Whitehorse, Yukon

Thursday, May 30, 2002 ó 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:   I will now call the House to order.

We will proceed at this time with prayers.

Prayers

DAILY ROUTINE

Speaker:   We will proceed at this time with the Order Paper.

Tributes.

TRIBUTES

In recognition of Father Jean-Marie Mouchet

Mr. Roberts:   Mr. Speaker, I have the distinct pleasure to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a very unique Yukon pioneer, Father Jean-Marie Mouchet, who at the tender age of 85 still cross-country skis, bikes and rollerblades.

I would like the House to rise with me to welcome Father Mouchet, who is sitting in the gallery along with Yvonne Harris and her husband Paul, at this time. Please welcome them to the gallery.

Applause

Mr. Roberts:   Along with Joyce Hayden, Yvonne Harris and the individuals from the Friends of Yukon History, a book was put together on the history of Father Mouchet in two major communities here in the Yukon.

Father was inducted into the Yukon Hall of Fame in 1980. He received the Commissionerís Award in 1981, the Award Chevalier de líOrdre National du Mérite from the French government, and he received the Order of Canada from the Governor General in 1993 for his outstanding contributions to the north.

Yesterday, a book written by Father Mouchet and edited, as Iíve just mentioned, was launched in Whitehorse. The title of the book is Men and Women of the Tundra. This book is about the exploits and activities of this very unique individual in the communities of Telegraph Creek and his 25 years in Old Crow. This book is about the individual lives of members in these communities and the mission that Father presented to them.

MLAs in this very Legislature and past Legislatures know very well of the work the Father has developed in training them to perform at their maximum potential ó Lorraine Peter from Old Crow, Scott Kent, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Norma Kassi, a past MLA, just to name a few. There have been many others.

Father Mouchet was the main founder of the TEST program that has flourished in the north for the past 35 years and has developed hundreds of northerners in their physical fitness. All who came in contact with the Father, from 1947 when he first arrived in Telegraph Creek to the present, always learned something about their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual potential.

In my familyís 34-year contact with this man, I have never heard of him converting them to his religion. What he did convert them to was their physical and emotional potential.

Father Mouchet was one of the main founders of cross-country skiing in the Yukon, and it was his dedication and training that developed many of our top Canadian cross-country skiers, and athletes like Martha Benjamin, Shirley and Glenna Frost, the famous Olympic Firth twins from Northwest Territories, Sean Sheardown from Whitehorse and many more, too numerous to mention, were all products of Fatherís training programs.

Father Mouchet has the uncanny ability to plant seeds of commitment into the people he comes into contact with, so as to challenge each of us to discover who we are and what we can do. Fatherís ability to inspire adults and youth to seek dedication and commitment in their lives is legendary.

Father Mouchet is "a man ahead of his times" and has been instrumental in the establishment of the great cross-country skiing that we have here in the Yukon. It has been his vision and guidance that put the Yukon on the Canadian cross-country ski map.

Today, at 85, Father continues to try to re-establish a health and fitness program in Old Crow to help bring back hope, fitness and health to many of our small communities.

Father Mouchet will always be remembered as a true Yukon Sourdough who spoke to people through their abilities and commitment. A true hero of the north and a legend in his own right ó thank you, Father, for all you have done for Yukoners and northerners.

Applause

Mrs. Peter:   I, too, rise today to pay tribute to a person who played an important role in my community. Father Mouchet came to Old Crow in 1954 and spent more than 25 years with us and still maintains that relationship today. Father Mouchet strongly believed that, in developing strong bodies, people improved their mental and physical health and are better able to contribute to a healthy society. Many of the ski champions from the past programs that Father encouraged in our community are key resources in our First Nation government today.

I would like to congratulate Father Mouchet on his book, Men and Women of the Tundra. In this book he provides a wonderful snapshot of the people and activities of Old Crow. We remember the time that he spent in our community and appreciate the many things he did for Old Crow over the years.

Mahsi'cho to Father Mouchet.

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   I rise today to recognize World No Tobacco Day, which takes place worldwide May 31. World No Tobacco Day was created by the World Health Organization in 1988 as a way to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable diseases and premature deaths that it causes.

This yearly event is used to inform the public on the dangers of using tobacco and encourages smokers to quit. It raises the awareness of the business practices of tobacco companies and shows people around the world what they can do to claim their right to health and healthy living, and how to protect future generations from this horrible addiction.

This yearís theme for World No Tobacco Day is "Tobacco-free sports, play it clean" and is a response to a worldwide appeal to clean up sports of all forms of tobacco ó tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke, tobacco advertising, promotion and marketing.

Tobacco-free events are being organized all over the world and included the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the Paralympic Games and, closer to home, the Arctic Winter Games in Greenland and Iqaluit. These were also tobacco-free games, with dire consequences for any athlete found smoking.

In the Yukon, we are using World No Tobacco Day to launch our new tobacco call-it-quits Web page. This is a prelude to a full-blown campaign this fall that will be aimed at getting Yukoners to quit smoking.

We are also releasing the winners from our youth tobacco contest this year. Four young artists will have their work hanging in public places, warning against the danger of smoking. These posters look at smoking from a youthís point of view and give us clear insight into what is important for them. The poster contest winners for this year are Burton Noksana, Katrina Couch, Noria Deacon and Meagan Crawford. We are also receiving some help in getting Yukoners to butt out from the Mayor and Council of Dawson City.

While it is important to recognize World No Tobacco Day, it is also important to recognize here, in this very public forum, the courageous steps being taken to ban public smoking in Dawsonís public buildings. The mayor and councillors are to be credited with starting the dialogue about the very real need to pay attention to public smoking. They are leading the way.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In recognition of Ken MacGillivray

Mr. McLarnon:   This is a personal tribute. I would like to pay tribute, since it is his last day working while we are in the House, to Mr. Ken MacGillivray, who is the press secretary for the Liberal Party. He will be leaving before we have a chance to see his handiwork at the next session. Ken said something along the way when we were together that no matter what happens it has been interesting and fun. I hope in his new life in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, where he is moving to that he has those memories that it was interesting and fun. We wish him good luck, and the Yukon has definitely lost a good person.

Good luck, Ken.

Speaker:   Are there any further tributes?

Introduction of visitors?

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

Mr. Fairclough:   I would like to draw membersí attention to members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1574, who are currently involved in job action with Northwestel who are hear today in the gallery. Also please welcome the members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada who have been very supportive of their brothers and sisters in the IBEW. Please join me in welcoming them here today.

Applause

Mr. Roberts:   I would like the House to join me in welcoming some visitors to the gallery: Elizabeth Eso, one of my constituents, and her brother Joe and Barb Eso from Kelowna; also Father Jack from Sacred Heart Cathedral, who is sitting right behind them and Mike Heine, who is filming and actually comes from Windsor, or via that way. We welcome you to the House. Will you join me in welcoming them?

Applause

Mr. McLarnon:   I would like the House to help me welcome some very special people to me. They are my goddaughter Clair Mooney and her father and mother Jamie and Susan Mooney, who have come all the way up from Arkansas to see the Yukon. Jamie is from here and is currently an archaeologist in Arkansas and is looking for work here, so hopefully we will give him some reason to dig soon. And finally we have K.C. the new addition to the Mooney family. Let's welcome them home to the Yukon and we will welcome them home sooner or later as residents.

Thank you.

Applause

Speaker:   Is there any further introduction of visitors?

Are there any returns or documents for tabling?

TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Pursuant to subsection 5(h) of the Education Act, I have for tabling the 2000-01 public schools branch annual report.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Mr. Speaker, I have a legislative return in response to an oral question from the Member for Klondike regarding outstanding property taxes owed the territorial government by mining companies, asked on Thursday, April 11, 2002.

I also have a legislative return in response to an oral question from the Member for Klondike regarding outstanding taxes on Elsa mine properties, asked on Thursday, April 11, 2002.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Mr. Speaker, I have a number of legislative returns for tabling. The first one is in response to a question raised by the MLA for Kluane on Thursday, May 16. The second one is in response to a question raised by the MLA for Kluane on April 30, regarding energy policy. The third one is in response to a question raised by the MLA for Kluane on May 16 regarding the cost of contract staff in the pipeline unit. The fourth one is in response to an oral question raised by the Member for Whitehorse Centre on May 16 in regard to the Dempster Lite pipeline cost estimates. Finally, Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Infrastructure, I have a legislative return in response to a question raised by the Member for Klondike on May 13 regarding the Dawson Airport contract.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Mr. Speaker, I have a legislative return in response to questions asked in general debate by the Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes and the Member for Vuntut Gwitchin in regard to departmental policy on release of inmates from Whitehorse Correctional Centre on completion of sentencing.

Speaker:   Are there any further returns or documents for tabling?

Are there any reports of committees?

Are there any petitions?

Are there any bills to be introduced?

Are there any notices of motion?

NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr. Jenkins:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that

(1) Bill No. 58, Act to Amend the Economic Development Act, should be amended to recreate the Department of Economic Development;

(2) Bill No. 57, Government Organisation Act, and Bill No. 71, Corporate Governance Act, should be amended to ensure that government corporations remain responsible to the boards appointed to oversee their operations; and

THAT, to meet these goals, this House urges the Yukon Liberal government to introduce amendments to Bill No. 58, Bill No. 57 and Bill No. 71.

