Tuesday, May 7, 1991 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper.
Introduction of Visitors.
Are there any Returns or Documents for tabling?
Are there any Reports of Committees?
Petition No. 7
Clerk: Mr. Speaker and Hon. Members of the Assembly, I have had the honour to review a petition, being Petition No. 7 of the Second Session of the 27th Legislative Assembly as presented by the Hon. Member for Whitehorse Porter Creek East on May 6, 1991.
The rules and practices of the Assembly require that the petition must be addressed to the Legislative Assembly and that they must ask the Assembly to do something.
The model petition shown in Appendix 2 to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly illustrates this point.
Petition No. 7 does not meet these requirements as to form, because although it is addressed to the Assembly, its request for action is directed to the Leader of the Government, rather than to the Legislative Assembly.
Speaker: Pursuant to Standing Order 66(1), Petition No. 7 is deemed to be not received.
Speaker: Introduction of Bills.
Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers.
Notices of Motion.
Statements by Ministers.
Triplicate Prescription Program
Hon. Ms. Joe: I am pleased to announce the Yukons participation in a program designed to monitor the use and abuse of narcotic and other controlled prescription drugs.
It is called the Triplicate Prescription Program. It is designed to trace patients who abuse some prescription drugs. These are often patients who practice what is called double doctoring - they see two or more doctors to obtain drugs improperly. The Department of Justice has approved a request from the Yukon Medical Council for $2,500 to implement this program. The Council expects the Triplicate Prescription Program will be under way in September.
The Yukon Medical Council is not sure whether narcotic over-prescribing is a major problem in the Yukon. The answers will come with implementation of the program. The Triplicate Prescription Program does appear to be effective in other areas of Canada. Statistics show a significant drop in the use of certain drugs at the start of the program.
In Saskatchewan recently, a reduction of about 50 percent in the prescribing of certain drugs was noted after the introduction of its program.
The program has been in effect in Alberta since 1986. British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have similar programs, and Ontario and several Maritime provinces are looking at the program.
Doctors prescribing narcotic or other controlled drugs will be supplied with triplicate prescription pads. One copy of the prescription stays on the patients chart, the other two go to the pharmacist.
The pharmacist, in turn, sends one copy to the triplicate prescription office in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. There, a computerized information system records and analyzes the data.
Doctor/patient confidentiality is assured as only doctors have access to the information on their patients. Participating doctors receive a monthly printout on their patients who have been prescribed the controlled drugs.
If it appears that a patient has been seeing other doctors within a six month period to get the same drug, the council will alert each doctor individually. It is up to the doctors to contact the Yukon Medical Council if they are concerned.
The Yukon Medical Council has said it is not sure there is a major problem here, whether by patients double-doctoring, or doctors over-prescribing. The triplicate prescription program is an inexpensive and effective way to find out, and, at the same time, prevent future abuse of narcotic and other controlled drugs.
Mrs. Firth: We, on this side of the Legislature, are supportive of this initiative.
After speaking to the Medical Council representatives, I have a better understanding of exactly what the program involves.
The ministerial statement points out twice that the Medical Council is not sure whether or not there is a major problem of narcotic abuse in the Yukon. I think that the fact that they are going to take part in this program and allow Alberta to do the bureaucratic exercise of processing and returning information will help identify whether or not there is a problem. It is a win-win situation for us. If we identify that we have a problem, then the exercise is worthwhile. If it is not, that speaks well for the medical system here in the Yukon.
We support this initiative and thank the Minister for bringing this statement forward.
Watson Lake seniors coordinator
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I rise today to inform the Members of this House of a new initiative undertaken by the department of Health and Social Services. It is designed as the first step in addressing the concerns expressed by the people of Watson Lake for that communitys seniors population. Our initiative adheres to the government policy of decentralization and moving service into the communities. Many residents of Watson Lake expressed concern over the lack of an extended-care facility in their community.
As the need arises, seniors are forced to leave the community and take up residence elsewhere, usually in Whitehorse, far from family, friends and all that is familiar. While we cannot at this time undertake to build another new extended-care facility, I am very pleased to say that Watson Lake will be provided with a full-time, continuing-care rehabilitation coordinator. This person will assist in assessing the needs of Watson Lakes senior and disabled population and will provide a coordinating role in the provision of home care, extended care and related services.
Nationally, the demand for a wide range of services to care for frail elderly people has increased in tandem with the steady increase in the seniors population. That national trend is also being felt in the Yukon.
This department is committed to providing services and programs tailored to meet the needs of Yukon people. It is hoped that, by providing an on-site coordinator, planning can be initiated now that will serve the community now and into the future.
Mr. Devries: On behalf of the old-timers of Watson Lake, I wish to thank the Minister for this initiative. I certainly hope it is more successful than the initiative of her predecessor.
I would like to refer to a letter I received from the previous Minister in the fall of 1989 when the Department of Social Services hired a planner for a two-year term: One of this persons responsibilities will include a study of the long care needs for the old-timers of Watson Lake. The letter goes on to say that I would be contacted shortly regarding possible dates and times of meetings.
I am still waiting for the call and, to the best of my knowledge, this alleged person has never been in Watson Lake. Watson Lakers certainly know that the priorities of the previous Minister did not lie with the elderly there.
I can only hope there will be better times ahead for the pioneers of this territory. I commend the present Minister for her quick response to this issue.
Also, I hope the lines of communication will be better with this Minister, and I certainly do not envy her position as she is asked to respond to all the neglected issues left to her by her predecessor.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: It seems that Members forget that one of the realities of this position as Minister of Health and Social Services is that issues are ongoing. It is not like building a house and saying the house is done. When you are dealing in people issues, there are always issues. It is unfair to blame any one Minister, or to say one Minister should do better than another.
In response to the Members other comments, I want to say that a person year has been allocated. The job will be advertised within the community of Watson Lake. I can appreciate the concerns of the residents of Watson Lake, as they see their seniors having to leave their home community for Whitehorse, or even for Dawson City. The residents are asking for an extended care facility, and the department is not in a position to proceed with another new facility, in addition to the one being built in Whitehorse beginning this summer.
That is not to say that such a facility is out of the question at some point in the future for Watson Lake. However, we cannot just rush right in and make any kind of commitment. We are putting a continuing care rehabilitation coordinator into Watson Lake. Part of this persons responsibilities will be to provide on-site assistance in identifying the needs of the senior population in Watson Lake.
Needs must be identified in order to evaluate the extent and levels of care needed in the community. From all reports we have received to date, the needs vary from home care, to seniors housing, to supported housing, to full extended care.
With this wide variety of need, the current and future role of the Watson Lake Hospital in the provision of care must be critically and carefully assessed. Any planning must be done with a view toward providing a service that will best meet the needs of the community, now and in the future.
In addition, this continuing care coordinator will provide assistance in coordinating the provision of home care, extended care and related services in the community.
Suggestions have been made that the nurses quarters at Watson Lake Hospital could be turned into an interim extended care facility. I must point out that the hospital, along with those living quarters, are the property of the federal government. Not until a health transfer of community services is affected could we look at that possibility.
We have taken an action that to us indicates our willingness to consider the project. It is a beginning.
Speaker: This brings us to Question Period.
Question re: Yukon Energy Corporation, Aishihik water licence
Mr. Phelps: I have some questions for the Minister responsible for the Yukon Energy Corporation with regard to the water licences for Aishihik Lake.
As we know, the Yukon Energy Corporation wants to amend the licence to reduce the water flow over Otter Falls, but it does not want to have the entire licence opened up for review at this time.
In view of the fact that the level at Aishihik Lake is four feet below historic lows, and in view of the fact that there is evidence now that implies that the eco-systems are being destroyed by the low water levels, will the Minister agree that the entire water licence for Aishihik Lake should be reviewed during the course of the upcoming hearings?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The question the Member raises is a matter I have not considered and I take it that the Member is making a representation in support of the argument to open up the review of the licence stipulations for Aishihik Lake.
I do know, however, that, in fairness to the questions that have been raised on the potential environmental impact of the draw-down on Aishihik Lake, the matter is being fully reviewed at an amendment hearing that is currently in progress. As I indicated to the Member yesterday, the facts of the matter will be addressed, judgments will be made in the face of the best evidence available, and I am confident of the process.
Mr. Phelps: What concerns us is that apparently the Energy Corporation is trying to amend the licence with regard to the flow of water over Otter Falls and it is being supported in this by the Department of Renewable Resources and the Department of Tourism - at a time when YTG is pushing through a huge environmental act...
Speaker: Order, please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question.
Mr. Phelps: ... at a time when the Energy Corporation is damaging Aishihik Lake. I would like to know whether the Minister agrees that the actions of Yukon Energy Corporation are inconsistent with the spirit and intent of the environmental bill that is before this Legislature.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As I indicated to the Member yesterday, the Yukon Energy Corporation is fully cognizant of the questions surrounding the environmental impact of water draw-down at Aishihik Lake. It is inaccurate for the Member to suggest that, in the absence of evidence to support any negative impact from that water draw-down, the government or the Yukon Energy Corporation are somehow being irresponsible. The fact of the matter is that the water levels that were being allowed to flow over Otter Falls are the same in the amended application as they have been for the past three years. There is no change in the amount of water that is being allowed to flow through Otter Falls.
What is occurring is a hearing to review that. At the same time...
Speaker: Order please, would the Minister please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: At the same time, the Member is correct, we are participating in the assessment to determine whether of not any negative impact will be caused by the amount of water flows being sought in the licence amendment.
Mr. Phelps: The impact is being felt now. The water is being drawn down now and there is a lot of evidence of harm. I would like to know if the Minister can tell us whether the Champagne/Aishihik Indian Band supports the present licence, which has resulted in the water levels being four feet below historic lows and resulted in a huge mud flat in front of the old Indian village at the far end of Aishihik Lake?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I cannot tell the Member the precise position of the Champagne/Aishihik Band. What I can tell the Member is that we are working with the band in matters of concern that have been raised. As I indicated yesterday, we are involved in a fishery study and in erosion work. We are involved with the Village of Aishihik.
We are cognizant of concerns being raised and we are working with the people who have raised those concerns.
Question re: Yukon Energy Corporation, diesel consumption
Mr. Phelps: I am glad they are aware of the concerns. At present, the Yukon Energy Corporation is the largest user of diesel fuel in the territory, at a time when YTG is discouraging the use of fossil fuel by Yukoners for environmental reasons.
Will the Minister agree that the Yukon Energy Corporation, by becoming increasingly dependent on diesel generation, is behaving in a manner that is environmentally irresponsible?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is again attempting, through the preamble to his question, to suggest an irresponsible behaviour on the part of the corporation. That is entirely inaccurate. The corporation has gone to tremendous lengths to consult with the public, to develop long-term strategic plans and to determine the wise development practices for energy in the territory; that is not what the Member is suggesting is taking place.
We know the Members particular position on the matter. He would have the corporation build massive dams that wreak massive environmental damage and tremendous cost to consumers in the territory. The corporation is determined to move away from diesel and it is taking steps in that direction.
Mr. Phelps: I am certain I have not been going around the territory as a proponent of massive environmental damage. I am at least pretty sure about that, at least.
As a cornerstone of its economic policies, this government has the principle of preventing leakage of money from our economy to the south, wherever possible. In other words, it claims to support self-sufficiency in the Yukon. Will the Minister agree that the purchase of millions of litres of diesel fuel each year by the Yukon Energy Corporation represents one of the biggest leakages in the entire Yukon economy?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member suggests that he has not been going around the territory suggesting that he would wreck environmental damage. The record shows that their position on energy generation would be to construct large hydro dams in a capacity far in excess of what we need, far in excess of what any consumers could use and far in excess of what our capability is to pay. That is the position that Members opposite have put forward.
Our position is that we believe in small-hydro generation. We believe in environmental responsibility and we believe in fiscal responsibility. We believe in good management of our energy resources for the consumers of the territory.
