineer?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate the Members question because it affords the opportunity to clarify some facts surrounding the matter and allows me to provide additional information to the Member.
The letter was not responded to, in part because it was not solicited and in part because the facility was already under construction.
By way of some clarification, I must provide this to the Member. The government began its program for removal of ballasts in approximately March of this year and began storage under conditions of fairly close protection in the Marwell area. In July of last year Environmental Protection Services directed Government Services to contain them better than they were then contained, largely because at that time an interim order came through from Environmental Protection Services for a new standard of storage for PCBs. Government Services had 30 days to comply and sought the appropriate approvals from the city, received them, and proceeded with the necessary construction. The letter the Member mentions was received after that decision was made.
Mr. Phelps: That is not much of an answer. In this specific case the size of the shed was less than 100 square feet and, therefore, a building permit was not required. I am wondering why the government relied on this technicality in order to proceed without satisfying the concerns of the city.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: There were no concerns raised by the city. The matter was treated at an administrative level. The appropriate authority from the city was sought. The Member is correct, a building permit was not required. The administration of Government Services sought advice and spoke to the fire department, and I understand the building branch of the city procured the necessary authority to proceed, and proceeded. It was treated on that basis as a temporary storage for these ballasts that EPS had directed us to contain more adequately than we were.
Mr. Phelps: Surely, the Minister will agree that the answer does not make sense. A building permit was not required, therefore, what kind of authority was obtained? Was there something in writing?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will have to take notice of that specific question about whether anything was received in writing. I do not know precisely, but I am advised that assurances were received from the city that the department could proceed with the construction and it took the initiative to make further contact with city officials and other affected agencies to ensure that the facility was properly and adequately constructed.
As I indicated to the Member in previous questioning, the building was constructed totally under the regulations prescribed by Environmental Protection Services.
Question re: Hazardous waste disposal
Mr. Phelps: These answers are somewhat confused, because we understand - and the city councillors understood - that such authority had not been obtained from the city.
The letter dated August 30, from the city engineer to the Ministers department, outlined a large number of concerns. There are seven concerns in all, ranging from the size of the entrance gate, the construction of the building itself, fire protection, fire doors, the size, the issue of fill containment, the ventilation, to the lack of sensors and alarms to detect poisonous gas and lighting. How can the Minister be assured, and assure us, that the City of Whitehorse gave its blessing to proceed with this building in the face of this letter dated August 30?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: With respect, the letter received by the city speaks to a facility of a more permanent nature and casts a judgmental eye on the type of facility we ought to be constructing. We were containing PCB ballasts with minute quantities - virtually drops per ballast - which were being contained under full authority and prescribed regulations by environmental protection standards. Essentially, the letter that came from the city was unsolicited and after the fact.
For the Members information, I can tell him that on August 17, Mr. Collier from Government Services consulted with Jeff Hamm, the head of planning for the city, regarding the citys zoning regulations for construction of the storage facility. He was advised that the shed complied with zoning requirements.
Subsequently, on August 28, Mr. Vautour from the department consulted with Ken Hyatt, the chief building inspector with the citys building and inspections branch. He was told that no building permit was necessary, as the Member pointed out, due to the size of the shed.
Subsequent to that, the department advised the city fire department regarding the location and the quantity of the material being stored, as is required by EPS.
Those authorities were sought and approvals were generated. I have already said I would undertake to determine whether there is anything in writing.
Mr. Phelps: At the very least, we have a strange sequence of events before us. I am advised by the Minister, if I heard him correctly, on August 28 there was a conversation with regard to the need for a building permit. When was the shed completed?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I stand to be corrected, but the building would have been completed in September, because EPS gave us a 30-day period in which to properly contain these ballasts, which we undertook.
Mr. Phelps: I would like to put the Minister on notice that I would like some exact times. I would remind him he told us the letter of August 30 would have been too late because the storage shed was already completed. Would he advise whether or not the storage shed was completed prior to receiving the letter of August 30?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I accept notice, and I can provide the Member with specific dates relating to communications relating to this facility.
Question re: Hazardous waste disposal
Mr. Phelps: This makes me concerned about other storage sites for hazardous wastes within the City of Whitehorse. We know hazardous wastes are stored at the Whitehorse dam in some sort of a trailer. Can the Minister tell me whether a building permit was obtained for the storage facility at the Yukon Energy site?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would have to assume the facility was constructed some time ago and would appear to have received the appropriate authorities for construction. The Member raises his concern about other facilities in the city, and I share that concern. That is part of the urgency I have placed on the matter by creating an advisory body and placing some priority on having a permanent facility selected outside the city limits by next summer. I have provided to that committee the necessary level of expertise and an opportunity to provide an intelligent, rational and calculated set of options for me to choose from. There are at least nine facilities in Whitehorse that contain PCBs. I am quite prepared to table the list for the Member. It is a matter of some concern, and I respect my responsibility to ensure that these hazardous wastes are removed from the city boundaries.
Speaker: Order please. Will the Member please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have undertaken that and will do it.
Mr. Phelps: Last spring, we debated a motion at some length about this very issue in the Legislature. At the time, the Minister stood in his place across there and advised Yukoners and we in the Legislature that a lot of consultation was going on between the various levels of government, progress was being made, problems were being identified, and so on. What we have here is a ...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question.
Mr. Phelps: We have a very apparent breakdown between the levels of government. Can the Minister advise us about the storage shed that is being utilized by the federal government in the Takhini area? Is his department aware of that? Did the City of Whitehorse authorize the building of such a storage shed up there for hazardous waste?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would be quite pleased to provide to the Member the list of the storage sites in the city. In fact, the City of Whitehorse itself has one on Quartz Road. The matter is of some concern to me and I repeat that that is why I have treated with priority the locating of a permanent facility outside of municipal and city boundaries, and that is why I have directed that this happen by next summer, so that we can begin the creation of permanent facility, rather than these temporary ones that we have around the city.
Question re: Licence plates
Mr. Phillips: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, as well. This one regards the proposed new licence plate. My question relates to the method the government used to come up with the new proposed design. We already know the government did not ask the Yukon people what they felt about changing to a new design, or we simply would not have the new design in front of us. Did the Minister use an internal review committee to establish this new design?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I should tell the Member, and all Members, that I was certainly quite surprised, and in fact amazed, at the reaction to the new licence plate from many of the Yukon public. With respect to the review process the Member seeks out, I want to tell the Member that the licence plate has been in evolution for a number of months.
It was in full consultation with the tourism branch and it was largely the result of my initiative, and I take full responsibility. The plate was originally produced in a number of variations, and those variations were reduced to a central theme that was in conjunction with the tourism strategy that was developed by this government a couple of years ago, which in fact called for a broader theme to promote the Yukon.
I am sure Member may recollect Mr. Porter announcing The Magic and The Mystery theme in 1987. That was the result of considerable market testing and considerable statistical analysis, and it was determined that a broader theme than simply The Klondike should be utilized. That is what I attempted to incorporate, as well as speaking to the broad spectrum that Yukon represents to us all ...
Speaker: Order please. Will the Member please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In conclusion, I can advise the Member that considerable internal review took place between my department and that of Tourism, which eventually resulted in the design tabled a couple of weeks ago.
Mr. Phillips: It has come to my attention that the design that the review committee recommended to the Minister and to Cabinet is not the same design that we see in front of us today. Can the Minister confirm that this is not the final design, nor the final recommendation that this review committee made to the Minister?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am not sure, precisely, to which review process the Member refers. The design that came forward to Cabinet was the result of considerable review that I initiated, one theme of which was the design that we see before us, at an earlier evolutionary stage, as well as numerous others.
Mr. Phillips: Will the Minister confirm that the final design of the review committee that was presented to the Minister retained the Yukon gold panner or The Klondike theme words, and possibly both? Why did Cabinet decide to remove both of these and replace them with the fireweed and the words The Magic and the Mystery?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member suggests that I was advised to retain the gold panner. That is not so. I took the initiative to seek out a number of options and have them refined. That is what took place. That is what I took to my colleagues and that is what Members see before them.
Question re: Licence plates
Mr. Phillips: I would like to pursue a question again about the proposed new licence plates.
Several new facts have come to light since the government announced it intended to remove the gold panner and the Klondike off the Yukon licence plates. First, two licence plate designs, the raven and sternwheeler, were given to the government and they were told there was no reason at the time to change the design, and when the government did decide to change it they would consult with the public. They did not consult.
Many Yukoners have objected to the change and have written to the editor. A phone-in show was held on CBC radio last Thursday and over 30 calls objected to the change and only nine supported it. A petition is now in circulation with over 1,000 signatures on it. Less than a week ago this petition started, and now has well over 1,000 signatures on it. The Klondike Visitors Association and the CYI are upset and the Tourism Industry Association wants more time to consider the changes.
In light of the overwhelming opposition to this licence plate change, will the Minister responsible take this opportunity to tell Yukoners that he has delayed the decision to proceed with the new licence plate until more consultation with the Yukon public can take place?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As the Member is aware, or ought to be aware, trying to achieve consensus on an item like a licence plate design is near impossible. My experience in previous political life, as well as in municipal politics, and the classroom, led me to recognize that consensus would not be achievable.
However, I do respect the question. As the Member is aware, I returned to the Yukon last Friday and was amazed at the reaction to the plate that was introduced.
I have had a chance to review debate that took place in the House last week, some of the media reports, and seek advice and opinion from people at large. Over the weekend I directed Community and Transportation Services to direct that an information sheet with a questionnaire to be included with the pre-arranged mailing about staggered licencing that is going out this week. Essentially that is going to be done. I will wait for the results of that questionnaire and have asked that responses be received by January 15, at which time I will review the responses, petitions, letters and opinions from Yukon people.
Mr. Phillips: I am interested by the comments of the Minister about not being able to get a consensus on the licence plate. I can assure the Minister that the people of the Yukon are not happy with a Cabinet decision to change the licence plate.
In light of the new turn of events, and his delay in doing anything about the new licence plate for awhile, will he allow the petition that is circulating to be placed at the front desk with the new licence plate so people can express their views, both pro and con? They can answer the Ministers questionnaire, but they can also sign the petition if they object to the new licence plate being produced by this government.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: With respect, I believe the Member is playing games and taking advantage of the fact the Minister of Government Services was not here last week. I have already answered that question on behalf of the government last week.
Mr. Phillips: I am not playing games at all. That is the Government Leaders tactic of evading the question. I am asking if the government will allow the petition to be placed on the front desk, like many other pieces of information are, so people can have the opportunity to sign the petition.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I already indicated the initiative I have taken over the weekend to seek further input from Yukon people through a mail-out that will explain the staggered licensing system. I will be seeking the responses from registrants, as well as from Yukon people who do not have vehicles, by placing those forms at territorial agents offices, at municipal offices and with the motor vehicles branch. The Member can be assured that I am inviting Yukon people to provide input and comment with respect to the proposed new licence plate.
Question re: Licence plates
Mr. Phillips: It seems the lights have gone on in the Ministers office this weekend, and the Minister has finally seen the light of day, so to speak, on this licence plate issue. Will the Minister delay ordering any new licence plates until some time in early spring, so Yukoners will have an opportunity to respond to the Ministers questionnaire or to respond in any other way they may want in order to express their views on the new licence plate proposed by this government?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I can assure the Member opposite that I have had a fairly good grounding in the real world of consulting with people, which he probably has not.
I have already indicated to the Member the time frame in which I am seeking some further public input regarding the licences, which has been generated by the response I came back to last week. The current issue of plates will physically be running out by number and by plate approximately next July or August. We require approximately three months in which to manufacture a new series. Backing up from that time, the tender for the manufacture of plates will have to be placed by the first part of February.
Mr. Phillips: With all due respect, the government brought this on itself. It should have considered that before it announced it was going to do this.
We are going to be adjourned from this House until some time in mid to late January. There is very little opportunity to debate this issue again after this week. As well, it is the Christmas season, and many Yukoners are preoccupied over the Christmas holiday season with family and friends. Will the Minister give consideration to withholding any decision on making a new Yukon licence plate until at least some time in March, so Yukoners have an opportunity to review the proposed licence plate and express their views on whether they like it or dislike it?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: If the Member had been listening to my last answer, he would recognize his question is an impossible one to accede to. March would be too late to make a decision and provide plates in time for when they run out in July. I have already indicated to the Member that, until January 15, I will be awaiting further response and input from Yukon people. At that time, or shortly after, I will be taking a decision respecting the plates. The time frame only permits us that latitude at this point.
Question re: Licence plates
Mrs. Firth: I would like to follow up with some questions about the Minister of Community and Transportation Services comment today about the licence plate information sheet and questionnaire. I know that garages have been mailed colour copies of the licence plate and have been asked to put them up in their places of business. Municipalities have been mailed coloured licence plates. Indian bands have, I believe, been mailed colour licence plates, from the information we have been given. Now something is going to be mailed to all licence holders and included in it is going to be a questionnaire. Is that information accurate? Is the government mailing out these coloured copies of the licence plates? Could the Minister tell us how many have been printed up to be mailed out, or how many are anticipated to be printed to be mailed out?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Of course I can provide the Member with that information. The mailing that is being done this week was previously arranged mailing to explain the staggered licensing method, with respect to when people would apply for their renewals, how the fees would be structured, and what their cycle of renewal would be. I have taken the opportunity to ask the department to include, along with that standard mailing, a statement regarding the public discussion that has been generated about the licence plate and to seek further input. To be quite frank with the Member, the final draft of that questionnaire has not been concluded. The Member has to appreciate that I undertook this new initiative last Friday and worked through the weekend.
The Member also raised the issue of the colour plate inclusion; yes, I have directed that a colour plate inclusion be placed in the envelope, along with the staggered licence information and the questionnaire.
Mrs. Firth: So what the Minister is really saying is that instead of reconsidering the decision that they made, they have decided to launch a huge damage-control campaign, using the taxpayers money to convince taxpayers that they really like the licence plate. That is what this government is doing. The Government Leader says, We are giving them a chance to see what it looks like - that was because they were not happy with the black and white in the newspaper. This government...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question.
Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask the Minister of Community and Transportation Services what this damage-control campaign, using taxpayers money, is going to cost the taxpayer. I want a figure on it.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raises some erroneous preamble information. The issue is not damage control. The issue is to provide members of the public with a picture of the plate, in colour, for a fair representation of what the proposed new plate is going to look like. The questionnaire simply seeks their input on that licence plate, and it is an appropriate way to go in order to conclude a decision.
Mrs. Firth: It is interesting that the public was not consulted beforehand. All of a sudden, now, they want the publics opinion about the contents of the licence plate: the gold panner and the words The Klondike. The Minister did not answer my question. I would like to know how much it is going to cost for the government to launch this damage-control campaign, because that is what it is.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have already indicated, and repeat for the Member, that when I returned to the Yukon on Friday I was quite amazed at the response that appeared to be coming from the Yukon public. In recognition of that I felt that a fair representation of the decision ought to be made to Yukon people. Therefore, I have included a short information sheet as well as a questionnaire, and saw to it that the package include a photographic reproduction of the plate. It is not an unreasonable gesture for people to recognize the decision.
Question re: Licence plates
Mr. Phelps: It seems the government has spent a lot of money on this plate already without consulting Yukoners, and all of a sudden now it is going to spend more to finally talk to them about the new plate.
The question was asked last week of the Minister of Tourism about the cost for designing this five-colour plate. How much was spent on the design and creation of this piece of paper with the plate on it?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This design was produced over the past two, three or four months at a total cost of $3900. It was work produced by a local firm. That is the price to date for the design.
Mr. Phelps: How much are the plates going to cost in a five-colour reproduction? How does that cost compare with the cost of the present plate with the gold panner?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have indicated that we propose to be going to public tender for the manufacture of the new plate. We took the initiative to call a number of firms respecting the cost of the new plate. We received a quote of $2.32 per plate. We are currently paying $2.09 for the existing plate. There is a 23-cent difference per plate for the five-colour reproduction.
Question re: Licence plates
Mr. Phillips: The Minister stated that they are sending out an information package to all Yukon residents that has a full-colour picture of the plate enclosed. Does the government understand that the people of the Yukon are not as much concerned with the colour of the plate as with the fact that the government is removing the gold panner and the words The Klondike from the plate? That is the issue.
The issue is not whether the plate is brown, pink, blue, green or any other colour in the world. The issue is the removal of the gold panner and the words, The Klondike. Does the government understand that is the issue, not the colour of the plate?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am clearly aware of what the issues surrounding the plate are. I am addressing those issues by seeking input from people. I should point out to Members that it is not a package being sent, it is a single sheet of paprer requesting information pertaining to peoples thoughts regarding the new design, the removal of the Klondike wording, the removal of the gold panner and commentary they may provide to me, in order that I may more fully and adequately address this issue, given what took place over the past 10 days.
I did not anticipate this reaction. I have explained to Members that I intended to take into account the existing broadening tourism theme that has been promoted for Yukon. I have attempted to take into consideration the full cultural and historical depth of the Yukon and have come forward with this plate. I think it is a very good representation of Yukon. As I learned when I returned ...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: ... there was an appearance of objection to the new plate and I am seeking further input on the matter and doing it in a fashion that is fair.
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am providing the Yukon public an opportunity to make a fair judgment about the proposal I put forward.
Mr. Phillips: It is beyond my, and it must be beyond most Yukoners, comprehension why the government will not just admit it made a mistake and go back to the old gold panner. That is all Yukoners are asking. Why will the Minister not rise in the House today and admit that, with the onslaught of opposition he has had to this new plate, he made a mistake and will not be removing the gold panner or The Klondike off the new plate?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I beg to disagree with the Member. I, too, spent some time on the street and on the phone over the weekend. At the same time that people voiced some concern over the removal of the gold panner, I have also been advised not to change the proposed new plate, that it is an ideal representation of the Yukon and does reflect what Yukon stands for. I beg to differ with the Member that a mistake was made. I sought further input and opinion from the public at large, and I will review that in the context of any additional input.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now lapsed. We will now proceed with the Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House now resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order. We will have a brief recess.
Chair: I will now call Committee to order.
We will begin with Bill No. 13.
Bill No. 13 - Second Appropriation Act, 1989-90 - continued
Chair: We will begin with Community and Transportation Services on page 19. Is there any general debate?
Department of Community and Transportation Services
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Perhaps the House would permit my Deputy Minister, Mr. Graham, to join me on the floor?
The supplementary estimate before us has a total net amount of $3,143,000. As Members can see the operation and maintenance portion is $913,000 and there is a capital portion of $2,135,000.
This variance that totals $3,143,000 is almost entirely due to capital funds that were carried forward from the previous year in the amount of $2,518,000. The additional amount is capital funds net of O&M savings that were advanced from last year into this year, which permitted the acceleration of certain projects. There was a net amount of $280,000 on that. When these two items are taken into account, along with an adjustment that applies to the previous year, the department has essentially operated to period 5 with a zero net variance.
In short the expenditures have been held to those anticipated in the original budget. I think that reflects some sound fiscal management and the ability of the department to meet its obligations within a financial framework.
The additional amounts not cited represent various transfers and reallocations within the department and, when we get into line-by-line, I would be more than pleased to explain precisely how the $913,000 is generated, as well as the $2,135,000, as indicated in the budget book.
I am quite open to questions from Members in general debate and quite prepared to discuss specific line-by-line items.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to start out on casual hiring. Last year it was very unfair, because people who worked for several years were not given an opportunity. The more I am around the Yukon, the more I find in quite a few places. The Minister assured us he was going to correct this and I would like to have it on record that it will not happen again.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I recall the occasion the Member raises with respect to casual hire. The policy has been reviewed. In the specific instance the Member raised, I understand through subsequent correspondence, that while the Member may not have agreed with all the approach taken, the department certainly attempted to rectify an oversight in recognizing local people on a casual hire basis.
It is my understanding that in our policy of encouragement for local hire we seek applications throughout the year. Those applications are forwarded, essentially, to the department, and as postings come up people can apply for them or be hired on the casual basis. I do not know if the Member has any specific areas. I would be quite pleased to discuss them or to take representation.
Mr. Brewster: The main problem I have with this is that in the cases where people have been on for two or three years, they were told that all they had to do was to write to the foreman and notify him that they were there for the job and they would get it without applying. Then, they found out that they never even got a chance at all, that other applicants had been hired over them, and that they had no seniority at all. I just think the situation is unfair.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: To my knowledge, the Member is correct in his description of the approach taken for bringing people back to work, either on a casual or an auxiliary basis. They simply have to notify their foreman and their names are added to the available pool of people. I think there was, in the case that the Member brought to my attention last summer, some confusion about the status of those employees, and I believe it was corrected, albeit after the fact, to the best of our ability, for the oversight and the confusion that took place in the very legitimate case that the Member brought to my attention. My understanding, however, is that the policy still prevails, that people who are on a casual or an auxiliary status are first up for recall upon notifying their foreman that they are still available and that, in fact, ought to be taking place.
The Member can appreciate that in some camps the work does not necessarily remain the same from year to year. There will be different times when people are brought on. There will be different durations of work for the casuals and the auxiliaries, and certainly the qualifications of the individual would have to be taken into account, depending on whether he is an equipment operator or a labourer, or some other skill.
I guess, in short, I would like to give reassurance to the Member that I have directed the department to ensure that the local-hire policy is respected, that Public Service Commission rules are respected at the same time, and certainly we do grant the recognition of local areas.
Mr. Brewster: I thank the Minister for that. There is only one other suggestion that I would make and I will not carry on long with that. In any private contract, foremen get an awful lot to say on who they hire and who they do not. It is quite apparent that all the hiring is done in Whitehorse and I do not think the foremen really get a say; therefore, they are getting people that they do not particularly want. This has happened and I can give you cases.
Is it not true that the casuals were laid off very, very early this year from most of the road camps?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The last question first. I am advised that has been no difference to the lay off of casuals this year than any other year. It would depend on the nature of the work, the nature of the season, and that there was no extraordinary, deliberate action to lay off earlier. If the Member has any example of that to the contrary, I would like to hear it.
Back to the question of hiring and local authority for the foreman to do so, my understanding is that the hiring is done jointly. Granted, the names of available people and applications are centralized, but no hiring is done without consulting the foreman. That is my understanding of things and I think the Member can appreciate that he is correct that if we centralized hiring totally, without consulting foremen, there could be instances where the work relationship might not be the healthiest. Certainly, one has to be very flexible and sensitive in those areas, but my understanding on the decision making for the hiring is that it is done in consultation with the foreman. If the Member has anything to the contrary, I want to know. In the case of laying off, there is no deliberate difference to it this year than in any other year.
Mr. Brewster: I will have to take the Ministers word for it. However, many people who were on casual told me they were laid off two weeks to a month earlier than usual. On the question of the foremen, there is a difference between consulting and taking the advice of foremen. You can consult all you want, but if you do not take their advice, what is the point of them being on these boards to start with?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would be curious to hear a bit more from the Member. If there are deficiencies in our hiring policy, I would like to be able to address that and reconstruct policy where possible. If the Member is advising me quite clearly that foremen are not adequately consulted on the selection of personnel for camps, then I want to know that. He need not cite names on the floor of the House, but please advise me. I am being advised that foremen are consulted; the Member is saying differently. I must know.
Mr. Brewster: I did not say differently. I said you were consulting, but you are not listening to them. There is a big difference. Has this never been brought up at a foremens conference, that they are dissatisfied with the way some of these hiring practices go on?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The matter may well have been brought up in private discussions internally. I am advised that, as an agenda item, it was not universally discussed at the foremens meetings.
With respect to their authority, I am advised that foremen have full participation in the panels that select the new entrants to the labour force. In other words, foremen participate with the recruitment work that is done in selecting new applicants to join the labour crews, as they may be at the camps. Once a person has established a status with a camp, meaning they have worked for a camp, then the other method kicks in. There is no re-review; it is simply a notification of availability, and their seniority and trade skills would apply.
Mr. Brewster: The only thing I can say about that is, number one, maybe it was just an all-around screwup in the Haines Junction area. The two people who had two years never got an application until I came in here and started to clamour. Incidentally, the one boy got 64 points out of 66. He was probably one of the highest. There is no question that the foremen and the crews and everyone in that area wanted these people hired, and they were not hired. It took six weeks of fighting to get them on any kind of a job. Maybe it does not happen everywhere else, but I am being told it does.
The Minister is saying one thing, and I am prepared to believe him, but it is not being done in practice out there.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate the Members comments and observation. I will undertake to fully discuss the hiring practices with my department. Perhaps I can share some additional information over the course of the next budget debate.
Mr. Lang: I wanted to move back to the question my colleague asked with respect to the road crews and early layoffs. It came to my attention from a number of people in my riding who felt they had been laid off early. The word was that they had been laid off because of the financial situation within the government.
Is the Minister telling this House there was no deliberate directives from either himself, the deputy minister or the acting deputy minister to cut back on road crews early in order to save money?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will take the question under advisement to the extent that I will pursue it further. There was no directive from myself, and I am advised, neither from my deputy with respect to laying people off earlier. I can speculate that the natural management tendencies within the department may create such a perception. If people are faced with their budget nearing depletion, the roadwork being adequately done with no need for additional work this year, there may well have been an administrative management decision to terminate at a certain point. I have undertaken to explore this further.
I am advised that certainly my deputy did not initiate any instruction to terminate or lay off earlier. I certainly did not. The Member may appreciate that good management may generate some perception of that sort.
Mr. Brewster: Good management or not good management, roads are very serious and very important. If this is where we are trying to cut back, I wonder about this. I have a number of complaints about the icy conditions of the Carcross Road. It was closed down completely one time. Was it because of cutbacks that sanders or crews were not out there to keep that road open?
I will agree and concede that it was an icy year, but that does not stop commerce, or stop people from using roads. Somebody should be out on those roads. I drove from Edmonton to Grande Prairie, and there was snow and ice all over the road. There were trucks every 10 to 15 miles trying to get it off. Here, the road practically closes down because of this. Are there not enough sanding trucks or crews?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raises the icing conditions of approximately one month ago. At that time the Leader of the Official Opposition raised the matter with me to an extensive degree that his understanding was we were cutting back forces and budgets, and that is why the roads were not adequately being addressed. I want to put to rest that there have been any directives to cut back. Our budget reflects the standard increase from last year, and we are working within that budget, maintaining roads to the best of our ability. This particular year, we did have a couple of occasions where weather conditions occurred rapidly through the night and created morning conditions that were not quickly dealt with. I provided a couple of explanations to the Leader of the Official Opposition. There was no deliberate attempt to cut back either by forces or budget on the road maintenance. I respect the importance and necessity of maintaining good roads in the territory.
The Member is correct that we do have conditions that sometimes catch us short. In one particular instance approximately a month ago, the second crews were not in place yet. The early morning crew that gets on the road at six oclock was not in place. We were caught the weekend before it was put in place. It just happened to be a situation where we were caught by the weather.
On another occasion we actually lost a sanding truck in the ditch on the Carcross Road. I believe it was reported in the local media. That occasion caused some delay in adequate road treatment. It was short lived, but it was because of the peculiar situation where a sanding truck lost control, hit the ditch, and reduced our ability to deal with that portion of the road.
In short, there is no initiative to reduce forces, cut back budgets; we are onstream with our battle plan for maintaining roads. The overtime is authorized where necessary. We have to keep those roads in the best condition possible and we attempt to do that.
Mr. Brewster: I just have a couple more questions on the Skagway Road. There were an awful lot of complaints from people who tried to get through the construction area and I imagine the Minister has heard these complaints too, where literally these buggies were running straight at you, and a few other things, and people were even stopping coming from Skagway because of this. The other question I would like to ask is whether or not there will be a sander at Fraser this year or are we going to have to go through a continual fight, like we did all of last year?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member, I believe, first raised the issue of poor conditions through the construction zone on the Skagway Road. He is correct; I received at least several complaints in my office regarding it, and on each occasion I addressed them. Departmentally, we raised our concerns with the contractor - I believe it was Lobe - that was doing that contract. On each occasion they provided some explanation and a commitment to improve. I was somewhat disappointed on that matter and I believe I undertook to in fact correspond with the contractor about the frequency of the complaints. I took what action I could and it is something I have addressed with my department for future contracts: that it is unacceptable that we should be receiving complaints of inadequate supervision, inadequate piloting and inadequate road surface conditions, through construction zones.
