Thursday, May 28, 1992 - 1:30 p.m.
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with Prayers.
Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper.
Introduction of Visitors.
Are there any Returns or Documents for tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have for filing with the Clerk, a number of reports. The first one is entitled Whitehorse Convention Hotel and Office Feasibility Study, prepared by MacLaren Plansearch. The second report is entitled Retail Opportunities Study Champagne-Aishihik Site, Whitehorse, Yukon, prepared by Thomas Consultants. The third report is entitled Champagne-Aishihik Whitehorse Hotel Mixed Use Development Project Business Plan, prepared by Pannell Kerr Forester. The fourth report is entitled Presentation Package Mixed Use Development Project Whitehorse, also prepared by Pannell Kerr Forester. The last report is entitled Whitehorse Yukon Mixed Use Development, Whitehorse, Yukon, prepared by Coredec Capital Corporation.
I also have a return for tabling.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I have for tabling the expense for the Employment Standards Board, as requested by the Member for Porter Creek East, and I also have for tabling the annual report of the Liquor Corporation.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have a legislative return for tabling.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I have for tabling an engineering report regarding the west wing floor slab settlement at the new elementary school, and the Student Assistance Financial Review Discussion Paper.
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?
Notices of Motion.
Statements by Ministers.
Student Financial Assistance Act consultations
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As you know, I had intended to table during this sitting a new Student Financial Assistance Act. During our first round of consultations over the winter, however, Yukon people asked for more time and more information on how the current system works, and what the options are for the future, particularly in light of pending changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program.
Accordingly, I am placing before you today a discussion paper on student financial assistance in the Yukon. This discussion paper contains detailed information requested by those with whom we have consulted so far. There is statistical information on how Yukon students are funded presently, and to what extent. The paper also outlines the issues raised during previous consultations that require resolution before a new act can be prepared.
We are committed to ensure equitable access to student financial assistance for people in the Yukon who are willing to dedicate their time and resources to more fully develop their skills and abilities. It is our belief that sharing the burden of post-secondary education costs enhances the economic situation of each student, and thus contributes to the economic and social well-being of the Yukon.
This discussion paper will serve as the basis for a more extensive and thorough round of public consultation throughout this summer and fall of 1992. We will meet with secondary and post-secondary students, school councils and other parent groups, educators and the general public, to best determine how to serve the financial needs of Yukons students, whatever their age.
It is our intention to take a draft act for public consultation very early in 1993, and to table a new student financial assistance act in this Legislature in that years spring sitting.
Mr. Devries: Naturally, I am very disappointed that we are not going to have the act tabled this spring and that we will go through another year without a new act being put into place. Naturally, this could place an additional burden on some students. I have some concerns about the existing act and I am quite aware of some of the inadequacies that exist there. I would encourage the Minister to proceed with the consultation, and I will participate wherever needed.
Through the moccasin telegraph, I understand that one of the holdups surrounding this had to do with a consultant and a missing report or something. I am wondering if any costs were incurred because of this unfortunate circumstance, or am I out to lunch on this?
Mrs. Firth: We, too, are disappointed that it seems we will not be receiving this paper, decision and legislation prior to the commitment the government has made on behalf of the next government, if they are going to table it in the spring of 1993.
The outstanding issue I am concerned about is what exactly the governments direction is going to be. There are some tough policy decisions to make with respect to the amendments to the Student Financial Assistance Act, and we have been looking forward to hearing what direction this government was going to take and what those policy decisions are. People have come to us with concerns about it, wanting to know when a specific decision is going to be made. It is disappointing to us that there is not going to be a final decision and we look forward to the next review process that is going to take place.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am, of course, equally disappointed that we could not come to a consensus on some of the issues that were exposed during the initial round of public consultations. However, the student financial assistance review committee, which was struck last year, saw as well as we did the need to provide for more public consultation, the need to attempt to develop a greater consensus on some of the underlying principles needed for a new piece of legislation. As I pointed out in my statement, there is also the fact that the federal government, which provides for a very significant portion of the assistance to students in this country, is undergoing some very radical and significant changes in the provision of student financial assistance. Among those changes is included the potential devolution of the entire program to the provinces and territories. Clearly, it would be difficult to assume that the status quo with respect to the provision of federal programming would continue for much longer. It would be difficult to establish a new regime for the Yukon without more solid information about what the federal government is doing.
