Wednesday, December 18, 1991 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with Prayers.
Eulogy to Joey Smallwood
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I rise to note the passing of the former Premier of Newfoundland, Joey Smallwood, and join others across the country today in recognizing the contribution made by Mr. Smallwood to his province and to Canada.
Mr. Smallwood was instrumental in leading Newfoundland into Confederation in 1948. He then went on to serve the people of Newfoundland for almost a quarter of a century as their first Premier.
With his passing, this country has lost a committed statesman, a fiery orator and a distinguished Canadian. On behalf of the Members on this side of the House, I express our condolences to Mr. Smallwoods family and friends and to the people of Newfoundland whom he served for so many years.
Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper.
Introduction of Visitors.
Are there any Returns or Documents for Tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mr. Webster: I have two legislative returns for tabling.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have a number of legislative returns for tabling, as well as some returns for tabling on behalf of Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have four legislative returns for tabling.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I, too, have some returns for tabling.
Mr. Phillips: I do not really have a document to table, but this is the Christmas season and Christmas is about seven days away now, and we are nearing the end of our session.
We on this side of the House have grown quite fond of our colleagues on the other side of the House and the Independent Alliance during this session. We felt that it was appropriate today to present the Members of this House with a special Christmas gift so that they can go home over the Christmas season and enjoy the season thinking of us and the wonderful experiences we have had over the last few weeks.
I would like to begin by starting with you, Mr. Speaker, because you are one of the most important people in this House - or rather, you are the most important person in this House.
Mr. Phillips: We looked at many things for you and what we have come up with is something that you could use as well as something, Mr. Speaker, that could one day save your life.
I know that earlier this winter you had a dramatic experience on a ski-doo and you fell through the ice. You had quite a walk back to the highway and had to make a trip to the hospital. It was quite a close call, so to speak. We are going to take care of that for you, Mr. Speaker. We approached the ski-doo company and they told us that they have the newest ski-doo jacket on the market and we have purchased that for you, Mr. Speaker. We are going to present this to you; you just slip it over your neck and over your outer clothing, and if you ever go through the ice again, you can be assured that you will safely recover from the experience. I would like to present this gift to the Speaker.
Mr. Brewster: There are only three of us elders in this Legislature. You tried to get rid of yourself and I did a pretty good job of trying to get rid of myself, so I would like to present to the Member for Tatchun with this safety belt, which can be used on a ski-doo, a car, or, if things get too rough in the Legislature, he can use it here. We sure want one of our elders to continue to remain in the Legislature.
Mr. Phillips: We did not have to search too long or too hard for a gift for the Member for Old Crow. The Member for Old Crow has spent almost all of her time in the Legislature worrying about and caring about the Porcupine caribou herd. They say that sometimes, when you have a pet, you eventually start to look like your pet. We are going to help the Member look like her pet. We want the Member, when she goes outside to lobby the people about the ANWR lands in the future to put this on, along with her caribou skin outfit. I think it would be very effective.
Mr. Lang: I have a Christmas present for one of my dear colleagues in the House, the Minister of Health and Social Services, who, over the past little while has dealt with a number of issues. Of course, one of them happens to be the Mental Health Act and the proclamation of the notorious regulations.
This is a book that I managed to retrieve out of the library. It is called Famous Proclamations, by Y.I. Cry. It has copies of Hansard covering both the Mental Health Act and the regulations, as well as the plight of the people in Dawson City, which will provide her over the Christmas holidays with some bedside reading.
In order to provide background music during the time that she is reading this before she goes to sleep, and since she is known as the Minister of apologies, we have a tape with Brenda Lee singing Im Sorry.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister of Justice has spent many years being concerned about the young offenders facility in Whitehorse and each year she comes forward with another budget item to build another fence. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars adding fences, doors, more doors and windows to this facility, to keep the young offenders in who keep walking away from the facility. We have an idea that we think will solve most of the Ministers problems. It is a lock and a key. We are going to suggest that they actually lock the doors of the facility. That may stop the people from walking out of the front door.
But that is not the only thing we are going to give the Minister. The Minister comes into the House and sometimes does not appear to be very happy. She does not seem to always enjoy the House, so, over the Christmas season, we are going to cheer up the Minister of Justice. We put a tape together for the Minister that she will enjoy listening to. We repeated the song, so that she will not have to get up and change the tape. The song is Dont Worry; Be Happy.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I would like to thank the Member for these gifts. One thing he has not found out yet is that I am not responsible for juvenile justice, but that is okay. I would also like to say that I will be in Hawaii during the Christmas holiday and I will be happy to listen to it.
This is fun; it brings me back 10 years to when we were in the opposition and we did the very same thing. I remember presenting the Member for Riverdale South with a bus in regard to the bus policy; and I remember the Member for Mayo giving a record, a broken record mind you, to the Member for Porter Creek East, because of the manner in which he got his answers. This is really great; thank you very much.
Mr. Phillips: I am going to thoroughly enjoy this next one. This is to my friend and colleague from Mayo. I get the pleasure of presenting a couple of certificates to that Member, who has just shown outstanding abilities in this House in the last session.
First of all, I have obtained this certificate, which will be given to the Minister in the future; it has not really taken place yet, but we have a copy of the certificate here. This is an educational leave certificate, which states, The Public Service Commission is pleased to grant Piers McDonald, the bearer of this certificate, an educational leave for a full period not exceeding 12 months at full salary and other benefits as specified in this certificate.
He will get a laptop computer, he will get a housing allowance, he will get travel expenses for immediate and extended family, he will get a chauffeur allowance - he no longer has to drive himself around - he is going to get wine service and a fun-filled weekend in Acapulco. This is signed on the 18th day of December 1991 by the Honourable R. Graham.
I have one other certificate for the Member, and I know this is near and dear to his heart. It is something he worked very hard on in this session and I got it in a brown envelope from the Independent Alliance; it arrived on my desk here this morning. It is a lifetime Alliance card, and it reads: Bea Firth, one for all, all for one; whereas the undersigned hereto hereby agrees to steadfastly adhere to the holy covenants of the Independent Alliance - and then it asks him to please check the appropriate box: more funding, yes; policies, no; philosophy, no; constitution, no; memberships, no; elected leader, no. In recognition of Piers McDonald, he is appointed co-co-co-leader of the Independent Alliance. Issued 1991, card number 3. He is the third member of the party; and it says at the bottom May the farce be with you.
Mr. Phelps: I was out shopping and looking for an appropriate gift for the Member for Faro, and I have one or two gifts for him here. Back in my criminal law days, I used to understand a.k.a. to mean also known as. The Member for Faro is a.k.a. the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation and the Yukon Energy Corporation. I was walking past Hougens on Main Street and I happened to see this little piggy bank. Low and behold, it had Yukon Energy written on the side and on the back it said, You may think that I am a pig, but I am not. I am a cow - a cash cow. Right beside the pig - for some reason somebody must have seen me coming - was a hammer with the Yukon Development Corporation logo on the side. I would like to present this to the Member.
Also, so he will not feel left out and not feel that he did not get his fair share of the gifts, I also picked up this book at Macs newsstand. It is a book entitled, Why Things Go Wrong, or Why Do I Talk So Much, by Doctor F.I. Mouth, The man who discovered the Yukon Development Corporation brings you completely up to date on the world of incompetence. I thought these two gifts would be something that the Member would cherish over Christmastime.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: With respect to your prestigious position in this House to rule us out of order, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all Members a merry Christmas and express my sincere appreciation to the Member for Hootalinqua for these sincere, albeit rather humorous gifts.
Some Hon. Member: Read the book.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As all Members know, I am a person of very few words so I shall not be very long. I would like to acknowledge my new-found view of parliamentary tradition and my new perspective on Crown corporations, commonly known as Cablevision, and gracefully accept these gifts. Thank you.
Mr. Brewster: I asked for my Christmas present last night. I asked the Minister to change a five to a two. I am sure that will be on my Christmas tree. I thought I should give him a couple of Christmas presents before I leave.
Coming in on Monday, one of those nice furry little creatures stopped me on the road. He said, Will you do us a favour? I said Sure. He said Well, I would like you to present this to the man that helps us so much. He protects us when you are trying to move us off the road. I have that for him.
I went a little further along the road and I ran into a little bull elk. There were wolves all around it. He said, Please take this to the Minister. It is a cry for help. So I told him I would do that. I would like to present him with both these Christmas presents.
Mr. Phillips: I have a present for the same Minister, but it is for one of his other portfolios. That is the Department of Tourism. Over the last year or two, we have seen a new facility being constructed at the top of the hill. It looks like something we have not seen before. One of the main features of this new tourism facility is the coliseum of washrooms. It is the central gathering place where we are going to gather and ... gather.
I was down in Macs Fireweed and found a book. Interestingly enough, it was a Visitors Guide to Yukon Lavatories by the I.P. Group. There are a couple of cartoons at the front of the book, along with an article in the centre which has Centres Washrooms a Lure for Yukon Visitors as the headline. I would like to present this new design guide of washrooms to the Minister of Tourism so that when he is building new tourism facilities he can use it as his guide.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I would like to thank the Member for that particular gift, as I am sure that it will make good reading material in those washrooms.
Mr. Devries: I have a gift here for the Government Leader, who unfortunately is not here, but it is from the humble lumberjacks in Watson Lake.
As we all know, the Government Leader has been very outspoken about the fact that he has received very little thanks for what he has done in Watson Lake and has received very little appreciation for the initiative that his government took.
I would like to present the Government Leader with this Yule Log. It is a genuine piece of Highland Forest Products firewood. However, I would advise the Minister to burn it during this season, because there are a lot of strange sounds coming out of this log. There is a bunch of little beetles munching away at it. May it keep the Government Leaders house warm and cozy during this festive season. I would like to give it to the interim leader, Mr. McDonald.
Mr. Lang: We also have another presentation for the Government Leader in absentia, and in view of the issue, it is probably appropriate that he is not here.
It has to do with when he was the Minister in charge of the Yukon Development Corporation. What we have here is a cookie jar full of cookies, and you must note that there is a left hand getting into the cookie jar. This is in recognition of the revelation that was made during the course of this session, that, after five years of intense questioning in respect to the $16 million paid by the electrical consumers, it finally came out that the money was actually spent on the notorious sawmill. This is in recognition of being caught with a hand in the cookie jar. Would the acting Government Leader would pass this gift on.
Mr. Devries: So that the Independent Alliance does not feel left out, we felt that we should also give them a number of gifts. I have a gift here for the Member for Riverdale South.
As we all know, the issue surrounding the Carcross school bus was the highlight of the session for the Member. As a token of appreciation from the rural people of the Yukon, they wish to thank the Member for showing one and all that rural school busing is indeed safe and legal.
As a memento of the occasion I present her with her very own personal and safe school bus.
Mr. Lang: We have one other Member in the House whom we do not want to go unnoticed and that is the Member for Porter Creek West. I have a presentation to make to him. It is a book but, unfortunately, it is a book that we could not purchase from a bookstore, nor find in a library, because it refers to Guidelines for Establishing Political Parties and it is entitled The Philosophy and Policies of the Independence Alliance Party, co-authored by Bea Firth. If you flip it over to the other side, similar to the French version of federal publications, it says Guidelines for Establishing Political Parties - The Philosophy and Policies of the Independence Alliance Party, co-authored by Alan Nordling.
It was a very difficult book to find because it is written in invisible ink. We would like to make this presentation in recognition of their success in being recognized both as a group and as a party by the Members opposite. We are going to give them an honourary membership in the Whiners Club. I would like to give this to the Member for Porter Creek West, in view of his contribution.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I cannot let this pass without quoting Brenda Lee and saying, Im sorry, but the Member did not autograph the book that was given to me and I am going to send it back over to be autographed.
Hon. Mr. Webster: If there are no other surprises, I would just like to take this opportunity, on behalf of all Members on this side of the House, to thank Members from the Yukon Party for this outburst of generosity and goodwill. It has caught us by surprise but, to make amends, I am sure that we will be able to reciprocate tomorrow, if this House should be meeting tomorrow. However, in the unhappy event of that not materializing, I want to take this opportunity to say merry Christmas to all Members in this House - and have a happy New Year.
Mr. Phillips: I would like to thank our staff who helped put some of these gifts together here today; it was fun doing this and it was enjoyable. I will tell the Member for Klondike that he does not have to worry about us being here tomorrow - I took care of that this morning when I suggested we extend the hours tonight. We are going to be done tonight, so that we will not have to face this tomorrow.
I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our caucus, to wish all Members of the Legislature a very merry Christmas and a very safe and happy New Year; and the same to all Yukoners and we thank you, Mr. Speaker, very much for allowing us this time to present these gifts to all Members here today.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I only have one question; it concerns the bus that the Member for Riverdale South received. I remember way back in 1982 that a bus was presented to her from the Member for Faro and I understand that she, in turn, gave it to the Member for Porter Creek East for his children. I just wondered if it was the same bus, recycled?
Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees?
Are there any Petitions?
Introduction of Bills?
Are there any Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?
Are there any Notices of Motion?
NOTICES OF MOTION
Hon. Mr. Webster: I give notice of the following motion:
THAT the membership of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, as established by Motion No. 24 of the First Session of the 27th Legislature, and as amended by Motion No. 97 of the Second Session of the 27th Legislature, be further amended:
(1) by rescinding the appointment of Mr. Devries, Member for Watson Lake; and
(2) by appointing Mr. Lang, Leader of the Official Opposition and Member for Whitehorse Porter Creek East, to the Committee.
Speaker: Are there any Statements by Ministers?
This then brings us to the Question Period.
Question re: Yukon Development Corporation/loan to Taga Ku Corporation
Mr. Lang: I would like to direct a question to the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation, who I know is looking forward to the coming Christmas season. It has to do with some of the information that was brought to the House yesterday. It has to do with the loan to the $43 million hotel.
It was revealed yesterday that there was no first mortgage for security for the $2 million loan that the Yukon Development Corporation has made available to the company that is constructing the facility. At the same time, it was revealed that the Inuvialuit Corporation, the partner in the project, has a mortgage on the property. This is the only tangible security, at the present time, on the project. I would like to ask the Minister if he could tell the House why the Inuvialuit Corporation got the first mortgage on the property and not the Yukon Development Corporation.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I wonder if I have enough in my piggy bank. I believe the witness, speaking to the issue yesterday, provided most of the answer to the Members question. The loan that was provided to the project was to the Champagne/Aishihik First Nation. What the corporation was doing in the process was essentially supporting the bands equity in the project. Though it would have been desirable to get additional security than what was procured by a first mortgage on the land, that did not occur. The point that should be made is that the corporations prime security was land claims money and the commitment by the First Nation to repay the loan.
Mr. Lang: Another revelation came forward yesterday. The initial agreement was made with a company that had been created to go ahead with the project. Subsequently, in the last month, that particular company is no longer the company involved in the project. In other words, the agreement that was made for the $2 million, and the understanding of how that $2 million would be paid back, and under what conditions, is no longer in existence.
How could that particular company change partners and ownership ratios without the consent of the Yukon Development Corporation that has lent $2 million, which subsequently and inevitably, will be coming from the Yukon electrical consumers in the territory?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I believe the witness spoke to the issue and described how the corporation was undertaking, through its legal channels, to restore, back to the project, the proper security relating to the shares of Taga Ku. That procedure is occurring right now.
The corporation feels confident that its two forms of security, namely the bands commitment to pay and the commitment of the shares, which is to be restored, is a firm enough commitment for having the loan eventually paid back.
Mr. Lang: I guess that could come up for some further debate.