I believe we can call for contractors, through our tenders, to be more vigilant on this, and we have the power to do so; that is in fact what we are planning to tighten up next year. It was not only on the Skagway Road, it was also on the Klondike Highway, as well as on Campbell Highway construction zones. They were similar complaints, not as severe as on the Skagway Road but it gave me reason for concern and reason to ask my department to address it through the tendering process, and provide closer supervision and more vigilance, so that these kind of complaints are kept to a minimum.
I have some sympathy for contractors on the job, where conditions may deteriorate somewhat, periodically, in a construction zone, but the complaints were too numerous and too frequent on the several construction jobs that I am familiar with, and I have asked for this to be addressed, departmentally, through the tendering process.
Mr. Phillips: I would suggest to the Minister that he does not have to issue those instructions through the tendering process. As far as I know, the requirements are already there in the tendering process. When the contractor does not follow by the rules set out in the tender, he is violating the contract. It is already written down and all we really need to do is have the governmental inspectors working on the job ensure that that part of the contract is followed to a t. I can tell the Member - I spoke to the Member privately on this - that I had a personal experience on that road where we almost got run over by a buggy. In fact, it lead to me getting out of our vehicle and standing by the middle of the road to stop the equipment just so we could pass through the area, because obviously no one was going to stop for us.
The Minister knows the story well. I would like to know if the Minister responded to that issue that I brought to his attention at that time; it was in late October, I believe; I have the date in my office.
Could the Minister tell us if he responded to that and, if he did respond, I would like to see the letter that he sent to Lobe Contracting and the government inspector, whose job it was to ensure that there was safety through that construction zone. I would like to know what steps the Minister took on that particular issue.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As with most complaints of the sort the Member brought to my attention last fall, the immediate reaction is to advise our highways branch to deal with the project supervisor and attempt immediate rectification at that level. The Member is quite correct that we have our own inspection capability out on the job, and I also thought that it was our vigilance that was not adequate. It appears that our vigilance, without putting additional bodies on the job, has limitations. There is an opportunity for slackness to develop on the job due to nobodys particular fault, other than the contractor not being studious enough to watch what is happening in the construction process.
Our inspectors are fairly occupied on the job. They can be away at kilometre eight of a job while things are in a mess four kilometres away. I have asked that that aspect be addressed. Yes, the inspectors are there; yes, they are supposed to be supervising the project; yes, we have the power of holdbacks, but they are not tight enough to actually apply them. I have asked that we address this so the frequency of the complaints we had this year will be tightened up, perhaps through the contracting process. If the response comes back that we do not have to tighten up any more than we already have but, rather, we have to supervise it better, then I will take that advice, too.
Mr. Phillips: I can assure the Minister that, in this particular case, the latter was the issue. They had to be supervised better in the particular case that I talked about where I had to get out of the vehicle. The government inspector was less than 500 metres away, sitting on a hill and watching the whole thing take place. I had to get out of my vehicle and guide our vehicle through the construction zone. When I stopped at the top of the hill and spoke to the government inspector, he told me he just witnessed the whole thing and apologized. That does not help if your truck or vehicle is run over by one of the buggies loaded with rocks and boulders and nobody will move over for you.
I should add that I went down to Skagway that way. I had to go to several businesses and, out of curiosity, I asked them about the road. Three people in three different businesses asked me if there was construction on the road and told me that, as long as it was continuing on that road, they were not going to go over it to Whitehorse because it was unsafe. If the Minister wants to know which businesses they were, I can tell him privately. These people were seriously concerned about their safety on that road. It should not have to resort to those kinds of complaints and that kind of thing happening, and we should not have to wait until someone gets run over by one of these vehicles before we tighten it up.
I am positive that, within the present contract regulations, it states these contractors have to make the road passable and safe to vehicles. The job to enforce that is the job of the government inspector. We do not need to put in all kinds of tighter controls in the contract system. They are there already.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate the Members observations. As I indicated to him, I asked that this be addressed for the next construction year. Whether that requires a refined articulation of the contract document that calls for it to be a safe and passable road, or whether it calls for stronger inspection on the part of our people, I cannot answer at this point.
In this particular past year, I have had more complaints than I can recall about highways. It has been a matter of some concern to me, and I have asked for that to be addressed. I am hoping to be able to tell the Members the approach we will be taking by next spring, when we start letting contracts go again.
The other thing I had a number of complaints about was the flagging. From time to time, I got complaints that flag people were not on the job, which can be extremely hazardous. I am concerned about those areas in what appears to be some deterioration in the management of the construction projects. Until I can fully determine where the fault lies and how we can tighten it up, I can only tell the Member I have asked for this to be addressed immediately.
Mr. Phillips: I look forward to next spring when the construction starts on the Skagway Road. To ensure my safety, I should invite the Minister to come with me during the height of construction season and see whether or not the new regulations are actually working.
Mr. Brewster: I am a little disappointed he accepted the offer from the Member for Riverdale North when he did not accept my offer to go to Mendenhall. I do not know if he is better looking than me.
Is there going to be a sander at Fraser this year so we do not have the hassle we had last year?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am working from memory. I understand we have not placed a sander at Fraser for a number of reasons that have been cited in this House through legislative returns and correspondence. It appears to me, unless Members can persuade me to the contrary, that it is serving the purpose adequately, and it will remain as is currently the practice. The sander will not be located at Fraser.
Mr. Lang: I would like to go back to the road conditions that occurred in mid-October. I was a little amazed at the comment that the reason we had such a severe problem was because the second crew had not been put in place at that time. Why had the crew not been put in place at that time?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member will recall from his days that the second crew is usually put on around the middle of October. This icing condition occurred around the first week of October, so it was technically about two weeks before the crew normally comes on. That precipitated an earlier-than-normal installation of the second crew, so the crews were put in place some two weeks before it was normally intended.
Mr. Lang: What is the department policy for this forthcoming year in view of the results of this year? Will the second crew be put on earlier? What decisions have been taken so it does not happen again? I had a number of complaints that I am sure the Minister received as well. People were very disappointed to find that the necessary equipment was not on the road until eight or nine oclock that morning when, at eleven oclock the night before, it was starting to drizzle; you did not have to be Einsteins close cousin to figure that out.
What policy steps has the Minister taken to ensure there is some force there that can be called upon if we come up against these severe weather conditions again? It can conceivably happen in September, not just the first week of October.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have to trust the administrative judgment of the departmental officials to address these types of things. I am certainly not going to arbitrarily implement a policy saying that second crews will be put in place in the middle of September in anticipation of weather conditions. The wisdom and experience of highways officials far exceeds mine and I will leave it to them.
What can be learned from this experience is that highways people ought not to be caught with delayed response to weather conditions. Certainly there is no way I would prevent the necessary authorization of overtime for crews to go out early. I would not discourage foremen or responsible officials from reading weather conditions and staying in close communication with weather forecasting. In the October instance it was a simple case where someone made a poor judgment on weather conditions. Had the prediction been made through the night, as the Member noted, that the drizzle could turn to sleet and freeze on the ground, then there would not have been as severe a problem with crews coming to work at the normal time.
Certainly the expertise, experience and efficiency of the highways people has to be relied upon to read those weather conditions well in advance with full knowledge of what weather forecasts are predicting and to respond accordingly.
From a policy point of view, I have the obligation to ensure the roads are safe and officials have the liberty to respond quickly and properly to conditions.
It seems to me that on the occasion that the Member refers to, only a portion of the roads were actually affected by ice conditions. As I recall, on one side of Whitehorse there were no icy conditions; on the other side, within 10 miles, conditions were icy. While it may have been difficult to predict, certainly the department is in a position to use the best forecasting and authority at their disposal to effectively respond.
Mr. Devries: I would just like to go back to what the Member for Kluane was talking about: local hire. During the election campaign last spring this was a hot topic in Watson Lake. Shortly thereafter it seemed to kind of die away, because the hot topic was of the Alaska Highway and that little piece of construction on the transport. The road superintendent there, Mr. Greenway, I believe, felt that quite often it seemed that the local people were turned down and people were sent down from Whitehorse to fill in these positions.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would certainly appreciate the Member providing me, privately or otherwise, specifics relating to local hire, because I am very sensitive to this and I want to see it protected, both as a policy of this government and as a desire by this ministry. The issue of people coming in from other communities to a camp can sometimes be the result of the available skill level of people in the community and the available work force that is on auxiliary status around the territory. It may well be - but I only cite this as a possibility - that an equipment operator is required in Watson Lake and no one is qualified for that position in Watson Lake. A person may be sent in from the available list, say, from Teslin, who is willing to move. While we have a local hire policy, it is not local-local, in terms of exclusivity to the area. It is local hire where preference is given to the immediate area. I think the Member for Kluane and I have discussed that aspect on a couple of occasions.
I simply invite the Member to share with me what he can regarding possible infractions relating to local hire because I am really sensitive about the utilization of local people, where possible, from an area for jobs that are available. From the previous discussion, I can see that it would be useful for me to investigate a couple of concerns being raised by Members opposite and perhaps speak to it at further length when we hit the O&M and capital mains.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to go now to the Takhini Bridge, which I believe had a new face lift this year. The rumour is very very strong that the footings are gone and nothing was done with those footings. Could the Minister elaborate on this?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am not aware that there is any problem related to the Takhini Bridge, but rather to the contrary. I am aware the Takhini Bridge had problems and, in the course of this past year, we did considerable retrofits and renovations to that bridge. I believe it was $500,000 worth. It was part of a program by which we are addressing all major bridges in the territory.
I have been persuaded by department officials that it is far wiser and more efficient and economic to maintain a bridge, rather than repair it when you have to. If the life expectancy of the bridge is 20 years, somewhere around the fifteenth or eighteenth year you start ensuring it does not reach a state of collapse, which is going to cost you far more than proper maintenance would have a little earlier. That is my general understanding of the approach taken on the Takhini Bridge. If anything, I had complaints about lineups while they waited for the one lane of traffic to pass.
Mr. Brewster: I think that is the point of what we are trying to get at. Number one, you fixed the top of it. You put on a new road base, but is the Minister telling me his department was never informed that the footings were eroding beneath that bridge and that, if they were not fixed then, they would have to lift all that new concrete up to get those footings in, and we will have another road blockage next year?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is quite correct in saying the decking was replaced with new concrete, which was necessary from the analysis that was done on the bridge through previous studies. We retained expertise to assess that damage. It is my understanding that the rebar was corroding in the existing concrete, which necessitated the decking.
However, during the course of the work this summer, there was damage found to the piers, more than was anticipated. However, the damage is not to the extent of any safety concern for the bridge, nor will it require of the existing work redone. Part of the pier repair was done this year, and there is some additional work to be concluded next year. That is the assurance I can give the Member. There is no rework that has to be done but, yes, there was damage to the piers that had not been calculated when the work began, and that will be done next year.
Mr. Phillips: Just so we get this on the record, my understanding of the project is that they removed the old deck on the bridge because of the faults the Minister stated. After they removed the deck from the bridge, they discovered there were some problems with the piers. I believe two of the piers, the one on the north end and the second one on the north end, were in the worst shape. The pier on the south end was determined to be sound. The second pier in the south end had some problems with it, but they were not as extensive as the problems with the north end piers.
I understand the government issued a contract for one pier to be repaired only, and that was a pier on the north end. It came in somewhere around $110,000, I believe. At that time, the government was advised by the contractor that, while the deck was off the bridge, while the swing stages were in place and while the bridge was closed to limited traffic, the government should consider repairing all the piers, because that is the time to do it, when you do not have to lift tons of concrete to get at the existing piers. In the governments wisdom, it was decided not to proceed that way. What is going to happen now is that, next year, another tender is going to be called on that bridge. I think you will find that the contractor involved gave the government another price after he did the first pier, and it appears it was not going to cost quite as much money as the first one since he had all the equipment and everything in place. Next year, we are going to have to have a new set of lights on that bridge, another swing stage put on the bridge, and the existing concrete may have to be lifted, just so they can get at the other piers in order to repair them.
I am suggesting to the Minister that it would have cost a lot less to repair the bridge at the time they had the surface off it then it is going to cost us to repair it this summer. The work should have been done this summer because now you are going to inconvenience the people in that whole area next summer. It is going to take a good part of next summer to repair those piers. The Minister should have given that due consideration when the contractor approached him last year. Why did he not?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am not quite as familiar with some of the details the Member has stated. I am aware the work that is required to complete the pier repair can quite be done efficiently next year in spite of the work that has been done this year. I appreciate the suggestion that it may have been cheaper to do it this year. A decision like that would not have been taken lightly and certainly there would have been a large number of reasons for it to have been deferred to the subsequent year.
I will undertake to bring back more detailed information respecting the issue of doing the work this year versus next year. I am not adequately informed, and would like to be. I would like to share that with the Member. I appreciate his raising that detail.
Mr. Phillips: There is currently a speed restriction for Curragh Resources trucks on that bridge. I think they have limited them to 15 kilometres per hour across the bridge. Now that the bridge has a new surface on it, and is sound, is that restriction lifted? Can these trucks now cross the bridge the way they cross any other bridge in the Yukon, or is that restriction going to stay on there because with the new information we have on the piers not being sound we have to keep the speed restriction on because it is really not as safe as it could be? It could have been made safer this year if we had done all the work then, but now we are going to have to wait another year with the restriction on the bridge because they did not do the work last summer they knew they had to do.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The ore trucks are required to reduce their speed to 15 kilometres on all bridges. Whatever we do to any bridge will not change that. It is part of the agreement we have with Yukon Alaska Transport.
I have been assured by the experts in the department that the bridge is entirely safe with the condition of the pier as it is now. We are proceeding with work next year. I will bring back detailed financial and engineering information respecting why we may not have done that this year.