I am not aware of a missing consultants report or anything of that sort. There has been extensive consultation done so far. I think that the Member is not out to lunch; I have just not heard of what the Member was referring to.
With respect to the commitment for a new government, there are literally dozens of policy development projects going on at any given time. They are going to come to a conclusion. Many of them will come to a conclusion after the next general election. No matter what conclusion they come to, given the current state of student financial assistance, I would think that any government would be obligated to come forward with a new act based on sound principles and consensus decisions by the Yukon public. Any new government should come forward with that new act as soon as they can. I am convinced that the process we have in place is the best possible route to develop that consensus. I am certain that, this time next spring, we will have a bill before the Legislature that will set up a new regime that will be beneficial to all students and will respect the financial priorities of the government.
Speaker: This then brings us to Question Period.
Question re: Taga Ku convention centre project, funding
Mr. Lang: I would like to turn the attention of the House to an issue that continuously seems to come up and that is the financing of the Taga Ku hotel. It seems to me that it is becoming more and more unclear exactly what financial commitments have been made by governments - federal and territorial - and other public utilities with respect to this particular project.
I understand that the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy is allocating $5 million. The Yukon Development Corporation has loaned, indirectly, $2 million. Northwestel is providing a mortgage of $3 million, and now we are told that the federal government is providing an additional $2 million loan if YTG matches that. This would make a total of an additional $4 million.
Can the Minister confirm that the commitment toward the building of the hotel - between loans and grants of taxpayers dollars - will be approximately $14 million?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is quite accurate in his numbers. CAEDS is committed to $5 million, Northwestel is committed to an additional $3 million dollars and the Yukon Development Corporation has lent Champagne/Aishihik $2 million. The additional $4 million is not committed, but is being sought from the federal government and the territorial government through the form of loan guarantees. That is clearly my understanding as well.
Mr. Lang: It is starting to sound more and more like the Watson Lake sawmill.
I would like to confirm the lease agreements that Northwestel - a public utility that is indirectly financed by the taxpayer - and YTG have for rental agreements. Can the Minister confirm that YTG has committed to $7.8 million for the rental of space over the next 10 years, and that Northwestel is also committed to $7.8 million? Therefore, the public utility and government together are committed to a long-term financial commitment of $15.6 million.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I cannot confirm those numbers right now, but I can tell the Member, and I can only speak for the government and not Northwestel, that there is a standing offer to lease space, subject to a number of conditions.
The Member will recall that at the time the space tender was put out for bid, it was done with a desire to lever a convention centre facility. Therefore, a convention centre must be part of the mixed-use development that may occur.
Yes, the government is prepared, if all of the conditions are met, to lease long-term space, I believe in the amount of some 30,000 square feet, and if the dollars, as the Member has calculated, are accurate, then the commitment could be undertaken but the commitment does not exist at this precise moment because conditions have not yet been met.
Mr. Lang: I think, in fairness, the taxpayers have every right to know what the final cost is going to be to them, because they seem to be making a significant contribution to this hotel/convention centre.
I want to know if the Minister can confirm that the taxpayers commitment from the Government of the Yukon Territory, all of the corporations and the federal government, that the commitment for the building, as well as the rental of space, totals approximately $29.6 million for this $43 million building?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: If one extended the term of the commitment in actual payment for use of space into 100 years, one would have well over $100 million. Let us be clear about what is occurring here. The Yukon Development Corporation has lent money to the Champagne/Aishihik band. That was in the amount of $2 million. That is the extent of any government-related commitment to date. Northwestel is not part of this government. Northwestel is a private sector ownership. Taga Ku, in all its corporation machinations, is also a private sector entrepreneur. The federal governments commitment, albeit stated, has not been delivered yet, either.