I would like to turn to another area with respect to the loan. It has come to our attention that some Members of the Champagne/Aishihik Indian Band, especially the elders, are of the mind that commitments of land claims money is not involved in this particular project. Is the Minister aware of this? Can the Minister produce and table in this House a copy of a band resolution that commits the band to this particular project through land claims money?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am not familiar with the details of the financial instruments that may have been drawn up surrounding the project, but I do know that there was a band council resolution regarding the commitment to pay and I do know that there is a legal instrument in the form of an agreement among the First Nation, YDC, and Taga Ku. It is my understanding that that agreement outlines the commitment, the forms of security and ensures that the money will be repaid.
As I am sure the Member recognizes, once the project is off and running and generating its own revenue, the project is intended to repay the terms of the loan.
Question re: Yukon Development Corporation, political interference
Mr. Lang: I would like to turn to another area regarding the Yukon Development Corporation and the political interference by the Cabinet and the government with respect to the day-to-day operations and the final decisions being made by the board of the corporation. Their involvement in the decision making of the Yukon Development Corporation has been consistently denied by the present Minister and the previous Minister.
Late yesterday afternoon, it was revealed that the board of directors did not want to become involved in the $6 million renovations of the Old Yukon College. First of all, it was stated by Mr. Sweatman that they felt it was beyond the development mandate of the corporation and they felt that more projects should be financed outside of Whitehorse as opposed to within the city limits.
Yet at the same time, it goes on that the Minister then discussed the issue with the board and the board subsequently agreed to proceed with the project. Further, it is important to note that, in Yukon Development Corporations financial report, it states that, in addition, the corporation as directed...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the question.
Mr. Lang: ....by Cabinet in renovating the Old Yukon College. I want the Minister to explain to this House why the government gave this political direction since they have always maintained that they have not been involved in this manner with the board?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Well, in fairness to what the witness outlined in response to that question yesterday, he also pointed out that there is a provision in the act for the government to give the corporation direction and that provision was not exercised.
I think we are splitting hairs. There clearly was a desire by the government to see the corporation undertake this project and that expressed desire was conveyed to the board and the board undertook the project. The board approved the project, and that is not interference. From my review of the matter with the chair of the board, I understand that when the project first arose, there were questions raised about whether or not it fit into the mandate. There was concern that the board would like to see more development initiatives in rural Yukon; however, subsequent to that, they undertook the project. I am sure, in the decision-making process, they provided for a resolution to that effect.
Mr. Lang: The difficulty that we on this side of the House have, and I am sure that the public have, who are following the infamous history of the Yukon Development Corporation, is that, on the one hand, the Minister states that they are not politically involved, but on the other hand, they tell the corporation what to do. Yet, last night it was revealed by Mr. Sweatman, and I quote, I believe that the Cabinet expressed a strong preference to the board to do that and I think it was a subsequent meeting of the minds.
Is that not political interference?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I guess the short answer is no. It is not political interference to indicate a desire to see something happen. The board will determine a decision on the matter. The board did not reject it. The board undertook to negotiate with Government Services the potential of the project development occurring. Those negotiations were obviously successful and the project was undertaken. The government gave no marching order that that was to occur. There was, as stated by Mr. Sweatman, and as confirmed by my discussion with the chair surrounding that issue, some initial concern that this may not fit the mandate. At that time, there was a preference, as projects were undertaken by Yukon Development Corporation, that they should happen more in rural Yukon.
The board addressed the issue, undertook the negotiation, approved the final result of that negotiation and undertook the project. That is the long and the short of it. That is not interference for the government to indicate a desire to see something happen.
Mr. Lang: I guess this is a case of the Minister who appointed you, telling you what to do and, of course, what are the consequences if you do not do it?
What I do not understand is that the Minister has continually said in this House that the Cabinet has not been involved in any of the major decisions made by the corporation, yet it has been discussed at some length in this House and has been revealed that the board did not want to proceed with that particular project - yet the government interceded, through his predecessor and the Cabinet, and told the corporation that they shall proceed with it.
Is that not political interference?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: With respect, the Members assertion is wrong. Cabinet did not direct this to happen; it did not order it. Cabinet indicated its desire to see this project undertaken by the Yukon Development Corporation. The board did not object to doing it. The board raised questions about doing it. There is a difference.
They reviewed the matter and examined the potential of the project. I believe there was a period of extensive discussions between Government Services and Yukon Development Corporation staff. After that, the board took a decision to proceed. There was no further involvement or interference, as indicated by the Member, by Cabinet. Cabinet indicated its desire to see the project proceed and it went through normal processes...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please conclude his answer.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: It went through a normal process of analysis. Subsequently, they made a decision to proceed.
Question re: Yukon Development Corporation/Taga Ku Corporation
Mrs. Firth: Auntie Bea, here, the Power Smart shopper, has a question for the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation. I have a couple of outstanding questions I would like the Minister to respond to, since we were not able to get the information from the witnesses who appeared yesterday because of time.
The Minister indicated to us that he would bring back to the House the specific conditions that were attached to the transfer of the $2 million from the Yukon Development Corporation to the Champagne/Aishihik First Nations with respect to the Taga Ku Corporation project. We have not received this information yet. I would like to ask the Minister if he will be giving us a copy of this. He was supposed to bring any changes that had been made to those conditions, also.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am flipping quickly through the legislative returns I have tabled in this House - and there are quite a few - on Yukon Development Corporation. I am sure that I provided to all Members of the House a tabled return that spoke to the conditions of the $2 million loan. I stand to be corrected, but I thought the question the Member raises was already answered by legislative return.
Mrs. Firth: I did not see that legislative return, so perhaps the Minister could check for us and, if it was not provided, could he provide it to us; if it has been provided and I just did not see it, then that would be my fault. I read through the returns and did not see the specific conditions with respect to what had to be completed prior to the transfer.
The second question I have for the Minister is with respect to who from the Yukon Development Corporation was overseeing the project? Could the Minister tell us? He told us in the House that someone at the Development Corporation was overseeing the project to see that the $2 million of taxpayers investment money was being protected. Could he tell us who that person is?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In response to this question, the responsibility for overseeing and monitoring the project would rest with the president. If he has subsequently assigned that duty internally to other staff, that is his business.
To the earlier question, I have a legislative return in my hand that addresses Yukon Development Corporations involvement in the Taga Ku convention centre project and speaks to the terms of the loan. I will send it over to the Member.
Mrs. Firth: I will discuss the legislative return with the Minister, because it did not have a complete listing of the conditions as had been stated by the former president of the Development Corporation when he wrote his letter to the newspaper, indicating what the terms were. I will follow that up with the Minister later.
I would like to direct my final supplementary to the Minister responsible for Government Services. It is with respect to the same issue: the office space complex that Taga Ku Development Corporation is building. I asked the Minister for a copy of the offer to lease between the government and, I gather, it would be the Champagne/Aishihik Band, because the Taga Ku had not come into existence then, and the Minister said he would check into that for me. Could he tell me if we are going to get a copy of that offer to lease so that we can make an analysis of it?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I would like to be able to say - as a fellow member of the Independent Alliance - that I can accommodate the Members request. Unfortunately, after having reviewed the matter with the Department of Justice, the interpretation of the Access to Information Act, as interpreted by that department, indicates that to make public the offer to lease would be to betray commercial information that should not be made public. I am afraid that - even as a co-co-co-leader of the Party - I am not in a position to provide that information.
Question re: North to Alaksa
Mr. Phelps: The Minister for Yukon Development Corporation had a bad day yesterday. As he is a.k.a. - also known as - the Minister responsible for Community and Transportation Services, I thought I would give him a break and try to get some answers for my constituents about a couple of issues that are of tremendous importance to them.
The first issue has to do with the royal screw-up regarding the publication, North to Alaska. This publication does not show the Carcross/Tagish loop in the part of the magazine where it is supposed to. It does not even show Carcross as existing in that section of the publication, which is rather shocking, considering all the millions of dollars that have been spent on the roads and facilities in the area.
I had asked the Minister responsible for Tourism about the possibility of erecting large signage, both south of Jakes Corner for northbound traffic and north of the Carcross Corner for southbound traffic, showing this alternative route that tourists might want to take, either going or coming, on the trip to Alaska next year.
I would like to ask the Minister if he will commit to having his department erect such signage in time for the tourist season, that is, by the middle of May, 1992.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: As the Member knows, I too have a deep and abiding respect for the Members community; some of my lengthiest and most memorable public meetings have been held in Carcross.
I had the matter flagged by the Member and I am listening to the discussions surrounding the publication. I have had an opportunity to discuss with my staff the prospect of locating the signs, as suggested by the Member. I can tell the Member that there is clearly no problem with having large billboard-type signs located south of Jakes Corner and north of the Carcross Corner. There would certainly be no objection from the highways branch in locating the signs there. What we will have to do is put into motion with my colleague, the Minister responsible for Tourism, the design for such a sign and what it should contain. There clearly is no problem with having the signs located and my department would be most cooperative.
Mr. Phelps: Would the Minister undertake to try to ensure that Members of the tourist hospitality industry in the area are involved, particularly, I am thinking of Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan and possibly one other operator - perhaps from Tagish or Carcross - could be involved in discussing the design of the signs.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The matter of having public input from either operators or the industry involved with that loop participating in designing the signs is not a problem. But, we have to set into motion with the Department of Tourism the preparation of the sign. Highways is responsible for highways signs, per se. The Tourism signs would have to emanate out of the guidelines provided from Tourism. I will undertake to discuss that process with my colleague and ensure that appropriate consultation is undertaken.
Mr. Phelps: I thank the Minister for his answer. I was somewhat distracted by my colleague, the Member for Riverdale North, who apparently used to do, in his earlier life, some contract painting. I thought he was yelling something at me, like could he paint the signs, or something.
Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)
Mr. Phelps: Oh, will I volunteer? Oh, I am sorry. I could not hear him over the answer of the Minister.
I would like to move to a new question, if I may, of the same Minister.
Question re: Carcross planning group
Mr. Phelps: It has to do with another constituency matter, in particular, the problems in Carcross and having decisions made with regard to such things as new land development, water and sewage, a new dump location and things of that nature. Subsequent to the public meeting that the Minister and I attended in Carcross, there was a local steering committee elected at a more recent public meeting. They have been meeting and are made up of 50 percent band members and 50 percent from the rest of the community. There are 10 of them and they are very keen, first of all, that when they report back, in being able to report back recommendations to a public meeting that there be full elections of a committee that would be a planning group for Carcross.
My first question is whether or not the Minister would be supportive of this type of democratic election for a committee that would be made up, 50/50, of First Nation representatives and non-First Nation representatives. Would he support this, despite the fact that it would cost some money?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I would like to tell the Member that I am most encouraged by what has occurred in his home community following our public meeting of approximately one month ago. There have been a couple more meetings. There has been a steering committee struck. There have been considerable discussions surrounding the creation of a representative body to speak on behalf of the community.
I can tell the Member that I support, in principle, the matter of an advisory body being democratically elected from the community. What I am not totally informed of yet, because I understand the steering group will be writing me a letter, respects the terms of reference and the expectations, the mandate, the total responsibility of that body. That I would like to more fully explore, but I am certainly supportive, in principle, of the creation of such a body. I support the election of a more permanent body and I would certainly provide, in the spirit of a desire to help resolve the problems facing the community, any costs related to the election of such people.
Mr. Phelps: The Minister and I would seem to be on the same wavelength with regard to this issue.
The other issue has to do with ensuring that the government and the band will be on side with the recommendations of the steering committee before they go public in Carcross on January 15. I wonder whether the Minister would agree to meet with the steering committee prior to that public meeting and attempt to have the Chief of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation present at the meeting with her advisors as well, so that they can discuss the proposed guidelines, et cetera, before the committee reports back to the public meeting in Carcross.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have no problem making a commitment to meet with the steering committee if it is necessary. My preliminary report out of the meeting that occurred two nights ago was that the steering committee would be approaching the First Nation formally. I would not want to be caught in a situation of dispute. Certainly, my attitude is positive; my mind is open about the prospect of having a duly representative body come out of Carcross to help us resolve some of the land and environmental matters.
In short, if it was deemed necessary or useful for me to meet with the steering group, I would do so. I trust that the Member would join me in such a meeting.
Mr. Phelps: That is fine, and I hope the Minister would also encourage the chief and her representatives to be present at the same meeting so that all parties are involved, prior to the public meeting on January 15. Perhaps, as well, the Minister might consider, if there are any signs or anything to be painted for the public meeting on January 15, that we tender them out to the Member for Riverdale North. He is quite professional at these things.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not think it would be appropriate to sole source contracts from the government. We would have to follow standard contract regulations and place them open to public tender and if the Member has time in his busy schedule, as I understand that it has limitations lately, he may bid on the job.
Question re: Campbell Highway promotion
Mr. Devries: As a result of the damning report on the Campbell Highway, it is imperative that we get the message out that this beautiful remote area can still be travelled in a safe manner, provided that a few precautions are taken by the public.
I would like to ask the Minister if he, in cooperation with the Minister of Tourism, would consider developing a brochure, that would instruct tourists on how, with a few added precautions, they can still enjoy this spectacular area.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Again, the Member puts forward a positive suggestion, but before I would fully commit, I would want to be certain that such publications do not already exist and that there would be sponsoring of such a project by an interested party along the highway. It seems to me that I have seen considerable literature, brochures and publications surrounding the loop tour through Watson Lake, down the Campbell Highway and up to Carmacks as an alternate route, to the north highway.
My reaction is one of positive support. If we can be helpful, we certainly will, because I agree with the Member that the route is very scenic, has a lot of remote wilderness to offer and is a very passable road.
Mr. Devries: I would also like to seek a commitment from the Minister. He seems to be in a very cooperative mood today, and I am sure it is because of the gifts that we gave to him.
I would like to seek a commitment from the Minister that the signage improvements recommended in the Campbell Highway report will be in place, prior to the start of the next tourist season.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will have to take notice on whether or not those recommendations are going to be followed to a T or whether we are going to be proposing some options relating to next years traffic.
Mr. Devries: Would the Minister assure this House that this signage will only be a temporary measure and that it is only a recommendation that the speed limit be reduced? I hope that we will not see the speed limit being further reduced over the next few years from 80, 70, 60, 50 or 40 kilometres per hour as the road continues to deteriorate?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think the Member is wrong in his assumption of a continual erosion of the highway because the opposite is more accurate. As I have indicated to the Member and others who have asked the question, we have on a regular basis, stepped up our maintenance of the road to try to correct some of the tight curves and to broaden some of the narrow shoulders. That increased activity will be ongoing until we can afford a more proper upgrade of the road. I do not anticipate that there will be deterioration. There will be continual and ongoing improvement.
Question re: Plowing of private driveways
Mr. Nordling: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services with respect to the plowing of private driveways.
The note that I sent to the Minister last week has caused quite a stir in my riding. A number of my constituents would like to know what the governments policy is with respect to government equipment plowing private driveways.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Well, merry Christmas to the Member, too.
My understanding of the policy is that the highways branch, as a matter of course, does not do driveways automatically. If we are talking about removing the berm on the approach to driveways, that is done on a priority basis following the main grading of the roads after a snowfall. I understand that driveway clearing may occur by the highways department only on a third-party work order when there are no local, independent operators available to do the work.
Mr. Nordling: Perhaps I can ask it in a simpler fashion. I would just like to ask the Minister if I want my driveway plowed by a YTG grader, what do I do?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I suppose the Member could buy the highways grader, but, more properly, in Whitehorse he would not get it plowed. There are enough independent operators who can do that work. If it is the berm on the approach to the driveway, that should be done as a matter of follow up action to the main clearing.