Mr. Fentie:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that

(1) the proper management and development of the natural resources of southeast Yukon holds the potential to kick-start the present moribund Yukon economy; and

(2) the proper management of the natural resources of southeast Yukon cannot take place until governments conclude a fair and equitable settlement with the Kaska First Nation; and

THAT this House urges the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon to settle the remaining outstanding issues involved in the Kaska First Nationís claims and ensure that the Kaska First Nation becomes a full partner in the economic development of southeast Yukon.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Liberal government has followed through on its commitment to achieve devolution, and some of the many benefits of devolution are

(1) that the actions and decisions of virtually all programs connected with the Yukonís natural resource base will be vested with the Yukon government;

(2) that it will be possible for Yukoners to participate in making effective changes to natural resource legislation, regulations and policies;

(3) that Yukon, having control over Yukon lands and resources, will be more responsive to Yukon needs and priorities than the present federal system and will result in significant social and economic benefits over the long term;

(4) that the Yukon government will be able to integrate decision making over land use activities;

(5) that the Yukon government will be able to more effectively serve Yukon people and meet their economic development and environmental objectives;

(6) that the devolution agreement ensures that Canada is responsible for the remediation and cleanup of contaminated sites on public and settlement lands that are a result of actions undertaken while the lands were under federal administration and control; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government for succeeding in achieving a devolution agreement for Yukoners.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Liberal government is continuing to fulfill its commitment to developing the Yukonís infrastructure by

(1) working with the City of Whitehorse and the Canada Winter Games Bid Committee on successfully lobbying the federal government to secure $30 million in funding for the Games, in addition to the Yukon governmentís $19-million capital contribution to this project;

(2) securing almost $5 million under the Canada-Yukon infrastructure agreement to help fund nine infrastructure projects related to water, sewer or solid waste management in the communities of Haines Junction, Faro, Mayo, Dawson City, Carmacks, Carcross, Burwash Landing and Whitehorse;

(3) increasing the highways maintenance budget by more than 300 percent in the past two years;

(4) signing an agreement with the federal government that will put $8.8 million into improving Yukon highways over the next four years;

(5) following through on its commitment to replace the Grey Mountain School;

(6) funding $3.1 million in improvements to the Watson Lake Secondary School, the Eliza Van Bibber School in Pelly Crossing, and Golden Horn Elementary in Mount Lorne;

(7) doubling the funding to the rural roads program;

(8) funding the $17-million reconstruction of the Whitehorse correctional facility; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government for continuing to develop the Yukonís infrastructure.

Thank you.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Mr. Speaker, I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Liberal government is working hard on its commitment to maintain quality health care of Yukoners;

THAT this House recognizes that the Liberal government has delivered on this commitment in the following areas by

(1) providing stable funding to the Child Development Centre;

(2) eliminating the waiting lists for beds in the Whitehorse extended care facilities;

(3) establishing and providing funding for the alcohol and drug secretariat;

(4) increasing health care funding by $14 million over the past two years;

(5) providing funding for a CAT scan at the Whitehorse General Hospital; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon government for continuing to work hard on maintaining the quality health care of Yukoners.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT this House recognizes that the Yukon Liberal government is continuing to work hard on its commitment to restoring Yukonersí confidence in government; and

THAT this House recognizes that the Yukon Liberal government is following through on this commitment by the following:

(1) moving the capital budget to the fall, at the request of contractors, so they can better prepare for their construction season;

(2) through renewal, introducing accountability legislation and performance measures for all government departments;

(3) reviewing a number of important pieces of legislation, including the Education Act, the Liquor Act, the Electoral Boundaries Act and the Wildlife Act;

(4) providing increased legal aid funding;

(5) reinstating the community Cabinet tours which, in the past two years, have taken place in Carcross, Ross River, Faro, Haines Junction, Teslin and Dawson;

(6) placing a higher focus on alcohol and drug services for Yukoners; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government for continuing to listen to Yukoners and for following through on its commitment to restore confidence in government.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Liberal government is continuing to work hard on its commitment to rebuilt the Yukon economy; and

THAT this House recognizes steps that the Yukon Liberal government has taken in this regard, including

(1) since taking office, the Liberal government has reduced territorial income tax by 12 percent. These tax cuts have put $4.6 million back into the pockets of Yukoners;

(2) at the request of the contracting community, moved the annual capital budget to the fall;

(3) contributed $363,000 to Welcome Alaska advertising campaign to attract our neighbours, and contributed $250,000 to a Gateway Cities marketing campaign, targeted at Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver;

(4) extended the Yukon mining incentives program; and

(5) committed $19 million toward the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse;

AND THAT these efforts are beginning to bear fruit in a number of areas, including

(1) the unemployment rate in the Yukon in April of 2002 was 8.9 percent ó the lowest April rate in more than a decade;

(2) retail sales in March 2002 were up 11.3 percent from March 2001, and the Yukonís gross domestic product increased by 2.1 percent in 2001; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government for listening to Yukoners and doing what they said they would do by continuing to build the Yukon economy.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that

(1) the Yukon Liberal government is working hard in its commitment to settle outstanding land claims; and

(2) these efforts have resulted in the settlement and ratification of one land claim, with the Taían Kwächíän Council, and the signing of four negotiatorsí memoranda of understanding in the past two months with the following First Nations: Carcross-Tagish, Kluane, White River and Kwanlin Dun; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government, federal and First Nation governments, and all members of the three negotiating teams for their hard work; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government for following through on its commitment to settle outstanding land claims.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Mr. Speaker, I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Liberal government is fulfilling its commitment to address the territoryís serious drug and alcohol addictions problem by

(1) reviewing the Yukon Liquor Act;

(2) moving forward with the implementation of its strategy on alcohol and drug addictions;

(3) the creation of the new alcohol and drug secretariat; and

(4) adopting an alcohol and drug treatment model that includes youth treatment, an FAS/FAE counsellor, a mental health addictions counsellor, a cultural gender-specific counsellor, medical detox, a halfway/transition house, three rural outreach counsellors, an FAS/FAE prevention consultant, school-based training of professionals, residential inpatient treatment, wilderness programs, after-care, that when fully implemented will effectively double this governmentís spending on alcohol and drug treatment; and

THAT this House applauds the Yukon Liberal government for continuing to follow through on its commitment to address the issue of alcohol and drug addictions in the Yukon Territory.

Speaker:   Are there any further notices of motion?

Is there a ministerial statement?

This then brings us to Question Period.

QUESTION PERIOD

Question re: Intergovernmental relations accord with Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Mrs. Peter:   I have a question today for the Premier.

On November 7, 2000, the Yukon government renewed an intergovernmental relations accord with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. This accord was first put in place by the previous NDP government but itís the current Premierís signature that is on the document signed November 2000.

Can the Premier tell us why her government has not been living up to the terms of that agreement?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Speaker, Iím surprised that the member opposite is taking this tack with her question. She witnessed the agreement and, to the best of my knowledge, we certainly have been living up to it and I have had no indication otherwise in several discussions with Chief Joe Linklater. If there has certainly been an issue that has arisen, then I am certain that the member opposite would follow her normal practice, which is to approach me with the issue and to make certain that it is resolved. If there is something that is untoward that Iím unaware of, Iíll be happy to work to resolve it.

Mrs. Peter:   Mr. Speaker, the news release on that day the accord was signed quoted the Premier as saying that our government is flexible, and we look forward to moving ahead with the Yukon First Nations intergovernmental working arrangement in the interests of all Yukoners. Can the Premier explain why, 18 months later, there has been almost no progress on most of the seven priority items that are listed for the 2000-01 fiscal year, after saying that they would do what they said they would do.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Speaker, the member and I are having a difference of opinion. We believe that we have lived up to the agreement. I know, for instance, that the Minister of Education has met on several occasions with Chief Joe Linklater on a number of issues, and the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources have also engaged in meetings, as I have done. The chief and I have spoken on a number of occasions, including the promotion ó as this government has continued to do in supporting the member oppositeís efforts ó with respect to ANWR. We have worked very hard on all of the issues that have been brought to us by Chief Joe Linklater. Weíve had a very good relationship, and I fully expect that that will continue.

Question re:   Protected areas strategy

Mr. Fairclough:   I have a question for the Minister of Environment about the Yukon protected areas strategy. According to the Yukon protected areas strategy bulletin on third party interests, special management areas established under First Nations final agreements are not affected by YPAS. The area southeast of Stewart Crossing, which used to be the McArthur Game Sanctuary, is now known as Ddhaw Ghro habitat protection area. Itís a special management area set aside under the Selkirk First Nation final agreement and the Na Cho Nyäk Dun final agreement, and itís not a protected area under the protected areas strategy.

Can the minister explain why he authorized using the YPAS process to conduct mineral assessments in that area?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   The fact is that we didnít do the assessments under the YPAS process. Weíre doing the assessments in consultation with the First Nation on Ddhaw Ghro to assist them in evaluating the mineral values, forestry values and other values that are contained within this special management area.

Mr. Fairclough:   The minister is saying things that are contrary to the facts. Thereís a clear breach of protocol here, Mr. Speaker. The mineral assessments were conducted under the YPAS process and the results were made public. The information can be taken right off the government Web site. In there, it states that the assessments were done at the request of YPAS.

So, all of this took place, Mr. Speaker, without involving the steering committee on the special management area, as required under the First Nation final agreement. So, will the minister acknowledge this mistake and give his assurance that the requirements under the UFA, which is the law of the land, will be fully respected in the future?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I disagree with the member oppositeís assertions with respect to the assessments that were done on this area. The assessments were done in full consultation with the First Nations, and weíre assisting them in determining the values within this special management area.

Question re:  Protected areas strategy, moratorium on

Mr. Jenkins:   I have a question today for the Premier. While this government is going to be spending $565 million in capital and O&M, and even more with the announcement of a further $30 million for the 2007 Canada Winter Games, these expenditures are not going to address the fundamental problem of what is wrong with the Yukonís economy. The problem with the Yukon economy is the lack of investor confidence. Investment in mining, forestry, oil and gas has been virtually devastated by the policies of Liberal governments here in the Yukon and in Ottawa.

