Tuesday, December 4, 1990 - 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.
Are there any Returns or Documents for tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Ms. Joe: I have for tabling the report on regulations.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have two returns for tabling.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As you have skipped over the introduction of visitors section of the Order Paper, I would like to join all Members in the House in wishing the old man from Riverdale North a happy birthday.
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?
This then brings us to Question Period.
Question re: Yukon Pacific Forest Products
Mr. Phelps: I have a question for the Minister of Renewable Resources regarding the three forestry studies he tabled last week with his ministerial statement. Yesterday, the MLA for Watson Lake raised the issue about numerous inaccuracies in the studies that were tabled, and I would like to know if the Minister, when he tabled the documents, realized that two studies, the one entitled Markets for Yukon Forest Products, and the one entitled The Forest Industry and the Economy of the Yukon, relied heavily on outdated, optimistic predictions about the future of Hyland Forest Products?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I was well aware of that, and I tabled them just prior to delivering my ministerial statement. I brought them forward in the context that I was just informing everyone in the Yukon, particularly those with an interest in the industry, that this is the nature of the work that had been done in the past. I clearly made that known in my ministerial statement.
Mr. Phelps: I am wondering if he realized that the documents rely heavily on the Deloitte Haskin and Sells Report, which was prepared in large part by Carroll-Hatch International, a firm that the Development Corporation is suing for mismanagement?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Yes, I was aware that Carroll-Hatch International is being sued for mismanagement. Again, I put forward the point that this was done to inform people of the nature of the work that has been done here in the Yukon to date. Much of it was inaccurate, emphasizing the need for better work to be done in the future, when we can properly manage this resource.
Mr. Phelps: Need is being emphasized here today. Did the Minister know that the reports repeatedly referred to Klondike Central Heating, a firm that has not been operating for about three years?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Yes, I was quite aware of that. I mentioned again, in my ministerial statement, that those studies had been done as far back as two or two and one-half years ago. Yes, obviously much of it is outdated.
Question re: Yukon Pacific Forest Products
Mr. Phelps: I have got to attend a meeting tonight in Carcross with that Minister, so I will direct my attention to another Minister, so that we can have an enjoyable evening.
With regard to the Carroll-Hatch International action, I have some questions for the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation, regarding the lawsuit with Carroll-Hatch. That lawsuit was launched just a few days before the Public Accounts Committee was going to hold public hearings, last January, into the operations of Hyland Forest Products. By launching that action, the Yukon Development Corporation effectively prevented the Public Accounts Committee from carrying on with its public hearings into the affairs of Hyland.
I understand that there has been virtually nothing done since last May in this lawsuit. I want to know if Yukon Development Corporation is serious about pursuing the lawsuit.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I can only assume that the Development Corporation is serious about the lawsuit because I am sure the officers would not have recommended the action to the board had they not been. I am sorry I cannot give the Member any report on further activity on this lawsuit because the officers of the corporation have not, as far as I know, either given me a detailed brief or requested any instructions on the matter. I would have to take notice as to the exact state of the play on it but I am sure the Leader of the Official Opposition would admit that the only consequence for the Public Accounts Committee, in any case, is to delay somewhat, not to deny, the no doubt vigorous analysis of the situation in the Watson Lake mill that will be taking place in that committee very soon.
Mr. Phelps: The lack of progress in moving this case into trial makes it appear, and certainly lends credence to the suspicion that we hold, that the whole lawsuit was initiated primarily to prevent a timely and thorough investigation into the operations of Hyland Forest Products. Would the Minister look into this matter and report back the reasons for it going so slowly?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will take that question as notice; certainly, I will look into it.
I hope the Member understands that it has never been my intention or that of this governments to engage in lawsuits for the purpose of frustrating this Legislature or its committees.
I know, from my conversations with the offices of the corporation, that they believed they had good cause for proceeding with the action. I will seek information about the progress of the suit and the intentions of our lawyers with regard to it.
Mr. Phelps: Will the Minister advise us as to whether or not we will be treated to the spectacle of the president of the Yukon Development Corporation appearing before the Public Accounts Committee again this year to plead that the investigation of Hyland be put off yet again because this lawsuit is dragging on so slowly?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have already instructed the president of the Yukon Development Corporation, myself, that whatever proceedings are going on in the courts on matters arising from the operation of the mill, the officers of the Yukon Development Corporation will appear before the Public Accounts Committee and will give as full and complete an account as possible of all transactions involving the operation of the mill while under our ownership, and the knowledge of those operations to the extent we do following the sale of the operation.
I know very well the kind of imputing of motives and the allegations that have been made from the side opposite. I have no wish to subject myself to those accusations again. I have every interest, having been blamed for everything from putting insects into the wood to personally cutting down trees we were not going to sell, in seeing a very thorough examination of the matter.
These are some conclusions drawn by the committee as to what went wrong and why.
Question re: Foster homes
Mrs. Firth: I have some questions for the Minister responsible for Health and Human Resources. In October, the Minister was making public appeals for more foster homes in the Yukon. I would like to ask the Minister some questions about the policies dealing with foster parenting in his department. In the event foster parents, in disciplining their children, are accused of assault, what steps are taken to see that the sensitive situation is dealt with in a rational way and in a manner that prevents potential disaster?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Unfortunately, a question presented in those terms implies some wrongdoing in some case and I do not know what matter the Member is referring to. I can tell the Member that, at the moment, the investigations into assault or injury of children or abuse of children is done according to the dictates of the Childrens Act that was passed in this House some years ago, an act about which a large number of problems have been identified and an act that we have every intention of amending, if we can, in the life of this Legislature.
Now, if the Member is asking about some particular agony brought to some family as a result of some particular matter, then I would respectfully suggest, unless the names of the parties become inadvertently known, that the Member deal with the matter with me privately.
On the question of the general matter of policy, the policy that operates is the policy as laid down in the Childrens Act passed in this Legislature.
Mrs. Firth: I would like to deal with the Minister privately about it but I have lots of experience writing letters to the Minister and not getting any replies for a month or, sometimes, two months. My colleagues have experienced the same thing.
I find the way to get results is to raise the issues on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. Does the Minister of Health and Human Resources feel confident that his department is dealing in a fair way, and according to the rules as set in the Childrens Act, when it comes to accusing and charging parents with assault or child abuse?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have every confidence in the officials of the department in terms of the general conduct with respect to the legislation they are sworn to uphold. I am also aware that there are a great number of problems with the Childrens Act, some sections of which have been struck down by the courts. I also know that, when complaints are made under the act, it is an extraordinarily traumatic event for the family involved, the accused, and for the person complaining. Ultimately, the matter is not disposed of by us, but by the justice system, in many cases. That is a situation over which I have no control.
The act makes it very clear that, when certain kinds of complaints are made, we have to proceed in a certain way. I hope that our officials will always behave fairly and properly according to the act, notwithstanding the problems that may exist in the legislation.
Mrs. Firth: I would like a new question.
Question re: Foster homes
Mrs. Firth: My new question is to the same Minister with respect to the same issue. I represent constituents who were foster parents of three foster children of this government for five years. Then, one day, Health and Human Resources stepped in and removed the children from the home and the school. The mother was charged with assault, and she was taken to court. The rules were not followed according to the Childrens Act.
The end result was that the mother was found not guilty and the judge said that the real tragedy was that the three children lost what was an obviously an excellent and loving home. We have three children who are still in the receiving home 10 months later and we have lost foster parents. The Minister stands up and says he has every confidence in his officials. I am saying that the Minister has to review that confidence he has in his officials, along with his review of the shortcomings of the act. I would like to ask the Minister if he will give us a commitment that that will be a priority and that he will review the procedures that are being followed when it comes to government officials stepping in and taking peoples children away from them, whether they be foster children or their own children.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Let me say that as someone who voted against parts of the Childrens Act and had a great deal of problems in the act and the powers given to bureaucrats in the Childrens Act to take children, I am more than willing to concede to the Members request and review the procedures. I suspect that the Member has now given enough information on the floor of the House that I will be able to identify the particular case with the officials of the department. I will review the particulars of that case with those officials to try to ascertain if there were improper or unfair procedures followed in this particular case.
Mrs. Firth: I can tell the Minister that it was not fair and that the parents were not even spoken to, so that they could give their side of the story. The father made an appeal to the deputy minister and got back a cold, uncompassionate response about how it was out of their hands. So it was not dealt with fairly and it was not dealt with according to the rules.
I would like to ask the Minister if he could give us some commitment as to when this situation will be reviewed and when he can report back to the House with respect to the review.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: If I may be forgiven for saying so, I know when this act was being debated in the House that my then colleague, Mr. Kimmerly, was concerned about exactly the kind of situation arising that the Member spoke about, because there was a lot of concern in the community about the power given to officials. Once a matter is in the hands of the police or the justice system, I am pretty sure that there is not an appropriate intervention that senior officials can make. We are, however, planning to bring amendments, improvements, to this legislation before the House. I will not wait for that process to be complete. I will look at the facts of the case presented by the Member and see if, as a result of that matter, immediate changes in the procedures are indicated to the extent that we can under the act, and I will be bringing those up with my colleagues.
Mrs. Firth: I would like a new question, please.
Question re: Foster homes
Mrs. Firth: If the government is so concerned about the Childrens Act, they should never have allowed this to happen - never allowed it to happen. These people provide a charitable service and foster parents are special people. The system has clearly failed all of them and they have all become victims: the three kids, the mom, the dad and obviously the whole foster parenting system. It has been cited as a real tragedy.
In the review that the Minister is going to do, and the position that is being taken that the government is going to have to assume some responsibility for these actions, I would like to ask the Minister if they will be reviewing the particular shortcoming of the act with respect to provisions being in place to allow the court to award costs. Not only has the emotional trauma been devastating, this mother was also put in a position where she had to finance her own defence. It was a strain on the family finances.
I would like to ask the Minister if he is going to review that particular aspect of the bill as well.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: That is unfortunately the case for any citizen who is subject to a criminal charge. They incur huge expenses for lawyers unless they are eligible for legal aid. That is a problem throughout society and not just in this area.
I have said to the Member that I will look into the facts of this matter and examine the procedures under the act. But I also want the Member to know that there are a lot of problems of this kind that will not be fully addressed until such a time as we can bring amendments to the legislation.