Mr. Nordling: I am sure the Minister will have to bring back this information, but I would like to know if there are any driveways within the City of Whitehorse that are being plowed by government equipment on third-party work orders. Will the Minister bring back the information on the number of third-party work orders and the location of the driveways that are being plowed this winter by Yukon government equipment?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I could undertake to determine that. There should not be very many. The only ones that would come to mind would be ones that qualify under the elders policy. We do some roadway clearing for seniors on a criteria basis.
Question re: Tourism marketing budget
Mr. Phillips: My question is for the Minister of Tourism. Tourism is the territorys second largest industry, but one would not know it by looking at the Government of Yukons budget that we are dealing with today, especially if one compares it with other departments. Every dollar invested in tourism marketing attractions and services means many more visitors dollars are spent here in the territory.
I would like to know why the Tourism budget is only 1.9 percent of the governments total budget when it is the second largest industry in the territory.
Hon. Mr. Webster: It seems that we are into the Tourism budget a little earlier than anticipated. As the Member knows, there are a number of departments that, through their activities, capital works and operation and maintenance, contribute significantly to the tourism industry of the Yukon. The Member knows that from the Department of Renewable Resources, which is extensively involved in improving campgrounds, parks and providing wildlife viewing sites. Of course, the Department of Community and Transportation Services is doing a fine job on highways, which contributes, in a positive way, to a tourists experience. I am informed by the Minister of Education that his department has programs, as well, that will indirectly benefit the tourism industry.
It is wrong for the Member to assume that the only monies this government puts into the promotion of tourism come from the Department of Tourism. There are many more dollars, apart from that in the Department of Tourism, provided by other departments, that promote tourism in this territory.
Mr. Phillips: Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world. Other jurisdictions are realizing that with their marketing programs and trying to capitalize on tourism. Our Department of Tourism budget is 1.9 percent of the total budget of the Government of the Yukon, yet tourism is the second largest industry in this territory.
Will the Minister lobby his colleagues to give strong consideration to increasing the Tourism budget in the next fiscal year? By increasing the Tourism budget, you would have fewer people on unemployment and fewer people on social assistance. The budgets in those areas could be increased and those people could be put to work.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Given the Members continuous line of questioning, I might as well use some more examples from other departments of this government, such as Economic Development, which was quickly brought to my attention by the Minister of Economic Development. For example, they provide a great deal of money to the business development fund and the community development fund, for a wide variety of projects. For another example, I can think of museums and heritage projects. A great deal of money has gone into numerous projects, to encourage more tourists to visit the Yukon and to stay longer.
Yukon Lottery Commission is another area that is under one of the Ministers departments. It has also provided monies to a variety of agencies. Off hand, I can think of the Yukon Anniversaries Commission, which has benefited substantially from the goodwill of the Yukon Lottery Commission. Their task, as we well know, is to promote the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Alaska Highway and thereby doing more to promote tourism in the territory.
Mr. Phillips: All other departments carry on functions for all areas of the government, as well, and all other areas of the government benefit from that. What I am talking about is the Tourism budget, which has grown very slowly over the past few years, when other government budgets - the social budget, for example - have grown enormously. If we gave stronger consideration to the Tourism budget, we would find that we put more people to work and there would be fewer people on social assistance.
I am asking the Minister to give strong consideration, when he meets with his Cabinet colleagues to discuss the next budget, to giving Tourism a higher priority in the next budget of the Yukon Territory.
Hon. Mr. Webster: All I can say to that is that my Cabinet colleagues have provided me with a great deal of support over the last few years increasing the budget for tourism, especially in the area of marketing, which has enabled us to bring forward some new marketing programs, for example the latest one: Tourism North. We will continue with the one that is a cooperative joint-marketing agreement with Alaska. We are expanding Destination Yukon, which only started three years ago. Again, we have expanded to a large degree Rendezvous Yukon, which is only about four years old.
I think these measures have, in a large way, thanks to the support of Tourism in our budgets, very much assisted with the promotion of tourism in the Yukon.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now lapsed. We will proceed with Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Bill No. 100
Hon. Mr. Webster: I request unanimous consent of the House to deal at this time with the motion respecting the Public Accounts Committee, on which I gave notice earlier today.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
All Hon. Member: Agreed.
Speaker: Unanimous consent has been granted.
It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader
THAT the membership of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, as established by Motion No. 24 of the First Session of the 27th Legislature and as amended by Motion No. 97 of the Second Session of the 27th Legislature, be further amended:
(1) by rescinding the appointment of Mr. Devries, Member for Watson Lake; and
(2) by appointing Mr. Lang, Leader of the Official Opposition and Member for Whitehorse Porter Creek East, to the Committee.
Motion No. 100 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Webster: 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 Hon. Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chair: I will now call the Committee of the Whole to order. We will take a 15 minute break.
Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order.
Bill No. 19 - First Appropriation Act, 1992-93 - continued
Department of Renewable Resources - continued
On Operation and Maintenance
On General Management
Hon. Mr. Webster: Before we begin with the first line of the budget for the Department of Renewable Resources, I would like to deal with the matter that the Member for Kluane raised last night concerning the number of examples of damages caused by bison and elk that he provided us.
You may recall that I mentioned to him some two weeks ago, that the Department of Renewable Resources was working on a policy to compensate those who have suffered damages as a result of activities by wild species introduced to the territory, specifically the bison and elk.
I want to inform the Member that the department has completed a draft copy of this compensation policy; it is almost in its final form, but I want to make this draft copy available to the Member for his comments before we proceed to putting out a final policy on this, considering that the Member has raised this matter in the House on many occasions, and all of the instances are in the riding of the Member for Kluane.
Mr. Brewster: I would like to thank the Minister very much and I hope that is not my Christmas present. I am going to lose my two years on the agricultural policy, but anyway I appreciate that very much. I think that an awful lot of people will appreciate that.
None of us are against the buffalo, but peoples lives cannot continue to be disrupted. Unfortunately, if it was elk I do not think that there would be a problem. You can move elk, but you cannot move buffalo. I certainly will look at that and get back to Minister as fast as I can.
General Management in the amount of $1,000,000 agreed to
On Finance and Administration
Hon. Mr. Webster: First of all, in the area of general management there is an increase there of over 100 percent. That can be attributed to the addition of the environmental fund, which is half a million dollars in itself, and also to funding for environmental public awareness and an increase in funding to the Yukon Conservation Strategy Demonstration Projects.
Finance and Administration in the amount of $857,000 agreed to
Operation & Maintenance in the amount of $1,857,000 agreed to
On Departmental Equipment
Departmental Equipment in the amount of $190,000 agreed to
On Facility Construction-Faro
Mr. Brewster: That is a new one. Is that going to be a building up there for a conservation officer or something?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Yes. That money will be used to construct a compound.
Facility Construction-Faro in the amount of $200,000 agreed to
On Marwell Facility Addition
Mr. Brewster: When one dollar is put in the budget, it is left loose to the point that one can go to a few million dollars. Just what is planned for the Marwell area?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I wish it were true that we could take the liberty of spending millions of dollars, which we would have to find in this capital budget of only $2 million.
We do recognize a need for a facility for support administration of the departments operations. That is why, at this time, only one dollar has been put in there. We are not certain that it will be going forward this year.
Mr. Brewster: If it is for improved accommodation for the staff at the Marwell area, I agree with that completely. They do not have the best facilities in which to work.
Marwell Facility Addition in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Office Expansion - Haines Junction
Office Expansion - Haines Junction in the amount of $75,000 agreed to
On Secure Compound and Storage Shed - Carcross
Mr. Brewster: Is that just going to be a compound or is there going to be an office and a conservation officer there as well?
Hon. Mr. Webster: This is just a storage area to secure our equipment.
Secure Compound and Storage Shed - Carcross in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $475,000 agreed to
Administration agreed to
On Policy and Planning
On Operation and Maintenance
Director in the amount of $218,000 agreed to
Programs in the amount of $513,000 agreed to
On Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning in the amount of $85,000 agreed to
On Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis in the amount of $230,000 agreed to
On Environmental Protection
Mr. Brewster: Why is there a reduction in this area when we are trying to improve the environment?
Hon. Mr. Webster: This reduction is as a result of the one-time funding that was available from the previous year, 1991-92 for the draft environmental legislation.
Environmental Protection in the amount of $299,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1,345,000 agreed to
On Dempster Interpretive Centre
Dempster Interpretive Centre in the amount of $20,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $20,000 agreed to
Policy and Planning agreed to
On Parks, Resources and Regional Planning
On Operation and Maintenance
Director in the amount of $157,000 agreed to
On Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Parks and Outdoor Recreation in the amount of $479,000 agreed to
On Regional Planning
Regional Planning in the amount of $464,000 agreed to
On Development and Operations
Development and Operations in the amount of $1,178,000 agreed to
Mr. Brewster: Why was there not any more Yukon planning money allotted? Are we through planning the whole Yukon now and are we through with this subject?
Hon. Mr. Webster: No, we are not through planning the whole Yukon, as the Member puts it, but the federal government has decided to suspend the program. As you are aware, they did that in the middle of last year; therefore, there is no money budgeted for this year for that purpose.
Mr. Brewster: Does that mean that everything is going to be held up, and land that has not been planned is going to be held for another 40 years? I am getting older and older and I would like to see some of this land released before I leave here. I think I have 40 years left, but I have spent 40-some years already waiting for governments to move. I would like to have some of it done before I go, so that at least I can say I helped the Yukon that much. They might even bury me here; I would be happy if they would give me the land to be buried on.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I can assure the Member that he will not go without land. The land program has not been suspended. Applications for land, for (inaudible, equipment failure)
Mr. Devries: This area seems to mention the management of forest resources. I know it is still on Commissioners lands and I realize the transfer has not taken place; the Minister issued a legislative return today in regard to the forest transfer and I must say that I am very disappointed by it. It verifies all my suspicions that up until July the government has been doing nothing on the forest transfer.
Hon. Mr. Webster: No. The legislative return today provides the Member with some information as to the meetings that have taken place since July - July being the time the mandate was established by Cabinet. Certainly, there have been ongoing discussions over the last two years on this matter, which were required leading up to Cabinet coming to a position on these negotiations and on a number of other matters.
Mr. Devries: I still have a difference of opinion with the Minister on that. I believe the Minister met with Frank Oberle here several months ago; and I talked to Frank Oberle just prior to when the Minister met with him and Frank asked when we in the Yukon were going to get on with the forest transfer? He said they had been waiting for years for something to happen.
I realize it does not all go through Frank Oberle, but he is the Minister of Forests. I talked to Tom Siddon, or his executive assistant, and he asked me the same question. They have been waiting for the Yukon to do something, but it has not been done.
If something goes haywire in forestry in the next few months in the Watson Lake area, I think the people of the Watson Lake area are going to be holding the Yukon government very much responsible.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Obviously, in order to get to the point that a position came forward to Cabinet to provide us with a mandate to enter these negotiations, a lot of meetings took place between the two principals, the federal and territorial governments, to discuss a wide variety of matters. I just do not accept what the Member states, that we have not been acting on this. The Member correctly points out that the Minister mainly responsible is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, so it is not surprising to me that Mr. Oberle is not up to speed on the progress that has been made to date.
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $2,278,000 agreed to
On Territorial Parks
On Coal River Springs
Mr. Brewster: This is an increase of 317 percent. What are we doing there? I am not going to ask anything about the beaver-proof culvert because they are going to send a man down to explain that, so I will not put my foot in that one anymore, until it is explained to me. I would just like to know what the big increase is for.
Hon. Mr. Webster: It is true that there is a substantial increase here, of 317 percent. The Member must appreciate we are only going from $6,000, last year, to $25,000 proposed for this year. This money will provide some protective structures, produce interpretive panels and brochures, relocate the helicopter access and perhaps, thanks to the Member for Watson Lake who advised us of this matter, some improvements to the sign that the bear destroyed.
Mr. Brewster: I cannot resist this one; he opened himself right up. Can the department assure me that these interpretive signs will be put up so that they are bear-proof and also maybe put bear language on there, so that they understand that they are not to destroy the signs?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I know the Member for Kluane has a lot of friends in the animal kingdom. I do not have the ability to discuss these things with them to get their assurance that they will not abuse signs; however, we will do our best to put new signs in place that will not be attractive to the bears.
Mr. Brewster: I could suggest to the Minister that he was not very friendly with the buffalo either. He hired a trapper to shoot rubber bullets at the buffalo. Maybe we can hire a trapper to go down and live at Coal Lake and shoot rubber bullets. The bears just scratch their rear ends on those and wonder what ticked them at the time, but it can put someone to work and it helps unemployment.
If the Minister would like a course on wild animals, I am sure that there are quite a few people in the Yukon who could give it to him; perhaps Madam Chair could help him out on this.
Mr. Phillips: If I might help the Minister and the Member for Kluane. Evidently, the idea to stop the bears from doing that is already within the Department of Renewable Resources. In fact, we had a problem several years ago of horses crossing the highway. We put a sign up on the highway that had a horse on it with a line through it, similar to a no smoking sign. I think that if we erected a sign like that where the bears were, it would solve the problem.
Coal River Springs in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
On Kusawa Lake Management Plan
Kusawa Lake Management Plan in the amount of $40,000 agreed to
On Carcross Dunes Management Plan
Carcross Dunes Management Plan in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Lazulite Deposits
Mr. Brewster: That is a large increase: 333 percent. What is being done there; are more bear signs being erected?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Again, although the increase is substantial, we are only speaking of an increase of $10,000 to $13,000.
Mr. Brewster: I do not have a problem with that money. I think that I understand what they are trying to do. However, back in the days when we were in government, we were pouring money into Coal River Springs. We are still doing that, only we did not try to put a beaver-proof culvert in, we missed out on that one.
When does this stop and when does it become a tourist value and the money that is being brought back into the Yukon? It is not some rich people flying in helicopters or government people who come out and that is the end of it.
There must be hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in there now, because when I was working with the department, the money that was going in there shook me when they are talking of hundreds of thousands dollars, and it has been going on since then. When do we stop this and say that enough is enough and put this money into something that the 85 percent of tourists over 55 years of age can see?
I would like to see that, too, but I am getting pretty old and I would not like to walk in there now, but maybe I would like to drive along a road or something into the springs so that I can see it.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Member is quite correct in that it is a long process to bring an idea concerning the creation of a park into fruition so that people actually get to appreciate why the area is created as a park in the first place.
It is essential however, once an area is identified, that a management plan is prepared and everyone does have the opportunity to comment on it to define what activities are acceptable to the population. Of course, the necessary surveys have to be done. Now, for example, with Coal River Springs, we are in the final process of having it declared an ecological reserve, as I just mentioned and now putting in the proper interpretation and display. That particular area is now ready for enjoyment by the public.
As to the costs of these projects, it may appear to be very costly to some.
The government does not spend all of the money that is required for all the steps of the process. As an example, Coal River Springs, as an ecological reserve, has support from the Nature Conservancy of Canada - approximately $25 to $30 thousand dollars for the surveys - and Foothills Canada, a private firm also contributed money to do some of the necessary work to bring it to its current stage.
In the end, I think that the establishment of these parks, be they territorial parks such as Herschel Island or ecological reserves, will have lasting benefits for the people of the Yukon and visitors as well.
Mr. Brewster: I do not have a problem with that, but you are spending and spending and now you are really shocking me when you tell me that Foothills has put in money, as have other organizations, over and above the hundreds of thousands of dollars the department has put in. My god, what do we have up there besides that culvert? I am serious. What have we got there, with all the money we have spent in the last nine years I have been here?