Will the Premier give an undertaking that she will now reverse the policies her government has imposed that are crippling investor confidence in the territory, and would she use that special relationship she is purported to have with Ottawa to get Ottawa to do the same for the Yukon?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Letís talk about the economy. Letís talk about investor confidence. In terms of the economy, in April 2002, just last month, there were 700 more Yukoners working ó going to work, receiving a paycheque, spending it locally. Letís talk about investor confidence. The fact is that investor confidence is based upon land certainty, our infrastructure and settlement of land claims. This government has delivered on all three of those.

Mr. Jenkins:   What the minister is failing to recognize is that, of the Yukoners going back to work and working, 1,300 Yukoners live here in the Yukon but are working outside of the territory. What I am asking the Premier to do is put a hold on the protected areas strategy that her Minister of Environment has announced but in fact is not doing. There is a slowdown; no, there is no such thing, Mr. Speaker. I am asking the minister to take the $2.9 million being devoted to creating more protected areas and utilizing that money for forestry management planning to help the Yukon forest industry gain long-term access to timber and restore the investor confidence in at least that industry.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   What the member opposite is failing to recognize is the fact that there are 700 more Yukoners working. That is 700 more Yukoners with families and friends who are contributing to our community, who are shopping locally, who camp in our campgrounds, who buy their gas, their vehicles, their groceries locally. That money, in turn, generates more work for Yukoners. What the member opposite is also failing to recognize is the fact that this government has stood time and time and time again and explained to the member opposite that the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources held a joint news conference and explained the slowdown in the Yukon protected areas strategy. The member opposite is simply failing to recognize or perhaps it is just hearing other voices.

Mr. Jenkins:   What the minister is failing to recognize is that her government policies are helping to create jobs in Fort Nelson, Northwest Territories and the Cantung mine, up in Inuvik and the Beaufort Sea and over in Alaska, because that is where Yukoners are going to work. Now letís look at the placer miner industry in my area. It is under siege by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Yukon Conservation Society. With the price of gold increasing, there are a lot more placer miners that would be ready to go to work if there were a practical cost-effective regulatory regime in place. Will the Premier commit to funding the Yukon Placer Committee to the same level as she funds the protected areas strategy and if not, why not?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Speaker, this government was the first government ever that recognized the Klondike Placer Miners Association to the same level that the Yukon Chamber of Mines was recognized and provided funding. We were the first government that did that. And not only that, but I fail to understand how the member opposite, who is out campaigning hither, thither and yon, is suggesting that workers in Cantung and the 24 more workers who are going to work there and the contractors who reopened the mine arenít Yukoners. They sure think they are, and we know which way theyíd be voting in the next election. It would be for the people who support Yukoners, which is what we do.

Question re:  Highway works contracting

Mr. McRobb:   My question is for the Minister of Infrastructure.

The previous minister seated beside him insisted that her department had no plans to privatize road works normally done by the departmentís highways maintenance branch. However, recently there was some patchwork done on the Alaska Highway near MacRae. That work was done by a private company, Mr. Speaker.

Can the minister explain why that work was contracted out instead of being done by the governmentís own employees who, by the way, have the expertise required to do this work?

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Mr. Speaker, with respect to that specific project that took place, Iíd be happy to look into that for the member opposite, but I can assure him that we do have no plans to privatize the transportation maintenance division of the Department of Infrastructure.

Mr. McRobb:   Well, I think we should look into it, Mr. Speaker, but I can understand the ministerís reluctance to discuss it here. This is the same company that got the BST contract last year, in excess of $700,000, that resulted in a very unsatisfactory job near Marsh Lake on the Alaska Highway. This is also the same company that is well-known for its generosity to the Liberal Party. The governmentís own contract registry Web site doesnít show this contract. Well, surprise, surprise ó this is curious, although perhaps the Web site hasnít been renewed yet.

Letís focus on the governmentís change in policy, Mr. Speaker. Just how far does this minister intend to slide down the slippery slope of privatization by contracting out work traditionally done by government employees?

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Iím very disappointed in the Member for Kluane casting aspersions upon a Yukon contractor who employs Yukoners. I find that extremely disappointing. The company he is referring to has a long-standing commitment to the Yukon, the Yukon communities, to community events and community projects, and I do find that very, very disturbing and disappointing that he would cast aspersions upon a private sector company.

As I mentioned in my previous answer, we have absolutely no plans to privatize the transportation maintenance branch of the Department of Infrastructure.

Again, the Member for Kluane should be very ashamed of himself for casting those aspersions upon a private sector company here in the Yukon Territory.

Question re:  Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board, briefings by

Mr. McLarnon:   My question is to the minister responsible for the Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board. On Tuesday, this government tabled a report indicating that there were no leaks of confidential information from any board member of the WCB to myself. The Hughes report further showed that there was actually no confidential information to leak. It was all in the public domain. This is exactly as I explained it to the House in April. At that time, I asked the government to save the taxpayers the expense of the investigation and offered the source of my briefings. The request was ignored, and all the statements regarding my source proved to be accurate when the investigation was complete.

My question to the minister: how much was the bill for this public inquisition?

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   The member opposite, once again, thinks itís all about him.

To be absolutely clear, there were a number of very serious allegations being made about the integrity of the Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board ó very serious allegations.

I have for filing a letter from James Brohman, who is the vice-chair of the workersí task force, outlining some of those concerns. Iíll give that to the Clerk.

Now, those concerns were also brought forward in a public forum by the New Democratic Party. Those are very serious allegations, and as the Conflicts Commissioner pointed out, they are worthy of investigation and they were investigated. That is my job. It did a very good job of clearing the air and bringing back the integrity of the Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board, which had been put into question by the comments from the Member for Whitehorse Centre.

Mr. McLarnon:   Mr. Speaker, our goal here is to ensure that this government does not adopt the face of McCarthyism. The underlying reason was to discredit or remove political dissent. The Liberals have made no secret of their need for retribution against the three members on this side of the House who pointed out the leadership faults in this government. Examples include improper removal of files and e-mails from our computers. They also include the communication advisory inviting party members to disrupt our recent town hall meetings. They also include calling names in the paper from the Liberal executive. Now, attacking our colleagues using public money is obvious and reprehensible. My question to the minister is this: it is obvious to Judge Hughes that all the information surrounding this issue was already in the public domain. Senior bureaucrats in Justice and WCB would have known this fact, as well. Did the minister or her staff determine whether there was even any confidential information to leak before she demanded that $15,000 to $20,000 be spent on this political mud fight?

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Now, Mr. Speaker, letís go back to the memberís question. First of all, weíre not aware yet of what the actual cost of the inquiry is going to be. It will be billed to the Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board, not the government.

The member opposite is making some rather serious allegations about retribution for the fact that they have decided that they want to walk across the floor. Mr. Speaker, it is of little or no interest to this side of the House what the member does or doesnít do.

Now, to be absolutely clear, my job as the minister responsible for the Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board is to maintain the integrity of that board. It makes some very large financial decisions about a very large financial reserve that is to be set aside for injured workers and to ensure that that money is there. So the integrity of the board has to remain paramount. There were some serious allegations made, both by the workers task force and by the New Democratic Party. Those were investigated. Those allegations were worthy of investigation, as pointed out again and again by Mr. Hughes, the former Conflicts Commissioner of the Yukon Territory.

Mr. McLarnon:   Just to point out that the judge has to say it was worthwhile to get his $15,000 to $20,000 paycheque, because that is why we see it there.

Our job is to keep this government accountable. We must also be accountable for our actions. While I felt I had sufficient conversations to justify my statements in the House, Mr. Hughes thought differently. I will not only accept his advice, but I will be accountable for my words. The minister will not explain the real reason that she launched the investigations. She should resign for this. She used ratepayersí money against volunteers for political purposes. For this she should resign. Since this Liberal government can ill afford another resignation from this minister in this session, I offer her another option. Will she be accountable and join me in an offer to personally help pay back the expenses for this unnecessary investigation to WCB to ensure that ratepayers are not assessed further rates for this political mudslinging and ensure that the workers can get their money and donít have to pay for the ministerís political mudslinging?

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   I wonít be joining the member opposite in any way. The member opposite is inferring that there will be an increase in assessments due to this inquiry. There will be no increase in assessments. I can assure the member opposite of that very fact. I can also assure the member opposite, again, that there was a letter that I received. Very serious allegations were made within that letter from James Brohman, who is the vice-chair of the workers task force, calling into question the integrity of the board. For that reason, plus the request from the New Democratic Party, I asked the president of the Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board to conduct an inquiry. He did through Mr. Hughes ó a very, very, up till now, worthy judge and certainly above reproach ó and that judge came back with findings that cleared the board members and, also in that report, was the comment that these allegations were so serious that they are worthy of investigation.

Question re:  Economic action plan

Mr. Fentie:   I have a question for the Premier today.

Today, this House is going to vote on the biggest budget ever in this territory, some $565 million, and yet Yukoners continue to witness their economy sliding backwards. Under this Liberal government, our territoryís dependence is increasing on the good graces of the southern taxpayer. The Yukonís private sector contribution to our economy is in dramatic decline.

Will the Premier, because of her policies creating this very desperate situation, now come to her senses and adopt policies that will reverse that trend, even at this late date, at this eleventh hour? Will she do so?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Speaker, only the member opposite from Watson Lake, who is becoming infamous for his moves from left to right, from left to right and right to left, would consider calling the Canada Winter Games ó a wonderful achievement for the Yukon, a $30-million investment in this territory ó only the Member for Watson Lake would find fault with that. Only that member would do that.

Itís an investment in the territory. Itís tremendous infrastructure, which all Yukoners, especially young Yukoners, are going to benefit from. It just astounds me how the member opposite could say that that is not a good investment in the territory. Most Yukoners I have spoken with in the last 24 hours certainly think it is.

Mr. Fentie:   The Premier is getting a little ahead of herself. Thatís not what Iím talking about at all. I didnít even mention the Canada Winter Games. Iím talking about the ever-decreasing private sector contribution to our economy. Thatís what this side of the House is talking about.