The now $250-million man, who would construct only 25 megawatts, is suggesting that somehow he has a management regime that would get us off diesel. The facts point otherwise.
Mr. Phelps: We did not get an answer to the last question about the corporation representing one of the biggest purchasers of fuel, which is one of the biggest leakages in the entire economy.
Does the Minister agree that the development of hydro-generating facilities to replace diesel generation would be an important step toward the goal of self-sufficiency in Yukon?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The short answer to the question is yes. The support to that answer is that we are engaged in that very exercise. If the Member had read the strategic plans, which the House knows he has not, he would recognize that there is a strategic plan for small-scale hydro development slated for the 1990s to put in place the 16 megawatts that this territory is anticipated to need. It includes Surprise Lake and Drury Lake. They are listed throughout the strategic plan. It includes the Dawson-Mayo transmission line, which is an exercise to get us off diesel in Dawson and utilize the excess capacity available at Mayo.
Question re: Education, respiratory illnesses
Mrs. Firth: I have a question for the Minister of Justice. I understand the Department of Education has at least seven people with respiratory illnesses that are job related. Now, the Finance department employees are also seeking medical consultation regarding respiratory illness as a result of their workplace environment. The occupational health and safety branch has reviewed this situation, and I would like to ask the Minister if she could tell us exactly what the problem is and how widespread it is?
Hon. Ms. Joe: I am not familiar with the final results of that study. Studies in regard to occupational health and safety in this government are ongoing and there are many issues the occupational health and safety people have to deal with. I would have to take notice of that question and bring back the information. I cannot provide it right now.
Mrs. Firth: We are very concerned, on this side, about the employees and I would like to ask the Minister exactly how many people are involved and whether they are in a position where, perhaps, their sick time is running out. I would like some information from the Minister. Does she know anything about the situation or what kind of predicament the employees are in as a result of this?
Hon. Ms. Joe: We on this side of the House are also concerned about the employees of this government. I am aware of the situation. I just do not have the information available to provide to the Member right now, but I would be happy to have it back to this House by tomorrow.
Mrs. Firth: We are always concerned that people are treated fairly and I would like very much to have that information brought back to the House.
Will the Minister also bring back with the information tomorrow, the details of the study she made reference to so that we can all have an opportunity to review it?
Hon. Ms. Joe: I will bring back the information I have available.
Question re: Protests in Territorial Administration Building
Mr. Lang: I have an issue here that I am very concerned about, more for symbolic reasons than anything else. Yesterday, a number of people who had concerns about the Environment Act appeared, apparently prior to the sessions start, in the foyer with some placards in order to demonstrate their position with respect to the act to be tabled in the House.
The security guard approached the people involved, who were expressing their opinions, and instructed them to leave the building under orders from the Cabinet.
Back in January, the NDP government encouraged a demonstration to take place in the same place, the foyer, and I am told Cabinet people were phoning people to come out and demonstrate against the Persian Gulf war. To refresh everyones memory, I would like to table the pictures that were taken in the foyer. They not only were permitted to have the placards in the foyer, they were permitted to make them there.
I would like to ask the Minister of Government Services why the government permitted the demonstration in January of this year, in which, I gather, Cabinet Ministers participated, and not the people who demonstrated in an orderly manner here yesterday? They were ordered out of the building under instructions issued by Cabinet.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I, too, enjoyed experiencing the somewhat reluctant protesters who were here yesterday protesting the introduction of the Environment Act. I found them to be distinctly uncomfortable with the role in which they were placed. Somebody even unkindly referred to them as the Danny Lang rent-a-crowd.
I want to tell the Member that, as we have no policy in this respect, under normal circumstances where there is a requirement or desire to wave placards in the building, advance notice must be given. This was done for the Persian Gulf war protest.
We are very open and accommodating respecting protesters waving placards in the building. We simply require notice and when that notice is given they certainly will be allowed to come in and demonstrate their interests on any particular subject.
Mr. Lang: It certainly seems that we have two sets of rules. I guess those who have access to the permits are allowed into the building and those that do not are not allowed in. That is quite a way to run a public building. Protesters have to go to see the Minister of Public Services on bended knee to get his consent to express their opinion in a public forum, like the foyer of the Government of the Yukon Territory building that was built by the taxpayers of the territory.
Can the Minister verify in writing, and provide documentation, that the people who demonstrated here last January got the necessary permit from Government Services to demonstrate in the foyer and table a document in this House?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There is no permitting process for seeking approval to wave placards in the building. There is a requirement that they provide us with advance notice. There is no suggestion at all that we would turn them down if they gave us advance notice. That is all that is being requested, and the artificial enthusiasm that the Member is putting into his question is unwarranted.
The government and I realize that this government building is becoming the preferred choice of discriminating protesters in the territory. Certainly we want to accommodate those people to be able to express those views in a manner that is satisfactory to them, as long as they do not disrupt the operations of the government, and we have been more than accommodating in the past. If people give us advance notice they will be permitted to wave placards and do what they wish.
Mr. Lang: It is really interesting that the Ministers definition of freedom of expression is to get his consent.
I would like to ask the Minister this: to whom does a person give advance notice to be able to come into this public forum, the public foyer of the YTG building, to express their opinion? Do they apply to the Minister of Government Services on bended knee or do they apply to the security guard, who was instructed by Cabinet to have those people leave the foyer upstairs?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Member was wrong on every count. First of all, the security guard in this government building did not instruct anybody to leave the building, so the Member is wrong. Secondly, there was no requirement to get a permit. They were required to give advance notice of what they were going to do. Again, the Member was wrong. He was wrong on two counts.
With respect to the matter of notifying people, they simply have to notify the security guard or somebody in property management that they wish to demonstrate inside the government building, and they will be granted the opportunity to demonstrate inside the building with placards.
There is no suggestion whatsoever, that they require permission from the government, from the Minister, or from anyone else, to wave placards in the government building. We welcome the opportunity for them to express their minds in placards, or anything else, at any time. This is a free society.
Speaker: Order please. Would the Minister please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is a free society, and we enjoy watching the Danny Lang rent-a-crowd do their thing in the foyer of the government building.
Question re: Protests in Territorial Administration Building
Mr. Lang: This is pathetic, absolutely pathetic. The Government Leader shouts across the floor. Perhaps he can explain to the general public why he paid for a horse to be shipped from Ottawa to Whitehorse.
I am only asking the Minister of Government Services how much notice I have to give the Cabinet before anybody is allowed in this building. Do they have to phone it in, do they have to write a letter, or can they fax to the Minister of Government Services, asking for permission?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is the era of open government. The government does encourage people to speak their minds freely, even the Danny Lang rent-a-crowds, to come into the government building and wave placards, or to protest in any way they please.
The only requirement we have ever had is that they give some advance notice to the security officials, who must be mindful of issues such as safety and public security. That is the only restriction. There has never once been the suggestion that there will be any clearance given by Ministers as to whether or not a particular demonstration is politically acceptable or not.
We have had demonstrations here before. We have accepted the existence of those demonstrations, even the Danny Lang rent-a-crowd demonstrations.
Speaker: Order please. When referring to other Members, please use parliamentary language, as required in this House.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I realize that ...
Speaker: Would the Minister please conclude his answer?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I did not realize that referring to a Member by his first name might be considered by some to be obscene, so I will refrain from doing that.
Mr. Lang: That does not even deserve a response.
I would like to ask the Minister to table the policy that he just enumerated here. It has obviously been on the books for quite some time but nobody knew anything about it. If he could table it tomorrow, I would appreciate it.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I indicated before, the procedures are very clear, and if the Member wants me to jot the procedures down on a piece of paper and pass it over to him, I would be more than happy to do so.
Mr. Lang: I would ask the Minister not to be so flippant. Is the policy in writing? If it is, could he table it in the House?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: If the Member wants something in writing, he will have something in writing. I am not being flippant. I indicated at the beginning of my answer that there was no policy respecting this. There are procedures respecting the allowance of protesters in the government building. I have, on a number of occasions, indicated exactly what those procedures are. They are very simple. They do not request that they be given any kind of political clearance of any sort for protesters coming into the building, including the rent-a-crowds. The government building is very open to free speech and freedom of expression, and it will continue to be so.
Question re: Tourism marketing
Mr. Phillips: I have a question for the Minister of Tourism.
I have been informed by officials of the Ministers department that the Yukon Department of Tourism did decide to send a YTG official to a large Rendezvous Canada tourism show in Calgary this last week.
Last week in the House, the department was being represented only by a Vancouver contractor because we were short staffed in the marketing department. I wonder if the Minister could confirm that the individual we sent to represent the Yukon at Rendezvous Canada is the same tourism official, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, who became lost on her way to the recent Tourism Industry Association conference in Haines, Alaska? This senior tourism official made the wrong turn at Haines Junction and drove two hours up the road toward Beaver Creek before a gas station attendant asked her where she was going; she replied that she was going to Haines. The attendant then advised her that she was taking the long way around. Is the official we sent down to represent the Yukon the same official as the one who got lost in the Yukon just two weeks ago?
Hon. Mr. Webster: No. It was a different Deputy Minister of Tourism.
Mr. Phillips: I was advised by the tourism official yesterday that the Deputy Minister, Josephine Stewart, was the one who went down to the Rendezvous Canada conference. I can assure the Minister that it was this same Deputy Minister who was lost in the northern Yukon less than two weeks ago.
Now he is telling us that there is another Deputy Minister of Tourism that no one is aware of. Who is this new person?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I guess a silly question deserves a silly answer. Of course, we only have one Deputy Minister of Tourism. Everyone knows that. Even the critic for the Department of Tourism knows that. It was the Deputy Minister of Tourism, the one and only, who represented the Yukon in Rendezvous Canada in Calgary this week.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, while at the TIA convention in Haines, Alaska, volunteered the information that one of the reasons why she was late was because she took a wrong turn. In a very good natured way, she admitted that she had made a mistake.
A couple of weeks later, the critic for Tourism on the opposite side makes a big joke of it by putting forward a ridiculous question.
Mr. Phillips: First of all, we did not send an official to the conference. Then, at the last minute, we decide to send an official who does not know her way around the Yukon. This is a marketing conference. We are supposed to be able to tell people where the Yukon is and what it is all about.
Have the department officials sat down with the new Deputy Minister and familiarized her with the Yukon and where various towns and cities are, so that she will not get lost again?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I would like to ask the Member for a serious question.
Question re: Tourism marketing
Mr. Phillips: One of the reasons why Tourism had to contract someone to go to this conference - and then eventually send the Deputy Minister of Tourism - was because we were short staffed in the marketing branch.
When will those positions in the marketing branch be filled? It is an extremely important time in the Yukon for marketing. There are several positions vacant in the department. Can the Minister give us a date when those positions will be filled?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I thank the Member for his question. It is a reasonable question, unlike the former ones.
One of the vacant positions, that being the senior marketing officer, has been recruited, and an offer has been made. We hope that person will fill that position in the next month.
Another position, a marketing publicity officer, is vacant. We are about to start the recruitment procedure for that.
I want to bring it to the attention of the Member that one of the reasons we were short staffed in marketing personnel for attendance at Rendezvous Canada is because the Director of Marketing, Klaus Roth, has been extremely ill the last few weeks. He has been ill with pneumonia and obviously he could not attend Rendezvous Canada to represent the department.
Question re: Campground fees
Mr. Nordling: I have a question for the Minister of Renewable Resources with respect to campground fees.
Why are campground fees for both daily permits and annual permits for residents being almost tripled for this summer?
If the Minister is going to blame this whopping increase on the GST, he had better explain that position.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I want to thank the Member for his question. In his preamble he suggested that the price for campground fees would be almost tripled. Five-dollars to $7.50 for a daily permit is 50 percent. The price for the annual permit is increasing by $15.00, from $25.00 to $40.00, which is hardly tripled. If the Member who raised the question took the time to read the news release from last week, which clearly pointed out that there are a number of factors justifying the increased price for campground fees, he would clearly be aware that it is not totally the result of the GST.