Question re: Taga Ku convention centre project, funding
Mr. Lang: The Minister can say what he wants. Any way it is cut, the taxpayer is into this thing directly for just under $30 million. That is what it adds up to. The figures do not lie.
I want to direct the Minister to another area of concern. To date, we understand that $6 million has been expended toward this project. A significant amount of this money is public money, either direct or indirect, and not much has been accomplished. There have been some piles driven, there is a fence and a pile of dirt. Yet, $6 million has been spent.
A couple of weeks ago, my colleague, the Member for Hootalinqua, asked the Minister if he could confirm that, of that $6 million, $300,000 went for management fees to the Inuvialuit group from Inuvik and $300,000 went for expense fees. Can he confirm that $600,000 of that $6 million was spent in this manner?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: No, I cannot confirm that, because I do not have any intimate knowledge of the financial operations of the project. That is still a project being undertaken by a private sector group of entrepreneurs, and it is not my place either to know or reveal their financial matters.
I must tell the Members opposite that the questions are more appropriately put to the proponents. If it would assist Members at all, I would be quite prepared to ask that the proponents appear before the House, so the questions can be put directly to Mr. Birckel and Mr. Gruben. That is probably a fair and reasonable approach to this issue.
Mr. Lang: That offer will be considered. I want to tell the Minister that he does have a responsibility. I have constituents, as every Member in this House does, who have not been paid, yet $6 million has been spent. We have been told that in the neighbourhood of $600,000 exchanged hands in this manner.
Will the Minister undertake to find out if money was allocated, in view of the fact that many Yukoners have not been paid for money they have expended thus far on that project?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I can go a step further. I can tell the Member that I have already undertaken that step. As I indicated to Members yesterday from a previous question, we have now had a formal request for the $2 million loan guarantee that was referred to in earlier debate.
As a consequence of that request on behalf of the government, I told the proponents that the original conditions must be met, that we must have full disclosure of all financial matters, and that every support and due diligence that the proponents have undertaken must be shared with us.
To respond to the Members question more specifically, I have sought the very details of expenditures to date, full financing disclosure and all steps taken to date in now what amounts to our efforts to review whether or not we are going to become involved in further financing.
Mr. Lang: What assurances are we going to get that the Yukon businesses that work on the project will get paid in the future? What steps is the Minister going to take to protect their interests, since to date there has been no protection?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I am aware, as is the Member, of unpaid workers and other interests on the project. I have seen correspondence on the matter that had been directed to the Premier. I am certainly going to insist that the corporation and the government address that in any analysis being undertaken with the proponents on that project.
Question re: Sa Dena Hess mine, explosion
Mrs. Firth: I want to follow up on a question that was raised yesterday with the Minister of Justice regarding the explosion that occurred in the bunkhouse at the Sa Dena Hess mine.
Has the Minister seen the fire marshalls report, or any other report, such as the RCMP one she made reference to yesterday? I notice the Minister of Justice is indicating to me that I redirect the question to the Minister responsible for Community and Transportation Services, so perhaps he will be good enough to stand up and tell us whether or not he has seen the fire marshalls report. Perhaps the other Minister can answer about the RCMP report?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: Following the Members question yesterday, I have sought a copy of the report; I have not yet reviewed it but I will be quite prepared, following a review of it, to disclose the report publicly if no particular proprietary information exists.
Mrs. Firth: I cannot understand what kind of information could be in the report that we would not be allowed to see. I would like to ask the Minister to make a commitment to bring the report to us in the Legislature on Monday.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: In fairness to the Member, I am sure that she realizes that, as Minister responsible for the inspections branch, there is a responsibility I carry as a Minister to ensure that matters are properly dealt with, and I will. I cannot guarantee that I will release the report because I have not seen it, but I will give every undertaking to do so if I receive that advice, and upon my review, it can be released.