Letís look at the facts. Under this Liberal government, today the contribution to our economy ó which is cash flow; the economic engine needs cash flow to operate ó under this Liberal government, the private sector now contributes only 19 percent. Thatís a drop from 52 percent in the mid-1990s. The federal governmentís contribution to the cash flow of our economic engine has increased from 48 percent to 81 percent. We are now almost at total dependence on the federal government to maintain an economy in this territory ó

Speaker:   Question please.

Mr. Fentie:   When is this Liberal government and this Premier going to adopt policies that will help recreate a private sector economy in this territory, which is, by the way, the only way to have a long-term beneficial economy?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Letís talk about the settlement of land claims. Letís talk about achieving devolution. Letís talk about the Government of Canada making an investment of $30 million into this territory for an event that the Yukon will be very proud to host ó the Canada Winter Games in 2007. Those are exciting investments in infrastructure.

In case the member opposite hasnít noticed, itís the private sector that is building this infrastructure. Itís the private sector at work. Itís the private sector at work on the pool in Whitehorse; itís the private sector at work all the way up the north highway to Beaver Creek; itís the private sector at work. Thatís a result of this governmentís work, in terms of capital, the choice of capital projects, as well as moving the capital budget to the fall. Thatís the work of this government ó putting 700 more Yukoners to work this year in April than there were last year.

Mr. Fentie:   Well, the results of the so-called hard work this Premier and her government have undertaken have dropped our private sector to a mere 19 percent of economic generator dollars in this territory.

Furthermore, now that the Premier has brought up the Canada Winter Games, surely she must understand that after the Games are over and we have enjoyed those very positive activities, itíll be the tax base in this territory that must pay for the operation and maintenance of those facilities and, with an ever-decreasing tax base, the burden will rely on, again, our one benefactor ó the federal government.

This government has to come to its senses and act now. It has to develop and put in place policies that will develop our private sector. Thatís a real economy. When is this government going to do so? Here and now is the time to act.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   This side of the House believes in Yukoners. We believe in the Yukoners who are working at Cantung. We believe in the Yukoners working with True North Gems. We believe in the Yukoners who are going to work this summer in Elsa. We believe in the Yukoners who are going to chipseal the Alaska Highway, who are straightening out some of those bends, who are doing the Champagne revision. We believe in the Yukoners who have worked hard to ensure that for the very first time north of 60, Yukoners will host the Canada Winter Games ó 500 person years of employment. The additional events that the Yukon will host from now until 2007 ó the major event, the test events weíll do, the untold visitors who will come here in the next seven years with these sporting events and then with the Games themselves, and the endless media coverage of our home, of Yukoners. Mr. Speaker, we are proud to work with Yukoners.

Question re:   Campground maintenance

Mr. Keenan:   Today I have a question for the Minister of Environment. It has to do with the need for maintained campground services in the Ross River area; namely, Dragon Lake and Lapie Lakes.

Now, I must point out that this is something that the community has been asking for for the past two years. What the community is asking for is relatively modest. They just want some outhouses and some garbage cans there for the protection of the environment and a service to the tourists.

My most recent letter to this minister, dated April 23, has not yet been answered. Iíd like to ask this minister, why is that so?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I would agree with the member opposite that it is shameful that he hasnít had a response to a letter he sent to me in April. I will most definitely be looking into it.

With respect to the question he is asking, we discussed this same issue yesterday during budget debate in the Department of Business, Tourism and Culture. I have assured him that we are looking at implementing new campground situations as a result of my meetings with the folks from Ross River.

Mr. Keenan:   Well, Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has a funny way of showing action. The minister stood on his feet for 10 minutes yesterday, giving needless rhetoric, just fighting for the camera. I think we just have a bunch of hams; thatís what we have. Meanwhile, Ross River wishes to partake in the only industry left in the Yukon Territory, and thatís the tourism industry. The entrepreneurs and the business people are mighty tired of seeing tourists going by to the next available campground, which gives them no benefit. Also, Mr. Speaker, it creates a health hazard. If people canít do their business in an outhouse, theyíre going to do it in the woods. Mr. Speaker, that is not right. It creates nothing but a health hazard, and the Liberal minister and the Liberal Premier might think itís mighty funny and can chuckle over there, but I find it ó

Speaker:   Question please.

Mr. Keenan:   For the sake, Mr. Speaker, of maximizing business potential in that area and for the sake of public health, which the ministers on that side seem to think is mighty funny, when will this request be funded?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Well, we do take the disposal of human waste very seriously. And I know that the Minister of Community Services is very aware of that situation, as well.

I did acknowledge to the member, to the House, to the gallery that the return or the non-answer of a letter from April 8 is inexcusable, Mr. Speaker, and I will immediately look into that fact. I did explain to him yesterday, as well, although he is alluding to the fact that I didnít give him the answer ó I gave him the answer that, as a result of campground tours last year, I am well aware of where there are gaps, especially along the Campbell Highway, where we could be putting new campgrounds. And I talked to the folks in Ross River and will be responding appropriately to their request.

Mr. Keenan:   I guess seeing will be believing. I would like to put this into context. Maybe I should put it into context for the Premier. Maybe the Premier should go out on an excellent family vacation this summer and see first-hand just what is going on in the community of Ross River. As the Finance minister, maybe she should be up there and talking to folks. Ross River is asking for safety repair to the Pelly footbridge. It is the footbridge that is featured predominantly in the vacation guide. They have received nothing. Their requests have been denied. They have asked for a town beautification project and they have asked for recreation facilities and again those requests are denied. They have asked for money to improve rural roads over the past two years while ó right next door, 40 miles away ó the Town of Faro has received $124,000 ó

Speaker:   Question please.

Mr. Keenan:   Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Village of Ross River has received nada ó nothing. Would the Premier go to Ross River and find a way to ensure that its community priorities are funded by this government immediately?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I have indicated on the floor of this House before and publicly that I certainly will be travelling throughout the territory as I have done in the past years that I have been here and will continue to do so. In my capacity as Finance minister and Premier I will be visiting every Yukon community and discussing a number of things, including the capital budget next year. Again, for the interest of members opposite, those discussions will begin June 6 in Dawson City.

Speaker:   The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed with Orders of the Day.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the government House leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.

Motion agreed to

Speaker leaves the Chair

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Chair:   Good afternoon everyone. I will now call Committee of the Whole to order. The Committee of the Whole will recess until 2:15 p.m.

Recess

Chair:   I call the Committee of the Whole to order.

We will continue with general debate on the Department of Business, Tourism and Culture as part of Bill No. 9, Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03.

Bill No. 9 ó Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03 ó continued

Department of Business, Tourism and Culture ó continued

Chair:   Is there any further general debate? Mr. Eftoda, you have the floor.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Just to clarify a number of outstanding issues from yesterday, there was a question with respect to access into the territory by additional airlines to Air North and Air Canada. Effective just a few days ago, Era started flying into Whitehorse from Anchorage and will continue its flights four days a week and will be flying right through to September 11. The other airline that is flying directly from Europe to Whitehorse, Condor Airlines, will continue to offer twice-weekly air charter service from Frankfurt, effective May 23 through September 26.

They will be flying into Whitehorse on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The other great news for the territory, of course, is that Air North will be flying from the gateway cities of Calgary and Edmonton, and this was in a direct response that I had heard at the Tourism Industry Association meeting in April up in Dawson. We will be continuing this market initiative in the gateway cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, encouraging residents within those gateway cities and surrounding areas ó the Province of B.C. and the Province of Alberta ó to most definitely come up and enjoy Yukon hospitality.

I was very excited to announce the fact that the gateways program will be contributed to by YTG ó $250,000. The gateway cities marketing program will provide more marketing dollars targeted at familiar markets closer to home. As I expressed yesterday, the fact of the matter is that, after September 11, there is some hesitancy, especially here in North America, to travel any great distances further away from home.

Of course, the challenge for all the territories north of 60 is to encourage people to come to our territories, that this is a safe environment for tourists to come and enjoy themselves, without fear or apprehension, and that there is availability for them to return home on short notice, should that be required.

Of course, weíre all hoping the situation of September will never occur again in North America. There are no guarantees, but we feel this is a safe place to come and enjoy themselves.

Another thing that we initiated within the department is the call centre. Everyone may be aware of the fact that the call centre was originally located down in Vancouver. I know that if I am making a 1-800 call to a tourism destination, I automatically assume that that call centre is located within the jurisdiction to which I am making the call, but it was pretty hard for people to look out their office window in Vancouver and give the weather for Yukon. So just earlier this year, we relocated the call centre here to the territory, and it gives us an opportunity to not only respond directly to inquiries that come from all over the world but to respond immediately to information that tourists may want and give information directly about Yukon by Yukoners.

As a matter of fact, when the call centre opened, it created four new jobs in the territory. It will be accumulating a vast amount of data that we will be following up on as the initiative of the call centre has been expanded whereby we can follow up to people who call, sending information packages, tourism magazines. That kind of activity and action can occur from the call centre.

So weíre quite excited about the call centre. Even from day one we were getting calls almost immediately, and I know that since that time there have been countless calls wanting information directly about Yukon.

The Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes asked yesterday, during debate on the budget, about the particulars of Dragon Lake on the North Canol Road and Lapie Lakes on the South Canol Road. I indicated to him in Question Period today, Mr. Chair, that I am concerned about the fact that he did not receive a response to his letter dated April 23. I have, since Question Period, secured a copy of that letter and I assure the member opposite that he will be getting a response to that letter.

I also have a request from the Ross River roundtable directly to Premier Duncan, and they have indicated similar requests as the Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes. I would ask the Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes if he could provide clarification on what exactly the request is, because the round table is asking for something slightly different. Maybe this is an effort that I can discuss with my colleague, the Minister of Community Services, and we could combine our efforts to respond to the information more efficiently than has occurred, by letter to both the Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes and the Ross River round table. Before we move on, I would like to also again indicate that we are quite excited about our Welcome Alaska campaign. We are now marketing directly in Juneau, Skagway, Haines and Fairbanks and look forward to the benefits of this program. The nice thing about this program is that it is going to extend beyond the spring and summer and into the fall encouraging Alaskans to come and shop after the tourist season and take advantage because sometimes we are fortunate to have an extended fall period.