Hon. Mr. Webster: What we have is an ecological reserve, which protects one of the top three thermal springs of its kind in Canada. It is a very unique area. Once it becomes better promoted - which we are doing now through the production of an audio-visual presentation and I would like to make it available to the Member for his viewing - this area will become better known. It will provide some opportunities for people in the area to provide some tours into that ecological reserve.
Again, it does take a while and it does cost money, but the lasting benefit I spoke of will come in the form of Yukoners being able to proudly show tourists from all over the world this unique site and hopefully be able to make some economic gain from the venture.
Mr. Brewster: I agree with the philosophy. I do not have a problem with that. But, for example, the slide show you are talking about is probably like the one they showed me to try and convince me they should get another $150,000 or something. It scared the devil out of me.
You did not develop the springs. The good Lord did that. It did not cost you any money. What have you done? You have sat in your office and spent this money drawing diagrams and plans. You have actually done nothing. Now, you are indicating to me that you do not even have a good helicopter pad there. Is that coming out of this budget? In all these years, do we not even have that?
I recall that when there was a fight about it, there was a road going into a mine and they were going to put the run on the mine. Finally, I suggested that you had better get out of there. The mine road was there first. They killed themselves on a road that they could have used because they would not accept the mining company. The mining company was working in the area and had been there long before them. They made the road smaller.
We spent all this money and, as I understand, even the helicopter pad is coming up in this budget. It bothers me that we keep on doing this. Most of it ends up in files that go in the corner to collect dust. They are making the janitor work harder to clean up this stuff that has not been touched for nine years, because they were doing this when I was there. They are still doing this. The Minister is the third one who has gone through this and we are still not there. We will be lucky if we are there before there is a fourth Minister. I cannot understand why there is all this money being spent and we have nothing to show for it.
I am all in favour of these parks. I have no problem, but there must be something to show to the people. Show something for their money. We cannot keep operating like this, yet here we have three more started. I do not have a problem with starting; I do not have a problem with designing. But does it take nine years or ten years? How many years have we been in Fort Selkirk? It was long before I came into this Legislature, and we are still putting money into it.
Hon. Mr. Webster: All I can say is yes, the Member is quite right. It is a very unique and natural resource we have there, created by God, and part of the cost incurred over all these years is to protect it so that generations to come can enjoy it. Part of that protection, of course, is to survey, putting the land into reserve, building some trails to encourage people to walk in the right places, being the very sensitive area it is.
Obviously, we want people to get there. We have to provide them with access and be sure they are getting there. We are having to get a helicopter pad into position. Once people are there, we want them to thoroughly enjoy the benefits; that is why we are spending money on the signage through the Department of Tourism.
Mr. Devries: On the Coal River Springs, some friends of mine flew in there recently and I know quite a few people from Watson Lake who have been there, and I am concerned about the fact that we have now advertised the park, opened it up; I agree the helicopter pad is no good because the helicopter refuses to land there. These people had to land in the middle of a swamp and walk through waist-deep water to get over to the spring, so they were frozen to start with by the time they had their camp set up. If we want a park there, we have to get with it; if we do not want a park there, forget it and leave it alone. If we encourage people to come there without a proper facility in place, there will be nothing left there by the time we get around to it.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I could not have said it better myself. Yes, we want the park there. We want to protect it. We know that the park is unique. We want to continue to encourage people to see it. But what we must do, in part to protect that area, and again, as I say, to better interpret it, is spend some money - yes, it is necessary to spend some money - to put in trails, which will encourage people to walk in the right places so that the unique formation is not destroyed. That is what our goal has been since the very beginning, since the development of the management plan for that area. We are making a great deal of effort to emphasize to all visitors going into that area to be wary of where they step.
Mr. Brewster: I will give you a really good example. Recently, I spent five days at Mount McKinley, and thousands and thousands of people go through that area. When people go up over the hill, they tend to wear the grass out. A rope was installed to fence off an area where people should walk. It did not cost a hundred thousand dollars to do it either. Not once, in the five days I spent there, did I see one person step outside of the roped-in area. It did not cost them $100,000 to study, or anything else. It was just a string that was run up the hill and everybody stayed inside of it.
We spend all sorts of money. As my colleague from Watson Lake said, they are walking over everything anyway. I cannot figure out what has been done there. The helicopter pad is no good. We have been nine years spending this type of money, and what have we done? We do have the beaver-proof culvert, but that only cost $100, or so they told me.
It bothers me that we are continually spending money and not progressing and moving somewhere. I think it would have been better to finish one area completely and then start into another. Now, there are four areas in progress. Are they all going to take nine years to complete? We would have been better to put all that money into one project and finish it off. I fear that most of what is being done up in that fortress up on top is study, study, study, study, along with little trips for the crews to fly around at taxpayers expense. It bothers me that money is being thrown around this way. We are not getting anywhere. It has been nine years and we still have not done anything. We still do not have a helicopter pad in there. That is ridiculous.
Chair: I would like to remind Members that we are on the line item covering lazulite deposits.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I do not want to go on much longer with this. I guess I am hearing from the two Members opposite that nothing has gone on at all. One of the Members is saying that too many people are going in there destroying the site. I will say, though, that I think it is necessary that Yukon develop a parks plan system that will fully protect the unique ecological sites and will take advantage, such as at Kusuwa Lake, of recreational opportunities for Yukoners and visitors. The lazulite deposits are another unique formation that can be combed for very rare gems. I think the site deserves protection and that is why money has been pledged to begin work in developing that plan.
Lazulite Deposits in the amount of $13,000 agreed to
Conrad in the amount of $19,000 agreed to
On Park System Plan
Park System Plan in the amount of $40,000 agreed to
On Territorial Campgrounds and Day Use Areas
Rehabilitation in the amount of $280,000 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Webster: We do have a significant increase here, of over 100 percent. We feel it is necessary, because of increased demand, that we have some new campsites. The money identified in this budget is for the development of campgrounds at Presvost and Hoole Canyons and a new location for a campground at Twin Lakes on the Klondike Highway. As well, there is a construction plan at Swan Lake.
Relocation in the amount of $250,000 agreed to
On Facility Replacement
Facility Replacement in the amount of $110,000 agreed to
On Liability Reduction
Liability Reduction in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On Heritage Rivers
On Yukon River (30 mile section)
Yukon River (30 mile section) in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
On Bonnet Plume River
Mr. Brewster: Has that been declared a heritage river already? Have the hearings been held or is it only at the preliminary planning stage?
Hon. Mr. Webster: This is at the preliminary stage. We are just preparing nomination documents.
Bonnet Plume River in the amount of $35,000 agreed to
On Outdoor Recreation Sites and Corridors
On Systems Plan Implementation Development
Systems Plan Implementation Development in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
On Regional Planning
On Biophysical Inventory
Mr. Brewster: What exactly is that?
Hon. Mr. Webster: There is $13,000 set aside to provide and interpret the biophysical data in support of the Lake Laberge area plants.
Biophysical Inventory in the amount of $13,000 agreed to
On Specific Area Resource Analysis
Mr. Brewster: That is another new program. What might that be?
Hon. Mr. Webster: This involves an analysis of land and resource planning.
Specific Area Resource Analysis in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $3,298,000 agreed to
Parks, Resources and Regional Planning agreed to
Mr. Brewster: I would like to ask one question before we go on to statistics on page 347 on campgrounds. How many of the campgrounds are now self-registering?
Hon. Mr. Webster: There are currently 22 campgrounds under self-registration. We propose to increase that by one this year.
On Fish and Wildlife
On Operation & Maintenance
Director in the amount of $181,000 agreed to
On Small Game Management
Small Game Management in the amount of $538,000 agreed to
On Big Game Management
Big Game Management in the amount of $1,159,000 agreed to
On Habitat and Research
Habitat and Research in the amount of $675,000 agreed to
On Field Services
Field Services in the amount of $2,088,000 agreed to
On Fisheries Management
Mr. Brewster: There has been a drop there. Does that mean we have got a lot of the studies on big lakes done or we did we just not get enough money from the federal government?
Hon. Mr. Webster: This basically reflects a reduction of one program this past summer on Aishihik Lake.
Fisheries Management in the amount of $619,000 agreed to
Operation & Maintenance in the amount of $5,260,000 agreed to
On Wildlife Management Plan
Mr. Brewster: Could the Minister explain to me just what that is supposed to mean?
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Member is referring to the wildlife management plan. We are talking about a species management plan throughout the entire Yukon in conjunction with wildlife plans for specific areas. This past year, we initiated and enforced wildlife management plans in the Teslin/Ross River/Pelly Crossing area. This year we are looking at completing the studies in the Teslin and Ross River area and we will be beginning work in the areas of Mayo, Dawson and Burwash.
Wildlife Management Plan in the amount of $225,000 agreed to
On Wildlife Viewing Infrastructure
Mr. Brewster: I agree with the principle of wildlife viewing but I hope that, when doing this, we will not get into another mess like they did with the buffalo, and at least keep them off the highways. We might as well start the program right. I agree with wild animals, but they cannot be interfering with main highways. It was one of the ideas behind the Aishihik buffalo plan that they be put behind a fence, which we told you would not work. These viewing areas should be located off the road.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Member is right in this regard. The wildlife viewing facilities are designed for a stationary place, where people have opportunities to see goats and so on.
Mr. Phillips: The Member mentioned the Mount White goat project. I wonder if they have plans for that already, or is it part of this budget to draw the plans up to create an interpretive centre? Is the plan to have the interpretive centre staffed for the summer or is it just going to be a pull-off with a couple of sets of telescopes, or something like that, to view the goats?
Hon. Mr. Webster: That particular site is not to be completed in this year. I want to assure the Member none of the sites will be permanently staffed.
Mr. Phillips: I have a suggestion. I have not talked this over with the Member for Hootalinqua, but he has talked about a kiosk that he wanted established on the south highway, to steer people into his area. If we were to put a manned kiosk up somewhere near where the goats are, in the Mount White section just below Jakes Corner, it might be tied in with the viewing of the goats, which would create a real stop where people could get some information and see some wildlife in that one little area. It would be a good location for something like that.
Hon. Mr. Webster: That is an idea that has been used at Sheep Mountain on the North Alaska Highway and is something to consider, if and when that is developed, in the future.
Mr. Phillips: Can he tell us which sites he wants to develop for wildlife viewing? I know that one of the purposes of the Mount White goat transplant, which was done seven or eight years ago, was for wildlife viewing, and yet nothing has happened in that area for seven years. Here we have a captive herd of goats, virtually within a quarter-mile of the highway, and it would not take a lot of effort to attract the goats closer to the road and make the road a little closer to the goats.
Are there any plans to do anything in that area? It seems like a really logical area to carry out some of this type of development. It is right along the highway and would capture everybody coming up the Alaska Highway. It is a good spot for one.
Hon. Mr. Webster: That site has definitely been identified as one having potential for development, but not in the year 1992. As for those that will be developed in 1992, there will be a major trail established at Pickhandle Lake. There will be a water-fowl staging site at McClintock Bay, in the spring. As well, there will be one overlooking the Kluane River, also scheduled for installation this year.
Mr. Phillips: I have another suggestion for the Minister and I am sure that I will be lobbying him, and others, in the future.
Another area I think we could look seriously at is the Wolf Creek area close to Whitehorse. We now have chinook salmon spawning in that creek. About 15 or 20 pairs of salmon were in the creek last year. In Alaska they built some very successful observation points on creeks and rivers, where people can stand on the edge of the creek and see where the salmon are spawning. I think that maybe, next year, officials could look into the area where the salmon are spawning, identify the areas, draw up some plan for the future and maybe two or three years down the road, we could put in some kind of facility there - a little interpretive centre where people could go by the fish ladder and go up to Wolf Creek. Going by and seeing the whole process of the salmon life cycle would keep them here an extra two or three hours.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Some of these wildlife viewing areas are incorporated in nature trails in the area of campgrounds. Certainly, Wolf Creek is a good candidate. I should also bring Members attention to Lucky Lake near Watson Lake that was scheduled this year; there was some trail work to be done in regard to this program.
Wildlife Viewing Infrastructure in the amount of $125,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $350,000 agreed to
Fish and Wildlife agreed to
On Operation and Maintenance
Director in the amount of $216,000 agreed to
On Program Services
Program Services in the amount of $96,000 agreed to
On Demonstration and Research
Demonstration and Research in the amount of $91,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $403,000 agreed to
On Infrastructure Facilities
Infrastructure Facilities in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $50,000 agreed to
Agriculture agreed to
On Land Claims
On Operation and Maintenance
On Inuvialuit Final Agreement
Mr. Brewster: All I have to say is that this is another one of these projects that has been here as long as I have, and it is probably going to be here long after me. They just never seem to get these things settled. More and more money every year is going to these things. Somewhere along the line we are going to have to start watching where all this money is going. I do not care whether it is federal money or whether it is from here or anyplace else. We give a lot of the advice and we should be starting to tighten up on some of these things.
Inuvialuit Final Agreement in the amount of $686,000 agreed to
On Yukon First Nations Comprehensive Claim
Mr. Brewster: Could the Minister tell me what that is?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Does the Member want a breakdown of the $641,000 for this item?
Mr. Brewster: Either that, or he could just send a list over. Whichever way he wants.
Hon. Mr. Webster: It is quite a lengthy list. There is a very small increase over last year as a result of the collective agreement. Perhaps it would be best to send the list over.
Mr. Brewster: Yes, thank you. If he could send the list over, we can look at it once in a while. That would be sufficient.
Mr. Phillips: I have a question or two on this area. The Minister may be able to provide me with the information later. I suppose this is part of our costs of our representation at the Yukon land claims table. What I am concerned about is the wildlife agreement. The cost of inventories is going to be the responsibility of the federal government in some of these areas, I understand. Do we have some criteria that we demand from them on establishing inventories? Do we say that the inventories have to be carried out over three years?
I know that biologists, when they do a study of an area, like to do it over two or three years. They do not just go out once and count the moose in the area. They have to go out at different times and do it. I wonder if we have a criteria set up there for that before we set the numbers in a particular area. We would have to have some kind of inventory before we set a basic needs level in any area. I would like to know how we establish that and whether or not we have a basic criteria that we ask the federal government to comply with to give us that information?
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Department of Renewable Resources has an implementation plan over a ten-year period for the development of these inventories. We are also in the process at this time of compiling the costs to do that. This will be for all species of the Yukon.
Mr. Phillips: This spring, when we have a final settlement of all 13 First Nations, is that going to be implemented right away? I am talking about the hunting and fishing agreement, where we divide up the number of animals in a 75:25 split. If you do not have all your inventories done by that period, you cannot necessarily know - and I guess it is just a best guess estimate - what the numbers will be. I would like to know whether you are going to phase in the hunting and fishing agreements over a ten year period, like you are phasing in the inventories, or is it all going to happen at once?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Essentially, the Member is talking about priorities that are going to be completed. All of them will not be implemented at one time, obviously; it will take time. We are concentrating on the areas of the four First Nations. The Member is quite correct that it is our hope that the 10 First Nations over the next year or two years sign their agreements, at which time we will initiate work in those areas.
I think that the Member can appreciate that there is a lot of work required to produce these inventories, but it will take a while.
In terms of priorities, there are definitely some areas right now that we know from previous inventories. Obviously, those areas are ones where we know that game is now plentiful, and it may give cause to put into place a total permitted harvest right away.
Mr. Phillips: Will we be maintaining the status quo then? Even if an agreement is signed, do we maintain the status quo until such time as we have an adequate inventory to determine the basic needs level. Out of the four band areas I think that there are probably two on which we have a pretty good handle right now, but I am talking about others. Will we maintain the status quo for maybe a year or two, until we get the data that we need and then phase in the controls?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Until the First Nations reach agreement, the Sparrow case does apply. Something else to consider is that once the First Nations reach signed agreements, it will be their responsibility to establish each of the 14 areas. One of their tasks will be to look at this very matter.