Mrs. Firth: We had been through a go-around with the Minister responsible for occupational health and safety a couple of years ago with respect to releasing reports. We are concerned about the individuals who were involved in that explosion and getting to the bottom of this issue so that these people can be compensated. I would like to ask the Minister if he has even had a glance at the report - he is indicating that he has not, Mr. Speaker. In light of not having seen the report, I would like to ask the Minister if he can either respond to the question about the RCMP report, or could the Minister of Justice use my final supplementary to tell us whether or not she has seen the RCMP report.
Hon. Ms. Joe: I have requested a copy of the report if, in fact, it is complete. I have not received it yet. I will find out whether or not there is a a complete report and, if it is appropriate to table it in this House, I will.
Taga Ku convention centre complex, funding
Mr. Phelps: I have a couple of questions for the Minister responsible for Yukon Development Corporation and the Development Corporation side of his portfolio, as opposed to the damage control side. The questions have to do with the Taga Ku project, which the Opposition leader was asking questions about earlier today. My concern has to do with this: the Minister has said that they will not advance further funds or stand in on loan guarantees for the project unless the scope remains the same and the finances are in place. I understand that the $43 million cost is in 1988 dollars. With the additional assistance of the two governments, all of the financing adds up to $43 million, but inflation has not been taken into consideration.
Will the Minister ensure that the finances are in place to meet the entire cost of the project in todays dollars before this government, or the Yukon Development Corporation, becomes further involved?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I can tell the Member that I have already alerted staff to that prospect in their review and discussions with the proponents, and that is beginning to take place now.
On the issue of inflation, we will be ensuring that any escalated dollar value to the project is adequately covered in the senior financing that we expect to be in place.
Mr. Phelps: When the government becomes involved in projects like this, it is like stepping into quicksand: you get pulled in deeper and deeper. I am really concerned that steps be taken to ensure that there are no cost overruns and the government is not asked for more and more dollars as things become worse and worse.
I have been told by people who know a fair amount about construction in the north that todays cost, starting now, would be closer to $60 million than $43 million. This is in spite ...
Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question.
Mr. Phelps: ... in spite of the fact that the infamous Kerkhoff union-busting company will be constructing the building.
Can the Minister assure us that he will seek expertise and get a true cost figure before this goes any further?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I think that I have already told Members that in previous questioning, but I will repeat it.
The proponents have now formally approached us for a loan guarantee. Our position has been that senior financing must be irrevocably in place before we will consider any further assistance. When I refer to senior financing, I mean the full cost of the project must be guaranteed. Formal letters of commitment from whatever financial institutions that are providing the funds must be on the table.
We cannot see what happened a year ago happening again, where we believed that the senior financing was in place and the documentation was there, but it fell through.
I am saying to Members that the staff of the Yukon Development Corporation and Economic Development are in discussions with the proponents, who have given us every assurance that they will share the full documentation they have available to them in relation to that senior financing.
The entire process of due diligence and documentation will be followed so that we will have every opportunity to be 100 percent comfortable that the financing is securely in place.
Mr. Phelps: It is an election year, and I would bet that there is a unanimous view on the streets of Whitehorse that this project will go ahead for political reasons, if nothing else, and the government will finance it.
I would like the Minister to commit himself to have an independent study done regarding todays costs, and to provide the House with this study before he advances further funds that belong to the taxpayers of the Yukon.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I can easily give that commitment because that it my expectation. Due diligence will require that costs are accurately estimated. We will expect that the financial information and construction detail, that will be provided to us, is double-checked by an independent agency, so, indeed, we do have the best intelligence, advice and proof of material provided to us.
The Member has my commitment.
Question re: Capital City Commission, makeup of
Mr. Phillips: I should have just asked the Minister to stay on his feet. I could have saved him a lot of up and downs, as I have a question for the same Minister.