Mrs. Firth: In providing the service to the government and young children, this family never thought it would be put into the position where it would have to defend itself against the government at considerable financial expense, not to mention the emotional trauma.
I would like to ask the Minister if he will personally look into this. I will provide him with the details. Will he personally look into this situation and see what can be done to assist this family with the financial stresses this government has placed on them?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I understand the Members concern for this matter, but I think she is really making a representation that, if she thought seriously about it, could easily be made about every person charged with any offence. She talks about the government going against them. Our officials, whatever happened in this case, were simply doing what is required of them under the Childrens Act, passed by the previous administration.
We had a lot of problems with that act. We had a very big legislative program correcting the mistakes of the previous administration. It was not necessarily the highest priority on our agenda. We had positive things we wanted to do as well.
We do respect the contribution made by foster parents, as we do that of teachers and child care workers, who sometimes have complaints or charges made against them under this act.
We are moving in legislation, through the Child Care Act, the Education Act and the Childrens Act, to make mandatory reporting necessary. Just because we are doing that, we cannot assume that the government has the right to judge and make the final decision, or to make a judgment as to the guilt, or otherwise, of a person; that is what the courts do. Anybody who is hauled up before the courts knows that process is a very painful, traumatic and expensive process. That is a problem for any matter that goes before the courts. I am not sure that we can change that. I am happy to discuss the particulars of this situation with my colleague, the Minister of Justice, but I suspect there is not a short nor a simple answer ...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Minister please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: ... to that problem.
Mrs. Firth: What an absolutely cold and heartless response. The judgment was made when those three kids were taken away from those parents, because they are never going to get to go back to them again. That cannot be changed.
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question.
Mrs. Firth: I will get to the supplementary question. What is this government going to do to see that does not happen again - with their amendments and other changes? What are they going to do to see that these people, who are becoming victims of the government, are given some reassurances?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have said I will look into that, but I cannot quickly change the injustices created by a piece of legislation to which the Member was party. I happen to take strong objection to the powers given to bureaucrats by the Members opposite in the passage of that legislation.
Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Why did we not change it? It is going to take many years to correct all the errors of the previous administration. I have said I will look into the matter. I have said I will take a look at the regulations. I have said I will take a look at the procedures. I have said I will take a look at the particulars of this case.
As was indicated in the throne speech, I have also said that we are bringing in amendments to the act. We hope that some of the problems in the legislation, which are now coming to light, will be addressed by those amendments.
Question re: Foster homes
Mr. Lang: I just want to follow up in respect to the situation of foster parents as well. I corresponded with the Minister on October 30 about a constituent situation that was brought to my attention. It was similar to that of the Member for Riverdale South. I also raised the situation with the Minister in the discussion of the supplementaries. I have yet to receive a reply.
The shame here, once again, is a situation where good Yukoners - people whom I was raised with - made their home available as foster parents. Steps were taken within the civil service and subsequently this young child who had an exceptionally good home, from where I stand, is now no longer there. I really have a lot of sympathy for that little girl plus the foster parents who were involved. It was a very human story and it was one that was very, very sad.
I guess my question is that this dated back to November 1989, and we are almost in 1991. These foster parents still are not clear in their mind whether they are still under investigation. As the Minister knows, I have corresponded with him and asked him on their behalf and I have received no reply. Could the Minister tell us exactly what has taken place in this case?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am sorry if I have not yet replied to the Members letter yet. The day I get a letter from the Member, I refer it to the department, along with the hundreds of other letters we get, and I am sorry that...
Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Well, I am busy, a lot busier than the Member opposite, but I will deal with the correspondence as quickly as I can. I understand very well the concerns.
Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)
Hon. Mr. Penikett: They really are pathetic sometimes, I tell you Mr. Speaker.
I understand the Member for Porter Creek Easts concern about the case. But I hope you will also understand that we are not dealing with, as the Member for Riverdale South stupidly says, cold and heartless people who go and snatch children out of families. They do not do that. These are people who have professional responsibilities.
Point of Order
Speaker: Point of order to the Member for Riverdale South.
Mrs. Firth: I believe the Members reference to stupidness is considered unparliamentary language and I look to the Speaker to make a ruling on that.
Speaker: I find there is a point of order and I would like to remind Members to please use parliamentary language.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Well, I would have thought that cold and heartless, in reference to a colleague was also unparliamentary, but I guess I will not bother with that.
The Member must understand that the people doing this kind of work are not ogres who want to go in and snatch children from families. If there is a complaint made, an allegation made, it has to be investigated. It would be investigated by the proper authorities according to law. We do not control that situation. The law lays that down and we have an obligation. Once an investigation is in the hands of the police or the Crown, we do not control that either. It will continue until it reaches a conclusion. That is very, very hard on the people under investigation. I know that. It is extraordinarily hard on the children who are involved. I know that. The people who are involved in this work - yesterday there were questions from the Member from Porter Creek West about the vacancies in this area - have very, very difficult, often very unpleasant jobs to do. None of them proceed on the basis that they want to destroy families or that they want to bring disruption to childrens lives.
Complaints happen under this legislation...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Minister please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Complaints happen under this legislation. They have to be investigated. The investigation proceeds and it reaches a conclusion; sometimes it results in a charge. The courts may convict or not. It is very difficult; I understand that. There is not, once an investigation starts, a simple remedy for the government.
Mr. Lang: I think the sad aspect of this is that if you speak to these people who were foster parents, they will tell you that they will no longer be foster parents, similar to, I am sure, the situation in Riverdale South. I am sure there are many others that we are not aware of. The difficulty is going to be finding other foster parents who are prepared to take this responsibility on. I will bring to the Ministers attention the correspondence I did send to him; I sent a letter accompanying that from the individuals involved outlining the very significant problems that they found in working with department. I would beg to differ with the Minister in respect to the situation just to blame it on the law.
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary?
Mr. Lang: I would ask the Minister: when is he going to be able to tell me whether or not these people - really good, solid Yukoners - are under investigation or not? I believe they have a right to know. This dates back to 1989.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: Of course they have a right to know. I share the Members point of view on that completely but if, as I am sure the Leader of the Opposition will tell his colleague, the matter is in the hands of the police, the police do not, as far as I understand, always tell people when an investigation is concluded. A file might be open and it may be inactive, but it may not actually be closed. That is a problem with some kinds of procedures.
I will take the Members representation seriously, and I will see what I can do to bring whatever peace of mind I can to him about that fact. I will do what I can, but I hope the Member understands that I do not control the justice system and all the dimensions of those kinds of investigations. I will do what I can to bring some peace of mind to those people because I take the question very seriously.
Mr. Lang: One of the observations made by constituents I represent in the letter that the Minister received - a long time prior to my receiving it, incidentally - was that there seemed to be very little support from the department once one became responsible for a foster child. The people in question made the point that this area should maybe be reviewed, to see what help could be given, either through government agencies or non-profit organizations that work on behalf of the government.
I would like to know from the Minister what steps have been taken in this area to provide support to those people who choose to become foster parents and take on that very difficult role that we in society are asking them to take on.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: In previous budgets brought before this House we have added to the staff of the department. We have added to the family and support workers. We have tried to add resources but - and this will not surprise the Member - this is just one of many areas within the domain of the Department of Health and Human Resources where there are continuing demands for more resources and more services and, indeed, more staff. The ability of the department to meet all of these needs and all of these requests is limited absolutely by the amount of money that is made available to it by the government-of-the-day and by the Legislature. There have been improvements in this area, but I will be the first to concede that there is hardly an area of service in the Department of Health and Human Resources that could not, in theory, justify extra resources, and this is one of them.
Question re: Tagish Kwan Corporation/bankruptcy
Mr. Nordling: I am pleased the Minister of Health and Human Resources is going to take the representations of the Members for Riverdale South and Porter Creek East seriously, because they are not talking about isolated incidents. A similar situation occurred in Porter Creek West, whereby the system has lost two very good foster parents there.
My question is to the Minister of Economic Development with respect to the Tagish Kwan Corporation. The Department of Economic Development has given a $50,000 grant from its business development fund to the Kwanlin Dun to assist with the costs of the Tagish Dun bankruptcy proceedings. The Minister said this grant was, in part, to assist the creditors of the Tagish Kwan Corporation. Which creditors will benefit from the $50,000 grant, and by how much?
My understanding is that the Royal Bank is by far the largest creditor. Pursuant to the final agreement between the creditors that the Minister described to us on November 5, it seems to me that the Royal Bank would by far be the major beneficiary of this $50,000 grant.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: When I was making reference to the creditors, I was not making specific reference to the Centennial Street project for which, in many respects, discussions have been concluded among creditors for the distribution of responsibility and assets for that particular project. I made reference to the contribution to the Kwanlin Dun Indian Band as being something that would, ultimately, help all the creditors of the Tagish Kwan Corporation in all their business interests in the territory.
Mr. Nordling: That does not clear things up very much. The Minister also mentioned that he wanted to enhance the First Nations business image. If he wanted to do that, the $50,000 would have been better spent in investigating what went wrong, rather than contributing it to the Royal Bank.
In reaching a final agreement as to what share each creditor would receive with respect to the Centennial Street project, was the $100,000 cost of bankruptcy proceedings taken into account?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is my understanding that the Royal Bank will receive no further funds as a result of the Tagish Kwan Corporations demise, unless they have interests other than the Centennial Street project in the territory.
The purpose of the contribution was to avoid, if at all possible, the messy course of bankruptcy, which would have made it difficult for the creditors, the Kwanlin Dun Indian Band and the government. Consequently, the contribution was made.
Mr. Nordling: Perhaps the Minister could tell us exactly what would have happened with the bankruptcy proceedings had the $50,000 not been given to the band?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not a bankruptcy expert, but my understanding is that, in normal proceedings, creditors will come along and try to force a bankruptcy. The proceedings are long, drawn out and difficult among creditors. What was attempted here was an orderly bankruptcy proceeding where all creditors were given a fair shake when it came to the dividing up of assets. That is what the contribution was for.
Question re: Swift River maintenance staff housing
Mr. Devries: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services.