Mr. Phillips: The Minister may not have the information here, but I am wondering if he can bring back information on the current four agreements that we have currently signed. I am sure that Renewable Resources has done a take-off of how this will affect resident and non-resident hunters and non-native and native hunters. I wonder if the Minister can bring back as soon as possible a breakdown of how that will affect all of the people who will be harvesting wildlife in those areas - the native and non-native hunters.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Although it will take some time to sort that out, we can provide that information to the Member.
Yukon First Nations Comprehensive Claim in the amount of $641,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1,327,000 agreed to
On IFA-Herschel Island Territory Park
IFA-Herschel Island Territory Park in the amount of $117,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $1,444,000 agreed to
Land Claims agreed to
Department of Renewable Resources agreed to
Department of Tourism
Hon. Mr. Webster: I wonder if I could begin by reading my introductory remarks. Perhaps, we could follow with a break so I can organize my notes. It might be of benefit to the Members opposite if they hear these remarks before the break.
I am pleased to introduce the budget for the Department of Tourism. The operation and maintenance budget totals $5.9 million. This represents a 13 percent increase over the 1991-92 revised estimates. This increase is mainly comprised of transfers from the Executive Council Office and Community and Transportation Services to support the arts branch, a transfer from Community and Transportation Services to support a policy position, a transfer of two person years from the capital budget, and other priority initiatives.
The tabled capital budget totals $2 million. The main estimates show this as being a 65 percent decrease from the current year. However, if we delete the special projects completed this year - the Yukon visitor reception centre, the Carcross visitor reception centre, and projects advanced from 1991-92 - a more accurate comparison of the ongoing projects shows a three percent increase over the current year.
The tabled budget includes a number of priority initiatives as identified in the budget address. I will briefly highlight these new activities and any significant changes from the current-year budget.
In the administration branch, there are two changes. The 1991-92 budget includes a contribution of $180,000 to the Yukon Anniversaries Commission. We are anticipating that alternate sources of funding will be made available to the Commission in 1992-93.
There has been a transfer of one policy person year and the related personnel cost from Community and Transportation Services.
In heritage branch, the most significant changes include the transfer of arts operation and the art curator position to the new arts branch.
There will be a transfer of the historic sites technician from the capital budget to the O&M budget; a visitor attraction passport program has been developed to encourage visitors to stay longer in our territory, to visit our museums and visitor reception centres. Funds have been allocated for a public awareness and education initiative on the Historic Resources Act and its regulations. The ongoing O&M support to museums has been increased by $24,000.
In the capital budget, an historic resources trust fund has been established with $250,000 per year commitment for each of the next four years. The intent of this trust fund is to ensure preservation of the Yukons historic resources.
There are two changes to report in the development branch: one is that the development planner position has been transferred from the capital budget to the O&M budget, and new resources have been identified for aboriginal tourism research and development.
There are no substantial program changes to report in the marketing branch. However, the base budget has been increased to meet the following forced growth areas: postage and freight for tourist inquiry fulfillment; production costs of the vacation guides; auxiliary staff at the new Yukon visitor reception centre.
A new arts branch is being established in response to consultations with the art community. The first initiative of the branch will be the development of a comprehensive arts policy with future arts programming based on this policy. The branch will consolidate programs now delivered by Community and Transportation Services, the Executive Council Office and Tourism.
Of the total four person years, one and one-half are transferred from C&TS and one is transferred from the heritage branch. The funding is a consolidation of arts funding from the various departments, as well as $246,000 in new resources to develop the arts policy, an education program and an amount for new and expanded programming based on the arts policy.
In the capital budget, the arts and acquisition endowment fund is to receive one percent of capital expenditures on specific public buildings. Yukon art works will be purchased for display in the foyers and public areas of government buildings.
Motion to extend sitting hours
Hon. Mr. Webster: I move
THAT the Assembly be empowered to continue sitting after 9:30 p.m. tonight for the purpose of completing proceedings on Government Bills.
Motion agreed to
Chair: Is there further general debate?
Mr. Phillips: I have further general debate but the Minister requested that he wanted to relocate his camp, and I do not know whether he wants to continue on now or take a short break now and then continue on until 5:30 p.m.
Chair: Would the Committee like to take a break now? We will break for 10 minutes.
Chair: I will call Committee to order.
We are on general debate.
Mr. Phillips: I have a few questions in general debate. This afternoon, I asked the Minister some questions about the Tourism budget and he went on and on about all the other departments and how much they contribute to tourism in the territory. I would like to get back to that just for a moment. I do not need to hear about all the other departments that contribute to tourism. I want to talk about the size of the Tourism budget, which is 1.9 percent of the overall budget of the Government of Yukon, when tourism is our second largest industry.
I would like to know from the Minister if he has ever had concerns expressed to him by the tourism industry about the small Tourism budget in relation to the wealth that tourism brings into the territory.
Hon. Mr. Webster: In response to the Members question, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon has, on a couple of occasions, lobbied me and the Department of Tourism to increase the size of the budget in relation to the total budget of the Government of Yukon. They have made it clear that they feel that their industry deserves a greater priority in this budget when it comes time to allocate the dollars available.
I have pointed out to them that we have been slowly increasing the amount of money devoted to marketing, which, of course, is directed to encouraging people to travel to the Yukon and extend their visit once they get here. We elaborate on the variety of marketing programs we have, and the impact they are able to achieve, in part, along with the assistance of the private sector and the people involved in TIA. They think we are doing a good job with the money we have available.
Notwithstanding this, they still, obviously, would like to have more money available for marketing purposes.
Mr. Phillips: I have heard some of the same concerns from the Tourism Industry Association and people in the tourism industry - private entrepreneurs - and their concern is that they seem to be way down at the bottom of the totem pole, when it comes to dividing up the Yukon governments budget. They feel there is virtually a gold mine of tourism potential in the territory that we could capitalize on. There are reports and studies from all over the world right now that talk about how people our age, and older, are more able to travel and are travelling more. It is the fastest growing industry in the world and we should be trying to capitalize on that. Other jurisdictions are increasing some of their marketing budgets dramatically to capitalize on the increased potential of tourism.
I am suggesting to the Minister that we should be taking advantage of that. We cannot afford to fall behind in that area because there are a lot of locations in the world that are very beautiful and attractive for people to see. We are really small fish in the sea when we look at our budget, compared to even the budget of the City of Los Angeles, for example. There are a lot more people there but, just the same, comparing the two budgets, they have a much larger budget than the whole Government of the Yukon.
I think that we should be looking at the tourism area and giving it a stronger and a higher priority, because we are going to virtually miss the boat if we do not get out there and tell people what there is to see here in the territory.
I am just encouraging the Minister, when he goes back to Cabinet to argue for more money, that he will have the full support of Members of this side of the House. We know that the more people put to work in the tourism industry, the more people will be taken off unemployment insurance and off the welfare lines. We could put them to work in the industry, thereby reducing the budgets of Health and Social Services and increasing the budget of Tourism. I think you would see the benefits paying off there. We know that every dollar that is spent in marketing tourism has a great multiplying factor in the amount of money we get back. I think that is what we should be doing.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I want to thank the Member for his comments. I want him to know that I do appreciate his efforts to help me convince my colleagues to provide even more money in the budget for marketing programs.
Mr. Phillips: Another concern I have is the transfer of the new arts department over to the Department of Tourism. The concern I have is that the Deputy Minister is busy enough without having another branch. Tourism is, as I have said, the second largest industry. The Deputy Minister is busy at her job. I wonder if this new transfer is going to affect the workload of the Deputy Minister, as I am sure it would, because she would now have more responsibilities, as well as more staff in the Department of Tourism.
I know that some person years are being transferred to the department to handle it, but it is going to be more work. The Department of Tourism will be doing some of the work for the arts people. I am just concerned, again, that we may be watering down the effectiveness of people who have pretty heavy work loads as it is.
Hon. Mr. Webster: There seem to be two issues in this regard. One is dealing with the amount of workload that the Member has raised. It certainly will increase the workload of the Department of Tourism and the good Deputy Minister, who is doing a fine job. I think that would be the case with any department of this government. We know that there are some huge departments in this government in terms of their capital, O&M budgets and the amount of responsibility they have with all of their branches. Tourism is a relatively small branch. There are only about 40 employees in basically three branches. I do not think the addition of one small branch of only four employees will put too heavy a burden on the administration of the department.
The other matter is where the arts branch is best suited in this government. We looked at this matter very carefully and checked into what is done in other jurisdictions. However, I think most importantly, we looked at what makes sense for the Yukon. In consultation with the arts community over the last year, we came to the conclusion that the arts branch would be best accommodated in the small Department of Tourism. It would receive a higher profile. There is a natural link there with marketing tourism and so on. For that reason, we made that move.
Mr. Phillips: In the Ministers opening remarks, he stated that one of the priorities of the new arts department will be to develop a new policy, and I wonder if the Minister has a deadline or a time line by which he wants to have that policy developed? When it is developed, could he provide a copy of the policy to the Members of the Legislature?
Hon. Mr. Webster: We do not have a deadline but we do have a preferred date for completion of a draft policy. We can put it out for public review and certainly make it available to the Member opposite; that would be for the start of the new fiscal year.
Mr. Phillips: I would like to move to another area: the Historic Resources Act that we dealt with last spring. Can the Minister tell us where that is now? Is it in law? Is everything in place for the Act, and has there been any impact on museums or individuals as a result of passing that particular piece of legislation?
Hon. Mr. Webster: As to the status of the Historic Resources Act, we are in the process right now of preparing regulations for review so that, hopefully, we will be able to put the act into effect some time next fiscal year. Sometime next year, the act will be proclaimed.
Mr. Phillips: When the regulations for that act are drafted, I would appreciate having a copy for perusal. Again, this goes back to the issue we brought forward many, many months ago. It was a high priority to get this act in and pass it because of the need for it, yet it is almost a year later and we still do not have the regulations in front of us. If the bureaucrats were forced to produce the regulations at the same time as they produced the act, perhaps there would be a little more pressure on them to get them done in a hurry, rather than taking a year or so to do it. It would give all of us a better idea of exactly what kind of laws we are passing, because the regulations are going to govern what happens within the act. I would feel a lot more comfortable, and I know other Members would, if we had some idea of what the regulations were prior to dealing with an act in the House. It seems to be a bit like a blank cheque.
Hon. Mr. Webster: With respect to the final comment of it being somewhat of a blank cheque, I want to remind the Member that in drafting the regulations, we will go through a process in which the public will be invited to comment. I can appreciate the Members remarks, however, when it takes about eight years just to prepare legislation for introduction to this House, a lot of people were quite anxious to get working on the legislation rather than take another year or two in drafting regulations.
Mr. Phillips: I do not have any further questions in general debate. If other Members do not have any further questions, perhaps we can proceed on to line-by-line debate.
Mr. Phelps: I have a question to do with the problems that the businesses along the Jakes Corner/Tagish/Carcross/Carcross Corner loop will feel because of the omission in that very important publication, North to Alaska.
I would also like to follow up on the subject matter of a kiosk for the summer. I know for a fact that there had been serious discussions between constituents who have businesses on the loop and government officials with regard to setting up a kiosk. I was told that one suggested siting was Jakes Corner itself, but there was no room. Then, they looked at establishing the kiosk at the Squanga Lake campground, but they were told, no, because they would not allow information kiosks in the campground.
Once again, I would like to make representation that an ideal place for such a kiosk would be in the vicinity of the transplanted goats between Squanga Lake and Jakes Corner, no more than three or four miles south on the highway from Jakes Corner.
The other issue that I raised in Question Period with a different Minister, who said he would consider it, has to do with the feasibility of playing part of the FM program that plays and is transmitted from each community for tourists during the tourist season in the summer time. This is an excellent program. Part of that programming could be made available on cassette for a kiosk or even transmitted to catch recreational vehicles as they are approaching the Jakes Corner intersection.
It would be my view that there is a lot to offer on that loop. In fact, the best fishing, which is something that many tourists are keen on in the territory, the most successful fishing, is off the Tagish Bridge as I am sure the Member is aware.
This can be done at very little expense and there are a tremendous number of people in RVs who really enjoy going to Tagish and fishing off the bridge, where a lot of big trout are caught all of the time. It is a very productive area in the southern lakes.
Carcross, as well, offers fishing for part of the season off a bridge, which I think is something that the tourists ought to be made aware of. As well, we have excellent facilities and some of those people are really counting on a good season this year. I am sure that they are up to their eyeballs in debt and when one looks at the tremendous facility that Chuck and Marilyn Buchanan have constructed, for example, it is a real make-it or break-it season for them.
I can give some other examples. The restaurant and hotel are really counting on a good season this summer, because the winter is a period where they simply hang on and provide a service and hope to make it up in the summer. There are people who are really counting on their fair share of tourists using that route. One benefit is that it really does not attract very much from Alaska Highway businesses between the two points; most tourists only travel the route going one way, coming or going.
Another point, of course, is that it would reduce some of the general traffic between Marsh Lake and Whitehorse. I am sure that the areas around Judas Creek and Constabulary Beach as you move toward Whitehorse, are going to be quite congested, and the people who live in those areas are going to be quite frustrated with the traffic as they commute daily back and forth to their jobs in Whitehorse.
For all of these reasons, I would like to see kiosk placed, or at least be considered, and I would like the Minister to undertake to consult with some of the businesses, in particular the Buchanans and some others from that area before he makes a final determination.
Hon. Mr. Webster: In Question Period, when the subject was first raised the other day, I did make a commitment to consider the matter, which will involve, of course, some discussions with local residents, as the Minister of Community and Transportation Services promised to do with respect to putting highway signs identifying that loop on the highways.
With respect to giving greater promotion to the Carcross/southern lakes area and that loop - in spite of the protests of some people, incidentally, who want to keep the fishing a secret - we are in contact with PR Services of Whitehorse in the development of a brochure to promote the Carcross/southern lakes area. That brochure will be inserted into the North To Alaska travel guide, which will be available at all of our visitor reception centres.
On Operation and Maintenance
Operations in the amount of $619,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $619,000 agreed to
Administration agreed to
On Operation and Maintenance
Operations in the amount of $298,000 agreed to
Mr. Phelps: I just want to make one representation and that is that the publicly funded museums of the territory receive recognition in the various publications of government, but I have had some complaints that the private museums do not enjoy the same level of recognition. I would certainly support representations that I understand have been made, once again, by Chuck and Marilyn Buchanan, who have a wildlife museum at Carcross, and others who have private museums, that they be given equal space and time in terms of promotion, because they provide a wonderful service to the area. Carcross is one of the few towns that does not have a publicly funded museum, so I just make that representation.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I want to thank the Member for his representation. He is quite right, I had a conversation with Mr. Dalziel in Watson Lake this past summer. He also, as you know, operates a private museum. I suggested to him that he may join the Yukon Historical Museums Association, the Yukon-wide organization, to get some further promotion, because all people in the heritage business are very helpful to one another. They actively promote everyone elses museum in the territory, as well as their own. I am sure that would go a long way to bringing him a higher profile for his own business.
Museums in the amount of $280,000 agreed to
On Historic Sites
Historic Sites in the amount of $135,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $713,000 agreed to
On Historic Resources
On Heritage Artifact Acquisition
Heritage Artifact Acquisition in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Historic Resources Trust Fund
Historic Resources Trust Fund in the amount of $250,000 agreed to
On Museums Assistance
Mr. Phillips: Can the Minister tell us why the museums assistance and exhibits assistance has actually gone down significantly for the museums in the territory? Is it because the demand has decreased or just because the department wanted to decrease the budget in that area?