Mr. Lang: Is the Minister telling this House that it was not brought to his attention that there was a real possibility of and an extension to that contract to complete the work this year? Was there not a request put forward by the administration to Cabinet for further financing to finish the job rather than waiting?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am trying to remember how the Member phrased his question. Specifically, there was no request to seek additional financing for the project this year.
That was strictly an administrative matter. It surfaced in budget preparation for next year and the budget deficiencies that were found were explained to me. I was assured that the bridge was safe and the bridge will be completed next year. That is the short of it.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us how much it is going to cost to complete this structural rehabilitation of the bridge?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am just checking my capital budget for next year and I am sure he can do the same thing. It may not be in that detailed a state but I can provide the information to the Member later.
Mr. Phillips: I think we have made our point here: it was a problem and it was a problem that was known last summer when the bridge was under repair. It looks like what is going to happen now is that the new contractor, whoever that may be, is going to have to put in new traffic lights, install new swing stages, and he is going to have to restrict the traffic flow on that road. He is going to have to jack up the new concrete that is on the bridge - tons and tons of concrete - so it is going to make that job a lot more difficult. It is hoped that he will not damage any of that concrete when he has to lift it off the piers to repair the damaged piers.
Quite frankly, I cannot believe, for the life of me, that repairing those piers next summer will not be a lot more expensive than had the government done it last year. I think they should have done it all in one shot. When they knew the bridge was in bad shape, they should repaired the bridge. Now we have a bridge that cannot be declared sound. The Minister says that it can be declared sound, but I can tell the Minister that I took the opportunity, when the bridge had its surface off, of walking down to the pier and chipping away with a bar onto that concrete on that middle pier, and it just fell apart. That is not a sound pier and there are tons and tons of vehicles going over that bridge every day.
They did repair that section by capping it with more concrete but they did not do what they did to the first pier by digging down inside and putting new rebar in and reinforcing the whole thing; that was what was recommended by the contractor and that was what the government knew, this summer, that they had to do; yet they decided that they would not go ahead this year with the contract, that they would tender it next summer. All I am saying is that I think we are going to find that in the long run it is going to cost us a lot more money to repair this bridge next year, than it would have cost to do it right this year.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I understand the Members argument and I simply want to reassure him that the decision was not taken either lightly or without professional expertise. I, too, visited the bridge; I, too, saw the conditions the Member describes. At the same time, the Member has to recognize that there are budget limitations within any given year and a decision to postpone that portion of job completion until next year, given that they uncovered it during the course of the reconstruction, certainly does not leave me any reason to question the judgment of the professionals. I hope the Member is not seeking an engineering consultants contract, but certainly I am willing to provide some detail to the Member, as I promised, within the next day or so.
Mr. Phillips: It is not as if we discovered this problem in September as we were putting the new surface on the bridge. We discovered this problem, I believe, in late June or early July - some time in July. They knew, when they had the surface off the bridge, and they were advised to do it then, it would have probably added a couple of weeks in total to the whole contract. The contract would still have been done this year. The concern that I have is that we missed the window of opportunity and now not only is it going to cost us a lot more money, it is going to create a lot more inconvenience to the people who live out in that area.
The Minister was going to find us the costs of that project. What did it cost us to do it last year? Where do we find it in the new budget this year? What is the total amount that has been allocated to it? I understand that not only is there going to be associated costs for repairing the bridge, as they know it has to be repaired, but I understand that now, with its new surface, there may have to be a new engineering study to decide how they can even repair the bridge with the hundreds of tons of new surface material now on the bridge that will have to be lifted before the piers can be worked on?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The budgetary estimate for the entire bridge reconstruction, including both piers, is anticipated to be $738,000.
Mr. Phillips: Is that what they spent last year for putting a new surface on the bridge and repairing the two piers, or is that what is anticipated to be spent next year?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: To clarify the numbers relating to the bridge expenditure, we are still seeking the specific amount anticipated for the pier repair next year. The pre-engineering and design costs on the bridge were $90,000, and $70,000 of that would have been spent in 1988-89. The total bridge construction cost should be $648,000 for this year.
Mr. Brewster: I would like a breakdown of what progress has been made on the Granger subdivision. Have any lots been sold? Is anyone moving in? What is happening?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is familiar with phase 1 of Granger. The first stage of development provided for 121 lots. Currently, 15 residential lots are sold or under an application for purchase. Seven lots are identified as park, school, multi-family, or service-commercial lots. It would appear that we have 99 residential lots currently available in Granger. For the Members information, power and paving for all phase 1 lots is completed.
Mr. Lang: Last spring we were discussing infill and finding lots within the City of Whitehorse. Can the Minister tell us how many lots they found through this method?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am advised that that exercise is not completed. It is being done in conjunction with the City of Whitehorse. I expect it to be concluded over this winter. The lands branch and the city are engaged in discussions for identification of those lots and a process by which they will be delineated to bring them to sale.
Mr. Lang: The Minister told us the same thing last spring. There were discussions with the city and decisions were to be held over the course of the summer. I do not understand why the Minister told us last spring that they were doing it. We budgeted money to do it, and something was to be done to come up with more land. If you are not going to do it, do not tell us you are going to do it and then not do it.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am advised it is simply taking more than the anticipated length of time to reach agreement on what areas ought to be infill areas. It is a discussion with the city that has not concluded. No agreement has been made on lot selection.
Mr. Lang: What is the problem here? Is YTG recommending that they intercede in areas that have been designated as green belts? Is that where the problem lies?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is quite familiar with the potential for infill lots. There are a couple of areas in Porter Creek and I spoke about them in the spring.
Specifically, we are not recommending the invasion of green belt areas. We are recommending areas where land development exists and it is reasonable and not expensive to bring more serviced lots into being. I am saying that discussions have not concluded. There are no particular delays - just delays.
Mr. Lang: I know there have been a couple of lots that came onstream on Oak Street and Aspen Place, for a total of four lots. The department earns a bouquet in that they were informing people of what they were doing in these particular cases, and everybody appreciated it.
One observation I would make, and did make to the administration and Minister in August, is why were these lots not available in August or September? If somebody wanted to build, footings could be put down in reasonable weather with considerably less costs to the buyer. I notice one house going up and I am sure the cost is substantially more than it would have been two months earlier.
The next time some land is available, surely we can make it a high priority to advertise and get it out. The department starts worrying about other things, such as a lottery for only four lots. If we have only four or five lots let us get them out earlier in the summer, and give everybody fair opportunity to apply for them. There is no reason that their release had to wait as long as it did.
Can the Minister assure this House that when lots are made available they will be put out expeditiously? It is crazy for the government to be holding onto this property. It is money in its pocket and, more importantly, it is more cost to the individual. Surely we are here to serve the public, not ourselves.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will assume that they accept the Members suggestions about expediting available lots. Now that the Member mentions those particular lots, I do recall his correspondence on the matter and our addressing of the situation. I appreciate his comments. I am sure the department is acutely aware of the need to move expeditiously when land is available. In these particular four lots, if I recall correctly, there was some paving that was completed prior to them being made available. It may or may not have been laid. I do not know. I appreciate the Members suggestion for the expeditious release of lots early in the year to allow for building. It makes good sense to me.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to move on to the recreational lots on Pine Lake. When is the lottery going to be held for them? Has this been decided, and when will they be up for sale?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am glad the Member raised the question. I seek his advice on some of the problems surrounding that development. As the Member is aware, Pine Lake is a recreational development near Haines Junction but outside the municipality. I have been lobbied by this municipality to provide some restrictive sales covenants on the property. As the Member is also aware, I met at some length with this council. I believe part of the meeting was a public meeting, and there was quite a strong representation made at that meeting that the lot sales be restricted to Haines Junction.
We discussed that at some length, and concluded that the best approach would be to go for a general sale of five of the nine lots through a lottery system, hold back four of them, and see how the sales went. I believe that has been the final communication to the municipality. I am now waiting to see if they find that agreeable and acceptable. I say acceptable only because I sought their advice once they began their lobby to restrict the sales to Haines Junction. As the Member knows, that is fraught with a lot of complexities, particularly since it is outside the municipality.
I am interested in the Members point of view about restricted sales in communities. It is something we do not do, as land that is in the territory is available to all territorial people, and it posed something of a dilemma for me. I believe the compromise reached may resolve the matter. We release some of the lots, see how the sales go, and then decide how to release the remaining four.
To answer the Members question about when this is going to happen, I anticipate the municipality will be responding shortly, because it is only recently that I finalized the approach I proposed to them. They are probably in the process of reviewing it now, and I expect to hear from them in the next couple of weeks. I anticipate we will be putting them up for sale in January.
Mr. Brewster: The first thing is that I would advise the Minister that I am not here for questioning; I am here to ask the questions.
As I understand it, those lots will all have to have large holding tanks.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Working from memory of the issue, which was rather intense six weeks ago, my understanding is that the lots were developed to be large enough to contain septic fields. Those existing nine lots in the development do not have to have holding tanks only. They could, but they are large enough to contain septic fields. Part of the discussion with the municipality and the residents at that meeting surrounded what approach to use for further lot development. I have to admit that I did not get a very clear signal, and whether or not further lot development beyond those nine is advisable is something the lands people are reassessing. There is mixed opinion on the matter.
In the first instance, the lake is apparently very precious and beautiful. It may be required for water supply to Haines Junction some time in the future. There was a resistance to massive development in that lake shore area. Neither the lands branch, nor I, have taken any position about future development. It was discussed whether or not those nine lots could be cut in half and made to use holding tanks, but it was decided not to do that. As it stands now, the nine lots are there. We intend to release five of them for public sale through lottery. We will hold back four of them and make a decision about whether we restrict these to Haines Junction and area after we see the results of the first five, because it can become very complicated.
The existing nine are large enough to hold septic fields; holding tanks are not necessary. Certainly, I would expect they can be used if people wish.
Mr. Brewster: There are a couple of things I would ask. It amazes me that you can be right by the lake and put in a septic field when we have other people sitting a mile and a half from a river and they cannot put in a septic field. If they put in a holding tank, - and this will be coming up again when we discuss Mendenhall, so maybe you can get the answer - who is going to pay to haul the sewage to Haines Junction, and who is going to pay the municipality for looking after sewage outside their district?
I made it very plain to the Minister that I question the giving of authority to municipalities to make decisions outside of their area, when the people in the outside areas cannot even vote for them.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have a deep and abiding respect for what the Member is saying in regard to municipalities having authority for areas outside the municipality. I want the Member to realize that I sought their advice because they came with a lobby. Municipalities, rightly or wrongly, have useful input to areas adjacent to the municipality. I accept that at face value.
It does not suggest that municipalities have authority and control over areas outside the municipality. From my perspective, it means that advice is welcomed and useful, and that is the extent of it. In this particular case, the compromise I provided out of the interest and representation made by the municipality was to sell only five of the nine lots and reassess whether restrictive sales should be made after that. I wholeheartedly respect what the Member is saying regarding the influence of the municipality on an adjacent area. Where do you start drawing the line? Do you restrict sales in that area to just Haines Junction? Do you go as far as Champagne? Do you go over to Destruction and Burwash? Do you go as far as Beaver Creek? Do you come into Mendenhall? What restriction are you going to impose, and what right does any area have for restricted sales of those particular lots? It is a complex question.
I anticipate being faced with a tough decision yet on that score.
The question was relating to sewage. It is a problem. The way the lots are now structured, people can put in septic fields. There is no obligation on the part of government to provide a service, should they choose to put in a holding tank. From a service point of view, if the adequate business was there, I am sure the private sector would jump at the chance to collect and dispose of the sewage. On the question of what the government is going to do about utilizing Haines Junctions facilities for sewage, this poses another complex issue. It is something that was raised at the municipal level. It is something that will have to be discussed. It is something we have to address.
At the moment, the lots provide for sewage disposal by septic systems. There is no need for holding tank discharge and the haulage of sewage. If the need does arise because people choose to put in holding tanks, then we are going to have to make a policy decision on the matter and assess whether we have any obligation to assist with that. I do not think it will come to that. From my understanding and discussions with the municipality, it looks to me like Willow Acres is being considered for holding tanks. It is quite predictable that Haines Junction will have sewage discharge capability for hauling and we may not have a problem.
I am not sure I have given the Member a clear answer, but it is one we have not resolved because, at the moment, there is no identified need for that.
Mr. Brewster: That is not what I am getting. As I pointed out, these lots are right on the lake, yet there are people up on Aishihik Road who have to put in 5,000 gallon holding tanks. They cannot even have an outhouse in back. They have been stopped.
In Mendenhall, one individual was stopped from putting in a lousy little outhouse while he is trying to build. They are going to have to have holding tanks. It is about time the government got ready to make a policy. Where is all this sewage going - to Whitehorse or to Haines Junction? Who is going to pay the shot? Was it in the contracts in Mendenhall that they would haul their own sewage? Has this government checked with the environmental people, who seem to have a different philosophy on this thing than the government does?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The issue of policy development for solid waste and sewage effluent discharge and containment is something I have directed to the committee I have struck to assist me with developing a clear policy for rural areas. With respect to Mendenhall, there was no specific agreement respecting the type of sewage disposal that would be entertained. It is something that is the obligation of the lot owner, as would be the case at Pine Lake. The responsibility for sewage disposal is the obligation of the lot owner. Where the government would come into any obligation is something I am still wrestling with and am waiting for some clear policy development.
I know of the instance at Mendenhall that the Member raised. I saw his witty correspondence on the matter. I have a similar question on what guidelines Environmental Protection Services provide. Are they consistent? I have included EPS on the committee that is striking a policy on special wastes and waste management. More than ever, I am hoping the authorities outside this government are in full cooperation and communication with this government as we develop sewage disposal policy for places like Mendenhall and Pine Lake.
Mr. Brewster: The letter I got back was another study of the Mendenhall area that I had already read five or six times, so that is how witty they are when they reply to your witty letters.