Mr. Nordling: That was my question, Mr. Speaker.
Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Mr. Webster: In response to the Members supplementary, I can provide him with a copy of the news release, entitled Campground Fee Increases and Improvement Plan Announced.
Mr. Nordling: The Minister was quoted as saying that the rate increases are necessary because of Ottawas Goods and Services Tax and to avoid unfair competition with private operators. I would like to ask the Minister if we are going to install showers and electrical hook-ups in our campgrounds? Perhaps the Minister can explain how raising the residents annual permit will avoid unfair competition with private operators?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I first want to address the Members preamble where he stated that the GST and the reducing competition to the private campground owners was a reason for the price increase.
I really want to make this offer to the Member opposite to provide him with a copy of the news release, as the very first sentence says, rising operating costs and the GST have forced the Yukon Government to increase its campground fees for 1991.
Question re: Porcupine River flood
Ms. Kassi: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Community and Transportation Services. I have heard from people in my village that there is a possibility of a flood of the Porcupine River. I would like to ask the Minister: what is the situation at this time?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The situation at Old Crow is one that is rapidly developing, but also one that the people of Old Crow and the people in our Emergency Measures Branch have well in hand.
There was an ice jam developing a number of days ago, downriver from Old Crow. The potential for a flood has been rising daily. Today we have sent people out from our emergency measures branch, along with DIAND people from the water resources branch, to assess the problem. We have those people on their way to Old Crow now.
The elders, I believe, are being moved to higher ground, and the people in Old Crow are taking steps in preparation of a possible flood that we may have in the community.
Question re: Buffalo
Mr. Brewster: My question is to the Minister of Renewable Resources. We are continuing to have a problem with buffalo from Champagne to Canyon Creek. In fact, we might end up with a cross-breed between a buffalo and a horse - possibly a horsalo?
Is the Minister aware that a buffalo pushed a car into the ditch last winter, damaging the car and scaring the passenger very badly?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I am aware that there are still problems with controlling bison on our highways. The Department of Renewable Resources, in cooperation with the Department of Community and Transportation Services, are trying to do whatever they can to make the situation less dangerous for drivers on the highway.
I am aware of the accident that the Member raised, and I understand that the Member brought it to the attention of legal counsel and the case is being pursued at this time.
Mr. Brewster: I received a phone call yesterday. Is the Minister aware that buffalo are continually knocking the fences down in the Champagne area and causing horses to be out on the highway and bothering the residents of Champagne by hanging around their homes?
Mr. Webster: I must confess that I am not aware of the latest activities of the buffalo, which move about the highway to different locations from time to time. I will have the matter looked into.
Mr. Brewster: Is the Minister prepared to straighten this sordid mess out and do something with these buffalo before someone takes the matter into their own hands?
Mr. Webster: The Member is well aware of the attempts that we have made by both my department and the Department of Community and Transportation Services. It is unfortunate that the bison are not cooperating all the time, but we are doing what we can to lessen the hazard.
Question re: Watson Lake airport
Mr. Devries: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services. As the Minister knows the Watson Lake airport is in danger of losing its flight service station and the instrument landing system, which could jeopardize the safety of this important facility. Has the Minister been in contact with the new federal Minister of Transport, Jean Corbeil, regarding this crisis situation?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As the Member is aware, he and I have been cooperating extensively on the problem relating to the reduction of services at the Watson Lake airport. The Member is aware of the correspondence that has been exchanged between the federal Minister, ourselves and other interested parties concerned with the problem. I can tell the Member that I am in the process of drafting a letter to the new federal Minister outlining the problems. I can tell the Member that I have seen a draft of such correspondence, which I have strengthened and should be signing shortly. This I can share with the Member if he likes.
Mr. Devries: I would like to thank the Minister for the cooperation he has given us in this matter and, as the Minister is aware we have a meeting in Watson Lake tomorrow night. Is it my understanding in that he is sending a representative to that meeting?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: A representative from the airports and marine branch of the Government of Yukon will be attending the meeting in Watson Lake tomorrow night.
At his time, the ADM of transportation may also be attending. That will depend on whether or not we get through the Highways Act in the House.
Question re: Porter Creek school location
Mr. Lang: I want to follow up on a question I asked last evening with respect to the proposed Porter Creek school. At that time, the Minister informed us that there were two other sites being considered, one on Basswood and Wann and the other was an addition to Christ the King Junior High School for the purposes of accommodating the additional 150 students.
I want to ask the Minister when he expects a decision to be reached on which site will be utilized?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I trust that decision will be made soon, largely because if a site requires a change in zoning to permit institutional construction it will take some time to complete the proper consultations.
As I indicated yesterday evening, the site in Porter Creek is certainly not a preferred site, given that the Holly Street site was the first choice. If there is an acceptance that the facilities could be downscaled significantly, that site would be a live option, as far as the Department of Education is concerned.
In order for there to be an opening by September of 1993, construction would have to start next spring.
Mr. Lang: I do have some concerns, as a Member in Porter Creek, with the current overcrowding of Jack Hulland School. Two portables have been moved onto the site in the last year in order to provide the necessary accommodation.
Is the department prepared to consider any of the other optional sites that were prepared by the department? One that comes to mind is the one by Northland. Is that still a possibility?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The concern about overcrowding at Jack Hulland School is obviously a very legitimate concern. We are hoping that, with the construction of a school on the north highway at the entrance to McPherson subdivision, the overcrowding at Jack Hulland will be substantially reduced.
Most of the students who would attend school at the McPherson site would otherwise go to Jack Hulland School. The preferred sites for a Catholic school would allow a very large walk-in population from the neighbourhood surrounding the school. That is one of the major considerations in siting the school. There should be an effort to reduce the potential for heavy busing requirements.
The site the Member refers to at Northland Trailer Park has not been ruled out. In securing the final site, we would have to determine what potential there was for a walk-in population by the immediate neighbourhood for the Catholic school, before we made the final decision.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now lapsed. May I have your further pleasure.
Notice of Business
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 14(5), I would request the unanimous consent of the House to call the following motions - Motion No. 52, Motion No. 39, Motion No. 53, and Motion No. 20 - under Motions Other than Government Motions, when that business is called on Wednesday, May 8, 1991.
I would also request unanimous consent for Motions for the Production of Papers not to be called.
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
Bill No. 6: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 6, standing in the name of the Hon. Mrs. Joe.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I move that Bill No. 6, entitled An Act to Amend the Jury Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 6, entitled An Act to Amend the Jury Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 6 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 6 has passed this House.
Bill No. 11: Third Reading
Clerk: Third Reading, Bill No. 11, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 11, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Commission Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Premier that Bill No. 11, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Commission Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 11 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 11 has passed this House.
Bill No. 25: Third Reading
Clerk: Third Reading, Bill No. 25, standing in the name of the Hon. Ms. Joe.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I move that Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Minister of Justice that Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 25 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 25 has passed this House.
Bill No. 31: Third Reading
Clerk: Third Reading, Bill No. 31 standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Byblow.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that Bill No. 31, entitled An Act to Amend the Municipal Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 31, entitled An Act to Amend the Municipal Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 31 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 31 has passed this House.
Bill No. 40: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 40, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Byblow.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that Bill No. 40, entitled Act to Amend the Motor Vehicles Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 40, entitled Act to Amend the Motor Vehicles Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 40 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 40 has passed this House.
Bill No. 50: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 50, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 50, entitled Act to Amend the Financial Administration Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Premier that Bill No. 50, entitled Act to Amend the Financial Administration Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 50 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 50 has passed this House.
Bill No. 58: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 58, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Byblow.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that Bill No. 58, entitled Building Standards Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 58, entitled Building Standards Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 58 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 58 has passed this House.
Bill No. 66: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 66, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Byblow.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that Bill No. 66, entitled Act to Amend the Home Owners Grant Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 66, entitled Act to Amend the Home Owners Grant Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 66 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 66 has passed this House.
Bill No. 64: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 64, standing in the name of the Hon. Ms. Joe.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I move that Bill No. 64, entitled An Act to Amend the Supreme Court Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 64, entitled An Act to Amend the Supreme Court Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 64 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 64 has passed this House.
Bill No. 77: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 77, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Byblow.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that Bill No. 77, entitled Municipal Finance and Community Grants Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 77, entitled Municipal Finance and Community Grants Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Mr. Lang: I want to rise to make a number of observations on this bill. It is a very important piece of legislation that has gone through this House. It is one that I have some very real concerns about. I want to express them, once again, for the side opposite and, primarily, for the municipalities to have the opportunity to hear what the various positions of the political parties are as far as the act is concerned.
First of all, I have to express my extreme disappointment that, to my knowledge, no municipality has supported this act, as it is written and as it has been debated in the House. It is the first time we have had a Municipal Finance and Community Grants Act come through here without at least some sort of consensus being reached among the municipalities throughout the territory for a bill that is going to affect them so directly.
I would even have understood it if there had been a number of communities that had disagreed, but the majority had said fine, these are the changes that should be done. That was not accomplished. The Minister should take that into account in his support of the bill he has before us. I understand his problems; I have been in his position. At the same time, I would have thought that, over a period of time, we could have reached a consensus among the councils throughout the territory. That was not achieved, and I think that gives good reason why this particular legislation should not be supported at this time.
I also want to indicate that I have a deep concern about the elimination of the school tax across the territory.
I guess it is more a philosophical point of view than anything else.
The reality of the situation is that when home owners get their yearly tax bill, they see a portion of it directed toward the cost of our education system. Now, the Minister will say that it does not even come close to paying the overall costs of education in the territory.
I recognize that, but as a citizen and a taxpayer, it gives me reason to pause and realize that education is costing me something directly. It does cause me to bear some of the responsibility for the education system.
The elimination of the school tax is a sham. We know, with the Minister and the government deserting the area of the school tax levy, they have also cut out, correspondingly, the amount of money going to the municipalities. Subsequently, the municipalities will have to go in and fulfill that area of taxation eliminated by YTG.
The Minister will say that it is administrative and that it costs money to do that. I recognize that, in the exchange of dollars, there is some administrative costs, but not once during the course of the debate did he say that, because the government has eliminated that administrative requirement, there will be less staff required within the Department of Community and Transportation Services or the Department of Finance. There are no cost-savings. I challenge the Minister to point out where they are.
I have another area of concern. It was voiced last year and looks like it is going to come to fruition in the years ahead. The municipalities are going to get less in the direct transfer of dollars. The bill before us specifically phases out the cost sharing for the Transit Commission in the City of Whitehorse, which is a significant agreement between the two levels of government and is a significant cost to the taxpayers within the City of Whitehorse. It also phases out the sewer and water deficit in a community such as Dawson City, which is very onerous.
The Minister says again that, administratively, we will just phase it out, and they can solve their own problems; we will transfer the dollars. The reality is that these particular agreements do cost money, and their cost may well escalate a lot further than in other areas of government. I really have a concern that, with the way the bill is structured, we are required to pay a minimum transfer of dollars. We do not go so far as to say there is going to be a maximum amount of dollars; we leave that to the discretion of the government of the day. What it amounts to is that, if it is politically advantageous and will win us votes, we will transfer more dollars to the municipalities; if it is not politically advantageous, we can cut back dollars and spend them elsewhere. The reality of the situation is that is what the decisions are going to be based on.
In conclusion, I want to say that I am not here to hold up the bill. I know the Minister is well-intentioned and has put a lot of work into this, but I think there is primarily a lack of support for the bill. If Members will recall, during Committee of the Whole debate, my colleague, the Member for Kluane, pointed out that there was a councillor in Mayo who quit and made it quite public that the reason was because of the way the Minister was going ahead and structuring the financing. That happened in a small community like Mayo. I feel the government should rethink what they are doing in this particular area, and there should be, at least in part, a consensus among our communities insofar as the direction the Minister has taken.