Hon. Mr. Webster: One reason is that according to the five-year capital plan, there is some lack of funds in this area. Also, we advanced some project designs for 1992-93. They should be completed in this current fiscal year, so that they would be complete in time for the anniversary celebrations this year. Also, museums are becoming more and more successful in obtaining money from other Government of the Yukon programs, particularly the community development fund. All the monies available this year will meet the projects requested by the museums.
Museums Assistance in the amount of $385,000 agreed to
On Exhibits Assistance
Exhibits Assistance in the amount of $215,000 agreed to
On Artifact Inventory and Cataloguing
Artifact Inventory and Cataloguing in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
On Conservation and Security
Conservation and Security in the amount of $36,000 agreed to
On Historic Sites
On Historic Sites Maintenance
Historic Sites Maintenance in the amount of $107,000 agreed to
On Historic Sites Inventory
Historic Sites Inventory in the amount of $30,000 agreed to
On S.S. Tutshi
Mr. Phelps: Precisely what is intended for the S.S. Tutshi?
Hon. Mr. Webster: This $60,000 will be spent for stabilizing the remains of the Tutshi and developing some interpretive program of that one-time main attraction in that area.
S.S. Tutshi in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
On Fort Selkirk
Fort Selkirk in the amount of $151,000 agreed to
On Herschel Island - IFA
Herschel Island - IFA in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Historic Sites Planning
Historic Sites Planning in the amount of $40,000 agreed to
On OTAB Landscaping
OTAB Landscaping in the amount of $60,000 agreed to
On Yukon Archaeology
Yukon Archaeology in the amount of $100,000 agreed to
NOGAP in the amount of one dollar agreed to
On Heritage Studies
Heritage Studies in the amount of $40,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $1,534,000 agreed to
Heritage agreed to
On Operation and Maintenance
Operations in the amount of $498,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $498,000 agreed to
On Destination, Regional and Community Planning
On Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
On Wilderness Resource Assessment
Wilderness Resource Assessment in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
On Regional Tourism Plans
Mr. Phillips: What plans are we working on there to finish up? Is that just completing existing plans we have, or is it for starting a new one?
Hon. Mr. Webster: We are presently in the process of completing plans for the Carcross southern lakes and we are about to embark on the plan for the Teslin area.
Regional Tourism Plans in the amount of $40,000 agreed to
On Destination, Site or Product Assessment
Destination, Site or Product Assessment in the amount of $15,000 agreed to
On Product Development
On Signs and Interpretation
Signs and Interpretation in the amount of $66,000 agreed to
On Regional Planning Implementation
Regional Planning Implementation in the amount of $14,000 agreed to
On Federal/Territorial Contribution Agreement
Federal/Territorial Contribution Agreement in the amount of one dollar agreed to
Capital in the amount of $185,000 agreed to
Development agreed to
On Operations and Maintenance
Operations in the amount of $923,000 agreed to
Mr. Phillips: Do we now have a full complement of people in the Department of Tourism?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Yes, we do.
Mr. Phillips: The Government Leader, in his budget speech, talked about a reduction in travel. One of the areas where costs were going to be reduced was in travel - 25 percent reduction. I would like to know if this affects the Department of Tourism, because travel is so essential to this department to attend trade shows and various events. I have a concern that that announcement may affect this. I hope that it does not and I hope that the Minister can tell us that it does not, but I would like to know from the Minister if it will affect travel in this department at all.
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Member is quite right that the reduction in travel of 25 percent across the board, would indeed be detrimental to the Department of Tourism. So much of our business is conducted face-to-face; we have to be at these trade shows. I am pleased to inform the Member that the Department of Tourism will be the only exception to that blanket policy.
On Public Relations
Public Relations in the amount of $96,000 agreed to
Mr. Phillips: Why is the budget for promotions going down?
Hon. Mr. Webster: It is going down marginally, by five percent. That is the result of a decrease in transfer payments, specifically with the Tourism North marketing agreement that we have with British Columbia and Alaska. That has decreased by $50,000.
Mr. Phelps: How will that affect our promotions? Even though it is going down just five percent, there is an inflation factor of three or four percent, which constitutes a nine percent decrease from last years budget. I am concerned about how this will directly affect the promotions of the Government of the Yukon.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Actually, this one particular program of Tourism North is really a correction factor. There was too much budgeted for last year, so we certainly have enough in the budget this year to provide for an increase in that program.
Promotions in the amount of $713,000 agreed to
On Information Services
Information Services in the amount of $1,721,000 agreed to
Operations and Maintenance in the amount of $3,453,000 agreed to
On Visitor Reception Centres
On Low Frequency Radio Transmitters
Low Frequency Radio Transmitters in the amount of $25,000 agreed to
On Television, Audio-Visual and Other Equipment
Television, Audio-Visual and Other Equipment in the amount of $10,000 agreed to
On Yukon VRC Development
Hon. Mr. Webster: The $55,000 here is broken down into two items: one is landscaping for $30,000; another is commissioning, for $25,000.
Mr. Phillips: Last week in Question Period I asked the Minister about the audio-visual equipment and the film, Out of the Silence from the Expo show. I suggested to the Minister that we could possibly loan that show or give it to an organization in Watson Lake or Beaver Creek, along with the projectors. Possibly an organization in those communities could apply to the community development fund, or whatever, to maintain or operate the projectors, or at least put the show on. It is a fantastic presentation; it won all sorts of awards.
I guess my concern here is that it seems, by the legislative return that we received, that they are going to be using half of the projectors for the new show and I wonder how we could produce that other show or show it anywhere else without buying more projectors. Is the Minister prepared to look at purchasing another nine projectors for the new show and using the 18 that we have for the old one?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I am not prepared to buy the 18 projectors that are required to show the Out of the Silence film.
On December 2, I incorrectly stated that Out of the Silence would be one, among many, films shown at the new Yukon visitor reception centre. Since then, I have been informed otherwise. This is due to a variety of reasons, as outlined in the legislative return that was tabled yesterday.
The fact of the matter is that the Member is correct. In the past, some communities have asked for this production to be shown in their communities over the summer as a way to provide another attraction for tourists; however, on learning the requirements for a facility, the technical nature and the high cost of showing this film, they declined the offer. Unfortunately, we will not be using that particular audio-visual presentation.
Mr. Phillips: I have been talking to the company that produced the film, Out of the Silence. They tell me that it would only take about 10 minutes per day to synchronize the projectors. They could train somebody to do that in about an hour. You could have somebody trained in a community like Watson Lake.
It seems such a shame to have a $300,000 show available and not utilize it. For an extra few dollars in the summer, we could keep people in Watson Lake there another day, or a few more hours to see the attractions in Watson Lake. It seems like such a shame to mothball this particular audio-visual show. I understand that we have no video of it so we cannot show it on a standard television screen. The only way anybody will ever see that production again, is if we set up the 18 projectors and we show it. I think the operation and maintenance costs would not be that extensive.
It would be extremely important to let the hundreds of thousands of visitors we expect to come through the Yukon next year to see this. Perhaps they would go back to their friends and tell their friends about it. This attraction was very well received at Expo and will be just as well received here. I think it would be well worth our while to consider putting that attraction back together for at least the May, June, July, August and September months of this summer and try to capture some of that audience.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Unfortunately, the major part of the costs for that production - the Member quotes $300,000 - was for the purchase of the equipment, part of which was the 18 projectors. From the information we have, the operation of this 18-projector presentation does require the constant attention of an operator, working full time. We had this at Expo 86 in Vancouver.
As a result of that, we find it would be very difficult and costly to run this complex machinery and maintenance costs would be too high for any community in the territory to show the presentation. That is in addition to the special requirements of the facility itself, in that it requires a 30 by 30 foot screen and a projection room that is 12 by 12 feet. I want to assure the Member that I, too, believe that it is a shame that this will not be shown again. But, there are some very good reasons why it would be very difficult to do so.
Mr. Phillips: Sometimes where there is a will, there is a way. I am not asking the Minister to build a brand-new facility in any of these communities, with a 12 by 12 foot projector room and a huge screen and the whole works. We have schools with gymnasiums that are vacant most of the summer. We have community halls that are vacant most of the summer. Surely there is a way. It does not have to be the full 30 foot wide situation, but I am sure that a lot of communities in the territory would love to have that kind of attraction in their community. There are all kinds of funds out there, like the community development fund and other funds that people could take advantage of.
I do not think we should just rule it out because there is some bureaucrat who wants to create the grandiose production we had in Expo. We are not going to have that here. We have a smaller community. We still have the world-class video. We still have the equipment that I understand is in reasonable working order - although it has been mothballed for a while. It was working when we shut it all down. We should not just rule it out. We should give some consideration to some community if they wish to set up the production and apply for the funding to operate it for the summer. We are going to have hundreds of thousands of people going through some of these communities this summer. We are desperately looking for things for them to do and see and keep them here a little longer. This is something that would keep people here for an extra hour or two in a community.
Hon. Mr. Webster: In view of the representations made by the Member, I will provide him with an estimate of the costs to provide this production and to conduct it throughout the summer.
Mr. Devries: On the same issue, the Minister knows that we have a very beautiful visitor reception centre in Watson Lake. The theater has a very big screen. Maybe the screen is not quite big enough, but we could maybe do some work on it.
Also, as the Member may be aware, we are setting up an Expo-type pavilion, as far as I know, in the arena, where all of the various communities, if they are interested, and various government agencies and the Chamber of Mines would have booths. There is also a huge screen in the existing community centre that possibly could be utilized. I do not think that you should throw out the idea. The Member for Riverdale North has an excellent idea there and I think that we should look at it.
Yukon VRC Development in the amount of $55,000 agreed to
On Travel Marketing Equipment, Displays and Productions
On Purchase and Maintenance of Displays
Purchase and Maintenance of Displays in the amount of $15,000 agreed to
On Production of Audio Visual Shows
Production of Audio Visual Shows in the amount of $140,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $3,698,000 agreed to
On Operation and Maintenance
Mr. Phillips: The government received some concerns from tourism people about the arts department moving in with the Department of Tourism. I wonder what kind of representation they received from the arts community. Is the arts community quite happy that the new arts branch has moved into the Department of Tourism? Have they expressed concern over that if they are not happy and what are those concerns?
Hon. Mr. Webster: The Tourism Industry Association did raise the matter when the announcement was first made that the arts branch would be established in the Department of Tourism. Naturally, there was some concern that the creation of this new branch could possibly take some money away from activities in the other branches. However, I think the same week the budget was released, they discovered that there had been no decrease in funds for the established branches and, looking at a review of the analysis and the justification for moving arts into Tourism, on the whole, they were quite happy with that move.
Operations in the amount of $592,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $592,000 agreed to
On Visual Arts
On Visual Arts Acquisition
Visual Arts Acquisition in the amount of $5,000 agreed to
On Arts Acquisition Endowment Fund
Arts Acquisition Endowment Fund in the amount of one dollar agreed to
Capital in the amount of $5,000 agreed to
Arts agreed to
Department of Tourism agreed to
Hon. Ms. Joe: My critic for the Womens Directorate is probably on his way in and hopefully he can hear me as I speak. The Member for Riverdale South is here, too.
The 1992-93 operations and maintenance budget for the Womens Directorate represents a total of $416,000 to carry out its mandate of advancing the status of all Yukon women in the social, economic, legal and political arenas. The personnel allotment is $217,000 reflected in the classification of repeat positions for the directorate.
Reflected in this budget for the fourth year is the directorates major initiative of providing a multi-media public awareness campaign on family violence in the amount of $52,000. The family violence annual conference will again receive $10,000 with a focus on assisting communities to develop their strategies on family violence. There is an allotment of $10,000 for a community public awareness campaign. The campaign itself receives $20,000 for radio spots, newspaper ads, pins, magnetic strips and other promotional material. Another $10,000 goes toward program material development. The Yukon Advisory Council on Womens Issues received a total of $51,000 to carry out their activities.
Under travel, $90,000 has been allotted. For honoraria, $10,000, and $22,000 for research and administration. This year, the directorate has allotted $26,000 in contract services. These dollars will be used to provide public information, which is one of the objectives of the directorate.
Follow-up work to the territory-wide survey will receive $10,000. The research library is being used more and more and an update will cost $7,000. The directorates newsletter will cost $1,500.
The directorate, in recognition of Yukon womens achievements through the International Womens Day banquet and awards is budgeted for $10,000.
To continue promotion of women and their issues, the directorate will continue to bring in speakers and host networking lunches, for a total of $4,000.
The past year at the federal-provincial-territorial level, three major initiatives were on the agenda: education equity, gender equality in the justice system and stopping violence against women. This years budget reflects our continued involvement, for a total of $9,700 for travel to these meetings.
Through grants, the directorate will provide womens groups the financial assistance to carry out their initiatives, budgeted at $29,000.
Mr. Phelps: I am sorry, I was a bit late to hear all the opening remarks. I am interested in the public information program and the advertising that is being done by the Womens Directorate. And I am rather curious about how they judge the effectiveness of the advertising campaign they are carrying out. Is there any kind of measurement they use to see whether or not they are getting the message out there, aside from the end result, eventually, of a change in attitude? Do they get requests back? Do they use any kinds of questionnaires or surveys to see if the advertising campaigns and programs are effective?
Hon. Ms. Joe: We will be looking at gathering information through a questionnaire. It is the second year that we have had the program and I think that we know, judging by the number of women who have used the services provided by different departments in this government, that the advertising is working. To be a little more specific in regard to finding out whether or not they have received that information through the stickers, the ads in the papers or the ads on the radio, I think that would have to be determined through a questionnaire or possibly some other way. We will be looking at the effectiveness of the advertising that has been done by the Womens Directorate.
Mr. Phelps: I certainly notice the advertising that is being done but I am no expert on whether it is effective or not just because I see it and notice it.
She was talking about upgrading the research library. How extensive is that library at this time and what kind of upgrading does this involve, in terms of percentages? Is it a major upgrading that you are looking at in this budget?
Hon. Ms. Joe: We do have a pretty extensive library in the directorate. You can see it just as you walk in the door. What they have there is an up-to-date list of information that is available. I have lost my train of thought. I am trying to think of everything that I want to say in time.
We do have many publications that are advertised throughout the country in regard to womens issues and we subscribe to certain newspapers. We have information regarding programs that are available throughout the country. We have reports and studies. We have a broad range of information and I would invite anyone to just drop in as they are walking by sometime, just to see the kind of things that we have in that library. We are always upgrading it. A lot of the information is taken out by individuals. We are always renewing publications and subscriptions.
On Policy and Program Development
On Operation and Maintenance
On Policy and Program Development
Policy and Program Development in the amount of $288,000 agreed to
On Public Information
On Operation and Maintenance
On Public Information
Public Information in the amount of $76,000 agreed to
On Family Violence
Family Violence in the amount of $52,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $128,000 agreed to
Public Information agreed to
Womens Directorate agreed to
Yukon Housing Corporation
Hon. Ms. Hayden: You have before you the main estimates of the Yukon Housing Corporation. The mandate of the corporation is to assist people of the Yukon to obtain appropriate accommodation. This is being achieved through a number of programs.
During the current fiscal year, the corporation will assist more than 725 families, representing an estimated 2,130 people. These statistics do not include the 24 beds and five apartments for Kaushees Place II, nor do they include the 35 beds for the extended care project. Both these projects are currently under construction and are financed under the non-profit housing program.