But the actual figure for the Welcome Alaska campaign is $343,000. Again, that was in response to what we had heard from industry to address the needs and concerns and wishes in assisting and doing all that we can to encourage tourism here in Yukon this year.

Mr. Keenan:   The minister asked a direct request of myself, so Iíll just be very brief on this one. Before I get on to answering the ministerís question, Iíd like to explain what I mean with the Asian connection. I certainly appreciate that Era Aviation will be coming to the territory again from Anchorage. Kudos to the minister and to the department for being able to continue to secure that New Democratic initiative. I very much appreciate that they're still following the leadership of the New Democratic Party. What I really mean, though, is a charter, a charter from Japan or from Asia of some sort. There is the opportunity and also the ability for a direct charter to come, either with a primary stop in Whitehorse or with a secondary stop in Whitehorse. Iím really not sure which it could be. Thatís really not up to a politician; thatís up to the market to depict.

So they could come from a starting point in Asia, land in Anchorage with a secondary landing here in the territory, or they could come non-stop to Whitehorse and then, with lower fuel capacity, move on to Anchorage. Thatís the type of initiative that Iím asking the minister to please investigate with Governor Knowles. I know that Governor Knowles is very willing to partner with the territorial government, and at one point in time, I believe, Governor Knowles had put $1 million on the table to an airline that would come and provide that. Iím not asking the government for $1 million; Iím just asking for a partnership or, in effect, talk. We know that the Asian market is a very lucrative market, especially in the winter months.

We can definitely capitalize on that.

The letter that the minister has received from the Ross River round table being slightly different from my request ó as the minister has known, the minister had a campground tour two budget cycles ago. When I realized the minister has hit the campgrounds he has ó this is new stuff that Iím talking about. This is on the South Canol and the North Canol highways. I have personally been to both of those sites within the last year. The sites need at least a seed of a maintenance package, if I could, which, of course, should include a couple of gender specific outhouses and should also include maybe just a fire pit, because there is a fire pit around where people can stop and do that. Iím not asking for a lot of money for this. The garbage pickup could be done by the Infrastructure department ó by Minister Kentís department ó because I know Minister Kentís department is looking to partner with the Village of Teslin and the Teslin Tlingit Council in picking up garbage to a viewpoint. So I know that there is opportunity to do it. That is specifically what Iím desirous of. If that could happen in a micro way, during this season, it would do much to alleviate the problem pressures there.

If the minister were willing to do that, Iím sure that the community would be able and willing to share one of the most exciting fly fishing spots in the territory. People travel from Montana and Minnesota to this particular spot because I have met them, stopped with them and encouraged them, not even as the Minister of Tourism, but just as a Yukoner welcoming them here.

So that is exactly what I mean and I hope that will suffice for the minister.

Chair's statement

Chair:   Order please. Just a reminder that we are to use the names of the ministers as their portfolios or their ridings, rather than refer to them by name.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   As a matter of fact, regarding the suggestion of working cooperatively, creating efficiencies, after my campground tour last summer, I did approach the Minister of Community Services ó Community and Transportation Services at that time ó and asked if there were possibilities where we could share responsibilities like garbage removal, wood collection, that type of activity. I will again initiate those discussions upon the suggestion from the Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes for doing just that. And I will be looking at areas on the North and South Canol roads as per the recommendation again.

Mr. Jenkins:   I just have a few questions of the minister. Probably some of them Iíd appreciate a legislative return on because it would be easier than attempting to answer them on the floor of the House, Mr. Chair.

The last surviving industry in the Yukon, other than government, is our visitor industry, Mr. Chair. Since the events of 9/11, it is more important that that industry and the overseeing government body have as much profile and as much ability to get out there and do the job that has to be done as they possibly can be given.

Now, there must have been a considerable amount of discussion ensuing when the Liberal government was rearranging the chairs in the government offices, as to the advantages of having the Department of Tourism as a stand-alone department, vis-à-vis a department of ó well, we all know what itís referred to in the public domain ó but I have been told I canít refer to it as such in this Legislature, because it would be inappropriate, Mr. Chair.

I wonít go there, but I would very much encourage the minister to impress upon the Premier the advantages ó and they are many ó of having a stand-alone Department of Tourism. There must be some sort of documentation to justify amalgamating it within the bowels of government and not giving it the profile it should have.

I want to know what those advantages were, because I certainly canít see them. A legislative return would satisfy that, because we could probably spend the whole afternoon in debate, and we donít have that time, Mr. Chair. Would the minister be agreeable to that approach?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I understand what the member is asking for, and Iím hoping the answer I do provide will provide an accurate response without getting into reams of paper. I do hear the member, and Iím somewhat surprised, because the member has often stood in the House and talked about business, the economy and industry. I believe the departmentís new structure under renewal will be very efficient and very accommodating to business, tourism and culture. I think the resources, the expertise within the department, are certainly going to be addressing the needs of the respective communities.

I also believe, Mr. Chair, that the Tourism Industry Association, which has a very long membership list, as well as the Yukon Convention Bureau, are doing an incredible job outside of government, within the private sector, of mitigating the impacts of September 11.

I understand the concerns and issues as I heard time and again at the AGM for TIAY up in Dawson. Their concerns were that the existing profile of tourism in the territory be maintained, and I assured them, as well as the previous assurances they received from the Premier, that that is definitely going to happen. We believe that the efficiencies that have been created under the new Department of Business, Tourism and Culture, the experience of the people within the respective branches and the structures within those branches requiring lateral discussions up and down the chains of responsibilities within the branch, are certainly going to benefit business, tourism and culture. I am a little surprised at the member opposite wanting to revert to old government departments. If we did that now, it would only increase government, so I am a little surprised at the memberís suggestions that maybe we go that way. We have a wonderful working relationship with the Tourism Industry Association. They are a very strong and they are a very vocal association. I am in constant contact with the executive director here as I am with the president of the association. We are always looking at innovative and new ways. And like I mentioned earlier, there is the gateway initiative in response to the accommodation industry within Yukon as well as the Welcome Alaska campaign. We are hopeful and quite optimistic that these two initiatives are going to mitigate some of that September 11 consequence.

Mr. Jenkins:   Well, the minister missed the whole gist of my question. What I want to know is what the advantages are of having the Department of Tourism incorporated into a body of a number of other service delivery agencies, vis-à-vis a stand-alone department. Because I see many, many advantages to having a stand-alone Department of Tourism, and morale, for one, is where you can start. I see three departments in government that no longer exist, but which should exist and should exist on a stand-alone basis, Mr. Chair, and that is Department of Highways, Department of Tourism, and Department of Economic Development.

The Department of Economic Development is flushed down the toilet, along with anything occurring here in the Yukon, Mr. Chair, and the Department of Tourism could be much more of a leader than what it currently is. I agree with the minister that the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon is doing a good job, along with the respective chambers of commerce and the various other agencies. Thatís not in dispute here. What I want is the government to do its job. All he has promised to do is listen, but if there is some documentation there to justify the amalgamation of the Department of Tourism into a major ó if the minister could convey that information in a written text, I would very much appreciate it, because the minister can wrap this around for the rest of the afternoon and weíd get nowhere, but I havenít seen one iota of strength in the ministerís argument or one iota of increased production, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Chair, one of the other areas that will improve the Yukon as a destination is the addition of attractions. I would encourage the Minister of Tourism to do whatever he can with his government to address the issue of the game farm. That is a world-class attraction. That could be an attraction in the Whitehorse area way above what it currently is, Mr. Chair.

Now, Iím not asking the minister to get into any dialogue as to whether it should be a private sector initiative or what it should be, but all the steps the minister is taking in his other portfolio are virtually an impediment to the game farm coming to be recognized as a world-class attraction and benefiting our visitor industry here in the Yukon.

The second one is the White Pass railroad. Now, there is an initiative underway to extend and operate it from Carcross right into Whitehorse. I would encourage the minister to get on board. If the minister wants to see the benefits of a railroad running through a scenic area, I would encourage him to either start in Fairbanks or Anchorage and take the train through Denali.

Holland America has cars ó beautiful cars; Princess has beautiful cars ó dome cars that run through that area.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Mr. Jenkins:   There is a highway through there, but what weíre looking at is the railroad.

The extension of the White Pass railroad into Whitehorse could be another world-class attraction. In fact, the White Pass railroad, since it was revamped just a few short years ago, is one of the fastest growing and most profitable attractions in the north. Itís virtually all existing in Alaska, and itís a shame, because it was basically built to service the Yukon, and it could do so again.

There are a couple of other areas that the minister could have some input into for attractions. The Whitehorse trolley, by extending that from the Robert Service campground, all the way through, probably sharing the same line as White Pass, all the way down around the government building, right down to Wal-Mart or to this wonderful service centre where the low tender has the land and where the liquor store is going to be, so at least the people of the capital city of Whitehorse can grab the trolley and go down and get their box of beer and not be forced into paying a 30-percent up-charge to buy it downtown.

These are attractions the minister should be devoting some attention to and encouraging their development and assisting with their development. These are areas that are being ignored, and it appears this government is giving nothing but impediments in the way of the game farm.

We look at the Transportation Museum and Beringia, and we look at our museum network around the Yukon, and we look at the reduction of money flowing to our museums ó that is a shame, Mr. Chair. Itís a shame that this government would reduce funding to museums.

I spent some time looking at the report, and I would encourage the minister to look at the report on the museums, because it is a very telling document. Yes, thereís a lot of infighting; yes, there are a lot of problems but, by and large, youíre dealing with a group of very professional people, very focused individuals who want to see their museum and their respective areas developed. They can only do so with the assistance of government.