The government finished the often controversial multiple-unit highway maintenance staff housing complex in Swift River a couple of years ago. In the 1991 mains I see the government is building another staff house in Swift River. I would simply like to ask the Minister: why?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Department of Community and Transportation Services, through the highways branch, has identified a need for an additional staff person to service that portion of the highway in anticipation of the Mt. Hundere ore haul. We expect that there will be an increased level of maintenance and increased activity. That will require increased staffing. This is our preparation for that increased economic activity.
Mr. Devries: A year ago the government sold two perfectly good houses in Swift River on the condition that they be removed. My question is: why was one of the homes not retained for the extra anticipated staffing needs?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It would appear to me that two years ago we would not have had any way of knowing whether Mt. Hundere was coming onstream, but my recollection of the details surrounding the removal of those houses is very sketchy. I would like to review with my department, if it is a departmental responsibility, why the houses were removed at that time. Certainly, on the face of the question, we would not have known in 1988 that Mt. Hundere was even in the planning stage.
Mr. Devries: It was not 1988. It was 1989. When this took place I was well aware that Mt. Hundere was in the planning process. Would the Minister take responsibility for this poor planning that resulted in this additional $150,000 government expenditure and assure this House that it will not happen again?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: What I will undertake is to investigate the time when the houses, as alleged by the Member, were removed from that location. I will want to investigate the condition of those houses and whether they were adequate or suitable for staff quarters. I will undertake to investigate the details surrounding the removal of the houses and I will double-check whether or not any information was known about the possibility of Mt. Hundere at that time. I doubt it because if we had known we would certainly have investigated that option, but I do undertake to investigate the issue further.
Question re: Carcross Dunes territorial park
Mr. Phelps: I have a question that arises from the budget address of the Minister for Renewable Resources. It states that park management plans will be prepared and consultations with the public and the Yukon First Nations will take place for the proposed Carcross dunes territorial park. I have yet to speak to anybody who has been consulted about the possibility of creating a Carcross dunes territorial park. I am wondering where the Department of Renewable Resources got the initiative to develop park management plans for the area.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Over the course of the last couple of months, members of my Tourism department have been involved in establishing a regional tourism plan for the Carcross Southern Lakes. In the course of that work, a staff member has spoken to at least 30 individuals, seeking information and ideas as to what can be developed for the Southern Lakes area for potential tourism attractions. This one was raised on a number of occasions, as it was by members of my Renewable Resources parks department.
This matter has been raised a couple of times, and we think now is a good time to investigate the real possibility of bringing this Carcross Desert park into being.
Mr. Phelps: All I have heard is concern about this idea coming from out of the blue. I have talked to a lot of people at public meetings and individually. Will the Minister take steps to consult with people in Carcross before they proceed to develop any of the plans?
Hon. Mr. Webster: One of the purposes of the public meeting in Carcross tonight is to discuss this proposal, among many others that have been brought forward by individuals in the area. I can give the Member my assurance that every idea is being considered for the Southern Lakes regional tourism plan. It will be given a lot of attention, and there will be a lot of consultation.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now lapsed.
Notice of Business
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 14.1(1), I request the unanimous consent of the House to call the following motions: No. 25, No. 19, No. 24, No. 20 and No. 27, under Motions other than Government Motions, when that business is called tomorrow, Wednesday, December 5.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: Unanimous consent has been granted.
We will now proceed to Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve into Committee.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chair: I will now call Committee of the While to order. We will have a short recess.
Bill No. 16 - First Appropriation Act, 1991-92 - continued
Community and Transportation Services - continued
Chair: I will call the Committee to order.
Mr. Lang: Before we carry on with line by line, I would just like to remind the Minister I had asked for a full financial accounting of how much the curling rink in Elsa cost. What was the final bill on that? He was going to provide me with that information when we discussed this in the supplementaries. Also I had asked him how much they had spent on the community hall in Elsa and he was going to provide me with an accounting and the information on that as well. Does the Minister have it with him or does the deputy minister have to prepare it?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: With respect to the Members question on the community recreation facility at Elsa, in 1986-87 the community centre had an expenditure of $94,000. There has been no further money spent since then, so the total is $94,000. The curling rink had an expenditure in 1987-88 of $118,000 and in 1988-89 of $874,000, for a total of $992,000.
So, that is the total year-by-year expenditure. What was the other matter the Member asked?
Mr. Lang: Those were the two items. So $992,000 was the total amount that has been spent on the curling rink to date?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Yes, that is the question I sought information on; that is the information provided to me and that is what I am providing to the Member. While I am on my feet, there was a question raised by the Member for Watson Lake respecting the chicklet markers. Perhaps I could give him the information at this time.
The intent of the chicklet markers, as I indicated during debate at the time, was to indicate the stopping-sight-distance zones along all the school bus routes in the territory. It was not selective on some bus routes nor was it selective at stopping junctions. It was intended to provide that information along all routes. In order to treat all the zones equally, it was decided that the markers would be placed at required intervals throughout the lengths of the busing routes. The location of the markers was determined by a survey crew. Criteria used is the criteria established by the Roads and Transportation Association of Canada, commonly known as RTAC.
It used the basis of a 90-kilometre speed zone. The criteria used was a 200-metre distance as measured from the height of a drivers eye in a small vehicle to the tail light of another small car ahead of that.
It was decided that the criteria for the minimum distance between zones would be established as the length of a school bus. In other words, if a school bus could stop between the end of one zone, marked green on the chicklet, and the start of another red zone, the zones would be signed as two separate zones. If the school bus could not stop, the two zones would be treated as one. You would not have a corresponding chicklet marker in between.
The idea of just assigning those markers to school bus stopping areas was ruled out because often school buses stop at various locations. There was a need to develop full safety along the entire busing route.
The Member raised another issue about access roads. Where there were anticipated changes in busing distances, we extended the chicklet markers into those lengths of the road.
There was a specific question on the Mayo/Stewart Crossing area. That may have been raised by the Member for Riverdale North.
The number of chicklet markers along the Silver Trail indicates that the vertical alignment of the road was not designed for a speed of 90 kilometres. This means that adequate sight distances for stopping at 90 kilometres an hour is very often inadequate. In other words, using the RTAC standards, and using 90 kilometres as a base upon which those standards are applied, and considering that that particular road is not designed for a 90-kilometre speed zone, in all situations, you would have more markers.
That provides the information sought by the Members, except for cost. The survey crew worked at the job for four weeks, for an estimated $20,000. There were 844 markers used, for a cost of $1,600; 844 posts were used, for an estimated $25,000; installation is estimated at an additional $25,000; some supervision and drafting calculations were estimated to be another $3,000. The total cost is approximately $75,000.
I think I have covered most of the items raised by Members.
On Deputy Ministers Office - continued
Mr. Brewster: The Member for Riverdale South has asked to get a breakdown on the deputy ministers office, which he promised to bring back.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I was going to defer that and come back to it, but I could do it now, if you like.
Mr. Brewster: No, that is fine.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would propose to provide the information to the side opposite, we clear the item, and we can come back to it if there are any questions. That is no problem for me.
Is that fine?
Mr. Phillips: The Member for Riverdale South was fairly concerned about the matter, so I do not know if we should clear it right away. If the Minister provides us with the information, as soon as the Member has the opportunity to look at it, then we could clear it. I think it is best to just stand it aside now until such time as we can get back to it. I am sure that it will just be a few minutes.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am always a very cooperative person and quite willing to accede to special requests. That is fine by me.
Mr. Phillips: We would not have asked that of any other Minister; we know he is the most cooperative.
Deputy Ministers Office in the amount of $161,000 stood over
On Department Land Claims
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is part of the responsibility undertaken by the department in conjunction with land claims. We essentially, through this branch, coordinate input into the land claims process through discussions that we participate and support with municipalities, with unincorporated communities, with AYC and with bands. The principal focus of our participation is currently on self-government issues. Members will recall the program was established in late 1989-90. The 1989-90 actual expenditure was only for a portion of the year. That is why it is reflected so low. I believe it was only four months of the year. The 1991-92 expenditures are approximately the same level. In 1990-91, a $50,000 contribution was made to AYC. The 1991-92 contribution is $25,000. We anticipate recovering $166,000 of that as implementation costs.
Mr. Phelps: I am curious about the newly formed hamlets and whether or not they will be entitled to any funding through land claims and whether or not they will be consulted in the same manner as the other municipalities with regard to the issue.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The administrative component of the branch will be involved with hamlets. The hamlets have their boundaries structured to exclude settlement lands. At any time further lands should be identified, they will automatically be excluded as well from the hamlet boundaries.
No specific funding is earmarked for hamlets, just as it is not for any particular community. It is part of the administrative support for the land claims process, which would include hamlets. These dollars reflect this in this line item.
Departmental Land Claims in the amount of $182,000 agreed to
On Emergency Measures
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am actually quite pleased about what has happened in this branch. We have been able to identify some additional funds, which I noted in my opening remarks. We have been able to regenerate the much required organizational structures in the community for emergency preparedness. We have been able to identify additional funds from Emergency Preparedness Canada toward our activities in helping communities and government to be more prepared in the eventuality of an emergency.
This branch of one person is involved with training within communities and a fair amount of activity with other organizations, such as municipalities, the Government of Canada and various other augmental groups. The responsibility here is to put in place a coordinated plan that will allow us to respond quickly and effectively in the case of an emergency.
It comes to mind, Madam Chair, that in your community this summer we were faced with such an emergency and I was quite pleased with the ability of the department to respond to the need for evacuation. I make no comment on the fighting of the fire but in terms of evacuating the community, we were able to respond quickly, effectively, in a well organized manner, with full cooperation and most successfully.
Mr. Phelps: I take it that fire protection comes under municipal affairs. I just wanted to dwell briefly on the need for some more work to be done on emergency measures planning in some of the communities. At Carcross, for example, there has been very little done to get an overall plan for the community, so that in the event of a large fire, such as we had with the SS Tutshi, a couple of things became pretty evident. Firstly, nobody really knew what resources we had that could be brought to bear in a global way from the private sector, earth-moving people to the government garage, and so on. So there is really no overall plan and there is an urgent need in that community for one. As well, there is concern. I am sure the Minister will be receiving a letter fairly soon from the community club with regard to an exit out of the town, other than the single exit we have now. Had that exit been blocked off by fire and the fire raged through the community, there is absolutely no other way out of the town. There is need for another road, whether it be simply a really rough road that is only open in case there is that kind of urgent need or not.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I share some of the sentiment of the Member in terms of the need for having in place a coordinated effort in all communities to deal with emergencies. Since the SS Tutshi fire, Mr. Albertson has been down in Carcross to spend time with the fire department. He is working with the Members community in setting up a coordinated response for emergencies. We are trying to identify an EMO coordinator in Carcross.