Speaker: The hon. Member will close debate if he now speaks. Does any other Member wish to be heard?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: At the outset, I have to say that I am disappointed in the recycled comments from the Member, largely because the Member, even for having been a part of a municipal financing regime, when he was Minister, still does not understand municipal finance.
I think the Member and I can agree on one singular point. The singular point we have as common ground is that this is a most important bill. We have complete disagreement on the direction and philosophy that municipal financing is taking.
It has to be emphasized that, in any matters of striking financial arrangements with municipalities, the track record and history of consensus is abysmal, whether it was with this government, previous governments, other jurisdictions or, I dare say, other countries. At any time, when you entertain taking available funds and distributing them among parties or agencies that use that funding, it is a near impossible task to achieve consensus. In fact, the lack of consensus was the fundamental reason that precipitated this new arrangement for municipal financing, which created the comprehensive block fund and the rolling of all the grants into one fund, and restructuring the distribution of those funds in a more equitable fashion than existed. The fashion that the municipal financing regime existed in was unfair to some municipalities, unfair in some of its formula structure, unfair in the amounts that some municipalities were getting in different pots that were being granted. Those five or six pots that we have rolled into one are pots that have been created over the years by previous administrations, including the Member opposites, when he was Minister. Part of what I am cleaning up are his old formulae that are not working anymore.
That is fundamental to what is happening here.
The formulae were not equitable. The distribution of funding was no longer fair. When you call people into a room and tell them there is an unfair formula and some people have to take more and some less and the pie must be recut, people are not going to agree. The municipalities and I understood that point. They directed me, quite bluntly, to cut the pie because they could not agree. Those are the facts of the matter. Consensus is not obtainable when you are dividing up funds.
Let me speak to a couple of specific points the Member raised. He suggested that the elimination of the school tax is a sham. The Member is, as usual, wrong. The existence of the school tax is a sham as it was structured in the previous formula financing regime.
The school tax on property has virtually no relationship to the actual costs of education in the territory. Where we part company is in the philosophical difference about who should pay for educational services. We do not assign a property tax for health care or day care. A portion of property taxes are not assigned to property taxes. Highway maintenance does not get part of its funding recovery from property taxes. We have a fundamental disagreement about how certain services should be paid. Education is one of those universal services we all share the cost of. We all contribute to the cost through general revenue. Property owners should not be singled out to specifically pay for any portions of a particular service that does not relate to that property.
The principle behind property tax is that you pay for services rendered to the property. That is fundamentally what we are cleaning up and changing. We are taking away the assignment of a specific taxation for education from property taxes. We are saying that the municipalities have the responsibility to provide services to those properties. They must take the place we vacate and collect the tax as it properly should be collected for services related to that property. That is what we have done.
I would submit that what we have created is the elimination of the sham of education somehow being related to property tax, as it should not be.
The Member again implied that a councillor found the financing regime that we have introduced so objectionable that he quit. I have no response to that in any substantive way. I spoke to that Member and have spoken to people in the community about the reasons that he quit. For the record, that Member was going to quit with or without this financing regime being put in place for municipalities. I dare say that this community in particular benefitted quite substantially by this revised financing regime. The community of Mayos base funding has increased and will continue to be at a level well above where they were under the old financing formula. Mayo has substantially benefitted in excess of several hundred-thousand dollars over time from this financing regime.
So, for a Member of that particular council to say, I quit because of this lousy financing regime, he has clearly got his priorities, logic and reasoning and his politics out of place.
Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)
Hon. Mr. Byblow: That was an unparliamentary statement. I would never say something of that extreme nature in this House.
There remains little to be said about this bill. I agree that it is an important bill. I think it is a financing regime that is on the leading edge of financial reform in the country between governments, at a provincial-territorial level, and municipalities. I know there are other jurisdictions that look enviously at what we have in place here. We have a single-window approach to financing. We have base-level financing guaranteed by legislation. There is no level below which this financing formula will go.
If anybody in the future wants to change the levels of funding, that is, make them lower than what we have guaranteed in this bill, they are going to have to come into this House and debate why they want to cut funding to municipalities. As a base level in this act, we have enshrined over $11 million that will go to the eight municipalities in the Yukon. That is security and confidence for those municipalities that they have adequate funding to maintain their basic level of services and carry on with the priorities that they should rightfully choose. They have the money to do it; we have provided it in the most equitable form it can be provided. I do not believe for one instant that there is a municipality that will stand up and say this is a bad bill.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 77 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 77 has passed this House.
Bill No. 82: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 82, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 82, entitled Yukon Development Corporation Loan Guarantee Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Premier that Bill No. 82, entitled Yukon Development Corporation Loan Guarantee Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Mr. Phelps: Very briefly, we are supporting the act. We are pleased with the amendment that was put forward by the Minister after debate on second reading.
Speaker: The hon. Member will now close debate if he now speaks. Does any other Member wish to be heard?
Hon. Mr. Penikett: I want to say how absolutely delighted I am that the Leader of the Official Opposition is supporting this act. I will not ask him now, but I would appreciate it if I could report to the people of the Yukon that this means he has changed his position on the Mayo-Dawson inter-tie.
If it means that, I shall be pleased to convey that to everybody.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 82 agreed to
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 82 has passed this House.
Bill No. 85: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 85, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Byblow.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that Bill No. 85, entitled Act To Amend the Electrical Protection Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Minister of Community and Transportation Services that Bill No. 85, entitled Act To Amend The Electrical Protection Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for the third reading of Bill No. 85 agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 85 has passed this House.
Bill No. 90: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 90, standing in the name of the Hon. Ms. Joe.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I move that Bill No. 90, An Act To Amend the Chartered Accountants Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Clerk: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 90, entitled An Act To Amend the Chartered Accountants Act, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for the third reading of Bill No. 90 agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 90 has passed this House.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the 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 the Committee of the Whole to order and declare a brief recess.
Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order.
Bill No. 3 - Third Appropriation Act, 1990-91 - continued
Health and Human Resources - continued
Mr. Lang: When we recessed last night, we were discussing the question of foster care and the responsibility of foster care parenting. The revelation that came out was that there was an increase of over 20 percent in the number of kids who were going into foster care. Yet, at the same time, we are in a situation where we have fewer adults who are prepared to take on that responsibility.
The Minister was on the radio the other day and she talked about an increase of $250,000 for the purposes of per diems. Could the Minister perhaps elaborate a little further on that figure and where she got that figure?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Just to correct the record, last night we were talking about children in care, which is a much broader category than children in foster care.
The Member is asking about my comment of needing somewhere around $250,000 in order to raise the base rate for foster care givers. This figure seems to be the amount that would be required. Beyond that, I am simply talking with my department to attempt to find those dollars.
Mr. Lang: I wish to get clarification. The Minister stated it specifically, and she was reading from prepared notes that obviously have been given to her by the department, In 1991 the number of children in foster care in outlying regions have increased by 22 percent over the previous year. Before that, she stated, The number of Yukon children taken into permanent care increased by 20 percent in 1990-91".
Is the Minister telling us that there was no increase in the number of foster children in the Whitehorse area? Are they in a different category?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: In general, we were talking about kids in care, and I am just trying to find the quote. It would be much simpler, and perhaps more productive, if we went on to the specific line-by-line and asked the questions in that area. I am prepared to find out what it was I said last night and to say more about that, if the Member would give me just a moment.
Mr. Lang: First of all, I know that the Minister is new to her job, but she has been in the House for quite some time. This is the time for general debate, to see if there are overall questions on the department. Primarily, a specific line item is to deal with why you are asking for more or less money.
While the Minister is looking for that, perhaps her staff could also advise her on something. With respect to foster children in care who are of Indian origin, do we get a recovery, through the Government of Canada, for the purposes of their per diems when they are placed with foster parents? If so, could the Minister tell me if it is the full amount? As we know, unfortunately, a good percentage of these foster children happen to be of native ancestry.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The rate that is cost-shared by the federal government for the number of children that are in foster care is 50 percent.
From looking at my notes, one thing that I did say last night was that the number of Yukon children taken into permanent care increased by 20 percent in 1990 and 1991. That is a different category than foster care.
Mr. Lang: I know she said that; I just quoted that. I also quoted what she had said further down in her comments that, in 1991, the number of children in foster care in outlying regions has increased by 22 percent.
I want to go a little bit further on this cost-sharing. The Minister is telling the House that, for the per diem paid to foster parents who happen to have children of Indian ancestry, we get reimbursed 50 percent for the amount that is paid out. If that is the case, could the Minister make a commitment to provide me with the total amount of money that we do receive from the Department of Indian Affairs for the purpose of these children who are in foster care? When she gives me those figures, could she also pro-rate for me the number of kids who are in foster care and are of native ancestry?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: He was quite right in my quote of a 22 percent increase in regional foster care over the previous year. We receive 50 percent cost sharing from the federal government for non-status children, and we receive 100 percent from the federal government in terms of cost sharing for status children.
I have a number of figures the Member requested; however, perhaps he has more questions.
Mr. Lang: I would just like the Minister to provide me with the information, if she could.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: We were talking about behaviour management programs last night and about the behaviour of children in care. Programs are in place in all of the group homes; these are a regular part of our case plans and treatment plans for children who need this kind of program. Each individual child is treated according to his or her needs. Resources such as psychiatric services, the Child Development Centre, social work services and so on are brought in as they may be needed.
The Member asked for information on the number of children currently in care. This number fluctuates so that what the department refers to as active care files may not necessarily reflect the exact number of children actually in care at a given moment. However, there are usually fewer children in care than the number of active files. For example, a child may have returned to his or her home, but the paperwork may not have caught up, and so on. Having said that, in 1990-91 there were 102 children in temporary care in Whitehorse. There were 63 children in permanent care and there were four children in care from other jurisdictions.
This represents a decrease in active files of 25 percent of children in temporary care in Whitehorse, a decrease of 50 percent of children in care in Whitehorse from other jurisdictions and an increase of 11 percent, from 57 to 63, for children in care in Whitehorse from other jurisdictions.
We have increases in all of these areas in the number of active files in regions outside Whitehorse. The number of active files for children in temporary care has increased from 84 to 101. The number of active files for children in permanent care outside of Whitehorse has increased from 18 to 26 and the number of active files of children in care from other jurisdictions has gone from 5 to 6.
I hope these facts on programs and numbers have helped ease some of the concerns of the Member opposite. I want to reiterate, however, that discipline itself is not going to solve the problem of the number of children in care in the Yukon. I suspect that if they did not have behavioral problems, many of them would not be in care.
I also want to reiterate that there are behavior management programs in all of our facilities. Part of their programming is to teach appropriate responses to ordinary daily events.
Mr. Lang: I do not want to belabour this issue. We will deal with this further in the main estimates. I just wanted to alert the Minister on this.
Please do not shoot the messenger. I am just relaying things I have been told by people who have worked in these particular homes. This may not apply to all homes. It concerns me when individuals, good citizens, trying to do a good job, come to me and throw up their hands and say they are leaving. It is not only one person, although one person recently did this and told me that was the reason why. The Minister can talk about all the programs she wants, but if she is permitting these children, who are in care, as a normal course of conversationa, to use the worst profanities possible, I suggest to her and to all Members that we are failing in the job we are supposed to be doing.
You can talk about the behavioural program, and all the pseudo-intellectual programs and theories you want but, if we are going to tolerate this type of language on a daily and ongoing basis, then I submit, once again, that we are not doing that child any good, nor are we doing any favour to the staff who are supposedly trying to bring them up and give some guidance to these young people, who have been through a rough time. I am not going to argue that. I am speaking from a non-partisan point of view. I am not trying to make it a big political issue. However, I want to convey that message to the Minister, and I would appreciate it if she would check into it.
Perhaps the Minister has a comment.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I would like to comment on it. We may have been talking to some of the same people. I would like to offer some reassurance to the Member that the group home parents have been changed. The attitude of the children in care has certainly changed in the instance he has heard about. I, too, felt some concern about that. I wanted to share with the Member that that is not the norm, and we do not accept it as such.