My question is about a different matter. It is not about the Taga Ku project, so the Minister can take a break from that.
My question is about the Capital City Commission. The Minister told this House last week that he has been in discussions with the city in establishing such a committee. I understand that the suggested makeup of the new commission has posed some problems with the city.
Can the Minister confirm that he has suggested that the committee be made up of two YTG officials, two First Nation officials and one city official?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I can tell the Member that I have not suggested that particular composition for the commission.
The matter of a Capital City Commission, as I have explained to the House previously, is one that has taken on something of a slightly changed direction over the past couple of years, largely because events surrounding the waterfront escalated rapidly approximately one year ago.
In discussions with the city, it was decided that we should shift our focus to waterfront development and establish some waterfront authority on a first priority basis, which could become the model for the Capital City Commission. There has been a lot of discussion, a lot of options reviewed and considerable debate between the City of Whitehorse and the government.
The current status is such that, I believe, at a staff level, a proposal has been put forward to the city. I understand that, within a week or 10 days, there will be a special meeting between city council and ourselves. We will be discussing making a final decision on structure, mandate and role of the commission.
Mr. Phillips: It seems that the Capital City Commission idea has gone by the way for now and we are dealing with the waterfront authority. Perhaps the Minister can tell us what his suggestion was to the city for the composition of a waterfront authority. Was it not two, two and one?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I believe the proposal that we are contemplating now is a capital city lands board or commission. I can tell the Member that a number of options regarding the composition have been examined. The most popular option appears to be one that involves four governments: that is, the Yukon government, the City of Whitehorse and the two First Nation governments. That would create a composition that would fill the requirements of four posts on the commission. Beyond that, I cannot comment much further, simply because we are at a final stage of discussion. I have to sit down with the city and iron out what problems may still exist with structure and mandate, try to make some final decision, share it with my colleagues and come forward with it.
Mr. Phillips: This government prides itself in not telling municipal governments what to do, so would the Minister not agree that the majority of the members on the Capital City Commission - or whatever the Minister is calling his new commission that is to look at the City of Whitehorse - should be selected by the City of Whitehorse and should be representative of the City of Whitehorse, whether they be civic authorities or citizens of the City of Whitehorse? That is who should be on that commission, rather than a whole bunch of different governments.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member puts forward only one view on the matter. If we are talking about a Capital City Commission that is intended to speak about how the lands in the city should be developed, what priorities ought to occur, how the capital city of the Yukon should reflect the image of the Yukon on behalf of all Yukon people, we are talking about a much greater concept than the exclusive domain of a municipality. So, there is another view in addition to the one the Member is suggesting; we and the city are in discussion about it. One could easily argue that there should be rural representation in decisions affecting the capital city lands that will be part of the mandate of this commission. Again, it is not necessarily the domain of any particular party; it is a shared domain among all Yukon people. That is the spirit and philosophy I have been attempting to persuade the city to accept.
Question re: Fish and Wildlife Management Board
Mr. Brewster: Over the last two years, the Fish and Wildlife Management Board has cost the Yukon taxpayers approximately $300,000. How many recommendations has the Minister of Renewable Resources received and accepted from this first Fish and Wildlife Management Board?
Hon. Mr. Webster: Over the course of the last two years, I have been presented with a great number of recommendations from the Fish and Wildlife Management Board, particularly those dealing with proposed regulation changes. I have accepted all but one or two, if not all.
Mr. Brewster: What is the mandate of this new Fish and Wildlife Management Board, or whatever the Minister wants to call this organization? Who laid out the terms of reference? The fellow who was speaking for them on the radio this morning sounded like he was blaming hunters for all our game problems. Does the Minister agree with this?
Hon. Mr. Webster: I do not know what the Member is talking about when he is referring to a new Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board.
Mr. Brewster: That is one way of avoiding having to answer the question, is it not?