It also comes to mind that we were also able in Carcross to begin the preparation for a search and rescue team to be stationed there, for which we received funds from our federal counterparts. By way of a notation, of the $226,000 that is identified in the line item, we anticipate recovering $115,000 of that from the feds. We hope to enhance that further.
Mr. Phelps: I would like to say again that I think some of the subdivisions in the rural areas ought to be looked at for an alternate route out in case of a fire, forest fire, or a fire that destroys the entire community. Tagish comes to mind as a place that could be very dangerous and where people could be trapped in the cul-de-sacs of the subdivision. In Marsh Lake, Judas Creek and Old Constabulary, there is an extra road out now, but this is something the officials responsible ought to have a hard look at.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In general, I support the Members position. The fundamental principle of emergency measures is that it is as successful as a coordinated effort of the community can generate. As I have indicated, we will go into all communities and help them with our services, available funding for equipment, and that sort of thing. The success of any emergency measures program is going to be measured by the ability of our coordinator, Mr. Albertson, to strike a working group within a community to become the emergency response team.
If the Member flags a potential weakness in his riding, such as the potential for limited access in the event of a fire, that is something I appreciate having flagged. I am sure Mr. Albertson is listening to us now and has that on his calendar for attention.
Emergency Measures in the amount of $226,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: Does the Yukon territorial government pay for the CBC station in Haines Junction, or does CBC pay for it?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: If the Member is talking about the CBC TV station, my preliminary information is that, yes, we are responsible for it. That has just been confirmed.
Mr. Brewster: Unless things have changed, I am trying to save the government some money. The one criteria before the territorial government got into television was that CBC had to put a station into any place in Canada with over 500 people. I am pointing out that you are possibly paying for something they should be paying for, because there are well over 500 people in that area, which includes the radio station. Unless they have changed their criteria - and this could go back four or five years - this is the way it used to be.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I believe the Member is accurate about the policy. It is also my recollection that they had a policy of not committing to the installation unless the community had a population in excess of 500. I also know that there were communities in excess of 500 for which they did not provide for quite a number of years. It boils down to budgetary allocation and priorities.
I appreciate the Member flagging the issue, because I think he is saying that Haines Junction, which has a population in excess of 500, ought to have its facility paid for by CBC, and we might be picking up a bill we should not get. I appreciate the information and will check that.
Mr. Phelps: In the event that the Member for Kluane has saved some money for the government I will again mention, as I always do when we get to this line item, the urgent need for an additional station and for it to be received and rebroadcast in the Tagish area, as well as the Carcross area.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As I repeatedly tell the Member, we are attempting to address the issue of providing additional services to outlying communities. We had one proposal, which is still on the books, to have the private sector become involved in the installation. Through Mr. Masse, we now have the entire policy being addressed in terms of whether or not telephone companies might become involved in the transmission of this type of service.
It is a very active field, in terms of being looked at. The bottom line is the dollar, and that is what we need to find to help it along.
Mr. Phelps: I just repeat the caution I have repeated in the past. Very quickly the window of opportunity to entice those who can afford it into a private sector arrangement, whether it be with a telephone company or a cablevision company, is being lost because people who can afford that kind of service are buying dishes. I know, for example, in Carcross, of three that have been purchased in the last three weeks. The limited number of people who would be paying is rapidly eroding. I just think that is something that has to be borne in mind.
Mr. Brewster: In all due respect to my leader, if there is any money saved there, we have several places that need another television station.
Communications in the amount of $409,000 agreed to
On Deputy Ministers Office - continued
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I provided to the Member, who raised the question as we adjourned last night, information surrounding the personnel involved in the office of the deputy minister, both for this budget before us and the current year. The current years budget, tabled last fall about this time, had a revision to it because it was at the time that reorganization first took place. The information that I provided to the Member outlines the specifics of the seven person years making up the deputy ministers office for this budget before us. It reviews the 6.16 person year composition of the revised organization charts in last years budget.
Mrs. Firth: Well, it is interesting that the deputy minister and secretary to deputy minister positions that the Minister is saying were included under corporate services, were not identified last year in the organization chart. I can remember specifically asking about what came under that, and only land claims and communications were indicated in the box on the old organization chart, on the revised one. There was nothing there for secretary or deputy minister. I guess the Minister has accounted for all the person years and I have to accept that accounting when I compare the two, but I would like to ask him why he has not accounted for the increase in the dollar amount as well. I am sure that the deputy minister and the secretary of the deputy minister, plus the emergency measures, does not increase the amount of the budget to $3.15 million, which it is this year. Last year it was approximately $1.3 million.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $3.1 million is indeed reflected in the total budget allocation, O&M and capital, and is handled through those four branches, if you will. Clearly, the one outstanding amount would be the capital dollars for the VHF mobile system that we are currently installing. I think when we get to that item in the budget, it will be reflected. In fact, if we are looking on page 78 right now, I believe just on the flip side, page 79, an explanation is provided of the total allocation for the $3.15 million. It is mostly that VHF Replacement capital dollars.
Mrs. Firth: Well, it was the same way last year. The capital dollars were in there last year: the VHF System, $1.110 million and the Community TV, $59,000. The Minister can look at the old organization chart; there is the land claims for $181,000 and the communications for $1.529 million, and those same areas are under the office of the deputy minister. Emergency measures, last year in the budget was $84,000. I just do not understand how we can come up with $3.15 million in the new budget when it was only $1.6 million maybe, in last years. There has got to be some significant increase in the money.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not see a substantial difference, nor any great difference at all. The communications, which was still part of the office of the deputy minister in the current year, reflects $1.5 million. We brought in a supplementary that provided for an additional revote of $1.4 million. The final budget on communications for last year is in excess of $2.9 million, with the supplementary.
The variance is not significant in terms of the dollar amounts. If the Member is talking about the very top box on the organizational chart, reflecting the deputy minister, that is a rollup of everything. That is not the problem.
The $3,150,000, assigned to the office of the deputy minister in the organizational structure, reflects dollars from the respective branches that are subservient to it - perhaps that is not the right word. The communications money, land claims money, and emergency measures money is the same last year as this year, except for emergency measures, which is the change. Although last years budgeted figure is only $1.5 million, we added a supplemental revote of $1.4 million.
Deputy Ministers Office in the amount of $161,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $978,000 agreed to
On VHF System Replacement
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $1,950,000 consists of two budget items. One is VHF replacement costs of $1,850,000, and $100,000 is for equipment replacement for the actual radios that will be used to be compatible with the system.
I am not going to go into it in any great deal. Members are quite familiar with the system we are introducing. We spent some time during the supplementaries on it and it has been debated previously.
Essentially, we are phasing a communication system throughout the major highways in the territory. When Members see towers going up along the road, that is part of the cost of it. We are buying the service from Northwestel, which is providing it. The RCMP are involved. This is our portion of this years cost toward the commitment of using that system. This year we are into phase 3, which will be developing the system on the Campbell Highway. We have already done the Alaska Highway, Haines Road and South Klondike.
VHF System Replacement in the amount of $1,950,000 agreed to
On Community TV & Radio
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is part of what Members have been asking for for extending the coverage or extending the distance of coverage for CBC in the rural areas. We have a fairly comprehensive system of repeater stations and radio rebroadcasting communities. This is going to allow us to do an expansion of coverage into nearby settlement areas for improved radio service.
Community TV & Radio in the amount of $77,000 agreed to
On Emergency Measures
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In some measure I spoke about the growth of activity in the emergency measures area. These are, of course, capital dollars. We have quite a number of items reflected in this quantity of funds. We have $15,000 that is to replace equipment that is used for emergency services. It would deal with radios, particularly for search and rescue purposes. It would deal with equipment that would be used in the event of injuries, such as stretchers and the like. Additionally, we are going to be purchasing what is referred to as autoextrication equipment. We are planning to install the equipment in the communities of Whitehorse, Carmacks, Teslin, Carcross, Dawson City and Watson Lake. The equipment consists of kits that allow you to gain access to a building or a vehicle faster. Training is required for operation of the equipment. That is part of the duty of the branch. This particular budget year we are going to be purchasing two of the kits for placement at Haines Junction and Faro.
The communities that I listed earlier already have them: $30,000 of this amount is for an emergency measures vehicle - it will be a four-by-four Suburban; $20,000 is going to be for dangerous goods response kits - that is, dealing with supplies that would be used in the event of an emergency related to dangerous goods. There will be some emergency operation centre equipment; in other words, office equipment, voice recorders, some computer equipment. Overall, of the $145,000, $115,000 is going to be recoverable from Emergency Preparedness Canada.
Emergency Measures in the amount of $145,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $2,172,000 agreed to
Chair: Any questions on allotments? Any questions on person year establishment?
Mr. Brewster: I would like to ask some questions on statistics. There are only three communities served by CBC. Above that, it mentions CBC television. Is that both radio and television?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The first list on page 81, which lists what appears to be some 15 or 16 communities, are those served by CBC television. We provide the equipment and maintenance. The second list consists of the three communities where we provide the radio service. In each case, I guess it is as well as television service.
Mr. Brewster: Is the first list made up of communities that receive both CBC radio and television?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: No, just television.
Mr. Brewster: Haines Junction has CBC radio, as does Destruction Bay.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I can clarify this for the Member. What we have provided here are statistics relating to the work and services we provide. In those 16 communities, we provide and pay the costs related to the provision of CBC television services. There is radio in most of those communities as well. This is provided by CBC. We do not contribute to the costs of those services. We pay for the radio costs for the three communities listed at the bottom of page 81.
On Corporate Services Division
On Operation and Maintenance
On Assistant D.M. Office
Assistant D.M. Office in the amount of $190,000 agreed to
On Human Resources
Mr. Brewster: I do not want it broken down, but just really what does it amount to? What does the name mean in this situation?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Is the Member asking what the human resources means, or what does this amount in the budget pay for? It pays for personnel; it pays for staff. If the Member looks over on page 83, actual personnel involved in those four divisions are identified.