During the current year, the corporation has introduced several changes to its programs. Some of the most significant changes were made to the home repair program. The corporation has amalgamated its previous home repair programs into one comprehensive program. The program is now available to all Yukon home owners, whatever their income level. The program offers a repayable loan of up to $35,000 at a maximum rate of interest, which equals one-half the applicable five-year term mortgage rates. The current interest rate for this program is 4.5 percent. In addition, for the moderate to low income home owners, the program will consider part of the loan as forgivable, and provide even lower interest rates.
The level of this assistance varies with the income level of the household. These changes have made home repairs affordable for all Yukon home owners.
Another feature of the new home repair program is the energy efficiency standards. These standards either meet or beat the energy standards currently used by the SEAL program. This has opened the door for the transfer of the SEAL program to the corporation. The Department of Economic Development and the corporation are currently examining that option.
In addition, the corporation has been negotiating with CMHC for the transfer of their residential rehabilitation assistance programs - that is RRAP - to the Yukon Housing Corporation. I am very encouraged by the progress of these negotiations, and the success of these negotiations would deliver on a commitment made by the government to provide a one-stop shopping approach to home owners interested in repairing their homes.
This will represent a major improvement over what existed last year. Last year, eight programs were available to home owners funded by three different government agencies and delivered through source separate organizations. The complexity of these various programs made it very difficult, if not impossible, for Yukon home owners to obtain the full benefit of these initiatives. I am sure that the Members of this House, as well as all Yukon home owners, welcome these changes.
Another key area where the corporation has been making some improvement is in the area of staff housing. As I am sure Members realize, staff housing is a key component of the governments decentralization policy. Without appropriate housing it would be very difficult to fill the positions that are not filled through local hire.
During the current year, the corporation has undertaken an extensive review of the staff housing policy and programs. The corporation has recently completed a consultation process with all user departments. Early in the new year, a discussion paper will be released to affected parties. Based on this consultation, the corporation will propose changes to the staff housing policies and programs.
As part of the government initiative on decentralization, the corporation has already made changes to its joint-venture program. Home owners wishing to subdivide their existing dwelling to create a rental suite can now do so with assistance from the corporation. The program offers a repayable loan at a maximum rate of interest of two percent below the five-year mortgage rate. Currently, the interest rate for this program is seven and three-quarters percent.
The interest rate is locked in for 10 years and the program does not require a down payment. I expect that this change to the joint-venture program will have a significant impact on the supply of affordable housing throughout the Yukon.
One aspect of the corporation that is often forgotten is the impact of the corporation on the Yukons construction industry and, during the current session, I have tabled some documentation on the energy efficiency study being conducted at Closeleigh Manor. This research project is conducted jointly with Yukon Housing Corporation, the National Research Council of Canada, and Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. The results of the study to date are impressive and I expect that they will have a national and international impact on the design and construction of future residential buildings.
The corporation also has been testing a new multi-point foundation system. The new system is currently used for a duplex in Old Crow and a fourplex in Mayo. This foundation system requires minimum site preparation, requires no heavy equipment, and can be easily assembled using local labour. The system has effectively eliminated the wracking of the buildings due to frost heave and thaw conditions. During the coming months, the staff of the corporation will do cost-benefit analyses of this system and review its applicability to the industry as a whole. Here, again, the result of field research done by the corporation could have a long-term impact on the cost of construction in the north.
The role of the corporation in the area of social policy has been well publicized over the years. In addition, we are all familiar with the major hurdle to economic growth created by the lack of appropriate housing. The opening of the mine in Watson Lake is a concrete, current example of this problem.
One important aspect of the housing programs that is seldom discussed is the economic impact of these programs. The housing programs represent a major stimulant to the Yukon economy. The 1992-93 capital budget for the corporation is $18,944,000, of which $17,239,000 will be recovered.
Using the multipliers from the Statistics Canada input/output table for the Yukon economy, this budget level will generate the equivalent of 323 jobs in the private sector. In other words, the economic activity created by the capital budget of the corporation will generate 3,876 person months of employment in the Yukon. That is significant.
Before we begin the debate on the Yukon Housing Corporation budget, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank some very important players in the field of housing. I am referring to the members of the community housing advisory boards and the members of the corporations board of directors. As all Members are aware, housing is a very complex bread-and-butter issue. Solutions required for Pelly Crossing would not work in Watson Lake or Whitehorse. Housing programs, to be effective, must be adaptable to the particular circumstances of the community. The primary tool used by the corporation to achieve this flexibility is the various boards involved with the corporation. All told, the corporation has 52 board members, sitting on 10 different boards. These board members come from all walks of life. The one thing they have in common is their dedication and desire to improve the quality of life for their community. I feel privileged to have such people advising me.
Mr. Devries: I thank the Minister for her opening statement. I have a few questions and I will go through them one at a time. That way, it will not get confused.
The Minister was talking about the possibility of transferring the SEAL program to the Yukon Housing Corporation and also the RRAP program from CMHC, possibly, to Yukon Housing Corporation. At present, the Yukon Housing advisory board more or less makes the recommendations and decisions on who gets a house. Would they also get involved in those programs or how would they be administered?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: At the present time a program, such as the SEAL program, would still be delivered by the corporation staff. We are in the process of devolving more responsibility to local boards and, before too long, some community boards will have responsibility for some of the programs.
Mr. Devries: At present, the local economic development officer looks after a lot of this. Naturally, if the board takes on more of those responsibilities it is going to decrease the workload of the local economic development officer, so there is a concern that the boards may get bogged down with more work than a volunteer board cares to handle. By the same token, the economic development officer possibly might have less work and it may be no longer economically feasible to keep that position.
The local housing boards will not be given authority that they do not want to have or programs that they do not want to have. I think that it is important that a community chooses to deliver a program. The programs will continue to be delivered by the corporation staff.
Mr. Devries: I would be the last to want to say that the local boards should not have the input, because I think that we see an excellent example of cost efficiency in the work that was done by the Help and Hope Society in getting the local Safe House on stream.
That building had come in somewhere around $100,000 over budget and I still remember the Government Leader saying that we are not going to contribute any further toward a Cadillac, but we still got a structure that was very similar to what was on the original design plan and it came in well under budget. With a little ingenuity and local people putting their heads together, things can be done in a more cost-efficient manner.
The Minister gave us a legislative return with respect to a 12-foot wide trailer in the community of Teslin, and this includes the lot and everything. I believe there was an offer for $377. Was this a dilapidated, old trailer? Usually a 12-foot wide trailer is something that would still be in the 1970s era.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The $377 that the Member refers to was the lowest of two bids that we received. The other one was approximately $2,000. Neither of the bids was accepted because the lot itself, with the structure on it, is worth more than that. It was not, in fact, sold.
Mr. Devries: I would say that the buildings are worthless. Basically, it is the lot that was worth some money.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: That is correct. The trailer was quite old.
Mr. Lang: I have a couple of questions if the Member for Watson Lake is finished.
I would like to make an observation on the general housing policy. It is an observation in respect to the mortgage program. The legislative return indicated that 29 applicants applied under this program and that 23 of these applicants will eventually take part in the mortgage program made available.
I feel that that particular program is not meeting the needs of the people, primarily in Whitehorse, but also in other communities. I can speak for the Whitehorse area because of my knowledge of it. I say this, because there is a very limited amount of money that is available. It limited it to about 23 or 25 applicants because of the funding and the fact that the government is now going into the mortgage business.
I think we would be better off making available a limited, one-time financial contribution to eligible applicants. This would aid the individuals in qualifying at a bank with a suitable down payment. This would be a one-time home owner contribution, rather than getting into the mortgage business itself. That seems to be a better route to go. Your money would go much further and you would help that many more people.
The other point that I want to make is that a lot of these people are first time home owners. Because of the terms and conditions of the program, they are getting themselves into situations where they are getting into well over $100,000 homes. Substantial payments are required as well as all the other commitments one has to make on a new home. I know that these people are qualified on a monthly basis, but it seems to me that they should have the option, through a revised program, to perhaps go into a mobile home in a mobile home park.
Those are starter homes. With only a minimal down payment, one can build equity much more quickly than one can in a $120,000 home, for example. It seems to me that that option should be made available for applicants.
I want to put those ideas to the Minister, because I feel they are valid and that we could help that many more people than we are at the present time. We are in a situation now where we are being forced to get into building houses, in some respects, and I feel there are other ways of doing this. One can learn from British Columbia, which has a home assistance program that can be used toward the down payment but does not get into the banking business. Leave that to the banks; then the money can go that much further and that many more people can be assisted with down payments. The terms of reference should be broadened for what type of housing the people can get into. I do not think it is up to us to decide, in this House or in the Housing Corporation, that a mobile home in Takhini Trailer Court is not good enough for somebody coming through a particular program like that. Maybe the Minister wants to comment on this?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I thank the Member for his comments. One point I would like to make is that we do, indeed, provide funding for mobile homes. We do not fund 15-year-old homes, but we do fund some of the newer ones that are in good condition and have a lifespan. It would be the same if I were going to buy a CMHC house or anything else; they have to meet a certain standard. Trailers must be on trailer pads. I think we do the best we can in that area.
Mr. Lang: My point is that if it is an older mobile home it is going to cost less and subsequently the equity and the time period in which the individual has to pay for it is very much less, and it can be done through normal banking practices if there is assistance with the down payment. A lot of those older mobile homes have been renovated; they are in better condition than a lot of people think they are, and they do provide adequate housing for a young family just starting out. This is my point. We are putting them into $50,000 or $100,000 homes, and maybe $50,000 mobile homes, which I do not think is doing them a service because it takes so long to get equity. That is my observation.
I would like to move to another area. I have a question concerning Pelly Crossing and the notorious mobile home that was moved from Faro to Pelly Crossing, which I am sure the president of the board will recall.
I am sure some other Members of the House will recall, talking about mobile homes, where we were the only government in Canada that paid $99,000 for a 1972-vintage trailer to be set up in Pelly Crossing. I am not going to rehash the past, but I want to add the past to the present here. I want to ask the Minister if she can confirm that, over and above the $99,000 that was paid to move and set up the mobile home in Pelly Crossing for staff housing, we have, in the one or two years following this, spent an additional $20,000 to further renovate that wise investment by the Housing Corporation. We are now at about $119,000 or $122,000.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: If the Member requires the exact figure, I will have to take it as notice, because it was a year or two ago. The trailer is a double-wide, as the Member knows, which is a house size. What I am told did happen is that someone went up on the roof to chop ice and damaged the roof. It had to be repaired.
Mr. Lang: I would like the Minister to send this to me in writing. My understanding is that the money spent was in the neighborhood of $20,000. This could not have just been because someone was chopping ice on the roof, or so I was told. It was more to do with the way it was set up and that the ventilation was not adequately set up when the $99,000 investment was put together. Subsequently, after one or two years, major problems were encountered within the double-wide and an additional $20,000 had to be spent. Would the Minister undertake to bring that correspondence to me and the critic?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes, I will do that.
Mr. Lang: I want to move into the area of senior citizens and the construction of Closeleigh Manor. As the Minister knows, this project has had some unfortunate problems. What I do not understand is how that building passed final inspection with its structural problems.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have a couple of comments in answer to the Members question. The problem only came to light when the shrinkage began, and it was not at all obvious when the building was inspected during the final inspection.
I want to carefully state that I have spent some time since this was discussed at Closeleigh. The tenants who were part of the building advisory committee are feeling quite upset at the notoriety that their home is receiving. We have assured the residents that all is fine. They understand that; they know that it is all right and whatever problems there were have been repaired or are being repaired. We certainly have some court cases, and the residents are aware of that. I guess that is all that I have to say on that.
Mr. Lang: The Minister did not answer my question. I specifically asked how that could pass final inspection with the major problems that obviously would be encountered, because of the way the elevator was constructed. I do not understand why that would have been done, knowing that, down the road, that engineering would have an effect on the building. How did it pass final inspection?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am told that we had two engineers and an architect looking at it as it was being built. Whatever the error was, it was not picked up, and that is why we are in court; that is why we are suing. I cannot answer the question, other than to say that somebody obviously goofed. I am told that there is no danger, in terms of the building. It is cosmetic, but it becomes quite cosmetic when you are on the third floor and your bathtub moves an inch and one-half to two inches.
Yes, it is serious enough to have to be repaired. We certainly are asking why no one picked up the error - and asking the question through the courts.
Mr. Lang: I have one final question. Could the Minister tell us exactly who is being sued? Is it the construction company? Is it the architect? Is it both of them Or the engineers? Who is being sued?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The engineering firm, the architect and the construction company; and it is up to them to sort out what is whose fault.
Motion to extend hours
Hon. Mr. Webster: I would request that, based on agreement between the House Leaders, unanimous consent be granted to interpret the motion passed earlier to extend sitting hours to be interpreted in a way that would allow the House to continue sitting after 5:30 p.m.
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Chair: Unanimous consent has been granted.
Motion agreed to
Mrs. Firth: I want to ask the Minister a question with respect to Closeleigh Manor. I notice that the residents at Closeleigh Manor received a letter from the Minister with respect to the news reports about the condition of the building. Had the Minister received some complaints from them or were concerns raised about it? What was the purpose of writing the letter?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I was concerned that the residents would be fearful that their building was falling down around them; so I asked the corporation to meet with them and I sent the letter so that they would be reassured that it was all right. The response I received from representatives of the tenants association was positive; they were grateful that I had let them know, but they basically said I was not to worry about them. Fearmongering was the word they used.
Mr. Devries: As the Minister is likely aware, the Sa Dene Hes mine had made an agreement that, by the end of the summer of 1992, they would be shutting down their mine on the hill and all the people would have to live down below in whatever housing they can find. There is a real concern with the community leaders right now that adequate housing be made available one way or another. Naturally, with Watson Lake people being an independent bunch, they would like to see this done without government assistance as much as possible.
I understand that a proposal has been put in to Yukon Housing. One of the suggestions is that a community development corporation be formed. They, in cooperation with a private developer and possibly the Yukon Housing Corporation, could look at the possibility of building an apartment complex or something of this nature. I do not know at what stage the discussions are. I understand the mayor was in town this week and it is very preliminary at this point. They are still looking at different ways to form this community development corporation concept. I believe it also spills over into a trailer court of some type.
Has the Yukon Housing Corporation come up with any suggestions on how this housing problem can be alleviated?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: We had submitted proposals, earlier in the year, to the Town of Watson Lake. They had not, as far as I understand, submitted proposals to us - just to correct the record. We certainly did discuss a variety of options with the community of Watson Lake, none of which, at that time, seemed to be favourable to them. I understand that they are interested in, as you say, further discussions, and we are quite prepared to meet with them early in the new year to discuss the same issue. We, too, are interested in seeing decent housing for people in Watson Lake. We will do whatever we can within the terms of reference of the corporation.
Mr. Devries: There is some urgency in this because apparently questionnaires also went to the employees at the mine and they indicated that they like living there. I suspect that once they move to town there would have to be shift changes and everything else, because now they work 12-hour shifts, and if you had another hour of travelling time, both ways, on top of your 12-hour shift, it would make a very long day. So there are several things that come into the whole organizational picture.
I have no further questions in general debate, if Members would like to go to line-by-line debate.
Mr. Nordling: I just have one question. In the budget address that was given by the Minister of Finance, in speaking of the capital portion, the Minister said that The capital budget is $103 million. Among the significant capital projects are non-profit housing in Carmacks.
In the meeting for contractors, on November 27, Yukon Housing Corporation was there and there was no construction of non-profit housing in Carmacks mentioned. How many non-profit houses will be built in Carmacks in 1992-93?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I will apologize to the Member and to the House. It seems that there was an error in the address. The Minister was referring to statistics that would have referred to this year.