With respect to the second, or replacement, Fish and Wildlife Management Board, whose preliminary report was released yesterday, why did they not examine the critical area of the Aishihik caribou herd? Is this not a critical situation?
Hon. Mr. Webster: The simple reason is that this Yukon wolf planning management team is looking at developing a wolf management proposal that will cover the entire area, not just specifically the Aishihik area.
Question re: Loans and grants, list of
Mrs. Firth: My question is for the Minister responsible for the Department of Economic Development. I have been communicating with this Minister for a couple of months now and quite frequently in the last few days with respect to the long outstanding request that we make on an annual basis. It is a request for the list of the loans and grants that this government gives out on an annual basis.
I have been unsuccessful in acquiring a copy of this - the year end is March 31. Will I be receiving a copy of this information soon, like today or tomorrow?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is correct. We have been communicating a lot on this subject. I should point out that the Member has received the resource transportation access program list, so some of it has been provided, albeit very small.
The lists will be provided. I understand that they are already prepared. They are simply being checked and should be available within the next few days. By early next week, I believe, I will be able to do it.
As I explained to the Member privately, the department has been working flat out in preparations for the Public Accounts Committee. The committee has sought considerable information surrounding the EDAs, loans, grants and programs. A lot of the staff time has been preoccupied with another priority. It has detracted from the checking and preparation of the loans programs that the Member has sought. The information should be available early next week.
Mrs. Firth: I have also requested a list of the loans in arrears, the length of time that they have been in arrears, the original amounts loaned and the amounts that remain outstanding.
Are we going to receive that information as well?
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I believe it is part of a request I understand the department is attempting to fulfill, so that should be part of the data being compiled.
Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask the Minister to check into that, because the information that I have requested is more detailed than the one-page supplementary we get with the loans and grants that are tabled, which simply indicate numbers. If the Minister would check into that and make sure that we get the detailed information, we would appreciate it.
Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will check accordingly, and try to provide as full and complete information as is available, as I always have.
Question re: Education Act, teacher evaluations
Mr. Devries: I would like to give the Minister of Education the opportunity to express himself in regard to teacher evaluations.
Every three years or more, at the request of councils, the new act indicates that teachers should be evaluated. Has this process been completed for the first round to get all of the teachers into sync with the process?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not certain as to the status of the teacher and administrator evaluations that are scheduled for the first year of operation under the act. I have to check that with the department. I am certainly aware that the department is interested in living up to its responsibilities with respect to ensuring that evaluations are underway. I have also asked that they be more rigorous in ensuring that teachers and principals are evaluated regularly, according to the direction of the legislation.
Mr. Devries: I have heard concerns from some councils that some teachers have gone as much as five or six years without an evaluation. Could the Minister assure me that, by the end of this school year, most of the system will be in place?
Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I indicated, I am not sure of the extent to which the evaluations have been done, but I can assure him that I am interested in having most evaluations, if not all, in place by then. The Member will know, because I have indicated this to him in the Legislature before, that there are teachers in the system who have not been evaluated for a lot longer than five or six years. That was the reason why the concern was expressed during the Education Act review and why the regulations were created: to ensure that there were regular teacher and principal evaluations done.
Mr. Devries: Last year, the Minister indicated that a new process was being developed for evaluation. Has this now been completed, and could I get a copy of it? I believe I was promised a copy then but it has never arrived so I am assuming it is not ready yet.
Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is a very safe assumption. The evaluation process is being discussed with the teachers, as was our commitment during the last round of collective bargaining with the teachers association. They clearly take a great deal of interest in how teachers are evaluated and we have a clause in the collective agreement, and in the act actually, that also states that anything affecting the teachers well-being will be the subject of consultation with them. We have not finished those consultations; I have seen a number of drafts - the last one I saw was draft number 6 - and there is every expectation that the evaluation policy will be finished soon. The Member will receive a copy when it is finished.