Mr. Brewster: I come from the old school and that would be employees. I just have a hard time keeping up with this new modern language, that is all. I like to have it interpreted once in a while.
Human Resources in the amount of $315,000 agreed to
On Finance & System Support
Finance & System Support in the amount of $402,000 agreed to
On Policy, Planning & Evaluation
Policy, Planning & Evaluation in the amount of $360,000 agreed to
Operation & Maintenance in the amount of $1,267,000 agreed to
Chair: Any questions on allotments or person year establishment?
On Transportation Division
On Operation and Maintenance
On Division Administration
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is identified as the transportation division, commonly known as the highways branch. The $1.4 million will pay for the personnel involved in administering the branch. The division administration item that we are on is essentially the ADMs office of transportation and his staff - the engineering staff that are involved in highway planning and construction. It would involve the transportation maintenance people; that is, the people who would be responsible for administering the camps but not the camps themselves; they come in a different category, the next one.
The reduction of one percent reflects good administration.
Division Administration in the amount of $1,420,000 agreed to
On Highway Maintenance
Mr. Brewster: I would just like to once more put my complaint in that I think they are completely wrong when they do not put more capital into the roads; that is the whole thing. I realize the Ministers problem with money; however, if one does not have roads, the whole economy does not go and we are certainly in that position now with Rancheria and Mt. Hundere coming in and with the Celebration 92 coming. We have no capital works - period - except possibly a small amount.
I am rather surprised that the Minister could not tell me how much the Department of Public Works is contributing in capital at this time of year. I would just like that on the record because some day we are going to pay for that and it is going to be within the next two or three years.
Mr. Phelps: I have some representations to make with regard to graveling the South Klondike Highway. Apparently the sanding materials that are provided are fairly large rocks and this has resulted in a lot of problems with tires blowing out. There are a lot of complaints being aired to the people who work on that section of road regarding the size of the material used for sanding. I understand that an appropriate size would be no more than half an inch - I hope I have my figure right, but the crush is too large and what is happening is that a lot of people are having blow outs, even with brand new tires because of the size of the rocks on the BST. I make the representation that the problem be examined and the appropriate crush be used instead of what is being used now.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raises an interesting point, one that I have not heard about. If I understand what he is saying correctly, he is saying that currently the crush used for BST resurfacing is too large. Rather, he is referring not to the material used for BST but for the sanding. I only have recollection of the issue from a couple of years ago. I recall that we distinctly reduced the size of the crush, particularly on the ore haul, because that is where the problem was intensified. We did reduce the size of the crush. We did, I believe, continue it into the subsequent year, so it would seem to me that we are still doing it. I do recall, in discussions with the department, that the smaller the crush for sanding, the easier it is for it to be removed from the road. In other words, it blows off easier. It does not grab as well.
I appreciate the Member flagging the issue, and I will get myself an updated briefing on the matter and share the information with him.
Yesterday, the Member for Kluane asked about budget dollars allotted by Public Works Canada on the Alaska Highway. My staff were able to procure some figures, and I can share them with him now.
The current anticipated capital budget by Public Works Canada for 1991-92 on the Alaska Highway is $4,920,000. I find this surprising because, in my previous discussions, we had anticipated that it would be in the $7 million to $8 million range. Public Works Canada had approximately $15 million budgeted for the entire length of the highway, and we had anticipated there would be a reappropriation, year-by-year, to restore the amount of money spent on the B.C. section to be more equal to the amount spent on the Yukon section.
This information, procured by my staff overnight, defies that belief. This is actually a reduced budget. I do not know if it is reduced from this year or not. It would be reduced from the current years budget, because Public Works Canada spent about $6 million on capital works on the Alaska Highway this year. This is a $1.5 million reduction. Of this budgeted amount, $250,000 is to be spent in each of an area at Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay for surfacing and crushing.
Let me explain this more clearly. In Beaver Creek and the Destruction Bay areas, a total of $1.5 million will be spent. Some of it will be for BST, some on gravel surfacing and some on crush preparation. In the Rancheria area, $850,000 is expected to be spent. I do not have the information as to where the balance will be expended. There will still be an additional $1.5 million somewhere. That is the information I was able to procure since yesterday.
I have just one comment in response to the Members concern for the level or upgrading on the Alaska Highway. I share those sentiments. We have been around the mulberry bush on that in this House, many times. I find these figures, just released by Public Works Canada, to be disappointing. From the discussions I have had, not just with Public Works officials, but also from their Minister, I am hoping some new dollars will surface, as was committed in special project funding for the Alaska Highway. I indicated to the Member previously that when I met with Mr. MacKay, we spoke about the possibility of having to spend $20 million between Watson Lake and the Destruction Bay/Beaver Creek area. This would indicate to me that money is not surfacing, but I will pursue this in more detail.
Chair: Committee of the Whole will now take a break.
Mr. Brewster: Highways maintains it. I agree with the Minister completely but it is very disappointing that is all the money they are going to put in. It is particularly disappointing due to the fact that they have probably shot down the 1992 Centennial because if you do not have the money to put in this year that road is not going to be fixed and ready to go. I probably sympathize with the Minister that he really thought he had a deal. As usual, he did not get a deal. Maybe, being the young fellow that the Minister is, he learned that these things do not happen.
I am very very concerned that the money that they are going to put into Beaver Creek - all they are going to do is do some work on top of a road that has no roadbed. I mean I do not know how many times I have to tell them. I do not know what is the matter with the head of the engineering department of Public Works that they allow this to continue to go on. If you do not have a roadbed, you are just wasting your time. In the Destruction Bay area I presume that they are putting in that two and one-half- or three-mile piece with BST that is up to standard so it should stand up, but the rest of it is just money being thrown away. It will be thrown away every year if you do not make proper roadbeds.
I just want to voice my very great disappointment, you could say bitterness. I have been eight years trying to drive something into somebodys head that our economy is going down. You look at the statistics this year about buses dropping by 14.8 percent. The roads definitely have something to do with it, not all of it, I will concede that, but some. Many many people turn back and it is going to get worse. When we get the Hundere trucks on at Rancheria and that road is not improved, we are going to have a lot more turn back at Watson Lake. I am just afraid for the small communities that have been planning for a year or a year and one-half for this Centennial. They have got their plans. They have great displays they are ready to put in and we may not even get any people up here to look at them to speak of. If we do not get any more than we have been getting, then the whole thing is of no use because the idea of the Centennial is to really get a record-breaking number of tourists up here.
I realize the Ministers position. I sympathize with him, but I am not very happy.
In the O&M, the only one that stayed down was highway maintenance at two percent. Everything else was nine percent. Some of that was for airports. I think we need roads much more than some airports.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The administration went down. He has to recognize that.
I appreciate the Members comments on the Alaska Highway. I want to go back to Public Works and check those figures. I understand these are figures we procured over the telephone this morning. The federal budget has not been introduced yet in the House of Commons so we do not know what the final figures are. My only caution is that we should not hang our hats on those figures. I am still optimistic that we may see some special dollars. If we do not, it will just intensify the need to begin devolution talks so that we may get some dollars flowing through a deal on the transfer of responsibility.
Mr. Brewster: I agree with the Minister on devolution. As he said, the budget is not passed in Ottawa. Unfortunately, the sun and weather do not work that way. Contractors cannot just step out with 24-hour notice. Contracts must be prepared ahead of time, in all fairness to surveyors and engineers. If they do not know what they are dealing with, they might end up having to start late in the fall and, by 1992, we will be continuing to build a road at the same time as people are trying to travel it.
I guess you are between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whichever way we go now, we will be too late. I do not think we can say this Legislature has not been arguing the point for a number of years, trying to get something done. It is apparent no one has been listening to us.
Highway Maintenance in the amount of $31,754,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The airports line is, as indicated in previous discussions, largely the devolution agreement of the 10 B and C airports. That is the anticipated dollar expenditure for the services to keep those airports in shape. This does not include the capital dollars for Haines Junction and Carmacks.
Mr. Brewster: I just want to bring up one point. I did not have a chance the other day when they came back on the situation of the tower at Haines Junction. I would just like to point out that the old man over here was not asleep. The places you mentioned are modern airports with a great deal of traffic and they have the humps, but the Minister forgot to mention that every one of them, without a doubt, had a tower on it to control traffic going both ways. So, Haines Junction is back at the same position: it does not have a tower.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I stand to be corrected, but I believe that a number of the ones that I listed yesterday did not have towers. Certainly, the smaller ones do not. I doubt if Mayerthorpe, Alberta would have a tower. Certainly, the international ones I cited would have towers, but I would like to go back and double-check that and I will tell the Member privately.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to point out that we are perhaps a little behind time. Number one, the local air traffic in Alberta and B.C. is fantastic. I doubt that any of those with any population at all would not have a tower. I would wait and see what the Minister has to say, but most of the ones you were talking about are rather big cities. You cannot tell me they do not have a radio and control tower.
Airports in the amount of $2,103,000 agreed to
On Transport Services
Transport Services in the amount of $1,498,000 agreed to
Operation & Maintenance in the amount of $36,775,000 agreed to
On Highway Construction
On Planning & Engineering
Planning & Engineering in the amount of $635,000 agreed to
On Klondike #2
Mr. Brewster: Is part of that highway almost complete between Skagway and Carcross now?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The majority of the work on that highway is done. In the last three successive years, we have spent $6 million, $7 million and $5 million, respectively. We have $500,000 identified on Klondike #2 this year, which is to finish the job of that particular program. It will involve some BST work, some hydroseeding, some stabilization, and some improvements on the highway in the area of Canada Customs.
Klondike #2 in the amount of $2,870,000 agreed to
On Campbell #4
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister give us a little more information on how that $2,920,000 will be spent?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: There is $300,000 identified for some reconstruction and BST work in the Watson Lake area between kilometres 0 and 44.
The entire reconstruction job for that section of highway between kilometres 13 and 47 would eventually cost us $9 million. This is for some reconstruction, widening and structural strengthening of that portion. It is in anticipation of the Mt. Hundere ore haul.