Mr. Lang: I want to tell the Minister that this is not the first time it has come to our attention. I believe my colleague for Riverdale South raised it a number of times over the past couple of years. Also, I am not referring to one particular group home. Perhaps the Minister is talking about a case I know nothing about.
I want to make an observation about the foster care per diems. The Minister made the comment on the air yesterday, implying that we, as Members on this side of the House, did not really have the right to bring forward something to give the government a deadline to do something by.
I am here as the longest-sitting Member, and I am going to take my prerogative in telling the Member that I have as many rights as she does when she is in this House. Whether she knows it or not, the Cabinet of the day is responsible to the Legislature. That is where you derive your authority from.
I am here to tell you that I, as a Member of this House, do not appreciate having any Minister tell the public that I am out of order by asking anyone on that side of the House if they have a deadline to do a certain thing by. You may argue about whether the deadline is correct or not, but I want to make a point. That is one of the privileges I have as a duly elected Member.
I want to make another point on the foster parents. I did not know, perhaps I have missed something in years past, that we received recoveries from the federal government for the Indian children in care. I submit to the Minister that the financial obligations the Minister talked about in general terms on the air the other day and in debate in this House are going to lie, in good part, with the Government of Canada as a recovery. That should, at least in part, allow the Government of Yukon to make a favourable decision regarding the per-diems. I am going to make this information available to the foster parents as they should be aware of it.
There is a review under way. She has stated publicly that there are foster parents on the so called review committee. I, as a Member of this House, would like a copy of the final report. I feel I have a right to get it and I would also ask that all foster parents who have foster children should get a copy of that report as well, once it is completed. Will the Minister make such a commitment?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have said several times that the review is part of the process and there is no final report as such. What they are doing is reviewing each of the programs, which will be part of a departmental evaluation, and it will come to me in pieces. I do not expect that there will be a review paper that I could give to the Member.
Mr. Lang: Why did you bother amending the resolution the other day? You amended the resolution so you could look at all these other areas because you have all these other variables. The Minister amended the resolution so she could have the approbation of this House to review all these areas. Now, the Minister stands in her place and says to the House that there is not going to be any report. We are just going to have memos circulating around, those that are positive we will send out to the public, those that are not, I guess we will keep internally.
My concern is not so much for myself, but those people who are foster parents should have a right to know what is happening in the department and they should have a right to that information from a public point of view. I got a copy of that report dated October of last year. I do know that the bureaucracy was very upset with the fact that, somebody like myself, who happens to have a responsibility to look at what is going on in this area, should get a copy of that.
I do not feel that is right. I think that first of all the foster parents should have a copy of whatever review is being done in writing. This is necessary so that they may have a representative there. They are not a well organized or funded group. They are all individuals spread throughout the territory. They should get copies of these draft policies. I feel that I should get a copy as well.
If there are going to be policy changes, I would like the Minister to ensure that copies go to the foster parents as well as to me.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The documents are working papers. The Foster Parents Association are part of the review process. Certainly all of the items in the motion the other day are part of that review. It is an ongoing review. That is partly why there is no final end review paper. They are working papers. As each portion of it is complete, then it will be brought to me for a decision. When the decisions are made, I will be quite happy to let the Member know.
Mr. Lang: I am not going to belabour this. I will be pursuing this in other channels as the year goes on.
I want to move over to another couple of issues before we get into line-by-line.
When is the expected opening of the extended care facility?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am told that the tenders should be let this July and that the late fall of 1992 is the expected completion date at the present time.
Mr. Lang: I want to express my deep concern about this - that these dates be met, and if possible, earlier. A number of constituents of mine have people at home. The home care system is providing some help, but in two cases the patients are suffering from Alzheimers disease and there really should be an extended care facility for such people. It is a tragedy and a travesty that we have voted this money going on for the fourth year, and we are only now at the stage where we may be going to tender during July. It is easy for us who are not in that situation to think that it is somebody elses problem, but I want to say that it is the most heart-wrenching thing in the world to watch these people trying to cope at home with somebody they have perhaps been married to for over 50 years. It is an almost impossible task.
I want to move on to another issue, and that is the question of the health transfer. Perhaps the Minister could update us on the health transfer situation?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Firstly, in relation to the extended care facility - although this may not sound very much - we are one week ahead of schedule. Macaulay Lodge has and is doing its best to provide the care that is needed at the present time. As well, many of the people I have talked to - and I am not meaning the people who require the full extended care benefits but, rather, people who can stay in their home just a little longer and who want to do that - their independence is very important to them. Some of the programs we have in place or that we are working toward help that to happen.
In terms of hospital transfer, the memorandum of understanding has been signed by the employees and the YTG union. Things are progressing. We are again gearing up to push faster and harder. That is really all I can tell the Member at this point. It is in progress; it has not stalled.
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister provide us with the memorandum of understanding that has been reached with the employees and table it in the House?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I will take that under advisement.
Mr. Lang: I would think that at this stage if it is signed, it would be a public document, is it not? Why would you have to take it under advisement? Why can you not table it in the House for us? This is a public forum.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: There is no problem with tabling it. I see no reason why there should be any problem tabling it, so I will give you that undertaking.
Mrs. Firth: The Minister has said that memorandum has been signed with the employees. I guess I would like to know how the hospital transfer itself is progressing, and I believe that is the question that the Member for Porter Creek East was asking.
We are speaking specifically about the relationship between the federal government and the territorial government. They have a new Minister of Health, the Honourable Benoit Bouchard, and we have a new Minister of Health. Under the former Minister - I know that this present Minister will defend him - nothing was done. There was no further movement made with the transfer of hospital services and medical services to the jurisdiction of the Yukon Territorial Government. Is anything happening in that area? Has the Minister been in communication with the new Minister and can we expect the transfer of the hospital, as well as medical services, to the jurisdiction of the Yukon Territorial Government, say in the rest of this governments term?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: We are certainly staffed up. I have indeed spoken to the new Minister of Health, Benoit Bouchard. We have a unit that is working on the negotiations. We expect further exchanges of whatever it is that they exchange - documentation - in the very near future.
In terms of the second phase, that will be tied in with the claims settlement and Indian self-government.
The first phase is proceeding well. The second one will wait.
Mr. Lang: I understand that by the first phase we are talking about the hospital. I would like to ask the Minister what kind of time frame we are looking at. Are we looking at a definitive decision and agreement between the two governments being made by the government by the summer? We have a memorandum of understanding between Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Poushinsky. I think someone else signed it. That was made public. The Deputy Minister has moved on to bigger and better things, depending on how you look at it.
I just want to know when we can expect a definitive agreement between the two governments.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: It was the framework agreement that was signed by the past Minister and the Council for Yukon Indians.
What the Member is looking for is dates. We are now trying to determine what those dates will be. I hope I will have these dates very soon. As soon as I do, I will bring them to the House.
Mr. Lang: I want to move on to two other issues. One is the question of private physiotherapy.
The former Minister made a number of commitments in this House, none of which appear to have been followed up on. They seem to have fallen on your shoulders. He made a commitment that he was going to assess whether or not physiotherapy, provided through the private sector, because of the backlog of work for hospital physiotherapists, could be covered in part by medicare. Some of my constituents have had to go to the private physiotherapist because of the hospital backlog. They pay a substantial amount for the service provided and have received, in most cases, good service.
I would like to know where the department is on this commitment by the previous Minister, who has since fled the portfolio.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: In my discussions with the physiotherapists at the hospital, they have somewhere between a six- and eight-week waiting list. We have hired a physiotherapist at Macaulay Lodge who works half time there and half time in home care.
The issue of licensing private physiotherapists or other professionals rests at the moment with an assessment of what it would cost our health care system. We do not have the answer to that question at the moment. That is being looked at. When we have that information, we will be able to make a decision.
Mr. Lang: A lot of senior citizens who are not necessarily at Macaulay or in a home care situation are having, primarily, back problems that is requiring physiotherapist attention.
When does the Minister expect to have this assessment completed? Once it is completed could she provide Members of the House with copies of it?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am told that we should have the review completed by sometime this fall. When the decision is made about it I will make that information available to the Member.
Mr. Lang: The previous Minister made a commitment that he was going to review the chronic care list. He was going to see if there could be changes to give some stronger guidelines because of the over expenditures in that area.
Can the Minister tell us when she will be in a position to announce the results of the review initiated by the previous Minister?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am told that the review has been completed and that there are initiatives being put into place at the present time to cut costs, with no effect on the recipient. This is, of course, the Members concern as well as mine.
Part of what is happening is that an arrangement is being looked at with the local pharmacists to cut some of the costs of the services there.
Mr. Lang: When can we expect a copy of the evaluation and the decision?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: What I can do, which may meet the needs of the Member, is table a legislative return with the information in it, so the Member has full information. If that would be satisfactory, I would be happy to do that.
Mr. Lang: That will be satisfactory. I am prepared to go into line-by-line, unless anyone else has questions.
Mrs. Firth: I have some questions about the Ministers introductory comments about social assistance. She said that about 75 percent of the total increase was for social assistance. That was 75 percent of some $1.1 million. I did a quick calculation, and that is just over $800,000 in social assistance.
Why has there been such a dramatic increase of almost $1 million for social assistance payments?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: There is $1,521,000 required for social assistance in Whitehorse. As I explained in my opening statement, Whitehorse social assistance recipients have increased by 34 percent. The average cost per case is projected to increase from $670 to $778. It seems that there has been a general increase across the country in social assistance. There is an increase in the cost of living. Even the GST hits social assistance recipients.
Although we seem not to be very affected by the general malaise in the economy across the country, we are feeling it in this area. The people who are first to go, when jobs go, are the poorly skilled workers. This seems to be the case. We are finding more couples, more full families, on social assistance, as opposed to single people or single parents.
With that, the cost goes up, and that is the projection. In December or January there began to be quite an upward curve.
Mrs. Firth: I find this quite interesting. How many people do we have on social assistance? A 34 percent increase is quite a large increase for such a small population as we have here in the Yukon; I think there is some kind of consensus that, economically, we are not in as bad a shape as many other places in Canada. If we extrapolated our figures with some of the provinces, a $1.5 million increase for a small population is a really large increase for social assistance, and it cannot just be attributed to the GST and so on. I wonder what figures the department has. Could the Minister give us more information? Perhaps she could tell us why this is happening when we are supposed to have a relatively good economy?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: If I could tell you why, I would be out there in business somewhere else.
In Whitehorse in 1989-90, there were 804 recipients and in 1990-91 that number rose to 1,071. In the regions, there were 230 in 1989-90, and in 1990-91 the figure rose to 254. There was also the normal increase in rates for November 1989. Other than that, we are tracking the situation and these are the projected costs.
Mrs. Firth: Something is wrong somewhere. The other Minister of Economic Development and the Government Leader and the Minister of Finance keep talking about how great things are here economically, yet we have an increase of 34 percent, which reflects quite a large number of actual beneficiaries of social assistance - almost 250, which is the size of a whole community here in the Yukon.
I would like to ask the Minister whether the Faro workers, who are presently on strike are receiving social assistance, and is that going to have an impact on next years budget?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: At last report, which was not very long ago, there were only two families that were mine employees on social assistance in Faro. I have a hunch, like other Members, if the strike goes on and on, there may be other requirements for social assistance, but at the present time that is not part of the picture, no.
Mrs. Firth: When were those two families put on social assistance, so that we know what kind of time we are talking about?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I was told about it a week ago.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
On Policy & Planning & Administration
Policy & Planning & Administration in the amount of $202,000 agreed to
On Family & Childrens Services
Mr. Lang: Are there going to be any increases for the organizations that are providing services through this section? What is the reason for the $300,000 increase?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: What we are doing in this area this year, is evaluating and providing good, solid feedback to our non-government organizations, but if the Member is asking if there is an increase built in for NGOs in this specific amount, I am afraid the answer is no.