Question re: Contracts, public tendering
Mr. Lang: I would like to direct the House to another issue that has been discussed on and off during the course of this session. It is the question of a very large public tender in the Department of Health and Social Services - some $482,000 I believe - that was not publicly tendered. I asked the Minister about this last week and she indicated she had some concerns as well, although it was pointed out at that time that she signed the change order to make it happen.
I want to ask the Minister why a contract of this nature and for this much money was not publicly tendered.
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have asked the department for information. The plans around many of our group homes have been to move, either the young people or the dollars associated with them, to the persons community so that the community could care for their own children.
We were looking for flexibility in allocating this contract so that we could carry on with the strategic planning within the department. The receiving home contractor provided the flexibility and the experience to assume supervision of the 502 Lowe Street youth home. Public tendering was not possible given the short notice the department received on the closure of the Access House program. The need to ensure program and care continuity for the youth at 502 Lowe Street was of utmost importance.
I am completely satisfied that the department was well within the contract administration guidelines - both morally and legally.
Mr. Lang: I notice that the Minister was reading from prepared notes. I can see the department ending the notes with the comment she just made; I would be surprised if they did not. The Minister has indicated to us the reason for the tendering of this particular, large contract - almost $500,000 - was to retain flexibility, yet in the legislative return it indicates that the contract is for two years. Why would you sign a contract for two years if one of the reasons for doing what you did was for flexibility?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: My understanding was that, built into the agreement with the operators, was the understanding it could be terminated, changed or whatever at any given time during the contract.
I almost always use notes to speak from, and if that offends the Member that is too bad, but that is what I do.
Mr. Lang: I want to assure the Minister that reading from notes does not offend me. I think that sometimes the Minister should be speaking for herself, instead of the department speaking for her.
One of the reasons the Minister stated for this substantial contract not being let out for tender was because of time constraints. The Minister is nodding her head in assent.
Yet, at the same time, her communication advisor advised the media that the department was given notice in February, yet the previous contractor indicated that notice was given in mid-January and that she would not be renewing her contract, which ended April 1.
If notice was given in mid-January and the contract was to end April 1, why was that not enough time to go through the normal procedure of tendering for a program of this magnitude?
Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have no idea what the former contractor told the Member or the media. I am told by my department that they received notice in February and that it takes a considerable length of time to actually tender a contract and have it in place. I am satisfied with the departments response.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now lapsed.
We will now proceed to Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
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 until 1:30 p.m. Monday next.
House adjourned at 2:25 p.m.
The following Legislative Returns were tabled Thursday, Mary 28, 1992:
Taga Ku Hotel/Convention Centre Feasibility Studies re titles of reports filed earlier this day (Byblow)
Employment Standards Act re honoraria and expense costs of the Board for the past two years (M. Joe)
Oral, Hansard, p.465
Home Ownership Program applied to mobile homes: correction of response given to House on May 25, 1992 (Hayden)
Oral, Hansard, p.437
The following Sessional Papers were tabled Thursday, May 28, 1992:
Yukon Liquor Corporation: 14th Annual Report (April 1, 1990 to March 31, 1991) (M. Joe)
EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. report re slab settlement at Whitehorse New Urban Elementary School (McDonald)
Student Financial Assistance Review: Discussion Paper (May, 1992) (McDonald)
The following Filed Documents were tabled Thursday, May 28, 1992:
Whitehorse Convention Hotel and Office Feasibility Study - Lavalin, August 1990 (Byblow)
Retail Opportunity Study Champagne/Aishihik Site, Whitehorse, Yukon - Thomas Consultants Inc., August, 1990 (Byblow)
Champagne/Aishihik Whitehorse Hotel Mixed Use Development Project Business Plan - Pannell Kerr Forester, June 1990 (Byblow)
Presentation Package Mixed Use Development Project Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, March 1990 (Byblow)
Whitehorse, Yukon Mixed Use Development, Coredec Capital Corporation (undated) (Byblow)