There is $350,000 identified for BST work between Faro and Carmacks. We have some reconstruction work going on there. There will be some BST work done on this years construction. Six kilometres were done this year which, next year, will fall into BST work.
We plan to BST surface on that section of road between kilometres 536 and 546. That is between Little Salmon and Carmacks, around Frenchman Lake. There is $1,270,000 identified for reconstruction on that highway between kilometres 452 and 457.
That is the majority of the funds.
Campbell #4 in the amount of $2,920,000 agreed to
On Silver Trail #11
Silver Trail #11 in the amount of $200,000 agreed to
On Bridges - Numbered Highways
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The money on this vote is for several jobs. There is $100,000 identified to upgrade and replace some small bridges on the North Canol Road. In the current year, we strengthened 14 of the bridges. The money for next year will provide for similar strengthening in five more. There is $10,000 identified for engineering work for the Nares Lake Bridge at Carcross. It has been identified that we will have to eventually replace the timber bridge deck. This is preparatory work to that.
The Takhini River Bridge has $200,000 identified for a repainting. I was shocked at the amount, when I first had the figures presented but, apparently, that is what is required because of the extensive protection that is required while they are painting. In short, you cannot get a drop of paint in the river.
We are not supposed to, it is environmentally unsound. Thirty thousand dollars is identified for some bridge work on the South Canol. It is mostly engineer work, some supporting construction to a couple of bailey bridges. In particular, some engineering work has to be done on the bailey bridge at Lapie River. Fifty thousand dollars is for general assessment work, territory-wide on various bridges throughout the numbered highway system. That is principally for developing an ongoing bridge repair and stabilization program. The majority of funds are a $700,000 price tag for bridge upgrading at the Pelly River near Faro. That was one of the bridges identified several years ago as requiring eventual upgrading to accommodate the ore haul. We postponed it as long as we could. I think I may have mentioned it to some Members that Curraugh Resources brought in a massive shovel in over-sized pieces and they contributed some $300,000 toward the upgrading that would have had to have been our responsibility eventually.
Bridges - Numbered Highways in the amount of $1,090,000 agreed to
On Dempster #5
Mr. Brewster: You have $950,000 for erosion. Is that all done in one river, or is that scattered all along the road?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is referring to the Dempster #5 line item for $1,150,000. There are two projects involved. One is the riverbank erosion protection, commonly known as rip-rap, at kilometres 139 to 242. The $950,000 will be spent on that particular job for materials, haulage of the materials and engineering work. An additional $200,000 is for some separate rehabilitation work on the highway between kilometre 0 and 465. Largely, that is going to be replacement of culverts in that section. A number of the culverts are deteriorating severely from natural conditions in the north, principally permafrost.
Dempster #5 in the amount of $1,150,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: I have heard a few complaints about this road. Is this going to make this passable?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I should not answer it in the way the Member put it. The $50,000 identified is for some planning for reconstruction. Sections of the road have been identified as being poor and unstable. This is for engineering preparations for some reconstruction throughout the length of it.
Canol in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Top of the World #9
Top of the World #9 in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
Mr. Devries: Is the government just going to try and maintain this road to the Little Moose campground?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am advised that we do an absolute minimum of maintenance on that road. We occasionally do some spot work to make sure it is still passable.
We have found a problem with one of the bridges on the road. The Frances River bridge is showing signs of deterioration. We have had to reallocate some funds this year. We spent close to $100,000 on stabilizing that bridge. Part of the money identified for next year is to finish that work to ensure that that bridge does not collapse due to it being undercut by erosion.
Mr. Devries: It is a concern to us, because there is someone in Watson Lake who is trying to promote tours on the Nahanni Range Road. It is a very picturesque and beautiful area. During the past few years, there has been a washout. I am not sure which creek it is, but that washout has never been repaired, to the best of my knowledge, and that is as far as you can go.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am not familiar with the washout the Member refers to. I will take it as notice and find out its severity and whether we will repair it. I expect we should, because we want to keep the road passable at least. We have eliminated major maintenance to it, because it is not being used. We have a sign at the beginning of the road saying, Travel at your own risk. The Member raises a concern for constituent use. I will review the situation.
The money identified here, combined with what we had to find this year, is to protect the one major bridge.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to go back to the conversation the Minister and I had before. If you do not keep these roads repaired, there is nothing left. If you look back on the estimates, forecasts and actual in the other years, you have done nothing on it. Nothing shows up.
In other words, you let it all go and, now, you think the $10,000 is going to put a little bit of it back. We are losing a whole road, which cost a lot of taxpayers a lot of money, and it has not even been kept up to the point where it could be salvaged if it was needed.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The fact is that there may not be any identified capital upgrading in previous years, but there was no need for capital upgrading. The Member and I were talking about allowing a road to deteriorate to a point where you need capital upgrading.
We also talked about the level of usage versus the level of maintenance. For all intents and purposes, that road is no longer used, and we are providing just periodic visitations with a grader and repair of deteriorating sections. We have reduced maintenance to a minimum largely because of usage. We are maintaining the standard of the road so that it does not deteriorate beyond maintenance level, and does not deteriorate to a point where we have to inject capital upgrading. I am sure the bridge work would have happened whether the road was used or not. It eroded from severe flooding or water flow. That would have happened, in any event.
Mr. Brewster: I would just like to point out one thing. Although I have not been in that area, I understand it is a very beautiful area, and it is well worth having road access so the tourists can get in and maybe stay over at Watson Lake a little bit. I mean, here we are, we had it and we are losing it, and it was one that you did not really have to put too much money in to maintain. They might have been able to keep tourists in Watson Lake another day, just to drive up and down that.
Nahanni in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
On South Access
Mr. Nordling: For the next two lines, the South Access $100,000 and the Two-Mile Hile $500,000, the Minister was going to describe to us what was going to be done. Apparently this was pursuant to the Alaska Highway corridor study. I would like to hear what he has to say now, and we will wait for the big announcement later on before the Christmas break.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The two items, with or without the Alaska Highway corridor study, are identified road accesses into the City of Whitehorse that can benefit from some major reconstruction. The South Access - $100,000 - will not see any actual construction work next year. It is essentially to conclude the engineering and to prepare a tender package for reconstruction work. It would logically follow pending budget allocations that some work would follow in the subsequent year.
The Two-Mile Hill will be a little more work. I think the Member is familiar with the corridor study and what it has offered. I think all Members are familiar with it. Ultimately, coming off of Hamilton Boulevard, the Two-Mile Hill route will pass between the arena and the firehall and curve back in to join the existing road at the foot of the hill. Ultimately it is intended to be a four-lane divided highway. Not only did the Alaska Highway corridor study identify the need for that improved traffic access to Whitehorse, it was also identified in a Takhini transportation study done two or three years ago.
The work next year will involve some relocation of utilities that would be in conflict with that rerouting. There will be some work done in the rerouting area, so as not to conflict with existing traffic.
Ultimately, a relocation of the weigh scales is required. These preliminary monies will set that into motion.
Mr. Nordling: For the $500,000, we are going to get a relocation of utilities to provide for that and some work on the relocation, but that does not provide for the relocation itself to be completed. That is the ultimate goal, along with the four-lane divided highway and the relocation of the weigh scales. My understanding of this is that will not take place in the 1991-92 fiscal year.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is correct. There is some engineering work to be done as well with this money, but the reconstruction we expect to complete with this money will be for sections located between existing streets. In other words, the section between Range Road and the foot of Two-Mile Hill is essentially a bank. We expect to be able to start the earth work there. We expect to have to move the weigh scales. A number of utilities that cross through that area will have to be relocated to prepare for that reconstruction. This is a preparatory step for the big job.
I can anticipate the Members next question. It could logically follow that we are going to be doing the major reconstruction right in the Centennial summer. That is an issue I expect we will have to address. If we do any major work in the subsequent year, we will have to work it to ensure that we do not affect traffic in any substantial way and that we are not in a major construction phase in the middle of our anniversary summer.
South Access in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
On Two Mile Hill
Two Mile Hill in the amount of $500,000 agreed to
On Other Roads
Mr. Brewster: Is this the list that the Minister promised he would bring when he gets his programs finalized? Would this be the one that Mendenhall and such things are on?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I cannot provide the list. It is not complete; it is still being built. On the other roads, I think I identified in earlier debate that I injected considerable funds in here to reduce the amount of public pressure to upgrade secondary and tertiary roads. Members recall that I wrote to each of them inviting them to make suggestions for roads that should be maintained or upgraded in their ridings. I have had some response. We are in the process of developing the work list for the expenditure of this money on secondary roads. I would invite all Members, if they have any suggestions that they have not provided me to date, to do so in the next month of two because we will be finalizing our plans for the appropriate reconstruction by late winter or early spring, so we can get some of these roads done. This is where we will find money for Mendenhall.
Mr. Brewster: We now have him on record again. That is good: twice in one week. We are doing pretty fair here. I just want to remind him that he made me a promise that when he finalizes this that he will get a copy to me. That is all I ask. The Minister sometimes gets talking over there and he misses the little questions and just has to shake his head like he did now, and that is all I needed.
Other Roads in the amount of $500,000 agreed to
On Resource Transportation Access Program
On Management & Control
Management & Control in the amount of $70,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: That can be cleared because we talked about all three items in general debate. I have no more questions on it.
On Evaluation & Inspection
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As we clear the item, I will provide to Members the lists that the resources transportation access program funding has paid for on road jobs. That was a request during supplementaries. I think I may have provided a copy, I cannot be sure, but I have copies for all Members. This lists out the funding that was provided under the current program, which is the last year of a five-year program. It is the programs that have been funded to date in the current budget year, and it is the summary of funding applications that were paid for last year.
Evaluation & Inspection in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
On Project Funding Assistance
Project Funding Assistance in the amount of $500,000 agreed to
On Facilities & Equipment
On Engineering & Design
Engineering & Design in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
On Sundry Equipment
Sundry Equipment in the amount of $300,000 agreed to
On Weigh Scales
Mr. Nordling: I would just like to hear from the Minister what the amount is because it has increased from nothing in 1989-90 to $60,000 in 1990-91 and now it is estimated at $160,000.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The short answer is that we have not had to spend much money in the past on weigh scales. This item this year is our expected expenditure on one particular weigh station at Watson Lake.