Mr. Devries: Is this the area that the long-awaited counsellor for Watson Lake would fall into? I believe that it was promised to us two years ago by the previous Minister at an alcohol and drug task force dinner, and we are still waiting.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The story I am told, and I believe it is the Members understanding as well, that the community was offered a government counsellor and turned that person down saying they wished to have someone from Yukon Family Services. The government agreed to fund that, and we asked for a proposal from Yukon Family Services. That seems not to have happened very quickly and, after discussions with the Member a couple of weeks ago, I asked the department if they would somehow get this into motion. Kick start it, if you like. If the association was going to present a proposal to us, let us ask them for one. That is where we are at right now. I am hoping.
Mr. Lang: A drug and alcohol survey was done by Social Research North for $21,250. I am wondering if the Minister can provide us copies of that survey and its results.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am not familiar with it just off the top of my head. If it is a public document, I certainly will release it to the Member.
Family & Childrens Services in the amount $306,000 agreed to
On Social Services
Social Services in the amount $1,643,000 agreed to
On Health Services
Mr. Lang: In view of the controversy over the report done by Dr. Cappon and in view of the fact that it is not going to be of much value and that a great deal of money was paid to this individual for the report, I would like the Minister to give us assurances that he is not going to be hired to do further work as a consultant on behalf of the health department.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: It seems that this territory, this House or the Members dislike having a world-class epidemiologist work here. I find that regrettable. However, there are no plans in the works to bring Dr. Cappon back to do the next study that we are doing. I believe I made that clear yesterday, or whenever it was.
Health Services in the amount of $190,000 agreed to
On Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice in the amount of $101,000 agreed to
On Regional Services
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us what this increase is for?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Regional Services in the amount of $348,000 in supplementary funds is being requested. Of this, $98,000 is directly attributable to the collective agreement.
As was suggested in the opening remarks, $147,047 is caused by the 22 percent increase in the number of children in foster care experienced in the current fiscal year. There is $93,000 required for social assistance, and the factors impacting on rising social assistance costs were discussed previously. An additional $15,000 in funding is required for a contribution to the Selkirk Band for a counsellor for alcohol/drug abuse and family violence. These additional costs were offset by $5,000 caused by a reduction in applications for alcohol and drug services community or agency contributions.
Regional Services in the amount of $348,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $2,790,000 agreed to
On Capital Expenditures
On Health Services
On Communication Disorder Equipment
Communication Disorder Equipment in the amount of an under expenditure of $5,000 agreed to
On Extended Health Benefits - Seniors
Extended Health Benefits - Seniors in the amount of an under expenditure of $4,000 agreed to
On Chronic Disease Benefits
Chronic Disease Benefits in the amount of an under expenditure of $5,000 agreed to
On Macaulay Lodge Renovations
Mr. Lang: That is a pretty substantial increase. Perhaps the Minister could tell us what was done to Macaulay Lodge this year.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Certainly. There was $119,000 in additional funding required for the Macaulay Lodge renovations. This additional funding will provide an emergency generator and exterior housing for it. The generator is required to ensure operation of the elevator during electrical failures. Many of the extended-care patients are located on the upper floor of Macaulay Lodge, requiring operation of the elevator to be maintained during emergency evacuations.
On the ground floor, most people are not able to manage stairs, so the level of care is changing at Macaulay Lodge. Renovations had to be done to the upstairs, so people could be more ambulatory on the second floor, as well.
Macaulay Lodge Renovations in the amount of $119,000 agreed to
On Rural Boarding Facility
Mr. Lang: Could the Minister tell us what is happening with this facility? The government took a great deal of political credit for this program. I see we voted the money and nothing happened.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Since the new medical travel policy provides reimbursement for accommodation to qualified applicants - people coming in for medical reasons - the $100,000 originally budgeted for the rural boarding facility is no longer required. People can make their own choice as to where they stay. They seem to be happy with it.
Mr. Lang: I see the tie-in now, and I want to say that I support that. I think all Members would. It seems to be a logical way to approach it.
Rural Boarding Facility in the amount of an under expenditure of $100,000 agreed to
On Mammography Equipment
Mammography Equipment in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
On Whitehorse General Hospital
Whitehorse General Hospital in the amount of an under expenditure of $30,000 agreed to
On Line of Life
Mrs. Firth: I want to make a comment about this particular program. I know it was initiated by the seniors at Closeleigh Manor. I have had an opportunity to observe the program in action. I have to say to other Members of the Legislature that it is a most impressive program.
Mr. Tony Castonguay was the person who led the cause for seniors to have this. Essentially, it is the system that people have seen advertised on television, where seniors have a small, plastic instrument that they can wear either around their neck or their wrist and, in the event that they need help they can press the button and help arrives immediately.
This system has been extremely successful. The people do it all on a volunteer basis. Mr. Castonguay and a helper usually work in pairs. While the system is being installed, one person goes to the seniors apartment or home. The other goes to the ambulance station where it is hooked up to the main monitor. They make sure that everything is in good working order. They give excellent instructions to the people who are participants.
I think the main reason that it is such a wonderful system is that people who are participating in the program do not feel as alone and helpless as they would if they did not have access to this program. All they have to do is press a button and there is help immediately for them.
I think we should recognize and congratulate Mr. Castonguay and all the people who helped him in his efforts to lobby the government and the city so they could have this system in place. It is working very successfully.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I concur with the comments made by the Member.
I would like to add that there were two people involved in the setting up of the program - Tony Castonguay and David Stewart. They have both worked very hard. It has been most successful. It has given older people that most precious commodity: some independence.
Line of Life in the amount of $21,000 agreed to
Capital Expenditures in the amount of nil dollars agreed to
Department of Justice
Hon. Ms. Joe: There have been increases in six of the departments seven programs, and a reduction of expenditures in one program. These variances are as follows: administration requires additional funding of $207,000, which is made up of $150,000 for victims of crime and $57,000 for personnel costs related to the new collective agreement.
Court services requires funding of $126,000 for the impact of the collective agreement and an additional $48,000 for jury fees, due to the projected increase in jury trials to the end of the fiscal year.
Attorney General will require $53,000 to cover the additional personnel expense of the collective agreement and $55,000 for additional costs in the legal aid program. These costs are partially reduced by lapsing funds in the French language area where the contract to translate the Yukon statutes into French was late getting started, resulting in an under expenditure of $70,000. A further reduction of $1,000 is due to the transfer of this amount to Government Services to cover the maintenance costs associated with computer equipment for the French language unit.
Justice services will require a total $210,000, comprised of $140,000 for the personnel costs related to the collective agreement, $50,000 for expenses related to a medical enquiry and $20,000 for the coroners office to cover costs associated with inquests.
The Solicitor General will require the largest amount of additional funding, mainly because of the impact of the new collective agreement, which will require $98,000. A further $200,000 is required to cover the cost of auxiliary salaries and overtime expenses for the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. A further $60,000 is required for the RCMP contract to cover travel costs for the negotiating team and other expenses not covered by the current agreement.
In the policy and planning area, $14,000 is required to cover salary increases under the new collective agreement.
The Human Rights Commission requires additional funding for per diems and travel costs associated with the new board, since the chair is from a rural community and has to travel into town to attend meetings. There was a period of time when there were five members on the commission to help with the orientation of the new commission. That required more expenses and an additional meeting to be held in Watson Lake. These costs amount to $10,000 and have been covered by a transfer from the adjudication boards inactivity since no adjudications have been heard in this fiscal year. A further $10,000 has been lapsed from this activity.
Recoveries have increased by a total of $87,000 as follows: victims of crime has increased by $108,000 due to the corresponding entries under expenses; legal aid by $26,000; the French language recovery has decreased by $71,000, which reflects a decrease in expenditures under O&M; the National Parole Board recovery has increased by $15,000 and Yukon Public Legal Aid Education has recovered additional funds of $1,000 from the previous fiscal year.
Capital expenditures have decreased by $20,000, which reflects a base transfer to Government Services to cover the cost of computer equipment and a printer for the French language unit.
The capital recovery has also decreased by a corresponding amount. Revenue has increased by $150,000 in the area of court fines, $21,000 in the area of professional licences and $9,000 in the area of business licences.
Mrs. Firth: We need another $150,000 for the victims of crime compensation fund. When we debated this issue in the spring budget session, I raised the concern with the Minister about the high costs and how they were growing and growing and she expressed the same concern. Obviously, nothing has been done to address that because we are asking for more money again.
I would like to know how much money we are spending on this program now and what are the governments projections for the upcoming year?
Hon. Ms. Joe: There is not any way we can have control over the amount of money that is spent in regard to this program.
There has been an awful lot of public education in regard to the program as it is available to those victims who apply for it. For the information of the House, the increase in awards has gone up from 18 in 1987-88 to 52 different people applying to the victims of crime program in 1990-91.
We do not really have any control over the way the money is spent. We have a legal obligation to hear those cases that come before us. Because it has been well advertised, and more people have taken advantage of it, that is the reason why more people are coming forward and making claims.
Mrs. Firth: Perhaps the Minister could tell us what the total cost is for that year. How much have we paid out?
Hon. Ms. Joe: In accordance with the information I have with me, and the amount of awards that have been given, we are looking at an expenditure of about $286,000, of which 75 percent is recoverable from the federal government.
Mrs. Firth: The concern I have about this particular program is that, with money getting tight in the government, we are going to have some problem meeting the cost. Even though it is recoverable from the federal government, it still has to be paid.
Right now, the funds for the Workers Compensation Board cannot be touched by this program, yet it is the Workers Compensation Board that sits and hears the cases and processes the applications for the victims of crime.
I would like some reassurance from the Minister that we are not going to be dipping into the Workers Compensation fund to top up this program, so we can be paying victims of crime out of this fund. I know that happened in other provinces, and funds have been depleted for the Compensation Board. I do not want to see that happen here, and I would like some guarantee or reassurance from the Minister that that is not going to happen here.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I share the same concern of the Member in regard to the escalated cost. I have had many discussions in regard to the manner in which it has gone up. She has my assurance that we will not be dipping in Workers Compensation funds in order to accommodate this program.
That is all I can say.
Mrs. Firth: We will wait and see what happens and debate it next time.
I want to move on to another general issue. There are quite a few problems at the Whitehorse Correction Centre with under staffing. The Minister is asking for $200,000 or so in the budget for auxiliary salaries and overtime staff. It is overcrowded. We have talked about a new facility, accreditation and a lot more about the Whitehorse Correction Centre, but things seem to be remaining stagnant there. What are the Ministers plans, in the immediate future, to accommodate the increasing number of people who are having to go to this facility?
There have been some comments made publicly by the person in charge that the government had made a commitment to give the facility more money. Could the Minister tell us how much more money they have promised and what the immediate plans are?
Hon. Ms. Joe: One of the things this facility will never do is meet the accreditation standards. That is a fact. We all know we have a very big problem there.
We have been trying to deal with the situation of providing person years for the facility, when that is necessary. The supplementary budget has indicated that.
We do have a superintendent who has been doing her very best to accommodate the needs of the individuals who are living there. That has been a very difficult job for her, because of the circumstances of the overcrowding in the facility and the lack of sufficient staff to run it.
I would just like to mention now that she was not making public comments to the media. Anything the Member might have heard or read in the media was information provided while she was under oath as a witness at the inquest.
The information she reported at that time was, of course, true. We are looking at increasing the training of the individuals who work there. That is required, and we have been doing it in a small way. The training provided to them has been done to the best of our ability under the financial restraints we are experiencing. We are also looking at changing the work schedule under the collective agreement. The old agreement was that they would work 10 days on and 10 days off, in 12-hour shifts; that will be changed. A pilot project is being developed, whereby they will work different and shorter scheduled shifts. We found with the other shift that, because of the stress of the job, many of the workers were requiring sick leave to deal with situations. That is the reason why we were having to use auxiliaries.