Then we look at air access, Mr. Chair, and we look at this feeble attempt by this Yukon Liberal government at providing some protection for Air North, and we look at the way that theyíre going to encourage and address the issue of competition. All we have to do is look at the airfares today that Air Canada is putting in place ó $348 round trip, Whitehorse to Vancouver. This is about $50 less than Air North.

Thatís where itís at. Air Canadaís deficit is equal to the gross domestic product of the Yukon. Their deficit of $1 billion is what the total economy of the Yukon is here a year.

So, we are talking about a firm that has very deep pockets, and to go toe to toe with anything that may occur in the Yukon or any carrier thatís starting up fresh here, itís going to be extremely difficult unless the government has some way of back-stopping and going to the competition bureau and saying, "Hey, look, this is not fair; this is not realistic." Iím sure the ministerís officials have advised the minister of what the add-on fares are if you were to board Air Canada in, say, Frankfurt, fly to Vancouver and come up to Whitehorse. Last year, the least expensive add-on fare Vancouver-Whitehorse return was $265. The minister might want to check what it is currently on the days that Air North flies, because itís zero, but you can only obtain that information if you start in Europe. You canít do it in reverse, starting in Whitehorse and ending up in Whitehorse. How fair is that?

If you want to look at the other add-on fares, start looking at flights originating out of the Lower 48, start looking at flights originating out of the Orient and start looking at what the add-on fares are from Vancouver-Whitehorse return, or for that matter, Vancouver-Anchorage return.

As sure as has happened before, Mr. Chair, weíll probably see another carrier have to curtail a lot of its activities to remain profitable, and Air Canada will have won the day.

The other thing the minister should try and ascertain is what the least expensive fare was any time this last winter when Air Canada was the sole carrier Whitehorse-Vancouver return, and see how many days you could have used your points.

There is an inequality in the marketplace and in the service that is being provided.

There is the issue of the rubber-tire traffic in the Yukon, which has been the mainstay of our visitor industry. That originates primarily out of the U.S. I submit that the minister isnít doing enough in this area to encourage this rubber-tire traffic to come to the Yukon, and I would encourage the minister to do more. Fly/drive is very important and that area appears to be holding its own originating in Europe. But the minister might want to find out the statistics from Condor as to how many planing and deplaning passengers there are in Whitehorse vis-à-vis Alaska. These are all areas that I will leave with the minister. We could go on for a great length of time. The minister, at the TIAY convention, said he was going to listen. I encourage him to listen and then do something, not just sit there and say his government is all-knowledgeable and all-understanding of the situation. Because at the end of the day, our visitor industry is the last industry and it is struggling. I am sure that at the end of this summer, it will have not had a very stellar year and that affects all of us.

Yes, there are some burps and some areas on the calendar where we are going to be operating full in the hospitality industry. But when you are attempting to amortize an operation on basically 100 days of business, we need everything going for us that we possibly can. We certainly do not have that under this minister and buried department of whatever it is currently. I encourage the minister to plead with his colleagues, make it a stand-alone department, give it the profile necessary to move ahead.

Take the area of transportation under consideration, take the area of attractions under consideration, because much can be done by a government to encourage and to see a lot of these areas come to fruition and to benefit, not just the Yukon, but to be used as a tool of economic development in our visitor industry.

Now, the minister, at the end of the day, must do something. What he does will determine his success. Mr. Chair, Iíll leave that with the minister. Iím not looking for a response at this time. Iím sure he can go on and say nothing for a great length of time, but it will be of no benefit.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. We just heard a whole lot of nothing for the last five minutes, so the fact of the matter is that it is somewhat sad when there isnít a recognition of what Yukoners are attempting to do collectively in the territory to encourage travel, especially this year. It has to be awfully demoralizing when the voice of doom-and-gloom rhetoric from the other side continually doesnít recognize the efforts. If theyíre not going to recognize the efforts of government, at least recognize the efforts of the good people who work within the department, at least recognize the good efforts by the Tourism Industry Association and the Convention Bureau.

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has just denounced any of the efforts that these individuals are making in welcoming people to the territory and encouraging people to come to the territory. If he doesnít want to recognize the efforts of the government, thatís fine, but at least give credit where itís due and recognize the skills and abilities of people who work their hearts and souls out, especially this year ó the tourism industry, the hoteliers association ó trying to get tourists up here this year.

I think itís shameful that that kind of rhetoric continually is offered by that particular member across the floor of the House.

We have, as a matter of fact, this past week, Mr. Speaker, met with the Consulate General of Japan. The Premier met with the Consulate General, who is very knowledgeable and looks forward to opportunities for tourism, trade and access in the territory. So we are working on issues. We have encouraged Condor to maintain their two flights here, and now the member wants to take off for Switzerland. So I wish him well on that aspect.

He talks about the efforts with respect to White Pass, and I know my colleague, the Member of Infrastructure, and I are looking at options and opportunities there.

The trolley ó weíre all aware of the trolley situation, so I wonít be discussing that.

He suggested that there has been a reduction to museums O&M, and thatís not the case. As a matter of fact, in Dawson, Mr. Chair, we have provided an additional $11,000 to enhance the gift shop operation with the goal of increasing income revenue for the museum.

The museum strategy, again, will provide guidance to the government as to how to deal specifically on a museum-by-museum basis, as well as First Nation cultural heritage centres and other interpretation centres.

So, weíre looking forward and donít want to prejudge what Yukoners directly have to say. I value all opinions. I value all input that I hear when listening to Yukoners and, believe it or not, that also includes the Member for Klondike.

Business, Tourism and Culture is doing an incredible job, I think, in the restructuring and the renewal, and they are coming together solidly and collectively, and working long, hard hours in the marketing branch and in the other branches, Mr. Chair.

Weíre actively working directly with Air North to promote their new air service to Vancouver and Alberta, by providing market research, connecting Air North with the travel trade, facilitating partnerships with stakeholders and regular bimonthly meetings to develop marketing strategies, plans and activities directly with Air North. The departmentís contribution in 2002-03 will include the provisions of human resource, research and connections to the travel trade, as well as ó Iím sorry that the Member for Klondike feels that $250,000 on gateway promotion is just not enough. It really is unfortunate that there is a lack of recognition of the efforts of department people alone. Again, Iíll cut out the equation of the government, because it doesnít matter what this government does, the member opposite is the voice of doom and gloom. He feels there is no positive aspect to the exercises that we conduct.

It does get, as Iíve expressed ó and the Chair himself knows that I have wondered about how to work a little more collaboratively and collectively in this House in listening to ideas and suggestions from members opposite in their questions during Question Period and in their questions during debate, and how we can achieve what everybody ultimately wants ó a better life for Yukoners, a more comfortable life, more work and activities, which my colleagues from Energy, Mines and Resources and Community Services have indicated that we do have people working in the territory and doing a great job.

So, we will continue to pursue those activities. Itís rather disappointing that the members opposite are refusing to recognize, in a very positive way ó and they should be proud of the efforts that have gone on by, yes, the previous government, by this government, by the city, by the federal government, in collectively coming to the realization that we have the capability to host a major event like the Canada Winter Games ó a huge event ó and have put money behind the desires to have that. $30 million is going to be spent directly in the territory over the next five years, as it is just five years away when we will be hosting the Games.

The Games are going to be an incredible feature for the territory; itís going to put the territory on the map, not only in the athletic world, but as a destination. I think this is an endorsement that the territory has skills and abilities, that the territory has a wonderful population of Yukoners with open arms wanting to put on and host such an activity.

So, I am disappointed in the tone of questioning from the Member for Klondike, but then I wonít give up hoping that, someday, that negativity promoted by the Member for Klondike may change and turn around.

Mr. McRobb:   I think that outburst was uncalled for, frankly. I heard what the Member for Klondike had to say, and a lot of it was constructive, like extending the railway into Whitehorse, which is a good, constructive idea. I didnít hear the Member for Klondike attack people in the department; I heard him propose a challenge to this Liberal government, the political level, the people across the way, to get out and do something to promote the territory rather than trying to ride the coattails of federal politicians and hardworking volunteers in the territory who have worked to bring the Canada Winter Games to town in 2007.

I have a few questions. I want to begin with the area of conventions. We do know that the Yukon Convention Bureau does a lot of terrific work for the territory. The last time I met with people from the bureau, I was told they were successful in the last 14 bids ó I believe it was at that time, which is very remarkable, considering the Yukon is competing with very large jurisdictions like Alberta, British Columbia and so on, to host conventions. I really think the people in the Convention Bureau deserve a lot of credit for the success they are bringing to the territory in succeeding with these conventions.

I would like to ask the minister about what I believe is known as the convention opportunities fund. Can he give us an update on the status of that fund and how much money is in the budget for this coming fiscal year?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I am pleased that the member opposite recognizes the good and positive efforts of the Yukon Convention Bureau. As the member may or may not know, we do provide the Convention Bureau with $200,000 in support to promote conventions here in the territory. With respect to the specific fund that the member is asking about, I will have to get back to him with details.

Mr. McRobb:   This is rather unsatisfactory. This was a question more than a month ago to the minister in Question Period. Obviously the minister didnít find it important enough to request information in this area, and that is rather disturbing, because a fund to promote conventions in the territory by private individuals, and so on, as I believe this program was doing, is something that is important.

At the time, Mr. Chair, it was alleged the Liberal government cancelled funding for this program, so for the minister to stand up now, more than a month later, and say he still doesnít know whatís going on really raises some red flags.

I want to ask the minister what his government is doing to specifically promote conventions in the area of Haines Junction. As we know, this community really invested heavily along the lines of conventions in the town. Its major community infrastructure under the previous CAP program was to build the convention centre in the community, and itís rather unfortunate, Mr. Chair, to look back on the past few years and see how unutilized this building is. Its potential is great. It could be hosting many, many more conventions.