The original building there was built in 1968 as a tourist information centre. It was later converted to a weigh station through some minor renovations. It is a fairly poorly laid out facility, in addition to being old and in a fairly severe state of disrepair. It is used on a 24-hour basis. We expect that the $160,000 will be enough to replace the building, as well as provide for the necessary design and engineering for it. The building itself should cost approximately $100,000 to $110,000. The additional dollars are for predesign and the scale itself, which should cost about $40,000.
Mr. Devries: I am talking about the new Watson Lake weigh scale. I believe the Minister has had several requests for air conditioning in that building. I have been in it in the summer. I would guess it must be about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It is unbearable. People prefer to work in the old building as opposed to the new one any day. I would suggest that the Minister address the air conditioning problem. No one should have to work in those kinds of conditions.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Could the Member clarify for me if he is talking about the weigh station at the Cassiar turnoff or the one in town?
Mr. Devries: The new one at the Cassiar junction.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raises a question for which I do not have an answer. I will investigate the matter and get back to him. This does not identify monies for that purpose. If it is a serious concern, we will be able to have some funds in one of the next line items - miscellaneous branch facilities - where we do estimate certain work to be done in highway camps and weigh stations. I take the Members representations as notice.
Weigh Scales in the amount of $160,000 agreed to
On Maintenance Camp Facilities
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Unfortunately, I do not have the information for the Member for Watson Lake with respect to the Swift River housing demolition issue he raised in Question Period, but this is where $150,000 is identified. It is for those quarters, as I believe I explained in Question Period.
The additional $630,000 is for a new garage to be built next year in Ross River. There were plans, for a number of years, to upgrade that camp facility. We put it off and now are identifying its construction for next year. The existing one is in a fairly severe state of collapse. It is settling into the ground. It has been affected by permafrost. We estimate the cost of the construction of the garage at $630,000. Its design will be much the same as the ones at Beaver Creek and Carcross. We will retain the old garage. We will not dismantle it as we intend to use it as cold storage for a while.
Mr. Devries: I would like to clarify something on the Swift River one. Those buildings were moved about a year ago at this time, so that tendering went out in 1989. Again, I would like to reiterate that there were a lot of rumours all that year that the Mt. Hundere project was going ahead even though it was not officially announced until December. The fact that the Minister says this additional person was going to be put on because of the Mt. Hundere project is a weak excuse for going ahead and moving those buildings, when something could have been anticipated last year.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As I indicated during Question Period, I do not have the information relating to when the buildings were removed, and I do not have the information as to when Mt. Hundere was a known economic certainty. In Question Period, I committed to get back to the Member, and my commitment still stands.
Maintenance Camp Facilities in the amount of $780,000 agreed to
On Miscellaneous Branch Facilities
Miscellaneous Branch Facilities in the amount of $150,000 agreed to
Mr. Phillips: Before we leave the highways, I would like to make a couple of comments and suggestions to the Minister.
In the tourism questionnaire I put out this past summer, there were quite a few comments from the people who travelled the highways that related to highway pull-outs. A lot of the people commented that they wanted to see more pull-outs, or spots where they could stop and take scenic shots of various parts of the Yukon.
I would suggest to the Minister that, when somebody is driving a 35- or 40-foot RV, they really need a decent spot to get off the road in order to feel safe. There are a lot of really beautiful spots along the Yukon highways where we should possibly look at creating more scenic pull-outs with the little picture sign we have so people can stop. If there are 10 spots in which to stop between here and Watson Lake, they might get here in a day but, if there are 25 or 30 spots to stop where they can take pictures and look at the beautiful scenery, it might take them two days. Of course, by spending an extra day or two in the Yukon, they may spend a few more tourist dollars here. That is not a very expensive thing to do, but is just a matter for the Department of Tourism and the highways branch getting together and going up and down the highways to have a look at the various scenic valleys and areas. There are many of them on the Alaska Highway and on Yukon highways.
Right now, there are beautiful spots to stop and view, but they are on a hill or a corner. If we made a pull-out where people could get out of the main flow of the traffic, they might take the time to stop and spend a few more hours or days in the Yukon. That might be something the Minister should look at in the future, especially with 1992 coming and all the traffic that is going to be on the highways. This might be something we should be doing.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member makes a reasonable suggestion. I take it in the spirit intended. We construct pull-outs, usually associated with new road construction or reconstruction. We have installed some pull-outs at strategic points depending on where the last one was. I know the Department of Tourism is doing a strategic site analysis. I cannot say whether or not any are planned in the next fiscal year but the Member makes a reasonable suggestion. I will take it up with my colleagues and we will address whether more strategic pull-outs can be done with available dollars.
Mr. Phillips: I suggested it because it is I think it is something that is not going to cost a lot of money. I think that in most cases, in the existing highways, there are gravel pits that are relatively close. On the types of pull-outs we are looking at, you do not have to have a superb roadbed that is going to last for 500 years. You just have to make sure the drainage is proper and that it is in the right area so there will not be a hazard to vehicles that pull in and out of the area.
I would just like remind the Minister that many of the people who filled the questionnaire made the comment that they would like to see more areas where they could get off the highway and take a photograph. Many of them are quite nervous when they pull off to the side of the road and are worried about the shoulder. They are sitting on the crest of a hill and they have a beautiful little valley down below them and they want to take a picture and they are worried about another RV or a truck coming over the top of the hill. I think that we could create literally several hundred of these up and down Yukon highways and it would be to our benefit because I am sure that people would stop to take pictures.
The other thing we should do for any pull-out we do have on the highway now or any we are going to create in the future is, I suggest, that we have some type of waste disposal in that area because sometimes these areas can be used as a bit of a dumping site after they pull out. The other thing that goes hand in hand with that is the maintenance of keeping the garbage can empty, because that is another problem. It is easy enough to put them there but then once they get full, if somebody arrives and the garbage can is full already, they just thrown their garbage beside it or they just throw it off the road somewhere else.
These are just a couple of suggestions to the Minister and I would hope that with the coming of 1992, 1996 and 1998, that the Minister would take the suggestion seriously and we look at possibly starting to do something this year so we would be ready for 1991, 1992, 1993, and so on.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I just want to clarify or perhaps even correct something that might be misleading to Members. The word Emergency should not be heading up the word in the line item of Airstrips. It does not speak to Emergency Airstrips. It speaks to Airstrips. It will never appear this way again. The entire vote speaks to the devolution, the transfer of the B and C program. I can advise Members where the $1.441 million will be spent if they are interested.
Mr. Brewster: My heart was beating and I thought that was for Emergency Airstrips, and the only one they denied was the one at White River, and there it is. Now you disappointed me so, therefore, I would ask where this money is going to go, just to be mean.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: This reflects our work priorities on a number of airstrips with the dollars that are now available to us. In Teslin, we are planning to spend $40,000 for some upgrading of the facility. We will also be doing some engineering work for strip improvements, but we will not be doing any work on the strip. In Ross River, we will be spending $19,000 to do some renovations on the passenger/cargo shelter. We will be spending $19,000 at the Old Crow airport, again for some renovations to the building, particularly to facilitate access for the disabled, and we will be doing some emergency power installation. We will be spending $320,000 as part of the deal in the devolution at Haines Junction. In 1991-92, we will be constructing a passenger/cargo shelter. A taxiway, apron lighting, windsock and hazard beacon will also be installed as part of next years program.
The majority of funds, the $1.043 million, is going to be spent at the Carmacks airport. The Carmacks airport will be entering its first phase of upgrading, as per the arrangements made during the agreement with the feds. It was one of the two airports that never achieved B & C standards since the program was originally introduced in the 1970s.
Mr. Brewster: I have just two short questions. Number one: regarding the Haines Junction airport, is it true that they reduced it by 1,000 or 1,500 feet? The other question: what is this hazard beacon used for?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I cannot answer the first question; I will have to get back to the Member. We are not familiar with having cut back any program on the extension of the strip. It would seem to me we could not have, because the only way the money would flow to Haines Junction upgrading and Carmacks upgrading is if the upgrading was done. In other words, it is not dollars that devolved to the formula base of the government; it is dollars that would only flow if the work were done. So I kind of doubt that any changes would have taken place, but I will check.
Regarding the beacon: in my limited understanding of airport technology, a beacon is a flashing light strategically located near the airport to guide planes in.
Mr. Brewster: I would not like to be sitting on the hump while planes are coming the other way.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It would have to be flying at an extremely low level to be on the hump. The answer to the Members question is, no.
Airstrips in the amount of $1,441,000 agreed to
Facilities and Equipment in the amount of $13,596,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $50,371,000 agreed to
Chair: Any questions on allotments or person year establishment?
Are there any questions on the supplementary information that follows?
Transportation Division agreed to
On Municipal and Community Affairs
On Operation & Maintenance
On Administration Municipal & Community Affairs
Administration Municipal & Community Affairs in the amount of $193,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: I would like to get a rough idea of what this line item is.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: We are on the operations side, so the $972,000 reflects the cost of employees, for the most part, for the planning and delivery of the programs and work involved in the administering of lands.
Lands in the amount of $972,000 agreed to
On Public Safety
Public Safety in the amount of $2,158,000 agreed to
On Sport, Arts & Recreation
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us why he made the cuts he did, comparing last year to this year? Has he discussed that with the sports governing bodies, as well as the Arts Council, and are they aware of the cuts he has recommended?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The one percent reduction in the amount of funding in this particular line item reflects efficient administration, I would suggest. The sports, arts and recreation operation side of the budget reflects the cost of administration. This reflects the people involved in delivering sports, arts and recreation programming. There is no program dollar reduction here. These are staff costs. This pays for the branch salaries and consultants we have on staff. This is administration cost. There is no programs, lotteries or core funding dollars reduction.
Mr. Lang: I am a little confused. I am looking at the operation and maintenance and contributions. I am assuming contributions come under this particular section. Do they not, or are they separate?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Yes, the Member is correct. These are the core contributions to organizations. This reflects no reduction in any of those funds to support the organizations that we fund. This reflects a number of ongoing program costs. The ability for us to reduce the costs is a simple reflection of less anticipated expense. Part of that will come from Arctic Winter Games, in the reduction from last year. We are contributing less of our portion to Arctic Winter Games in next years budget than we did this year. I believe the difference there is $50,000, so we have a lower contribution to Arctic Winter Games, but that was expected.