Was it ever stated to the people who took these lots that they would have to haul sewage to Whitehorse or Haines Junction and pay for this? They thought they were getting cheap lots, but when they are through, these lots are going to cost an awful lot of money.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: My advice is that according to the agreement for the land sale that took place, the lot owners are responsible for their sewage disposal. Logically, they ought to be able to install septic fields and sewage disposal systems on the property. Certainly my recollection serves me that those lots do have percolation capability to take septic fields. I am puzzled why anyone would even consider hauling sewage to Whitehorse.
Mr. Brewster: I agree with you. As I read the Mendenhall study, that is what it seems. These people thought the same as you and I, but I already know of one holding tank there, and I know of others having problems. You have seen the letter where they could not even have an outhouse while they built the house. If the environmental people keep going, they will all have holding tanks and they will have to haul it somewhere. This means somebody will have to enter into an agreement with the municipality of Haines Junction or the City of Whitehorse to take this. That is a long haul. These people cannot afford to pay anything like that.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I certainly agree with the Member that it would be an onerous cost burden to the Mendenhall residents to haul sewage to either Haines Junction or Whitehorse, on top of which the issue would arise as to whether either of those communities would accept that, and at what cost.
I am hoping questions like this can be addressed by the waste management committee I have struck. It is working with the department under terms of reference that call for policy development options to be brought forward on how to deal with sewage disposal in the rural areas where it is a problem, and what guidelines we are going to use. On top of this, I have included in this committee the branches related to environmental and sewage control so they can sit at the same table and come forward with recommendations.
Mr. Brewster: I just bring this up because it is going to be a very very big issue, and I just do not want everybody to bail out and leave the taxpayers to foot the bill again. It is not saying much about the Environmental Protection Services when you write and lay complaints, whether they or witty or not, and they send you a book that you have already read about 10 times. I can tell you other stories about them, but I will not; they probably should not be told in the House.
I appreciate the fact that the Minister did take my suggestion and smooth out the road so that they could get a vehicle over it; however, as I read the study, there is supposed to be 20 millimetres of finely crushed two-millimetre gravel on it and that is why I wanted the Minister to go out with me, to show me where all that gravel disappeared to, because it is certainly not on the road. I think that these people deserve better treatment. For instance, lot 20 does not even have a road going in to it and yet they sold a person this lot. There are other people running up and down the power line, which people said they were not to do. I do not know where they were supposed to go to get their lots. They have to build their houses within five years and they have only got a couple of years left. Some of them have not even been able to get started. They have destroyed vehicles in there, and it is a rough road to hoe out there. On the other hand, I have no doubt, just talking with these people, that they are going to make a success of it. They are not going to be homesteaders for very long, they are going to be another community. Whether the government likes it or not, they have made up their minds that they are going to do this. Maybe a few will give up, but most of them have made of their minds that they are going to make a community. My suggestion is that the government cooperate with them and help them, at least on the roads. I sent pictures of some of the mud holes to the Minister, and it amazes me how strongly the environmental people feel about closing down the Tatshenshini, and up there, there is bush this high on both sides of the road that has been left there as a fire hazard. When people bought their lots they had to cut that out to even get in to their lots; that is the kind of the road they made. All the water lays on the road. Anybody can tell you that. I do not have to be an engineer to tell you that you cannot do that. The environmental people are not going to say anything about that because the government did it, but if anybody else would do that, bingo, they would be in trouble. I suggested, and I am seriously hoping, that in this new budget there is some money to do something out there to help those people.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Again, I appreciate the Members comments but I have to suggest that he exercise caution on the extent to which he is asking the government to come forward with expenditure for upgrading roads to any great extent at a place like Mendenhall, because it is certainly something that I have wrestled with. The Member knows quite well that Mendenhall was brought onstream as a low-cost development, and it was deliberately done at the minimum cost possible, so that there could be cheap land available in some measure of quantity to people of the Yukon. The costs that were incurred to bring that development onstream were deliberately kept low, and that required services to be at an absolute minimum. The people who acquired lots in Mendenhall acquired them under an agreement that said that you get what you see, this is the level of service provided in order to keep the prices low. In that respect, it was an excellent deal. The fact that I made a decision to inject further money can arguably be challenged, because what has essentially happened is that public funds have gone in to improve the individual lot prices of that development. I did that with considerable agony, in the sense that we were tampering with an original principle to bring those lots onstream. I appreciate what the Member is doing in representing the cause of Mendenhall people, but I have to caution the Member to recognize that what he is asking is certainly not fair regarding the public use of funds. The only avenue we could probably pursue on that would be to apply a frontage charge to individual lots for a further upgrading of services.
It is one that requires some fairly careful analysis because of the nature of the development.
Mr. Brewster: All we are asking is for you to live up to your commitment. The contract said there would be a road in there that was passable most of the year. It was not passable last year. In some places, it was four-wheel drive only. When the trucks went in to do the little bit of work the Minister wanted done in there, they had to turn around and put gravel in before they could even get in there themselves. Nobody will even drive in to service you. You cannot get lumber or propane or anything else. The road is completely tied up. The best time of the year in the whole is probably the middle of winter. It is all frozen and they can crawl over top of it.
It states very plainly in the study book that there was to be a layer of gravel put on there, and it is not. That is why I want the Minister to go out, so he does not think I am coming in here just talking. I can show him there is no gravel. I defy anyone in the government or elsewhere to show me where they put gravel on that road. That is a public challenge.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would like to assure the Member that I have been out to Mendenhall a couple of times. I saw the conditions that were being described by residents last spring. As the Member correctly referenced, we did go in and do some upgrading.
The issue of the roads at Mendenhall, as would be the case at any homestead development, is not one where we spell out a commitment to put in a road to a particular standard. That was clearly the desire in the original policy but, as each development comes onstream, it retains individual characteristics and lot pricing accordingly. In the case of Mendenhall, we had to keep the prices down to a $4,000 level, which we did, in order to provide for an equity portion that could be written down over 10 years. Between the equity and the actual dollar value, we had to sell those lots at less than the market value. Had we put in much more development cost in the original stages, there would not have been an opportunity to provide the cheap land. That is the basic principle.
I appreciate the Members comments. We have done what we could to put the roads into a condition where they are passable for a portion of the year. It is going to be a really serious issue to go in and do more upgrading.
Mr. Brewster: I suspect that what they do not understand, and what I do not understand, is that in the winter months it is passable, and the rest of the time it is not. Water runs off the hill and sits in the road and you cannot get out. It stands to reason you cannot get out. There are windrows on both sides of the road, made of trees and dirt that the Caterpillars pushed there. Are any of the other subdivisions or homesteading areas experiencing the same problems, or any problems?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The only other homestead subdivision we have is the Robinson subdivision. The Member is quite familiar with the road issue at that development. In that respect, Robinson had a similar problem to Mendenhall, albeit, on a comparative level, far less of a problem. My recollection is that we spent about $8,000 to fix up several potholes on the Robinson road, and we spent about $21,000 fixing up the roads at Mendenhall. This is after the fact. This is after the sale of the lots, after the agreements were in place. This was money from general revenue.
Mr. Brewster: Does the Minister feel the government lived up to its agreement in these contracts by putting in that road the way it is now?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The original purpose of the homestead subdivision was to provide cheap land. The only way you can provide cheap land is to minimize the development costs you put into it.
In that respect the roads pushed into Mendenhall were adequate for the purposes of the subdivision. I seriously addressed the arguments that subsequently ensued that we did not live up to a stated policy commitment of a certain standard of road. I analyzed those arguments thoroughly, and made the essentially arbitrary decision that we would go in and tidy up a few spots, and we did.
I believe we have met our commitment to provide passable roads for the major portion of the year. To provide further upgrading is something I am not prepared to do at this time, except where we can recover those costs. It would not be fair to have sold cheap land and then spend a bunch of money to improve the value of that property without assigning some charge back to the property.
Mr. Brewster: Did the original contract not say that the road would be ditched on each side?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Unfortunately I did not bring the original policy with me because we could compare what it calls for and interpret it accordingly. The original policy did say ditching would be done where necessary. I forget the precise wording of the policy relating to the width and standard of the road, but it is articulated. That was the policy intent.
In the case of Mendenhall, the property had to be brought onstream at a very cheap cost in order for it to be available. If we had gone to upgrading the roads we could discuss the impact of my decision this summer. We spent $20,000 on those lots. If you pro-rate that development cost to each individual lot, you are likely to add another $1,000 to the price of the lot.
The Member asks whether we lived up to our commitment on the roads. As of this point in time, yes.
Mr. Brewster: People pick up a policy paper that was shown all around. It was a good one. I do not have a problem with it. The policy paper says you were going to ditch the road and not one piece of that road has ever been ditched. It has never been ditched because all the windrows are lying on both sides and the water all comes inside. How can any government say that it is fair? I do not know how forestry and the environmental people let you do it to start with. I guess when you are government you can get away with it and nobody else can. It is a horrible mess.
I will be asking the Minister for support when I introduce a motion in this House that the people in the Mendenhall area get another three-year extension because of the trouble they have had getting lumber and building material in to build their homes.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will revive the policy and deal more specifically with the Member on the issue of roads.
I do not believe the Member is correct that the road is required to be ditched throughout.
Secondly, I have driven through Mendenhall and can fairly say my recollection is that there is some ditching on some of the roads. If the Member recalls, one portion of one of the roads is a roadway constructed to a former CN repeater site so there was a fairly substantial trail in there to begin with.
The Member does not disagree with the policy. The Member does not disagree with the creation of the homestead lots. The Member does not disagree with the price of the lots. I think he agrees with me that we have met our commitment and have provided a reasonable improvement of service to Mendenhall.
Chair: We will have a break at this time.
Chair: I call the Committee to order.
Mr. Brewster: I will let that subject go because we are not getting anywhere. The Minister can rest assured this is going to be with us for probably the rest of our time in the Legislature unless something is done.
During the spring session we passed a motion to form a committee with Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories and British Columbia. What has been done about that committee? Or is that a little out of line?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think the Member raised the issue of the Alaska Highway during Question Period. I mentioned many steps that have taken place with respect to the Alaska Highway cause. During the summer I had the opportunity to meet with the federal Public Works Minister, Mr. McKay, and alerted him at some length to the concerns we face. I also had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Bouchard, the Transport Minister, and expressed the same concerns. I even had the occasion to meet with the former Transportation Minister for B.C., Mr. Vant. He is no longer in the position and I communicated with the new Minister, Rita Johnston, specifically on the B.C. end of things. They have not agreed to form a part of a committee but are prepared to jointly lobby the federal government about the highway.
They have not expressed any objection to our restoration of an equilibrium between the B.C. and the Yukon portions of the highway for maintenance and capital, principally capital, because that is where the inequity primarily sits.
In addition, there has been considerable correspondence relating to the need for better funding to upgrade the highway. I should also add that, earlier in the year, my officials were able to meet with Alaskan officials in was a follow-up to a meeting that Members of this Legislature and I had had with Mark Hickey during a legislative exchange last March.
As recently as today, the public works officials, Alaskan officials, Transport Canada officials, and our own officials have been in a meeting with respect to the Shakwak portion of the highway.
The committee consists of those four bodies; B.C. is not part of it. On the B.C. side, I am working directly with the Minister to address the highway issue.
The short answer to the Member is that the committee has met as late as this afternoon. Unfortunately, I cannot say how many times they have met. There have been several meetings of portions of the committee between jurisdictions to address the highway question.
Mr. Brewster: I noticed he never mentioned the Northwest Territories or Alberta. It is quite apparent that that motion, like the rest of them, did not go anywhere.
In finishing, I would like to thank the Minister for sending me the letter on the capital cost of the Beaver Creek swimming pool and skating rink. I would like to forward a picture of the Beaver Creek skating rink that you would not give me the cost of. It is my understanding from people up there that it cost $18,000. It looks very beautiful. I think they could put Christmas lights in the trees in the middle of the skating rink and have Christmas in there.They can drive a truck into it.
While I am on it, I might point out to you that there is a place where it is absolutely stupid to spend $10,000 or $18,000. You have five children, none of them go past grade eight, it is in one of the northern parts of our area where they go to school in the dark and come back in the dark. There are no lights. It is just plum squandering, and people up there say why did they not come and talk to us and give us an extra television channel? I cannot answer that. Maybe the other side can.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: If I am understanding what the Member is saying, he is saying the money spent on this skating facility was squandered. I will undertake to determine when this was constructed. It looks to me like it was constructed some time ago. I will get back to the Member with more precise costs and why it is in the condition it is.
I take it the Member can also advise me if the condition is still the same. At the same time, I will have a number of my own questions about why it is in a deteriorated condition and whose responsibility it ought to have been to maintain it. I appreciate the Member bringing it to my attention. I will investigate it fully.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
On Policy, Planning and Administration
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister give us an outline of any service or consulting contracts that were entered under the O&M expenditures? If so, for what particular initiatives, the amounts, and who were they let to?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Prior to answering the specific question, the $67,000 is primarily due to the funding requirements for departmental land claims. The balance is due to a number of smaller amounts that were offset by position vacancies.
I would take the question on contracts under advisement and get back to the Member.
Mr. Lang: When the Minister was away, we did receive that information. There should not be a problem getting this, because the Minister is also in charge of Government Services. It is obviously available.
The Minister talks about dollars allocated to land claims. Can he be more specific on how much and for what?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The money was essentially for the establishment of two positions: a departmental director of land claims and a senior lands adviser. The lands adviser would be working largely with mapping and matters related to lands.
The departmental director of land claims was the position established in consultation with AYC and principally will be the person coordinating land claims related matters out of the department at the table with a principle function of speaking to matters of self-government and AYC involvement in the communities. The two positions required the identification for $113,000. That is what would be expended over the duration of the year. The reason only $67,000 is being sought is because the balance was offset by a number of items that came under budget, a large component of that being vacancies of positions.
Mr. Lang: Is it the responsibility of the director of land claims to bring forward the position of the Association of Yukon Communities? Are they setting the policy direction for that point of view to be presented at the table?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The two positions, and principally the departmental director position, evolved after some considerable discussion with AYC, branch officials and the land claims secretariat. There is a need for policy development at the table on matters relating to self-government and overlapping municipal concerns. The municipalities identified a desire to have more support in that area when they are dealing with land claims matters in the communities. The position would work in conjunction with the land claims secretariat and at the same time provide advice, information and guidance to AYC. The position is a Public Service Commission position, and as such, an employee of the government. Does that answer the question?