Iíd like to ask the minister what he is doing to specifically help fill up this building, to help promote conventions for this region.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   As I just mentioned in the previous answer, we do provide the Yukon Convention Bureau $200,000 to promote Yukon as a destination for conventions in the territory, and in their promotional material all locations in the territory capable of hosting conventions are included in there.

So, the Convention Bureau, I think, does an admirable job in seeking, and their success rate this year in going after conventions is that they have sought conventions and have scored eight conventions for the territory this year.

I believe that all locations capable of holding conventions are contained in the materials.

Mr. McRobb:   Mr. Chair, itís obvious the government isnít doing anything specific to help promote conventions in the Kluane region for Haines Junction and is leaving it all to the Yukon Convention Bureau.

Iíd like to follow up on the previously mentioned fund. Mr. Chair, the "convention opportunities fund", I believe itís called. Can the minister undertake to provide us with a list of successful applications for the past year or two in this program or to bodies who were funded under this program, however it might work? Can he undertake to get back to us with that information?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Yes, Mr. Chair.

Mr. McRobb:   I want to ask the minister about cultural centres, something I asked the previous Tourism minister about, specifically with regard to Haines Junction. Can the minister give us an update on whatís happening there?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Mr. Speaker, I am assuming that the Member for Kluane wants an answer specifically relevant to his jurisdiction. The heritage branch, along with an exhibit consultant, has been working with the First Nation and the museum society to move this joint project forward. The First Nation and community members have been consulted on various design concepts and options. A design concept has been adopted by the First Nation and will include a First Nation cultural exhibit area, a reception/common area, a theatre, a multi-purpose area, a classroom area and access to outdoor interpretation and demonstrations. These areas will be connected to the existing museum.

Mr. McRobb:   Iím just trying to figure out where the museum is in Haines Junction. As far as I know, there isnít one. There is one being built and it has been in progress for several years now. Perhaps the minister is referring to the convention centre. Just a simple nod would do. Is that what he meant?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   No, itís not connected to the convention centre. Itís the Kluane Museum of Natural History expansion. Thatís exactly what weíre talking about here.

Mr. McRobb:   The minister is a little further up the road in Burwash Landing. My question was specifically to Haines Junction. I will be getting to Burwash Landing, but Haines Junction is on the road first. Can the minister give us an update on that?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I donít believe anything specifically with a cultural centre is occurring in Haines Junction at this time.

Mr. McRobb:   Can the minister undertake to get back to me with more detail on the one in Burwash Landing, such as cost estimates, possible contributions from the Yukon government, and so on. Unless he has the figures at hand, can he undertake to get back ó a simple nod to that?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   The department will contribute $50,000 from the Yukon museum assistance program to the Kluane Museum of Natural History. This contribution will cover the cost of architectural plans for the expansion, including the First Nation cultural centre and necessary upgrades to the museum.

Mr. McRobb:   Right, Mr. Chair, I did understand that there was a study in progress. Are there any plans in Beaver Creek? I know this is also a priority of the White River First Nation. Can the minister give us an update on that?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   The only update that I can provide the member is that, with respect to Beaver Creek, there is nothing planned at this time.

Mr. McRobb:   I would like to ask the minister about scenic viewpoints. I know this is something also dealt with in the Department of Environment. Is the Department of Tourism planning the development of any in the territory? And just to get the minister on the same wavelength, one possible example is in the area of Duke Meadows. That would be a very strategic location to offer visitors a very interesting viewpoint because that area is one of the only areas in southern Yukon that was formally part of the Beringia. Can the minister indicate if the department is doing anything along these lines?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   The department is working in cooperation with the Department of Environment. The Department of Environment determines the sites for wildlife viewing primarily and some of the wildlife-viewing sites are quite large, and the Department of Business, Tourism and Culture does provide signage as well. So there is a cooperative effort between the two departments.

Mr. McRobb:   Can the minister undertake to provide us with material outlining the priority list of any such viewpoints that are being considered?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Yes, I will provide a list.

Mr. McRobb:   I would like to ask the minister about the museum strategy and follow up the Barkley report recommendations. One of those recommendations was to ensure quicker advance of operating funds to our museums earlier in the year so they may meet payroll and start-up costs. I understand that that is not happening in a lot of situations. Can the minister give us a date by which museums should be receiving this early cheque each year?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   The fact is that the museum strategy is out for public review, and I donít want to presuppose what the public opinion will be on that strategy.

I look forward to a response from both the Heritage Resources Board as well as the YHMA on the strategy, and I am very sure that it will be very useful when we do get the information back and really have a good, hard look at how theyíre feeling with respect to the museums in the territory ó the existing conditions and recommendations for improvement in some of these. As well, staffing, I believe, is part of the study.

The member is also asking ó and I know that I have heard this request from both the Heritage Resources Board and the board of the association with respect to getting cheques out to museums at a quicker pace, and we have done that. As a matter of fact, I presented a cheque to the Heritage Resources Board a considerable period of time earlier than has been the past practice.

Mr. McRobb:   Mr. Chair, as the minister just indicated, it has been past practice, and thatís why Iím asking for a date. In regard to the Golden Circle campaign, this is one of the bright spots that people in my riding are looking at to help increase the rubber-tire traffic in the region.

I know weíre running short of time, Mr. Chair, so Iíd like to ask the minister if he would undertake to get back to me with some material that includes all advertising material associated with this campaign, along with any statistics the minister might have about the prognosis for the success of this program for this summer, and anything like that, Mr. Chair, would be welcome. Can the minister undertake to do that?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I gather a sense of urgency with the member opposite expediting debate on this budget, and I will get back to the member in writing.

Mr. McRobb:   Just one more question, and that is regarding the Marine Liability Act. I would assume by now that the minister is up to speed on this matter. I would like him to provide us with a brief explanation of where this is at and answer two specific questions. Who is going to insure small-time operators, since I understand AON Insurance, Reed Stenhouse Insurance, has pulled out of the market; and with the elimination of liability waivers, what does the government plan to do to fill that gap?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Iím very aware of the marine liability situation. As a matter of fact, that was one of the significant issues that Yukon brought up at the tourism ministers conference in Halifax, and we have also sent written material to the Minister of Transportation about the concern as it relates to industry, especially wilderness tourism industry in Yukon. Weíre also hearing from the Tourism Industry Association.

We are working. Weíre very concerned, as is industry.

Deputy Chair:   Any further debate?

Mr. McLarnon:   Iíll start right now by saying my express hope when I walked in today, as it is our last day, was to keep this a rhetoric-free zone.

First, I watched a nine-minute piece of rhetoric launched at the Member for Kluane, so that is going to cost the minister nine more questions on this today.

Now for keeping the minister accountable, and making sure that we understand today, when anybody attacks the policies of the government on this side, no one on this side is attacking the employees of the government. We are here to ask the reasons why we spend money, what has been done, and all policies of every government have other sides to critique. Let me give an example.

The critique weíre going to have right now will start with a very basic question. Why was the Alaskan marketing campaign one and a half months late?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   One of the major reasons I am concerned with is the fact that we do have limited financial resources within the government, and we wanted to be very strategic. The original request by the Tourism Industry Association back in the fall of last year was for $1.5 million. We did not have $1.5 million discretionary dollars to spend. We approached the industry and asked specifically where they thought we should be marketing to address the needs and concerns that the industry had.

It did take a little longer than I wished it had, I would agree, but in polling the industry within the territory, I heard from operators in Dawson that they felt closer to home ó mainly Alaska ó would be a good market to focus in on. So we initiated the $343,000 Welcome Alaska campaign. I do wish it could have started earlier, but it didnít.

As a result of additional concerns that I heard at the TIAY annual general meeting, as well as seeking out the personal opinions of hotel operators, there was an additional concern we should be taking advantage of the additional air access to Alberta. So we managed to find another $250,000 for the gateways program in support of the new access from Alberta, and also taking advantage of the initiative for the gateway from Vancouver.

Mr. McLarnon:   Thanks. I guess thatís the reason people have questions about them. They may be very good motives. We just want to know, because there certainly has been a lot of flops, lots of programs that havenít delivered one tourist.

Now, I guess the question I have is, have we come around, and can the minister ask what measurement criteria weíre going to have for both of these to find out if they actually work?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   That is a very good question. I want to state another qualifier to the Welcome Alaska program. We had originally designed the program strategic to Juneau, Skagway, Haines and Fairbanks, and there was test marketing done in those four areas. Although weíre going to continue the campaign in Fairbanks, as well, it wonít be to the extent that it will be in Haines, Skagway and Juneau, because those are also port areas that we could take advantage of, hopefully gathering some cruise ship ó so there was a delay because we had to restructure the focus just a little bit. So that was another reason.

There is proficiency within the department, people who do have skills and abilities in actually quantifying the results that we do get from our campaigns, and we also have those results from our gateway cities, as well. I would be more than willing to provide the member with the details of how that is determined.

Mr. McLarnon:   Thanks, and that could be sent by legislative return, because itís important when weíre spending over $550,000, in this case, on new marketing initiatives, that we understand the basic fact that people usually make travel decisions six months to a year in advance.

So we need to measure these ones because, within a small period of time like we have, we are counting on impulse-buy. Unfortunately, impulse-buy is the lowest form of return. So what we may see here ó and unfortunately there have been programs like this, and Iíll use the example of a winter tourism marketing program where we launched ads into Toronto for winter tourism, and they produced one lead. The program was $400,000 and the response was $4,000.

The reality is we could spend an awful lot of money and not produce results. That is why the call ó even last year, when the tourism industry called for the $1.5 million injection into the industry, it was doubtful that it would actually draw more visitors here on a really sustained basis. This is why we are looking at it and saying, while we understand this is a response to an industry request, we do have questions as to whether it is effective, because piecemeal programs often produce exactly that: piecemeal results.