Mr. Lang: I think the Minister is talking about apples and I am talking about oranges. I refer him to page 111 of our budget book: last year we voted $233,000 for the arts; this year we are voting $143,000 in contributions. In sports and fitness: $540,000 last year and this year $500,000. It is on page 111, under contributions. I would suggest that there has been a significant decrease, especially in the area of arts, of about $90,000. Community recreation has seen a slight increase of $60,000, so if you compare the two, there is basically about a $60,000 to $70,000 direct cut, direct in the contributions we make to these non-profit organizations.
Chair: Maybe we will take a five-minute break.
Chair: I will call Committee back to order. We will continue with sports, arts and recreation.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think I have an understanding of the information for the Member. The question he raised about the arts and the sports groups receiving reduced funding is actually not the case as it would appear here. I am referring now to page 111 in the budget book. The $143,000 that is estimated in 1991-92 for arts and the $500,000 estimated for sports is actually increased by $240,000. The explanation is that lotteries provides core funding to the Arts Council and Sport Yukon in the amount of $120,000 apiece. We do not indicate that in our budget because it flows to us from the Lottery Commissiono and passes through our program to the Arts Council and to Sport Yukon.
However, by the end of the year, once that is expensed, it shows up as the forecasted amount because it enters into our budget and out of our budget. In our costs, the figure has to reflect the amount without the $120,000 of core funding to each of the two groups. To explain it better to the Member, the 1990-91 forecast for the arts groups of $233,000 and for Sports Yukon of $540,000 includes the $120,000 core funding that already flowed from the Lottery Commission, through us, to those groups. The 1991-92 estimate does not reflect the $120,000 core funding to each of the groups from the Lottery Commission, simply because this is a more accurate reflection of our costs for our budgeting; we do not show the recovery. I would imagine if it was shown in last years budget that way it would have shown a recovery of that amount. This year probably does not show a recovery. This was the, I suppose, change in accounting method. So, technically speaking, the $143,000 to arts really means $263,000 to the arts, but it is not the $120,000 we provide, it is the $120,000 provided by the Lottery Commission as core funding, and it is the same story for Sports Yukon.
Mr. Lang: Let me get this clear. Last year we voted $540,000 for sports and fitness and $233,000 for arts. Over and above that, was there $120,000 given by the Lottery Commission to arts and sports and fitness?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The short answer to the Members question is yes. The $233,000 of last year, as shown in this budget book, reflects $120,000 that flowed through us to the Yukon Arts Council from the Lottery Commission, but the $143,000 does not show the $120,000 from the Lottery Commission.
Mrs. Firth: Last year, in the recoveries budget, it showed a recovery of sport, art and recreation, $180,000. Then there was an sports and arts group for the full amount that the Member from Porter Creek raised. There are no recoveries shown this year for it, so where do we identify in the budget, the contribution from the Lottery Commission to the groups, if it is not included in this total budget any more?
Where do we get that $120,000 or where is it in the budget?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It does not show in the budget because it is not money that we are budgeting. It comes from the Lottery Commission, through our program, to Sport Yukon and the Yukon Arts Council. When it does come to us to pass on to those two groups, we will reflect that in our supplementary, when it passes through.
Mrs. Firth: That is a new way of doing it, then.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Perhaps; I think it is. I think that last year we budgeted to include the amount, showing a recovery, but it really was not our dollars.
This is a more accurate portrayal of what our dollars are. When the dollars come from the Lottery Commissiono for core funding and flow through our program, we then will show, on the expenditures side, that amount as the forecast shows for 1991.
This is a budget of ours for next year. The 1991 forecast is the actual expenditure.
Mr. Lang: I am trying to get this straight in my mind. Please bear with me.
Looking at 1991, my quick calculations show that, in the area of community recreation, arts and fitness, we spent $1,339,000. Here I calculate $1,253,000. The Minister is telling us that in the forecast for this coming year we will see an additional $240,000. In the area of recreation, will there be $1,493,000 spent?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That is correct. With the addition of that $240,000 from the Lottery Commissiono for core funding for the two groups, it will show a substantial increase.
I think the Member was concerned that it showed a reduction. The problem is that we have changed the method of reporting this.
Mr. Lang: The Minister talked about changing the policy for sports and recreation in a policy review. What exactly is he looking at?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In the sports, arts and recreation branch, over the past year, there has been a review of how the branch delivers its funding to sports and arts groups in the territory. A consultant was retained; a preliminary report was done; discussions took place, at the level of the YRAC board; further discussions have taken place since then with the sports and arts communities; the consultant was retained to participate in that further consultation; and the branch is currently at the point of coming forward with some recommendations on how to streamline the funding of the sports groups.
As the Member may be aware, there are a number of programs in sports, arts and recreation that allows money to flow to various sports and arts groups. There are numerous guidelines that govern that funding, everything from the the CRAG grants to the grants to pay for directors, grants to pay for maintenance of facilities and applications for funding that people seek from the Lottery Commissiono. All of that is under an assessment of how we can be more efficient and deliver a better bang for available dollars and, yet, get the job done. That is what is under review. I do not have anything conclusive from it yet, but I expect that shortly.
Mrs. Firth: What are CRAG grants.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: CRAG grants are community recreation assistance grants.
Sport, Arts & Recreation in the amount of $1,697,000 agreed to
On Community Services
Community Services in the amount of $9,534,000 agreed to
On Municipal Engineering
Municipal Engineering in the amount of $730,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $15,284,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: Why do we have this big drop of 65 percent?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The short answer is that is the realistic expectation of costs for next year in industrial land development throughout the territory. The $375,000 reflects about five different projects, but I could quickly advise the Member. There is one in Haines Junction. There is one at MacRae and here in Whitehorse. There is one at Carmacks and at Callison in Dawson and one at Faro. Those are the community needs identified where some industrial land development is required. In some cases, the dollars reflect some preparatory work and in some cases it reflects the actual subdivision development.
That is our best information from the communities of where we have to do some industrial land development. The fact that it is considerably less than the year previous is simply because the need, as in the year previous, is not there - or the demand.
Industrial in the amount of $375,000 agreed to
Mr. Lang: I just want to put a note on the record that I sure hope that we are going ahead with the Granger mobile home subdivision lots. I really feel that has been a major factor in driving up prices in existing housing stock, especially in the mobile home area, for the older mobile homes. I feel that right now in the Whitehorse marketplace there is no affordable housing, or very little affordable housing, available for those who want to get into their own home. I just make the point that this will be the third or fourth time that we will be voting for this particular subdivision, and yet we have seen little, if any, action on it.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Part of the $3 million identified here does include a budgeted amount for the Granger mobile home subdivision. I understand that we have not quite concluded an agreement for the development plan with the city.
I am meeting with the city Friday morning, and will be asking whether we have agreement on the standards and services for the subdivision. Yes, we are budgeting $1.8 million in this line item for Granger mobile subdivision. Some of the other major ones are: residential work in Beaver Creek; some at Watson Lake for the Campbell reactivation; $50,000 worth of work in Ross River; Carmacks; Carcross; and Mayo.
Residential in the amount of $3,095,000 agreed to
On Rural Residential
Rural Residential in the amount of $535,000 agreed to
On Country Residential
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister explain to us what is planned in the Wolf Creek/Alaska Highway area, and how many lots are programmed for that?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Alaska Highway/Wolf Creek country residential has a budgeted portion of this line item of $720,000 in 1991-92. We anticipate to do the road construction and power/telephone installation for 40 lots.
All things being equal, we will do a similar amount of work in the following year, with 1995-95 planned for the final 30 lots. But we are looking at 40 lots for next year.
Mr. Lang: Can the Minister tell us how much the estimate for the whole project is going to be? What is the average price per lot?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am not sure I have all those costs at my fingertips.
We have $720,000 budgeted for 40 lots next year. The long-term plan is to develop an additional 40 and then an additional 30. I do not believe I have those subsequent years costs handy.
The multi-year costs for this project are currently identified at $2,040,000 for a total of 110 lots.
Country Residential in the amount $1,595,000 agreed to
Mr. Lang: I just wanted to ask a question about the Kopper King commercial subdivision. What is going on? I understand there is money budgeted, and as you know it was stopped last year.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think the Member is familiar somewhat with the Kopper King development. We currently do have a dispute with the city over the construction of an adjacent access road to the property. I believe we have approval to proceed. I would have to take notice and find out where discussions are in respect of the next step. Part of the commercial development dollars here include monies for Kopper King that would allow us to complete the project. My best recollection is that we stopped the project while we were discussing with the city the need for the particular access road in dispute.
Commercial in the amount of $995,000 agreed to
Recreational in the amount of $180,000 agreed to
Agricultural in the amount of $225,000 agreed to
On Recoverable Administration
Recoverable Administration in the amount of $105,000 agreed to
On Central Services
Mr. Phillips: Before we move on to the next area, I have raised this with the Minister before and that is the question of the ownership of the land at the end of Nisutlin Drive. There is a massive dispute going on right now between the YTG and the city about who actually owns the land by the Whitehorse fishway. I wonder if that has been resolved. Who actually does own the land out there, or is it no-persons land?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think the Member, who has flagged this matter with me in the past, has indeed uncovered what might be a can of fish. The responsibility for the road is currently that of the city. The ownership is what is being currently investigated, one might say. I am still waiting for detail on that question and will provide it to the Member, as I usually do in response to his many questions of improved road maintenance and upgrading.
Mr. Phillips: I know the Minister has a very busy schedule, a lot of pressures and a lot of things he has to deal with each day, but it was September when I mentioned this to the Minister, and time is going by rather fast. I would like the Minister to get back to me as soon as he can with an answer, or at least sit down with the city and negotiate that. Perhaps the Minister could respond tomorrow.
I move that you report progress on Bill No. 16.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that the 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 considered Bill No. 16, First Appropriation Act, 1991-92, 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 5:30 p.m.
The following Sessional Paper was tabled December 4, 1990:
Report on Regulations for the period November 2, 1989, to October 17, 1990 (M. Joe)
The following Legislative Returns were tabled December 4, 1990:
Arts Centre: Change orders made with regard to the project (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 335
Arts Centre: Architects fees for the project (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 336