The facilities study has been done, and it indicated to us that we do need a new facility - although, of course, we did not need a study to tell us that. It also told us a number of other things concerning the types of programming we would be looking at. There is a definite need for a new facility; what has to be worked out is how that will occur, where it will be built and how we will do that, but that is in the future. We are aware of the problem, and we are dealing with it.
Mrs. Firth: Again, that remains to be seen. We have been talking about this for a long time, yet nothing has happened. Now, we are just changing the shifts of the employees and spending more money every year.
The next thing I would like to ask the Minister about is the RCMP agreement. I understand that the Ministers latest position was that they had refused to participate more fully in the expenses, which is the additional five percent the federal government is asking us to assume responsibility for. How long is this going to go on? When are we going to have a solution in sight? I have some concerns about the morale right now, with respect to the RCMP. They are operating without a contract, and their lives are sort of in limbo, because the two levels of government are in dispute and cannot seem to come together with a solution.
Could the Minister update us on that and tell us when we are going to be getting a new RCMP agreement?
Hon. Ms. Joe: One of the things I cannot tell her right now is when we are going to get an agreement. Ten years ago, when the last agreement ended, there was a period of seven or eight months before a new contract was signed. That is exactly what is happening now.
There have been ongoing meetings over the last year with officials of the federal government. We felt that there were some problems we have to deal with. There is a complete and united agreement right across Canada of Ministers responsible for the RCMP in all jurisdictions. We refuse to be railroaded into paying additional costs, when there are many other things we have to take into consideration in regard to the RCMP contract.
We feel that the federal government does have a responsibility for certain things. We will require more accountability, which has not been seen in the past. The past has told us that money is being spent without consulting with us and, in some circumstances, there is no time to consult with this government, at least, in regard to an added expenditure.
An example would be when it comes to emergencies that arise where you require searches by helicopters, or other things such as that. We have not decided not to participate in the negotiations. We have appointed three Ministers from other jurisdictions to meet with the federal Minister in regard to our latest position. There was just a recent meeting, I believe this week, with one of the individuals who was appointed by us and the new federal Minister, Doug Lewis.
I believe that we are a little more optimistic now in regard to the kinds of things that we would like to see in an agreement. Right now, we are refusing to pay the additional five percent, but there are other things that are included in that.
The other things that are included, as has been mentioned in the media, is the position by the federal government for us to take over 100 percent of the costs of public servants. There is a possibility that they may stop their court liaison program they have been doing for years, which would be an added expense to this government, because we would have to provide a new person year for that, plus all the things that go along with that position. There is the possibility that they would stop all the escort services they have been providing in the past, which would require us to spend all of this additional money.
We do have a situation here where we have decided that we will take a firm stance. We understand that the job is stress related and that a lot of those individuals are in limbo, as a result of a contract running out. We have sought legal advice in regard to whether or not we would be responsible for anything that happened during that period of time.
Of course, the Yukon does not fit into that category, but many other positions have been put on the table by other ministers, so it is ongoing, and we will be dealing with it.
Mrs. Firth: I guess I find it frustrating that the government would take steps to cover its legal backsides and meanwhile those people are working there without an agreement. What are the financial implications of all these changes and negotiations she refers to? I would like to know how much money YTG would have to pay if we agreed to assume the responsibilities for these costs.
I can see why the provinces would be holding fast with respect to this, but I do not think we are in a strong negotiating position because we do not have an alternative police force, unlike some of the provinces. They have their own provincial and municipal police forces. We are entirely dependent on the services of the RCMP for policing services.
In light of all the money the federal government gives us, I would think we would be wanting to take a more cooperative approach with them with respect to assuming more of the costs. We can have just as much information from the RCMP with respect to their budget as we, as legislators, are prepared to ask for. We have certainly received more information in this Legislature in the past few years since we have been asking for it.
If the Minister could give us the figure of the overall costs, we could carry on.
Hon. Ms. Joe: It is obvious that the Member for Riverdale South and I share a difference of opinion in regard to the manner in which we negotiate this contract. We feel that we do have an obligation to try to deal with the situations as they arise. That is exactly what we are doing. It has been estimated in the department that a new contract that would adopt the position of the federal Minister could cost us anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million. The Member knows we have had to come back to this House for additional money to accommodate the needs of the RCMP for many emergencies that have occurred in the past.
That is our position, right now, on the negotiations. It is my intention to maintain that position.
Chair: We will now take a break.
Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
Administration in the amount of $207,000 agreed to
On Court Services
Court Services in the amount of $174,000 agreed to
On Attorney General
Attorney General in the amount of $37,000 agreed to
On Justice Services
Justice Services in the amount of $210,000 agreed to
On Solicitor General
Solicitors General in the amount of $558,000 agreed to
On Policy and Planning
Policy and Planning the in amount of $14,000 agreed to
On Human Rights
Human Rights in the amount of an under expenditure of $10,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $1,190,000 agreed to
On Capital Expenditures
On French Language Agreement Equipment
French Language Agreement Equipment in the amount of an under expenditure of $20,000 agreed to
Capital Expenditures in the amount of an under expenditure of $20,000 agreed to
Justice agreed to
Public Service Commission
Hon. Mr. McDonald: The budget before you enumerates a desire to turn back approximately $51,000, even after the retroactive wage adjustments have been made.
There is no capital budget and there is no person year change.
Mrs. Firth: How could the Public Service Commission afford to give money back when all the other departments are asking for huge increases for the employee wage settlement? Were they short person years or did they have vacancies? What happened that they were able to have money left over?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: There were a number of under expenditures. There were vacancies in the devolution positions. Understand that this is a fairly small department and even a vacancy or two can alter the financial position of the department quite dramatically. There have been various small overages and underages - if that is a word - but basically, because of the size of the department and the fact that the retroactive wage adjustment was not a major factor. As the departments budget is relatively small, it caused us under expenditure.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
On Systems and Administration
Systems and Administration in the amount of an under expenditure of $30,000 agreed to
On Recruitment Training
Recruitment Training in the amount of an under expenditure of $10,000 agreed to
On Employee Records and Pensions
Employee Records and Pensions in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Labour Relation
Labour Relations in the amount of $31,000 agreed to
Compensation in the amount of an under expenditure of $31,000 agreed to
On Positive Employment Programs
Positive Employment Program in the amount of an under expenditure of $41,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of an under expenditure of $51,000 agreed to
Public Service Commission agreed to
Department of Renewable Resources
Hon. Mr. Webster: The supplementary reflects the additional required funding of $92,000 in operation and maintenance, and $94,000 in the capital. The reason for the increase in the operation and maintenance budget is due to the new collective agreement. If it were not for the cost of this new collective agreement, which totals $406,000 for the entire department, the department would have been under spent by $314,00 in operations and maintenance. A major portion of this due to position vacancies, in particular in the regional planning section. This resulted in lower personnel and other costs in budgeting.
On a program by program basis, administration required an additional $45,000 for salary adjustments, arising from the new collective agreement. It was offset by reduced expenditures due to the vacancy in the Deputy Ministers position for a few months, and this resulted in a net increase of $4,000.
In policy and planning, the increase is $9,000. This branch required $57,000 for the new collective agreement salary adjustments. Other than that we under spent by $48,000 that was attributed mainly to position vacancies and lower travel and contract costs than budgeted.
In parks, resources and regional planning there is a decrease of $100,000. The effect of the new collective agreement on this program is $93,000, thus this branch would have been under spent by $193,000 without the effect of the new collective agreement. This $193,000 is attributed largely to reduced O&M expenditures on Yukon land use planning, amounting to $160,000. It is attributed to difficulties in bringing the second planning region in north Yukon on stream and of course, the ultimate cancellation of the Northern Land Use Planning Program. You will note that this amount is offset by reduced recoveries of a like amount.
The $199,000 required by fish and wildlife is due to the new collective agreement costs of $183,000.
The over expenditure of $12,000 in agriculture is due to the cost of the new collective agreement as well.
Recoverable for trapper education has been reduced, as the federal government has decided to withdraw its support in this area.
The additional $94,000 in capital expenditures includes $20,000 for the effect of a new collective agreement. In parks, resources and regional planning the additional $38,000 for Herschel Island is comprised of a $34,000 transfer from operation and maintenance for equipment and $4,000 for the effect of the new collective agreement.
I trust these comments will provide some clarification and assistance and understanding of the reasons behind the supplementary. Thank you.
Mr. Lang: There are a number of issues on which I would like some clarification. Firstly, I would like to deal with the Environment Act. I sent a letter to the Minister at least three weeks ago requesting an outline of who had had contracts for the purpose of that act, together with the amounts and various other detail. I would like to know if the Minister has that information and can he provide it to me.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The information is being prepared at this time and will be available when it comes time to debate the Environment Act in the House.
Mr. Lang: I had asked the Minister if I could have that information, and I gave him due notice. It is not as if it is a new question that I have asked today and I would like the requested information no later than Thursday, if possible. Is that possible?
Hon. Mr. Webster: That is possible. We will have the information available. My assistant here is confirming that it is possible.
Mr. Lang: I will go on to another issue, having to do with the harvesting of wildlife. I noticed that various Indian bands have had contracts to do what they refer to as Indian harvest counts. Could the Minister provide us with that information and could he tell us just how reliable it is?
Hon. Mr. Webster: The information being collected will be used in preparing big game management plans in various areas throughout the territory. As to the question of reliability, it is only reliable to the extent of the number of people who willingly participated in the program of the native harvest studies. Some First Nations gave a great deal of cooperation and their figures are fairly accurate and reliable. That was not quite the case in other situations.
Mr. Lang: Will we be provided with copies of the final counts, so that we have some understanding of the results of the surveys?
Hon. Mr. Webster: We can make that information available to the Member as soon as it is compiled. That should be sometime next month.
Mr. Lang: I just want to turn to another area. There was a front page story the other day with respect to the hunting of pregnant sheep in the Ross River area. I want to express some concern. It is true these animals were right beside the road?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Yes. The animals were right down by the road.
Mr. Lang: I understand the law, but I think this is an issue that concerns everybody, both native and non-native, who are concerned about the conservation of wildlife and about how people hunt. I want to ask the Minister what steps he is taking to ensure that this does not happen in the future.
Hon. Mr. Webster: In this particular case, it was a legal hunt. People are entitled to take advantage of that. The situation is not different for non-aboriginal persons. During the proper season, people may hunt not far from the roads. At this time, there is no policy in existence that bans hunting from the highway corridor other than the Dempster.
The Member is aware that this is under active consideration by the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board at this time.
Mr. Phillips: Can the Minister tell us if that is the same area where some habitat enhancement work had gone on last year? I believe some trees were cleaned off in the area and the habitat on those hillsides was enhanced because, evidently, that is the winter range and the area where the ewes actually lamb in the spring.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I will have to get that information back to the Member. I do not think that the Lapie area was the one that benefitted from the rehabilitation work done last year. I think it was for the Fannin sheep in the Faro area. I will check on that for the Member.
Mr. Phillips: I know that the area has been discussed as a potential area for some habitat enhancement at some time or another.
I respect the right of the native people of Ross River to harvest wildlife for food at any time of the year, but in this particular case, I have a concern for the sheep in that area.
In the spring of the year, the sheep are usually moving to their lambing areas. It is an extremely critical time for the sheep. There were 11 sheep in that particular band and I believe they killed four. Three of the four sheep were pregnant.
The right to hunt for food is a special right and a special privilege, and one that should be respected. They should respect the well-being of the wildlife when they do hunt.
The particular people who hunted the band of sheep drove along an existing highway in a motor vehicle and used high-powered rifles to kill these animals. That is not exactly a traditional way of harvesting wildlife. I think when we consider that right to harvest wildlife at any time of the year, we have to give consideration to the fact that the wildlife is more vulnerable at certain times of the year.