Policy, Planning and Administration in the amount of $67,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Essentially that is a single item postponed. It has not been possible to put the White River translator in place this year and it is to be done next year. We may see this as a revote later.
Mr. Brewster: Exactly what is that going to be when it gets on top of the mountain?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It is to replace the repeater that is on top of the mountain at White River.
Mr. Brewster: There is a large number of people in that area and they wonder why they cannot get CBC connected to that same tower so they can get radio also.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am advised that it is similar to the Destruction Bay issue the Member and I shared sometime last spring. The CBC has been reluctant to move on the issue. Perhaps we should exercise the joint lobby we used last time to have the service installed. I can undertake to try to hook CBC into it when we do the installation next year.
Communications in the amount of an under expenditure in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $358,000 is made up of a number of items. The principal increase is the contract at Mayo for an observer\communicator. I believe that is recoverable so it will reflect on the recovery side. It has to show up on the budgeting side for expenditure.
There were additional funds required for some repairs to the Alaska Highway and the Klondike Highway, and some emergency repairs at Stewart Crossing. I believe I hear Members asking for specific amounts.
The Mayo observer\communicator amount was $160,000. The balance is due to various road repairs that were not anticipated.
In the case of the Alaska Highway, that is recoverable money, so it will show up on the recoveries side. In the case of the Klondike Highway, it will not.
Mr. Lang: Surely we know what the amount is for the Alaska Highway, since we are recovering it. Surely you have that information with you. You are asking us to vote money, and we should at least have a general knowledge of the specifics.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I said the Mayo observer\communicator was $160,000; the Alaska Highway costs, $120,000; the Klondike Highway, $50,000. That totals $330,000. There is $28,000 on various others, one of which is some additional costs related to BST application on one of the contracts; another is an adjustment on a gravel contract that was under budget. The $28,000 is miscellaneous.
Mr. Brewster: Maybe I am wrong on this, but you said it was recovered for the Alaska Highway in operation and maintenance recoveries. There is only $59,000. Am I doing something wrong here?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member appears to raise a valid point that I do not have an answer for, but I will provide him with one. If we are showing a recovery of $59,000 and an expenditure of $160,000, they do not jibe. I will provide him with a clarification.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us what the $160,000 for the Mayo observer\communicator entails? Is it similar to the amount it cost to run all other airports?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The nature of the contract is similar to other communities in that the procedure by which a contract is entered into is similar. Various airports have different levels of open hours. The Mayo one operates for 12 hours, and the contract would involve the provision of observer\communicator services for those 12 hours. I believe the contract calls for about four people to be engaged in that 12-hour service.
I recall some discussion on the level of services at different airports. There is a variance between airports, as I am sure the Member is aware. My own constituents complain that we do not have our airport open long enough. It is just a level of service that is provided by Transport Canada, and the level of service is not something we are in a position to influence. Certainly, if we conclude our agreement with the feds on B and C airports, that would then fall under our jurisdiction at the level of funding currently being provided. We may be in a position to affect levels of service, should they be deemed inadequate or inappropriate some time in the next year, if and when we sign the agreement with the feds.
Mr. Lang: I thought we had voted money for the cost of running the various airports. I do not understand why there is $160,000 over and above what we voted last spring.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The only new thing that has occurred in the case of Mayo is that previously the federal government provided that service and contracted directly. In the past year, it fell under the same process as the other airports where they contract with us and we in turn contract with a contractor to provide the service. It is all recoverable money.
Transportation in the amount of $358,000 agreed to
On Community Services
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In anticipation of specific amounts, I have asked my trusty deputy to find those while I tell Members what the increases relate to.
Four hundred and ninety-two thousand dollars is, in part, due to increased requirements for our funding of the Whitehorse Transit System. As Members are aware, we have an agreement by which we pick up, I believe, 60 percent of the deficit of the operation of that facility. That was unanticipated when the budget was first set.
Some additional funding was used to send the Yukon contingent to the Arctic Winter Games. Tied into this number is also overtime pay required for ambulance people, and some smaller amounts are simply reallocations within the department. As well, there was increased requirement for a municipal operating grant that had not been precisely calculated when the budget was first set.
Those figures generally work out in this fashion. For the overtime relating to ambulance attendants, $100,000 in additional money is required. As Members are aware, we ordinarily do not budget overtime as a matter of policy but, in the case of ambulance attendants, you cannot avoid it. You always end up with a shortfall of funds. I have changed that and in the next budget we are going to look at what we have budgeted for overtime for ambulance attendants, but it was not historically done, nor is it in this current budget.
Of the $492,000, $100,000 is for overtime pay; $52,000 is for the increased requirement to the municipal operating grant, which could not have been calculated, given the time the budget was first prepared; the Whitehorse Transit System required an additional $128,000, as our share for financing that operation. I have indicated that we finance 60 percent of the operation of the Whitehorse Transit System. It had a deficit exceeding our projections by a considerable amount, of which $128,000 was our portion. There was $116,000 required for sending our athletes to the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife.
As Members recall, the Home Owner Grants increased this past year, and $100,000 has been injected for that purpose.
We may well have a total of more than $492,000 in the figures I have given, but that is offset by some under expenditure in some areas. Those are the principal items of the $492,000.
Community Services in the amount of $492,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $913,000 agreed to
On Capital Expenditures
On Highway Construction
On Planning and Engineering
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $4,000 is due to position reclassification costs internally.
Planning and Engineering in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
On Klondike Highway #2
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Of the $869,000, I indicated in my opening remarks that we moved some money forward from next year to work in this year: $120,000 was brought forward from next year to do some additional BST work on the Skagway Road. I should point out that while we brought forward monies on the capital side to do the BST work on a portion of road that was completed early, we had our budget adjusted by $40,000 to take into account the reduced maintenance as a result of that. While we moved money forward, we saved money in the process by reducing maintenance.
Additionally, the jobs on the Klondike Highway, in one instance, ran over by $120,000, and one by $83,000. One job was the reconstruction done in the area by Montague House, just this side of Carmacks, and $83,000 for additional work required in the area of Eleven Percent Hill. The balance is just a series of costs overruns on other jobs - some gravel preparations - totalling that $869,000.
Klondike Highway #2 in the amount of $869,000 agreed to
On Campbell #4
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That reduction for $40,000 was budgeted to do engineering work on the section between Faro Junction and Ross River. That was not done. It was deferred to next year principally because of insufficient staff to handle the job. We concentrated on the areas of construction that were in place. It is my intention to restore that next year.
Campbell #4 in the amount of an under expenditure of $40,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That is some additional work done on the Tagish Road, principally clearing. It was work that had begun the year previous. It was unanticipated.
Mr. Phelps: I do not want to let this opportunity pass by without making a pitch, which I will be making again when we discuss the mains. There are extensive roads into the Taku Subdivision that are of very poor quality and very difficult to maintain. Those roads require resurfacing in the form of crush. They are in terrible shape and the residents are extremely unhappy about them. The government would save a good deal of money in the long run if it put crush on all the Taku Subdivision roads.
The other road I want to mention now, and will be mentioning again, is the road on the east side, from the campground area near the highway to all the cabins along the lake. It requires upgrading. There has been some difficulty getting cooperation from the Carcross/Tagish Indian Band since the road does cross their reservation. I would ask that the government look into that matter as well. I will be raising it again.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate the Members representation. The roads into the Taku Subdivision are, indeed, our responsibility. The Member is recommending that some surface upgrading take place. It sounds to me like a reasonable suggestion if that is the case. The road on the other side of the river is commonly referred to as the Six Mile Road. I recall over the past two or three years some considerable discussions surrounding that road. It does have major problems in terms of its condition. I believe five or six people live there part-time and some year-round. The Member can correct me on it. I believe we have also had previous discussions with the Carcross/Tagish Indian Band because it does, at least in portion, pass through their lands. I certainly appreciate the matter being flagged to find out the status of those discussions.
Chair: The time now being 5:30 we will break until 7:30 p.m.
Chair: I will call Committee of the Whole to order.
We will continue with Bill No. 13. Community and Transportation Services, Highway Construction. We left off debate on Tagish in the amount of $8,000.
Tagish in the amount of $8,000 agreed to
On Silver Trail #11
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That amount is due specifically to overruns resulting from a quantity of material variations that were encountered in construction. Because of those unsuitable construction materials, additional material had to be brought in from a further distance for the $10,000 amount on the $500,000 job.
Silver Trail #11 in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
On Bridges - Numbered Highways
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Perhaps I could take the opportunity to shed some additional light on the issue Members raised prior to break about the Takhini Bridge.
That is the additional amount resulting from the repair to the one pier of the Takhini Bridge. The problem has been identified as a frost-damaged cap to the pier that was chipping away quite easily that we both observed in our tours of the site. I am advised that the top portion of the pier, to a depth of about six inches, appears to have been poorly constructed originally. Frost-damaged cement was applied as the outer coating of that pier for a six-inch depth at the top of the pier. One of the piers was repaired. That is the $35,000 being sought in this line item. The reason the remaining two piers were not repaired, and there were two similar piers requiring repairs, was because it was judged that the work could be done safely the following year for less than the $35,000 that it was costing on this particular job. They wanted to retender it and repair it in the subsequent year to avoid a further cost overrun. The damage was discovered during the construction period. I am advised that the cost in the subsequent year should be in the order of $30,000. Essentially, the outer coating of the pier has to be jack hammered off to a depth of five or six inches and a new scaffolding structured and cement poured into that. There is no damage to the base and it is just the top part of it.
The decking would have to be raised between one and two millimetres to ensure the proper placement of that concrete. It is insignificant, and it is no major task. That would be done. There is no traffic effect, other than a caution for slowing down during that actual concrete pouring and setting.
Mr. Phillips: I find it hard to believe that, if they are going to raise the deck, they would not have to limit traffic on that side. In fact, you would not be able to bring one of these huge trucks that Curragh Resources runs up and down the highway over that part of the deck when it was jacked up. There must be a new engineering technology out. The Minister says that you could. There must be some new technology out that allows them to jack up the bridge and, while it is jacked up and they pour concrete under it, they can run a 100,000 pound truck over the top of the bridge before they set it down.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I said earlier, and I was correct, that the decision was not taken lightly. It was with the full advice of the bridge experts we have retained on the job. If the Member wants to check, the firm is Buckland and Taylor.
We are talking about jacking between one and two millimetres and supporting that for the period the concrete would be poured into the new scaffolding and set. It is an insignificant jacking, and it would be adequately supported for the similar support a pier provides. It is not an impossible task.
The reason the department chose not to proceed with the two additional piers this year was that it felt the costs, during the course of this job, were excessive. The department felt that, based on its advice, the job could be done for less than it was costing them this year on a secondary project, quite the contrary to what the Member thought would be the case. This appears to be costing us $35,000. The departmental estimates are that we can do that for $30,000 in the subsequent year. That is a cost saving and the justification for the job.
Mr. Phillips: I am not an engineer. I guess what we have to do then is wait until next fall, and we will see then how much it actually cost to make those repairs. When you had the concrete deck off the top of the bridge, and you had the contractor on site and all the other technical apparatus there, like special stop lights and traffic control, - and all that has to be done with the new contractor - I find it hard to believe it could not have been done for less money than we are going to have to pay to have it done properly this spring.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will be monitoring it as closely as the Member opposite. The information I am receiving is that it cost us $35,000 to repair the pier when what was discovered during the course of construction. It was applied, through a change order, to the existing contractor. With its engineering expertise, the department sought advice from bridge consultants. It was calculated that the job could be done cheaper on a separate contract in a subsequent year.
By the way of cheaper, it is a substantial reduction. It cost us $35,000 to do one pier, and we propose to do two piers for $30,000 next year. That is a substantial savings.
The Member is probably familiar enough with construction and contracting to know that, when you do changes in the middle of a job, they tend to cost you considerably more because the contractor is onsite. It ought to cost less; often it does not. The department made a judgment that it was costing too much, while on the job at this particular occasion. It took the decision to postpone the remaining two piers, recognizing that it was perfectly safe to do so. The Member and I will be watching closely what happens next year on the remaining two-pier repair.
Mr. Phillips: I sincerely hope the Minister is right and we do not read in the headlines in next summers paper, Minister Jumps Off Bridge, - or pier, whatever the case may be.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am sure Piers will not jump off the pier either.
Bridges - Numbered Highways in the amount of $35,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is obviously another occasion of excellent management of funds. As Members recall, the budget we introduced last spring called for some work to be done on the Mitchell road, primarily to prepare it for BST and to do some major slope stabilization along the Pelly River. The job came in slightly under and that is good.
Mitchell in the amount of an under expenditure of $5,000 agreed to
On Other Roads
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not have any detailed breakdown of precisely where the $35,000 was saved. It was budgeted funds for various roads that was not spent and so it results in the under expenditure being shown here.
Mr. Phillips: We have $35,000 left over and Wickstrom Road did not get paved. Actually, I would like to thank the Minister for his quick action when I - well, not really quick action, but his action anyway - prompted him for several months to upgrade the condition of Wickstrom Road. I know that the residents in that area are quite pleased with the new chipseal that they have on that road. There still is one minor problem on Wickstrom Road and that is that one of the residents on that road has not been able to see the light yet; the Minister knows what I mean there, as well. There is an issue we have been discussing about a streetlight on Wickstrom Road for some of the students who line up to get on the bus there every morning. I looked over there this evening, and I see that it is as dark as ever over on Wickstrom Road, other than some Christmas lights. Has the Minister made any progress on that?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am advised that I could use these funds for an extension cord. Seriously, the Member did bring a very legitimate concern to my attention regarding street lights on Wickstrom Road. The Member and I have had several discussions on the matter. We have had several discussions with Yukon Electrical on the matter and at this point we are proceeding, to my knowledge and understanding, with the installation of a single streetlight, as requested by the Member, and as I understand, as confirmed by the desire of residents. We are subject, however, to Yukon Electrical, who do the installation, and, depending upon their work schedule, it ought to be done this winter. I am advised that it should be done before Christmas, so it is on schedule, and will be done shortly.