Mr. Nordling: Perhaps the Minister could bring back a list of where the non-profit houses are going to be built in 1992-93 in the Yukon, other than the 40 that are identified for Whitehorse.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The 40 homes are not only in Whitehorse. I will get the information to the Member as soon as we know exactly where they will be.
On Operation and Maintenance
On Gross Expenditures
Administration in the amount of $2,524,000 agreed to
On Program Costs
Mr. Devries: Are there any major changes here? What is the main reason behind the 15-percent increase?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I will give you a breakdown of the operation and maintenance costs associated in this area. I hope that will clarify things.
The 1992-93 O&M budget for the corporation represents a 14-percent increase over the 1991-92 forecasted actual. The bulk of this increase, $1,408,000, is a direct result of having more housing units under subsidy during 1992-93. The extended care project and the Kaushees Place II project will both come under subsidy. These projects account for the largest portion of this increase.
The annualized costs of the extended care project is $730,800, while Kaushees Place II will cost an estimated $170,000. Of the total operation and maintenance budget of $13,388,000, 60 percent will be recovered from the program revenues and cost-sharing agreements. Does that answer the Members question?
On Gross Expenditures
Gross Expenditures in the amount of $13,388,000 agreed to
Operation and Maintenance agreed to
On Non-Profit Housing
Mr. Devries: This is in a non-profit housing area and I always understood that when an economy is rolling along fairly well, that there would not be such an increased demand for non-profit housing. I am not saying that the demand does not exist, but I always question whether the economy is rolling along as well as the government claims, when we see that type of money going toward non-profit housing.
I understand that the Minister does not have a breakdown on the various houses, but she may have a slightly better breakdown than what we have here.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: The budget forecasts include construction and acquisition of 40 units, and although a final determination has not been made, the projects include the Old Crow Home for the Wise Ones, the Canadian Mental Health Association project, a project for seniors in Dawson City and a seniors project in Whitehorse. Perhaps that would answer the Members question about non-profit housing. It is not only social housing in that context, or in the context that the Member meant.
Construction/Acquisition in the amount of $5,220,000 agreed to
On Extended Care Facility
Extended Care Facility in the amount of $6,000,000 agreed to
On Renovation and Rehabilitation Existing Stock
Renovation and Rehabilitation Existing Stock in the amount of $960,000 agreed to
On Proposed Development Funding
Proposed Development Funding in the amount of $45,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $12,225,000 agreed to
On Home Improvement
On Home Improvement
Home Improvement in the amount of $2,000,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $2,000,000 agreed to
Home Improvement agreed to
On Home Ownership
On Direct Lending
Mr. Devries: There is quite a decrease in the lending. Is there any reason for that?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: A $400,000 decrease within the size of our budget is not very large. There are two components to the program: the first provides for a mortgage with only 2.5 percent down and the other payment requirement is one that is very popular with young people and with people who have not succeeded in saving their down payment. I do not see $400,000 as being a major amount; it could very well be made up before the year end.
Mr. Lang: I wonder if we could hear from the Member for Mayo on that particular item?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: No.
Direct Lending in the amount of $3,000,000 agreed to
Owner/Build in the amount of $541,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $3,541,000 agreed to
Home Ownership agreed to
On Staff Housing
On Renovation and Rehabilitation Existing Stock
Renovation and Rehabilitation Existing Stock in the amount of $178,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $178,000 agreed to
Staff Housing agreed to
On Joint Venture
On Joint Projects/Ventures
Joint Projects/Ventures in the amount of $400,000 agreed to
On Rental Suites
Rental Suites in the amount of $600,000 agreed to
Capital in the amount of $1,000,000 agreed to
Joint Venture agreed to
Yukon Housing Corporation agreed to
Yukon Liquor Corporation
Hon. Ms. Joe: I have a revenue amount here for $6,054,000. If anyone has any questions, I will be prepared to answer them if I can. If not, I have somebody around the corner that can.
Mr. Phillips: I have a couple of questions in general debate. The first question is about the new liquor ban in Old Crow. I would like to know from the Minister who will enforce the liquor regulations in Old Crow. I know the band has discussed how they were going to carry out that enforcement. I wonder if we could get a copy of the regulations or the process by which this is to happen.
Hon. Ms. Joe: The regulations dealing with the ban in Old Crow are, of course, regulations attached to the Liquor Act. They will be enforced by the RCMP, as any other law is. If they are charged and convicted, they will be fined under the Summary Convictions Act, as with any other summaries offence.
Mr. Phillips: Could the Minister provide a copy of the new regulations that are going into place in Old Crow to effect the prohibition that is taking place there?
Hon. Ms. Joe: The Member will have a copy on his desk in the morning.
Mr. Lang: I would like to pursue the subject of enforcement a little further, so that it is clearly on the record. The only ones that will be enforcing the law will be the RCMP. Is that correct? There was some thought that there may be other individuals in the community who might have that authority, as well.
Hon. Ms. Joe: According to the law, the RCMP are the ones with authority. They are police officers and will enforce the act. They will carry out all of the things that are normally part of their duty, such as possible searches, seizures and the laying of charges through informations.
The other thing that might happen in the future, if the people in the community so choose, is that they may form a committee, such as the one in Teslin, to work with existing bodies to deal with the charges in a different manner. For instance, in Teslin they have a committee of justice officials from that area and they work in cooperation with the courts. What would normally happen is that if there were a fine suggested in a case, or any other sentence, the band - at least in Teslin - would meet after they heard from both sides; then they would come back and recommend to the judge what that sentence should be.
In this case, that could happen. Nothing has been established, as far as I know, from the band, but that is a possibility, some time down the road. Right now, however, the Summary Convictions Act applies.
Mr. Lang: There was some concern expressed regarding just who could enter into a home and how they could enter into it. I take it that the Minister is assuring us that the only person who would enter a home would be an RCMP officer.
Hon. Ms. Joe: The only way that that could happen is if there was a search warrant, signed by an official who had the authority to do so. It could not happen any other way.
Mr. Phillips: I will move into another area. It will probably be my last question in general debate. I notice that the projection for revenue has gone down by $200,000 from last year. Is that because the drinking habits of Yukoners are changing? Did we factor in Celebration 92? This is the bicentennial of the highway. We are going to see many more people coming to the Yukon. There are many functions that are going to be held throughout the Yukon. Many of the local community groups will serve liquor at these functions to raise funds, although not all of the functions will serve liquor.
The Yukons population continues to grow. With the big event that we have planned for next year, it seems strange to me that this figure would drop by $200,000. If I was in the business of selling liquor, I would think that this figure would go up next year rather than go down.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I know that at any function that I attend or that I have attended in the last couple of years where aboriginal people sponsor receptions, very often there is not liquor served. A lot of other functions that I have attended in regard to family violence and conferences do not serve liquor. I go to a lot of functions these days where liquor is not served. There is a trend right now, with a lot of people, away from alcohol abuse. I see it an awful lot.
We will know later on into the new year whether or not there will be a big change. I suspect that there will. The excitement is arising. We are going to see a great influx of people for the celebration next year.
Mr. Phillips: It is not a real big issue, but it goes back to budget forecasting and I think that it would have gone up rather than down. I think that it is a good idea that people are drinking less and the direction in which we are going is much better. We have been known for many years as having the highest consumption of alcohol in Canada and I do not think that is something we can be too proud of. I am pleased to see that we are moving in that direction, but on the other hand, what I am talking about here is that a big celebration is planned; there will be a lot of activities. Hopefully, there will be hundreds of thousands of tourists in the territory, spending their money and some of them will buy liquor. I would have thought that would have gone up rather than down. That is my only comment on that. I am prepared to move on to line-by-line debate, if no other Members have any questions in general debate.
On Operation and Maintenance
On Gross Advances
Gross Advances in the amount of $700,000
On Less Internal Recovery
Less Internal Recovery in the amount of an under expenditure in the amount of $700,000
Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1.00 agreed to
Yukon Liquor Corporation agreed to
Loan Capital and Loan Amortization
On Loan Capital
Loan Capital in the amount of $6,000,000 agreed to
On Loan Amortization
Interest in the amount of $1,184,000 agreed to
Principal in the amount of $962,000 agreed to
Loan Amortization in the amount of $2,146,000 agreed to
On Schedule A
Schedule A agreed to
On Schedule B
Schedule B agreed to
On Schedule C
Schedule C agreed to
On Clause 1
Clause 1 agreed to
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Clause 3 agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Madam Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 19, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1992-93, out of Committee without amendment.
Motion agreed to
Bill No. 9 -Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowance Act, 1991
Chair: Is there any general debate?
If not, we will proceed with clause-by-clause reading of the bill.
On Clause 1
Hon. Mr. Webster: I move
THAT Bill No. 9, entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowance Act, 1991 be amended in clause 1 at page 2 by deleting the words benefit limit and substituting for them the words defined benefit limit.
Clause 1 agreed to as amended
On Clause 2
Clause 2 agreed to
On Clause 3
Clause 3 agreed to
On Clause 4
Clause 4 agreed to
On Clause 5
Clause 5 agreed to
On Clause 6
Clause 6 agreed to
On Clause 7
Clause 7 agreed to
On Clause 8
Clause 8 agreed to
On Clause 9
Clause 9 agreed to
On Clause 10
Clause 10 agreed to
On Clause 11
Clause 11 agreed to
On Clause 12
Clause 12 agreed to
On Clause 13
Clause 13 agreed to
On Clause 14
Clause 14 agreed to
On Clause 15
Chair: There is a typo, under (b); there should be no period after Yukon.
Hon. Mr. Webster: At clause 15(b), at the conclusion of (b), eliminate the period, following Yukon.
Clause 15 agreed to
On Clause 16
Clause 16 agreed to
On Clause 17
Clause 17 agreed to
On Clause 18
Clause 18 agreed to
On Clause 19
Clause 19 agreed to
On Clause 20
Clause 20 agreed to
On Clause 21
Clause 21 agreed to
On Clause 22
Clause 22 agreed to
On Clause 23
Clause 23 agreed to
On Clause 24
Clause 24 agreed to
On Clause 25
Clause 25 agreed to
On Clause 26
Clause 26 agreed to
On Clause 27
Clause 27 agreed to
On Clause 28
Hon. Mr. Webster: I move
THAT Bill No. 9, entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, be amended in clause 28, on page 15, by adding, after the words Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act the following expression: except section 6".
Amendment agreed to
Clause 28 agreed to as amended
Preamble agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Webster: Madam Chair, I move you report Bill No. 9, entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, an act with amendment, to the Assembly.
Motion agreed to
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.
Motion agreed to
Speaker resumes the Chair
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
May the House have a report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole?
Ms. Kassi: The Committee of the Whole have passed the following motion:
THAT the Assembly be empowered to continue sitting after 9:30 p.m. for the purpose of completing proceedings on Government bills.
Further, the Committee has considered Bill No. 19, First Appropriation Act, 1992-93, and directed me to report it without amendment.
Further, the Committee has considered Bill No. 9, Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, and directed me to report the same with amendment.
Speaker: You have heard the report of the Chair of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I would like to inform the House that we will now be proceeding with third reading of government bills. I would also like to request the unanimous consent of the House to waive provisions of Standing Order 59(2), in order to allow third reading of Bill No. 9 to proceed at this time.
Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?
All Hon. Members: Agreed
Speaker: Unanimous consent has been granted.
Bill No. 17: Third Reading
Clerk: Bill No. 17, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 17, entitled Fourth Appropriation Act, 1990-91, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Acting Minister of Finance that Bill No. 17, entitled Fourth Appropriation Act, 1990-91, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 17 agreed to
Bill No. 18: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 18, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Penikett.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 18, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 1991-92, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Acting Minister of Finance that Bill No. 18, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 1991-92, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 18 agreed to
Bill No. 19: Third Reading
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 19, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. McDonald.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 19, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1992-93, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Acting Minister of Finance that Bill No. 19, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1992-93, be now read a third time and do pass.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 19 agreed to
Bill No. 9: Third Reading
Clerk: Third Reading, Bill No. 9, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Webster.
Hon. Mr. Webster: I move that Bill No. 9, entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader that Bill No. 9, entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, be now read a third time and do pass.
Some Hon. Members: Division.
Speaker: Division has been called. Mr. Clerk, would you kindly poll the House.
Hon. Ms. Joe: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Webster: Agree.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: Agree.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Agree.
Ms. Kassi: Agree.
Mr. Joe: Agree.
Mr. Lang: Agree.
Mr. Phillips: Agree.
Mr. Phelps: Agree.
Mr. Devries: Agree.
Mr. Brewster: Agree.
Mrs. Firth: Disagree.
Mr. Nordling: Disagree.
Clerk: Mr. Speaker, the results are twelve yea, two nay.
Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 9 has passed this House.
Motion for the Third Reading of Bill No. 9 agreed to
Hon. Mr. Webster: I move
THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Premier, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;
THAT the Speaker shall give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and
THAT, if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader:
THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Premier, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;
THAT the Speaker give notice that he is so satisfied and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and
THAT, if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: I would like to inform the House that we are now prepared to receive the Commissioner, acting in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor, to give assent to the bills that have passed this House.
Commissioner enters the Chamber, announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms
Assent to Bills
Commissioner: Please be seated.
Speaker: Mr. Commissioner, the Assembly has, at its present session, passed certain bills, to which, in the name and on behalf of the Assembly, I respectfully request your assent.
Clerk: Fourth Appropriation Act, 1990-91; Second Appropriation Act, 1991-92; First Appropriation Act, 1992-93; Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991.
Commissioner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Clerk. There I was trimming the Christmas tree like a normal person, when I was so rudely disturbed; but in spite of that, I still am very pleased to give assent to the Bills as enumerated by Mr. Clerk.
I will take this opportunity to wish all Members a very merry Christmas. Thank you.
Commissioner leaves the Chamber
Hon. Mr. Webster: I move that the House do now adjourn.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.
Motion agreed to
Speaker: This House now stands adjourned.
The House adjourned at 6:18 p.m.
The following Legislative Returns were tabled December 18, 1991:
Audio-visual presentation facilities at the new Visitor Reception Centre (Webster)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1654
Forestry transfer meetings and discussions (Webster)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1509
- Recycling government waste paper pilot project update
Oral, Hansard, p. 1645
- Upgrade to Central Computer Facility
Oral, Hansard, p. 1646
- Source Newsletter cost annually
Oral, Hansard, p. 1647
- Leased Vehicle usage
Oral, Hansard, p. 1848
Sa Dena Hes joint venture training agreement between Yukon College and YTG: priority to receive training (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1578
North Highway School: cost difference between using linoleum or carpeting (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1563
Computer equipment that used to be a Career Services in Closeleigh Manor (McDonald)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1561
Communications Officers and increased workload (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1543
Executive Council Office relationship between the organization and programs and the October/November 1991 Government Telephone Directory (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1538
Memorandum of Understanding (1979) on the process for Negotiating Native Claims in Yukon (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1350
Boards and Committee Handbook and Honorarium Policy (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 949-950
Survey by Viewpoints Research Ltd. cost (Penikett)
Oral, Hansard, p. 862
Home Ownership Program applicants (Hayden)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1495
Yukon Housing Corporation used housing units sold in the past year (Hayden)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1492
Yukon Housing Corporations capital projects for 1992-93 (Hayden)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1493
Yukon Housing Corporation capital expenditures 1991/92 (Hayden)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1493
Yukon Development Corporation: funding for renovation of Old Yukon College (Byblow)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1396
Yukon Energy Corporation breakdown of administrative costs for the years 1988 and 1989 (Byblow)
Oral, Hansard, p. 1488