Possibly meetings could go on with the band in order to discuss what happened. I think it is a very serious problem if we do not get a handle on it. We are currently negotiating a land claim agreement that is going to allow the harvesting of animals year round.
I know, for a fact, that a similar thing happened a year or two ago in the Whitehorse area, out by the end of Fish Lake, with the caribou herd. There were roughly 75 animals in the herd. Renewable Resources documented about 24 of those animals being shot by members of the Kwanlin Dun Band in the winter time. These animals were on their winter range. It is extremely critical to those animals. Hunting of that herd is now totally prohibited, because it is in danger of declining.
One of the major reasons it is in danger of declining is because 25 percent of the herd in that area was killed in one year. We have to think about the wildlife. Both native and non-native people have to think about the well-being of the wildlife. In some cases, perhaps that right, or privilege, to hunt year-round in certain areas may have to be restricted or, at least, people have to be taught to respect it.
In this particular case, I do not think there was respect for the pregnant ewes ready to lamb on that hillside. The government is spending thousands of dollars to try to enhance the range and build up the herds with certain restrictions in the area, then something like this happens. It is unfair. It is not unfair for me, as a non-native person; it is not unfair for the native people who are hunting them; it is unfair for the sheep and the wildlife. That is what is critical.
We had better smarten up and begin to realize that the wildlife has to be a priority, and we should be giving that strong consideration in the future.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I accept the Members argument that, at this particular time of the year, it is an unfair situation for the sheep and wildlife. It is an unfortunate situation, because this area was identified as an area that has the potential for some wildlife viewing opportunities.
We have made our concerns known to the Ross River First Nation, basically suggesting some of the things the Member already raised as concerns. They have agreed to investigate it. We all have to start to recognize that our wildlife is a very valuable resource. We cannot sustain it by not treating it properly. The proper management has to be abided by everyone, so we can have a fair access to the harvest.
We have made that position known, in this particular example, to the Ross River First Nation.
Mr. Lang: In the information the Minister is going to provide to the House, could he include whether that particular area is the area where habitat improvement was made and whether or not the Ross River Indian Band was contracted to do the habitat improvement, together with the amount of money that was spent on it?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I will provide that information to the Member.
Mr. Lang: I would like to turn now to the area of game zone 5. My understanding is that restrictions have come in with respect to the harvesting of caribou. Moose is, of course, another animal that will be regulated to the non-native hunter. I want to know what the Minister is going to do regarding the predator situation - whether a game management program is going to be put into effect or will it be just a case, once again, of the Haines Junction and Whitehorse people who do hunt having to go elsewhere in the territory to get their harvest?
Hon. Mr. Webster: As the Member knows, we are very much concerned with the results of our surveys conducted this past year in game zone 5 with respect to caribou populations. It has necessitated immediate closure of the area to sport hunting, and we plan to continue our surveys of the area to determine whether the population is increasing or not and whether the blood count situation is improving. We have, as recently as a couple of months ago, completed some radio collaring work to better determine the habits of the herd and we will be continuing that program this fall and throughout the winter.
Mr. Lang: I hate to belabour this, but it seems to me that the departments and the Ministers philosophy to game management is basically to go and tell, in most part, the non-native hunter that he or she is restricted or cannot hunt. That seems to be the bottom line - whether it be for moose or caribou in game zones 7, 9 and 5.
I submit that, if that is the position of government and if that is their method of management, then obviously we are voting too much money for that department because all we need are conservation officers to go and ensure that the regulations are enforced and that the non-native hunter cannot hunt. We are not doing anything in game management. The Minister tells us we are going to collar a few animals; we are going to follow them around in an airplane and we are going to have another survey, and within another year we will have a look to see whether or not there has been any increase in the herd. Yet, at the same time, I know the Minister has been provided with some information about the predator situation in those areas.
In game zones 7 and 9, the numbers are now such that they appear that they may be within 70 animals of the 1981 survey. There is a fallacy. The 1981 survey showed that there were major problems in that area. That is not the standard we should be looking at for numbers of moose.
If the Minister is telling me that he is going to be satisfied, in the case of game zones 7 and 9, to get up to 1981 numbers, is he also telling us that the area will be open for hunting with very few restrictions for non-native hunters? I think he will find he will not be able to do that because the numbers will not be able to support that. Perhaps I am wrong. I would like the Minister to explain to the House how he sees it.
When game zones 7 and 9 get up to those numbers, is there going to be hunting with regulations similar to those in place in the Pelly Lakes region?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I think we have had this debate before. I pointed out then that restricted harvest is a tool to use in the management of game as a temporary measure. In game zones 7 and 9, we did reduce the harvest levels for non-aboriginal residents and non-residents to 10 permits each for moose. The Champagne/Aishihik First Nation voluntarily reduced their harvest levels in a cooperative approach.
We have noted, from the surveys conducted in the last year, that as a result of this activity moose populations in game zones 7 and 9 have rebounded. They are not quite, as the Member correctly pointed out, at the 1981 level. I cannot say whether or not this is the preferred or optimum level, but there are certainly indications to point out that the action of restricting harvest taken, which is severe, has benefitted the herd.
I think that along with the other measures that are being considered, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board is still considering the possibility of the predator control measures in game zones 7 and 9, as well as 5.
Mr. Lang: I am not going to belabour this. I would like the Minister to come back to us and if we happen to be out of the House, I would appreciate it if he would correspond with me and maybe other Members - I am sure that at least the Members for Hootalinqua and Kluane would be interested - what numbers are going to be satisfactory in game zones 7 and 9 so that the non-aboriginal hunter can hunt under the general laws of applications, i.e. the regulations that are in effect for example? I am referring to the Pelly Lakes or the Watson Lake area or whatever, so that there are very few restrictions as far as the season is concerned.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I honestly do not know when we will be able to have enough information to be able to determine what the optimum number of moose should be in those game management zones, but I will provide the information to the Member as to how we will go about defining that, in other words how we will go about determining what should be an optimum number for that area. We will be making some projections as to when that figure can be reached to ensure that the restrictions that are presently in place for non-aboriginal hunters can be relaxed.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
Administration in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
On Policy & Planning
Policy & Planning in the amount of $9,000 agreed to
On Parks, Resources & Regional Planning
Mr. Lang: We spent millions of dollars on the Kluane Management Plan. I want to know where it goes from here.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Kluane plan is to be completed by the end of June and, then submitted to the Ministers for their review.
Parks, Resources and Regional Planning in the amount of an under expenditure of $100,000 agreed to
On Fish and Wildlife
Fish and Wildlife in the amount of $199,000 agreed to
Mr. Lang: When is the agricultural policy going to be released? If you recall, that was the policy two years ago. In the month of September, I asked the question, and it was due to be released no later than that Christmas. Of course, we did not have Christmas that year, and we did not have Christmas the following year. It was a good thing Christmas was cancelled, so the Minister never had to fulfill his commitment.
When will this well-examined, well-thought-out policy be unveiled to the public?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I regret that I could not deliver some Christmas goodies the last two years on this matter of an agricultural policy for the territory. As the Member knows, there was some difficulty with the original policy as released. Members of the Yukon Livestock and Agricultural Association had some difficulties with the provision and costing of land. Some measures we put in place as incentives and tax breaks for land being used for agricultural purposes, to encourage agricultural land being used for agricultural purposes, were also a problem.
Members of the Yukon Livestock and Agricultural Association are still reviewing those policies and providing input for some possible changes to that policy. I cannot honestly give an answer to the Member about when that review will be finished, which will enable us to be in a position to release a policy.
Mr. Lang: That is a pretty broad statement. We did not even get that Christmas, now. I guess it is maybe never, never.
We will wait until the main estimates and the coming budget to get further into this. I just want to put the Minister on alert that there has to be a definitive decision in this area to know where the government is going and where people stand in this area.
With respect to elk farming, I know that there have been requests to the Minister to discuss with the Government of Alberta the prospects of opening the border to Alberta to sell locally-raised elk on the Alberta market. Where are we at on that, as far as the Minister is concerned? I feel that there is a real potential in the Yukon for this type of agriculture. I happen to own one elk, hoping that someday it will have a baby. It is quite an interesting thing to see the work and effort that goes into raising these animals. They are quite a wonderful animal to watch.
It is of interest to the elk-farming community that the border be opened to make this small industry in the territory viable, and to see if it can sustain itself locally.
Hon. Mr. Webster: There is not much new to report since the last time the Member raised this matter. We understand the eagerness of breeders in Alberta to acquire some of our elk as they are free of brucellosis. We are still waiting for word from the Alberta Government about whether or not they will permit the transfer of elk between the two jurisdictions. There is no problem on the Yukon side of things.
Mr. Lang: I recognize that the government has been very cooperative in this area. I am not being critical of the government or the Minister in this area. What I am asking is: what steps is the Minister using to continue to try to impress upon the government the importance of opening the border. Has he been in correspondence with the Minister lately? Where are we in the interplay between governments, which I see as his role the carrying of the ball to the government of Alberta. I think there is very real reason that that market should be available as we do have good-looking, disease-free animals available.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Member could be right that we have been dealing at the official level long enough now. Perhaps it may help the situation if I as a Minister approach the Minister responsible for the wildlife in Alberta so we can move this along.
Mr. Lang: I would ask the Minister if he would make a commitment in the next week or so to take the necessary steps through his office and see what kind of response he receives.
Agriculture in the amount of $12,000 agreed to
On Inuvialuit Final Agreement
Mr. Nordling: Perhaps the Minister could explain that figure. It really is not a $32,000 reduction. If one looks at O&M recoveries, it is a $43,000 reduction. What is happening is that $11,000 is being spent over what was expected, rather than $32,000 less.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Member is correct. It is because the dollars that were recovered did not include the monies required for the extra costs in the collective agreement.
Inuvialuit Final Agreement in the amount of an under expenditure of $32,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $92,000 agreed to
On Departmental Equipment
Departmental Equipment in the amount of $4,000 agreed to
On Faro Renovations
Faro Renovations in the amount of $6,000 agreed to
On Parks, Resources and Regional Planning
On Herschel Island - IFA
Herschel Island - IFA in the amount of $38,000 agreed to
On Territorial Campgrounds and Day Use Areas - Rehabilitation
Territorial Campgrounds and Day Use Areas - Rehabilitation in the amount of $6,000 agreed to
On Territorial Campgrounds and Day Use Areas - Facility Replacement
Territorial Campgrounds and Day Use Areas - Facility Replacement in the amount of $3,000 agreed to
On Interpretive Signage
Interpretive Signage in the amount of $12,000 agreed to
On Yukon River (30 Mile Section)
Yukon River (30 Mile Section) in the amount of an under expenditure of $12,000 agreed to
On Dempster Corridor Study - Land Use Planning
Mr. Lang: How much have we spent in total on the Dempster corridor study?
Hon. Mr. Webster: The studies on the Dempster corridor go back quite a few years and involve a number of them. I do not have that information at this time, but I will bring it back to the Member.
Mr. Lang: I would like that information. I feel it is important. We have been voting money for this every year. It is getting to the point where I think people are just making a living off it, as opposed to coming to a conclusion on what we should be doing in that area. It is too easy for us, in the House, to stand here and vote the money, and hope somebody else is going to do it. It is time that I, as well as the Minister, start questioning what is going on in this area.
Dempster Corridor Study - Land Use Planning in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Agriculture - Forage Productivity
Agriculture - Forage Productivity in the amount of $7,000 agreed to
Capital Expenditures in the amount of $94,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that you report progress on Bill No. 3.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Mr. Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
May the House have the report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole?
Ms. Kassi: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 3, entitled Third Appropriation Act, 1990-91, and directed me to report progress on same.
Speaker: You have heard the report from 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 5:29 p.m.
The following Document was filed May 7, 1991:
Photographs of protesters preparing peace signs in foyer of Yukon Government building, January 1, 1991 (Lang)