Other Roads in the amount of an under expenditure of $35,000 agreed to
On Resource Transportation Access Program
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The explanation is quite simple. What we are talking about in these line items are figures relating to period five variance, meaning the end of July. Conceivably, these numbers could change prior to year-end. The previous one where we have $35,000 could change by year-end by virtue of the fact we undertook to do extra roads as needs arise.
The Resource Transportation Access Program has a shortfall of $624,000. It is based on applications; as of the end of July the fund still had available to it $624,000 from the budgeted $2.5 million. The situation could change by year-end. As of the end of July the $624,000 was available but uncommitted. To that point the rest of the funds are either approved, in a stage of approval, or committed in some fashion. That would indicate that as we get more applications we could very well exhaust the fund by year-end with a shortfall on the $2.5 million. I am advised that as of November 30 we had committed $1,158,000 of the funds.
Mr. Phelps: I understood there was approximately $500,000 for the extension of the Casino Trail and the government suddenly changed its mind about it. What is the status of the proposal to extend the Casino Trail an extra number of miles beyond Big Creek?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The monies expended on the Casino Trail this year amount to $100,750. That consists of $32,250 earmarked to an environmental study that is taking place, and $65,500 spent to this point on various clean-up work on the road relating to ditching, culverts and grades. That is the amount expended this year. What the future of the Casino Trail will bring will hinge on the results of the environmental study being undertaken.
Mr. Phelps: It was the environmental study that was used as the reason for not building the extension to the road, as I understood it. There was going to be approximately $500,000 to $600,000 spent to complete the road to the point at which the Chamber of Mines had agreed was necessary to facilitate exploration and placer mining.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The advice I am given is that two applications for continued work on the Casino Trail amounted to approximately $300,000. That is a rough figure. That should have completed 35 kilometres of upgrading. Those two applications for that 35 kilometres for $300,000 is what is on hold now pending the environmental study. To clarify my earlier statement, the applications are on hold and will be considered for reactivation pending the results of this study.
Mr. Phelps: When will that be? When will the situation be clarified?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Part of the study entails a study of winter ranging caribou and snowpack analysis. Renewable Resources is involved in the study. We have been advised it will have something to us by April, 1990.
Mr. Phelps: I do not like to leave this without making a comment. It seems to me that, with our present game laws, the road should not have been of any great concern simply because there are caribou in the area. It concerns me that the plans of several operators were completely wiped out because of some newly-found concern for some caribou that would be protected under our present management regime.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I respect what the Leader of the Official Opposition is saying. He is quite aware that what brought this project to a temporary halt was the recognition that the road could conceivably impact on the migrating caribou herd and the winter range of that herd. Given that we have a commitment to have some results from that study by April, I feel assured that we can reactivate the applications shortly after that or address them in the context of those sightings.
Mr. Devries: Would this also include the money for the Meister-Rancheria road for Yukon Pacific Forest Products? How much has been paid and how much is anticipated to be paid in the future?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Yes, indeed, the money would be included in this line item for the road in question. Looking at the detail of the funds, the Meister Road, phase 3, as it is now referred to, has had $350,500 approved.
Mr. Devries: The bridges have not been built yet, so this will be up for a revote this spring if they do not get their butts in gear very shortly.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This project is currently in progress and what is not done to date will be revoted into next years budget. Committed money is carried through; $350,000 has been committed.
Mr. Phelps: Is there an undertaking on the part of the sawmill to match funds for roads such as this under this particular program? If so, is it monitored as to whether or not they put up their share of the road-building funds?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Indeed, the project is cost shared 50/50. I believe we had a discussion in the spring regarding the monitoring of these funds. The entire program is very closely monitored by inspectors from Resource Transportation Access Program branch. I have been assured that funds expended are closely monitored for rebate, as the Member is aware. The money is not advanced until it is spent, so the invoicing and the quality of the job are reviewed. The program is quite tightly monitored because of the opportunity for abuse.
Mr. Phelps: The problem being faced in Watson Lake is somewhat different. We understand that virtually nobody has been paid for the work done, for example, on the bridge on this particular road project and the reason is that the only money that is being paid out is government money, when it comes in. There are the people who drove the piles, the people who supplies the piles, the people who did the preparatory work for the abutments for the bridge: none of these people have been paid and the strong suspicion in Watson Lake is that it is 50/50, except that the company does not pay its 50.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raises an interesting point because the guidelines for our program, disbursement, require invoicing to be produced prior to our releasing any funds. If legitimate invoicing is produced and inspection proves the job to be done, we will release our portion of the funds, in this case 50 percent, because that is the nature of the cost sharing. I do not believe that we, under the parameters or guidelines of the program, have determined whether the proponent has paid its portion of the invoice.
Mr. Phelps: Well we have good news, I guess, in one sense. There are a lot of unpaid invoices there for the government to look at.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: A clarification that I should make, though, is that prior to our releasing our portion of funds under the program, the evidence has to be there that the invoice is paid. We will not accept an invoice for work done without that invoice being paid, because the program operates that way. The proponent finances the project. Often part of the financing may well be secured by our agreement to fund 50 percent or 75 percent or 80 percent - whatever the project arrangement has been. Quite often the proponent will use our deal to take to the bank to finance and we do not release funds until the project has cleared inspection and until the project has been substantiated with evidence of payment for the job done. There is, then, a measure of control - more than I indicated earlier.
Mr. Phelps: On the road work, on the bridge work alone, there is substantial money outstanding. It has been outstanding since early summer. I am curious as to what kind of proof you need of the invoices being paid before you advance the money. Do you require statutory declarations from the company, as used to be the case?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In my recollection, and I have had the information confirmed by my deputy, we have an agreement in place with the proponent that requires statutory proof that payment was made for work done. We would not release funds until we had that evidence, so there is a requirement, by legal agreement whereby the payment has to have been made.
I would have to take notice on this particular item and provide information to the Member later as to whether or not we have actually disbursed any funds on that one. I do not have that information here. I suspect that if the Member is correct in saying that there are outstanding bills for the bridge work, chances are that we have not paid either, because we need the substantiated evidence of payment made before we release funds to the proponent.
Resource Transportation Access Program in the amount of an under expenditure of $624,000 agreed to
On Facilities and Equipment
On Planning and Engineering
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Those are less-than-anticipated expenditures for work done at various camps for an amount of $13,000 that we did not spend.
Planning and Engineering in the amount of an under expenditure of $13,000 agreed to
On Maintenance Camp Facilities
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That item of $332,000 consists almost entirely of revotes from previous years. There was a $150,000 revote for heating system improvements and some building maintenance to the Drury Creek grader station. There was a $127,000 revote for work to complete the Teslin pumphouse project. There was a $20,000 revote for upgrading the heating system at Swift River. I believe that is almost entirely revote money to complete projects begun in the previous year.
Mr. Brewster: That only comes out to $297,000. There is still quite a bit out there. Was the heating system in Swift River for the garage or for the famous new houses?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That is for the famous new houses, the staff quarters. The balance of $35,000 was for various additional funds required at quite a number of camps. I cited the three big ones; the rest were various costs attributed to upgrading facilities at various camps.
Mr. Brewster: When was the guarantee given up by the contractor, so that he started putting in the heating systems causing an overrun in the Swift River buildings?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not believe it was warranty work. It was part of the original cost of the project. We had voted $635,000 to that project in the previous year; however, in 1988-89, we had only spent $608,000, so $26,000 was unspent. Of that, $20,000 was revoted to complete the heating system portion of the job.
Mr. Brewster: You put a contract out for contractors to complete those buildings. I would think the heating system would go in on the original contract. Now you want more money to put in the heating system. This is one of our white elephants. The heating system did not work and you started over, or what happened?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The original heating system did not function as intended. There was an upgrade done to it in the subsequent year. It was done within budget. There was $635,000 budgeted, and we had only spent $608,000. There was $26,000 left, and we used $20,000 to upgrade the system in the subsequent year.
Mr. Brewster: It explains it all right. I have a problem. The architects and engineers designed that building. If they goofed on the heating system, why should the taxpayer pay the extra money because of their goof? There was a warranty on it. It should have been checked out so that you would know that the heating system was no good. Why should the taxpayer be paying that? Why should the engineer or architects not be paying for this thing?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raises a reasonable question. The explanation is that the design was calculated and approved by us to be installed in full anticipation that it would adequately heat the facilities.
It did not, and it was upgraded within budget. If there was a goof-up, it is our goof-up as Government Services accepted a design we thought would do the job.
Mr. Brewster: At least the Minister is honest that governments do goof up once in a while. I could have told him that 30 years ago. Perhaps the whole situation down at Swift River was a goof-up from the word go to the end, between metric and inches and feet, and a few other things. Is it now in working condition, where everybody who is living in those houses is satisfied, or do we still have some problems?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Perhaps it was not the Member for Kluane, but the Member for Watson Lake, who raised the issue with me previously in Question Period. I believe I provided to him a legislative return on the matter.
I keep being reassured that all the problems are being addressed, or have been addressed, or are in the process of being corrected. Periodically, Members opposite remind me that not all problems have been resolved. The only assurance I can give the Member is that we are making every effort to address all the problems that have been brought to our attention by the tenants and by Members opposite and by investigation by our people.
Yes, I would like to think we have finally got a handle on the deficiencies. Those that are not completely rectified ought to be shortly, because they should be.
Mr. Brewster: There is one other thing I would like to ask the Minister. Was that whole project designed in-house, in Government Services?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have some recollection of the project. My recollection is that it was designed by an outside firm. Part of the problems that plagued it was due to the fact there were two contractors on the project; one contractor was removed from the project; the second contractor is no longer in business, and the deficiencies that have been identified are being addressed.
To specifically answer the Members question, it was designed by an outside firm in its original conception.
Mr. Brewster: I find that rather funny. First the government, in-house, designed the heating system and, now, you tell me, approved it. If you approved it, surely you must have had some assurance from whoever designed it that it was going to work. Apparently, it did not. Any private individual who did that would go back on the warranty and get some money back.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am sure we made every effort to recover from the architects any obligation they would have had to provide through our agreement with them. I do know the architects; I believe it is Patty Rail. The firm is not longer in good standing with the government and is not doing any more work for us.
Mr. Devries: How does a government inspector give final approval to a building like that? For instance, you can drive down the Alaska Highway now toward that building and if you look at the one window, one side of the window must be four inches narrower than the other side, the way the sill is. How could an inspector pass that kind of sloppy workmanship? That is not the architects fault; it is either the fault of the contractor or of an inspector who has bad eyes or something.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate the Member bringing that to my attention. I will certainly find an answer for him.
Mr. Phillips: We initially spent over $600,000 in building this facility at Swift River and we did not provide the adequate heating in the building for the $600,000-plus, and the Minister tells us today that it is his departments fault for okaying the plans. Then we spent another $20,000 to bring the heating system up to specifications. Obviously, it seems to me, unless I am getting this wrong, we now have a problem that the Member for Watson Lake raised here recently, that the building still has inadequate heating. Did this $20,000 address that problem of inadequate heating or is this inadequate heating over and above the $20,000? Are we going to have to go back for the third strike, so to speak, to try to get it right the third time?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think I will clarify for the Member that the $20,000 has now upgraded the system and it ought to be operating efficiently, correctly and adequately. There ought not to be any further expenditures related to the heating system. With respect to the original design, I will seek some further detail relating to the steps that took place between the architect and the department a couple of years ago when this originally came into being.
Mr. Phillips: You might check what steps did not take place, too.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will also inquire about the steps that did not take place. The situation, perhaps over simplified, is that we approved a design that did not meet our expectations. It would appear to me, on the surface, before I procure further detail, that there may not have been an architectural problem. That may have been correctly done in our anticipation of what output that heating system was capable of. I could quite easily investigate this further for the Members.
Mr. Devries: There is a bunch of solar collectors on the roof of these buildings. Were these installed at a cost to the Yukon government or was this an experiment on federal energy conservation? Who came up with the design and the location of those solar collectors on the roof?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It appears to me that I am going to have to get a good grounding in Swift River detail. I do not know the background surrounding the energy conservation techniques that may have been applied to the facility. I will have to provide the Member an undertaking to get some detail on that. I am not familiar with the solar collectors he refers to.
Mr. Devries: I can just go over it for a moment, if the Minister does not mind. The building is shaped like a V, similar to the one at Stewart Crossing and they put the solar collector on the back one. The sun comes up over there so not until the sun gets to about the 10 oclock position does it finally shines on the solar collector, and at about three oclock it is in the shadow of the other end of the building. You would have thought they would have put in on the most exposed end of the building, rather than the most sheltered end. That is the concern.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have already given the Member an undertaking to provide additional information relating to the energy conservation application to that building. I will provide full detail at the same time on the questions raised about the architect. If Members have any further questions relating to Swift River, they may as well lay them on the table so we can be fully versed.
Mr. Devries: The person who installed the solar collector told me that the payback could be 72 years. Does the Minister have any figures to substantiate that?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will investigate that and report.
Mr. Phillips: I understand that many employees who are virtually forced to live in this Swift River facility are not overjoyed with the prospect of living within earshot of their next-door neighbour. They work together all day and almost live together all night. There is a concern in these smaller communities that we provide facilities that are not only cost effective, but adequate for the people who live there. It is hard to get people to live in these outlying communities sometimes. One of the things we have to do is provide adequate facilities. Is the Minister planning to carry out a survey with the residents in facilities such as these to see if they are happy with them and if we should be proceeding with similar type designs in other parts of the territory?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Members opposite are clearly driving me to a fervent desire to drive to Swift River. I say that quite seriously. The number of questions raised and the difficulty I have understanding the problem would probably be helped by a first-hand visitation. I am sure all Members would be quite pleased to meet me there.
The Member raised a good question relating to the type of construction for future purposes. It would appear to me that we have some design problems. They may not all be related to design, but to construction. Certainly the ones at Stewart do not have a similar problem, even though they are quite similar.
Part of the problem in this particular job was the fact that one contractor had to abandon the project when it was partially complete. The second contractor is no longer in business. That may well have added to complications we are facing now.
I certainly undertake to provide more thorough research on Swift River than was provided in the previous legislative return that I tabled for the Member for Watson Lake. I will address the questions that have been raised. I treat their questions seriously and I will investigate.
Mr. Phillips: I wish this new Minister luck, because when he was relating who had flown the coop on this issue and is no longer in existence, so did the previous Minister who was responsible for the Swift River project. He has now flown the coop with a portfolio, so to speak. He is in another area and has left the new Minister saddled with total responsibility for this fiasco.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I deserve the right to respond. The previous Minister has not abandoned the project. The previous Minister initiated a commendable project in Swift River. The problems that are associated with the project have no relationship to the Ministers direction, and the Members should not try to hang it on an individual.
Mr. Lang: That is a separate issue altogether. The final responsibility lies in this House and with whomever makes the decision, whether you like it or not. I just wanted to correct the record. There were some problems with Stewart Crossing. The Minister said there were very few problems. If you will recall, after it was constructed, there were a number of problems in that particular facility, as well. They were discussed in this House, and there was a need for more money to rectify a number of things. I believe one of them was the heating system.
I want to make the observation that, when we began debating Stewart Crossing, a suggestion came from this side of the House that we should be looking at separate units, maybe even log homes, for the employees in these isolated camps so that, if they did have families, they would be self-contained and a bit removed from each other. I think we have made a major mistake, not only in the construction, but also in the concept of the facilities in both these areas. They have shown it is not workable. The Member for Watson Lake has indicated to us that people have not been happy with the design the way it is now, even if there was a proper heating system and they could get it to the right temperature. If we are going to do any of these other camps at some other time, I think we should be looking at separate, self-contained units. I would prefer to have them built of logs. You can have some really nice homes at probably 20 percent less cost than these. They would also be all Yukon made.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I accept the Members representation. Much of what he says makes reasonable sense. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the Stewart Crossing problems. It appears to have been some time ago. If there had been similar heating problems in Stewart Crossing as in Swift River, then there is obviously a heating design problem. As I understand it, from my officials in Swift River, it was a case of a design that was thought to be adequate, approved by us, that proved to be inadequate. As the Member for Kluane has confirmed, that is a mistake on our part. It is unfortunate and regrettable. The Member has every right to say we should not be doing this again, and we will not.
Maintenance Camp Facilities in the amount of $332,000 agreed to
On Miscellaneous Branch Facilities
Miscellaneous Branch Facilities in the amount of $11,000 agreed to
Chair: We will now take a short recess.
Chair: I call Committee to order.
We are on Engineering Services Agreement.
On Klondike #2
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is an amount that was used for various minor upgradings in the camps on things like doors, installing new air lines and general improvements.
Klondike #2 in the amount of $78,000 agreed to
On Dempster #5
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The reduction is a combination of several activities that took place. DIAND approved $500,000 of additional funding for the highway; however, they did not approve camp facilities we had proposed in the original budget for $427,000, as well as facilities for the Ogilvie Camp for $395,000. The net result of those three changes to the original budget proposal results in a reduction of $317,000. In short, $500,000 was spent on the road and the two camps did not get approved, nor constructed.
Dempster #5 in the amount of an under expenditure of $317,000 agreed to
On Top of the World #9
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The entire list of highways under the engineering services agreement are all fully funded recoverable monies.
In the case of the Top of the World, DIAND chose to approve construction monies after we had prepared the budget last winter, so it is entered here as a supplementary. It was reconstruction work between kilometres 59 to 105.
Top of the World #9 in the amount of $70,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That is entirely funds for the Nares Lake Bridge that the feds approved. As with the Top of the World Highway, they approved it after we had prepared the budget and did not anticipate approval of those funds.
Miscellaneous in the amount of $69,000 agreed to
On Emergency Airstrips
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That relates to work that we had anticipated doing at Eagle Plains. It did not proceed because we did not get the endorsements and commitments from the federal government and the proponent sponsoring the project. Whether that comes forward in the future remains to be seen, but we did not have the tripartite agreement that had attempted to be negotiated, which would have permitted us to cost-share this strip. The others did not fund, nor would we.
Emergency Airstrips in the amount of an under expenditure of $68,000 agreed to
On M.O.T. Airstrips
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Again, that is nearly similar to several of the other projects. Again, it is federal funding that we had calculated would be forthcoming for airport work. We were out in our estimates by $74,000 of what the feds actually approved.
M.O.T. Airstrips in the amount of an under expenditure of $74,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: By way of repeating a note, these figures, as in the case of all other figures, are the best guess estimates of funding expectations to the end of July. That is the period 5 variance. In the case of industrial land development, the $110,000 less than anticipated expenditure is due to two specific projects. One is an industrial development at Teslin. It was in the amount of $10,000. It did not proceed because the community plan had not been completed. The second item is $100,000 less than the anticipated cost for development of the expansion to the Callison subdivision. The size of that development was reduced. At the end of July we anticipated it would cost us $100,000 less.
Industrial in the amount of an under expenditure of $110,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $326,000 additional expenditure that is shown here is generated by several readjustments. I will try to explain them. The Hamilton Boulevard paving in the amount of $500,000 was accelerated to coincide with completion of Granger stage 1. That was moved up to $530,000. Granger neighbourhood saved $590,000 by rescheduling water and sewer work. That $590,000 was a revote from the previous year.
At the same time, there was a reduction of $550,000 relating to the Granger mobile park that has been put on hold. The net result of those three readjustments is an anticipated expenditure of $326,000. A quick summary: Hamilton Boulevard paving was additional funding; Granger neighbourhood water and sewer funding and there was a saving on the mobile park with a net result of $326,000.
Mr. Lang: As far as the mobile park is concerned, how come the Minister has indicated a figure of around $500,000, when we were told last spring that we were voting $900,000 for that purpose?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I suspect that some money would have been spent if the Member would just give me a minute.
I anticipated that a portion of the money would have been spent. That is not so. The money is still in the vote for expenditure. The Member is correct that some $900,000 was identified for the mobile park, but we only used $500,000 of it simply because that was the money we did not anticipate spending this year. We would simply be revoting the additional amount next year if and when the project goes ahead. The Member is familiar with the project I am referring to. The mobile park is the project where there is some difference of opinion between the city and ourselves on the level of standards for services to be installed, and that has not been resolved to this point. The project is not going ahead at this instant.
Mr. Lang: Is the Minister telling me they took $500,000 from the proposed mobile home subdivision and used it to accelerate the paving on Hamilton Boulevard? Is that what the department did with the money?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is essentially correct. We took some of the mobile park money to provide for the paving I described earlier and the cost associated with water and sewer in phase 1.
The Member has to recognize that this is a calculation at the end of July. At that time we anticipated doing some preparatory work for the Granger mobile home park. We could easily be doing some grubbing, some initial preparation for the development had we reached a general agreement on the level of services to be provided for the subdivision.
In short, the Member is correct; we took a portion of the money to apply to other aspects of the subdivision and would be revoting if the development went ahead. We left some $400,000 for the work to be done, that we could only get done this year.
Mr. Lang: I am not going to get into a debate on the Granger subdivision. It would appear to me, in view of what has taken place, there is a pretty strong possibility that the lots will not be onstream until sometime in the summer. Is that correct?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: If the Member is talking about the mobile lots, he is quite correct. We have to reach a resolution whether to proceed on the subdivision. We have to reach a resolution on the level of services to be provided. As the Member is aware, the dispute surrounds whether we go to underground lines, overhead lines, or a compromise between the two. My problem in approving the first-rate installation, and thereby the more expensive one, of going underground with everything, is that it does inflate the price of those trailer lots to close to $30,000 per trailer lot. Certainly from the analysis we have done, we have little reason to believe that lots priced in that range would sell. It is our desire to reduce the development cost of those lots, and we can do that by a different installation for some of the services, vis-a-vis overhead lines. That is the issue.
I have met with the city on that score. We agreed to disagree and then reassess. I believe I am meeting with the city this Friday. I anticipate that it is on the agenda. A short response to the Members question is: not only does it appear these lots will not come onstream until next summer, they may not at all.
Mr. Lang: I am not going to pursue that. I would, but it is getting late in the evening. What are the projections for water and sewer? Is the department doing any projections as far as cost is concerned? Are we going to be looking at increases in contracting costs this forthcoming year? Is that what we are projecting? I guess you would estimate it per foot. Does it look like we may be meeting some inflationary costs above last year?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not have specific figures available to me now, but I am being advised that the estimates that we are projecting for next year definitely do indicate an increase in the cost of paving and construction. There will be an increased development cost to have further work done there.
Residential in the amount of $326,000 agreed to
On Rural Residential
Hon. Mr. Byblow: A reduction was calculated at the end of July to cost us $530,000 less than budgeted. The reasons are several. A Mayo homestead project was then anticipated to cost $100,000 less; at the request of the village of Mayo and the Indian band, the size of that development was reduced in scope, thereby reducing the anticipated cost by $100,000. We anticipated having to do some work in Hootalinqua North, which is not happening this year. That is a reduction of $275,000. There has been $80,000 generated by the City of Dawson taking over the responsibility for the development of the Dome area. Additionally, anticipated development at Rock Creek in the amount of $75,000 is delayed due to some complications relating to placer claims and agricultural applications. Those are the major items. There are various other small amounts affected by costs coming in under anticipated projections.
Mr. Phelps: What happened to the rural residential homestead lots near Carcross that were supposed to be put on the market in July of this year?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: We discussed the Watson River development this spring. There were 15 lots anticipated for release this summer. The project has been delayed somewhat while consultations have taken place with the Carcross/Tagish Band, the Carcross Community Association and the Rod & Gun Club. Those consultations have fairly well concluded and we are planning to proceed with the necessary grubbing for the lots this winter and hope to have them in place for early next year.
Mr. Devries: Was $100,000 budgeted last year for a subdivision in Watson Lake and not used? It would have been under rural residential. I know we voted $100,000 and Watson Lake never got anything.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Perhaps I could respond to that under recreational land, which is probably where it will be.
Rural Residential in the amount of an under expenditure of $530,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $28,000 reduction under Commercial is comprised of several items. A commercial development in Dawson was reduced in scope, which saved $35,000. An anticipated Whitehorse commercial development in the South Access area was not initiated this past year. That was anticipated to cost $15,000. At the same time, at the Kopper King commercial development, an additional expenditure of $22,000 was created. This was a revote. The net result of those three projects was $28,000 under expenditure.
Commercial in the amount of an under expenditure of $28,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is the vote related to the matter raised by the Member for Watson Lake, the cottage lot development that was anticipated to be done there. It was delayed. The project has gone through its consultation with the municipal council and some internal planning has been done for it. When we get to the budget for next year, what we have not spent from what was anticipated for Watson Lake this year has been restored into the budget for next year. Some money was charged to the project for planning and consultation, but the net result under this vote was a reduction of $80,000 on the Watson Lake cottage project. Additional funds were reduced scope of work at Lake Laberge by $10,000; some work that was anticipated at Teslin did not proceed, for $5,000; a couple of lots at Little Salmon did not get developed, for $10,000; Pine Lake cottage lots cost us $58,000. There was Tagish Beach electrification for $24,000, which was a revote. The net result of those various job changes, in most cases a reduction, resulted in $103,000 total.
Recreational in the amount of an under expenditure of $103,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $120,000 reduction is made up of three projects. We anticipated spending $150,000 in Dawson on some agricultural developments. The size of the project was reduced. I believe we reduced from an anticipated 18 or 20 lots to six or eight. Therefore, we did not spend $75,000 on that project.
In Mayo we did spend $20,000 of an anticipated $40,000 for development. In Hootalinqua North we anticipated spending $25,000 and did not spend any, largely because we have not concluded the adoption of the wheat plan. The total is $120,000.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister assure us that we are recovering the cost of all this money being spent?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It is my understanding that all land development costs are assigned to projects for recovery. That is the principle of land disposition. The Member is quite familiar with the policy in recreational and residential land development. Costs are assigned to a project and you sell at the greater of development cost or market value.
Mr. Brewster: In the policy they would not look at a different situation. Anyone who goes into agriculture has five years to clear his land and break it. This is very unfair for some people. Anyone sensible gets an area where there is just willows and clear space. There are others who, unfortunately, get into places where they have an awful lot of timber and have to salvage the timber. I agree with that 100 percent. For them to do it in the same period as the other is very unfair. We should be flexible so people who get into a heavily timbered area could have, say, seven years. It takes an awful lot of work to salvage every one of those trees over a certain circumference, burn the brush and clean the stumps out. The fellow right next to him might be living on a meadow and could probably do the work in a year and one-half. It should be more flexible because some people cannot make it in a heavily timbered area when it takes a lot of cleaning to do it, especially when they must salvage all that wood and get it out of there. The others can probably do theirs in three years quite easily.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Members suggestion does make good sense. There may be occasions where there is need to be flexible in the time allocated for the appropriate development that must take place under the agreement for sale. I guess the current policy provides for a one-year extension after the fifth year, should it be reasonably needed; that is all the current policy provides for. The Member is aware that we have been working on a policy for some time and it should be coming forward quite soon. The Member will have quite ample opportunity to provide input and suggestions to that. Certainly his suggestion makes good sense and I take it under advisement; it is not an unreasonable suggestion.
Agricultural in the amount of an under expenditure of $120,000 agreed to
On Central Services
On Non-Recoverable Legal Survey
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As it appears to be getting rather late, perhaps we could report progress Bill No. 13.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Mr. Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
May the House have a report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole?
Ms. Kassi: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 13, Second Appropriation Act, 1989-90 and directed me to report progress on same.
Speaker: You have heard the report of the Chair of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The House adjourned at 9:28 p.m.
The following Sessional Papers were tabled December 11, 1989:
Yukon Museums Policy (Webster)
Documents, entitled Partners in Education, related to the DRAFT Education Act (McDonald)