We applaud the government for trying, and we want to know if it worked. All of this information is useful for next time if we have to do another program in an emergency, and there are often tons of emergencies.

Currently, unfortunately we are still saddled with the fact that we are being affected by September 11, and we will be seeing numbers dropping down to the point where there are going to be companies going bankrupt this year. Companies have already called me, and it is going to be a tough year, through no fault of the government and I certainly donít blame them. At the same time, there is a call for assistance possibly out on the road to do special marketing for areas that may not be covered. At the same time, this is coming with a change in the government sign policy.

Is there any possibility, or can we just have the assurance, that no changes to the governmentís sign policy will happen or will occur to cause businesses to take down their signs this summer while the people are still trying to survive September 11?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   I will confer with the Minister of Infrastructure and get that information back over to the member by way of legislative return.

Mr. McLarnon:   Weíre not going to go very much into the marketing side. Fortunately, a lot of the marketing decisions are better left in the hands of professionals. We know that there hasnít been a large amount of marketing measurements because of the lack of a strong marketing research component in the department, and we understand that thatís going to be improved. Unfortunately, we have only been able to depend on visitor border crossings for a lot of our raw statistics, and we have introduced a number of factors at a constant level to show how those border crossings can be skewed or not reflect the true value of tourism in the Yukon Territory.

The exit survey is very good. Unfortunately, itís expensive. Every five years, we get it, and thatís what we work on. So I wonít go into it, because the statistics can be measured. I will be asking for the measurement criteria on these two new programs, but there are other areas of this department that I am interested in, and the first one is heritage. Weíll go straight to heritage.

This government, and especially the Premier ó and I was in attendance when this happened ó made a promise to the heritage community at Hellaby Hall during the election that they would raise the level of heritage funding to pre-NDP government levels, which would be approximately $6 million over the span of the Yukon territorial governmentís term. What we have seen is a reduction in heritage spending. We are seeing it going farther behind.

How does the government, in the next two years, possibly expect to keep that commitment, because the heritage community is definitely asking, where is the commitment, where is the money. Just to remind, again, all members across the way, they keep some promises ó like in Grey Mountain School ó but equivalent promises in costs, like heritage funding, have not been kept. So, when we hear that the government is keeping their promises, we know theyíre cherry-picking. Theyíre keeping some, not all, and the heritage community is very concerned.

So, Iím going to ask the minister: what is the long-range plan to keep that promise?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   After the renewal, I did ask the department to do a detailed review of both operation and maintenance on heritage funding levels as well as capital funding. As Iím sure the member is aware, capital is primarily based on project-specific activities, so it can go up and down. It was a real credit to the folks in the department in digging out this information for me.

There does appear to be a period ó I believe the member was asking since 1995-96 ó where there was a certain level. Quite frankly, the numbers are indicating that at least since 1999 ó and I could provide this information. As a matter of fact, I do have graphs here that I could provide the member with, as well as at any time provide a detailed briefing on this specifically ó how they arrived at these numbers ó because it is quite an exercise to say this is for heritage, this is for culture, and try to keep it specific to what the member is asking for.

So I do have these graphs that I will send over to the member, as well as offer to provide a detailed briefing.

Really, there is an indication that we havenít reduced spending to heritage, and as a matter of fact, spending from 1999-2000 to 2000-01 jumped up and then jumped up in 2001-02 and remained relatively the same in 2002-03. So I could provide these graphs as well as an offer to sit down and detail how these numbers were arrived at.

Mr. McLarnon:  Unfortunately that doesnít answer the question about the $4-million additional that was supposed to be placed into it over and above, when we talk about heritage funding when it was promised at the peak until today. The reality is every museum ó if we have not reduced heritage funding, weíve certainly reduced it at the grassroots level where it meets people, because every museumís funding has been down since 1995. Every heritage organizationís funding has been down since 1995. So if all this government has done is increased the amount of money in bureaucracy to deliver heritage programming to the grassroots, thatís not excusable. Weíre talking about money to the heritage community, not within the department. We know the department has grown, so that will not reflect ó and it has ó the department has grown since 1995; there are more people in it. So the reflection of whether there is money being spent on heritage has to then take out the money spent on the government, because on the ground that doesnít reflect. Iíll see the charts; Iíll happily look at the charts and Iíll certainly get the charts to every person in the heritage community if the person will provide it because we know there will be arguments on the ground. The reality does not reflect the numbers.

So the problem is that the government, sooner or later, is going to be on the hook for very large heritage bills if they donít start taking care of their obligations now.

My next question is based on chapter 13 of the umbrella final agreement, the catch-up and keep-up clause. Currently adding up the heritage costs that could be incurred from buildings not even built yet and buildings already built, the heritage branch could be larger than the marketing branch and the cultural branch put together for the amount of money we are on the hook for in the umbrella final agreement. Has the government assessed those costs?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   We are very aware of those costs and we are very aware of chapter 19.

The previous Minister of Tourism and myself, as Minister of Business, Tourism and Culture, are very aware and cognizant of that fact and are making every effort ó as the Member for Ross River-Southern Lakes had indicated ó to take advantage of additional dollars available from the federal government to address these needs and concerns. We feel that they are obligated under the umbrella final agreement as well. There is that approach that we are taking.

I have been advised that, with respect to the previous question ó I hope it isnít a dispute between members, but the Premier never said that within our mandate there would be $4 million additional to heritage at Hellaby Hall. There was no commitment whatsoever made, but we are certainly aware, as a result of the museum strategy, as a result of chapter 19, as a result of the Heritage Resources Board and the YHMA ó we are aware that there is a crying need to address both heritage and cultural resources in the communities. I am eagerly awaiting the museums report and I am meeting more frequently with the Heritage Resources Board as well as the YHMA.

Mr. McLarnon:   There wonít be a dispute between members. In fact, all the minister has to do is go over to the YHMA, where they have the transcripts of it. And the question asked actually indicated that there was an expectation of $4 million, in which the answer was given. The Premier may not have said it, but the question indicated it. So if the minister ever wants to see the transcripts of the Hellaby Hall conference to find out what happened, I suggest he read them.

Now, the problem is that the heritage community voted for this government expecting attention, expecting the resources, expecting museums and facilities of heritage resource value to be protected and to be funded better. They now are firmly saying that they arenít.

We have the museum strategy, which I believe is just another way, because many of the things in the strategy, in fact, are fixed with money, but itís just another way to delay, again, this report ó this money commitment. Because what we see in there ó a lot of the things in the museum strategy ó like burnout of volunteers, are related to trying to get money. Theyíre related to filling out endless grants. Theyíre related to sitting in board meetings, going through the minutes to fill out money and applications. Itís no wonder we have burnout. They are always working on their next funding proposal.

Thatís the problem with project-driven proposals, too. Itís very easily identified ó when we looked at the Project Yukon. It is that project-driven proposals only lead to more projects to continue the money coming in. So what you do is have proposal writers for people trying to meet O&M costs coming up with a proposal that might allow them to do a capital project that will fill in some of their O&M costs. So weíve got people ranging all over the place. Why? Because thereís no consistent form of money.

This year, the question Iíll have to sort of prove the point ó Iíll go on to the next one. The point of the matter is that often there was more money being spent on marketing the museums than actually running the museums by this government. So the point of the matter is this: can I ask the government how much money we spent on marketing museums this year? And this would be through the Yukon time publications. How much of this was heritage branch funding that was separate and had gone into our Yukon publications?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Again, that would be something that weíd have to spend a little time digging out all the specific things. Itís all within the marketing funding.

In response to the concerns that the member brought up about the types of forms, the endless, repetitious, project-specific forms that volunteers have to fill out, I have heard this time and again from the YHMA as well as from the Heritage Resources Board. I have sat down with department officials to look at how we could create efficiencies there, how we can involve these people so that we can cut back on the amount of paper that we are expecting from them. So that is underway as well.

I know there has been some disagreement on just what degree of information we need if we are giving money to a museum, the degree of information that is required and the assurances that money will be allocated as per the project. We are working out those details and I know that the heritage resources branch is certainly aware of that as well.

Mr. McLarnon:  The context of the question I was asking, though, is, if the minister actually wants to find out whatís wrong with heritage, the minister should go and find out how much money was spent on marketing museums rather than keeping the museums going. This summer is going to be a crucial one. Museums have an operating grant that they know they will not be able to get by on because visitor traffic will be so low. Unfortunately, museums are not like government. Their pockets are not deep, so they will cut services, which means that we cut product to the Yukon Territory, to the visitors, which means itís a less satisfying visit.

The whole idea is we shouldnít be promoting attractions that canít even afford to run without government assistance. The numbers havenít gone up. I confirm again that even though we did see September 11, even though the government has admitted that numbers will be down this year, even though the government knows that a certain percentage of income for museums comes from attendance, has any movement been taken to increase the projected shortfall in attendance numbers?

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   The projections for visitations this year are all over. It really ó you get different numbers from different sectors that you ask.

We know, for instance, that the ship travel this year, especially on the Inside Passage ó because the ships have offered such incredible rates for sailings this year, we know that the additional disposable income that people using the ships isnít there. They will probably stay right on the boats. But our efforts nonetheless are to encourage them to at least make a day or two trip to Whitehorse or to some of our communities. Our air traffic ó when I was in Rendezvous, even talking to the wholesalers, the wholesaler from Germany was very upbeat and felt that his numbers from Germany are going to remain relatively the same. Yet, when I talk with the wholesaler from Switzerland ó because they suffered an event in one of their local parliaments there where a gunman went in and shot a few of their local politicians. That had a profound effect. That had never happened in Switzerland before. They are also celebrating a centenary of some sort in Switzerland, so the Swiss wholesaler said that there probably will be a decline in numbers.

Britain felt that they werenít quite sure how many would be travelling this way. Itís very, very hard to say exactly ó you talk to the hoteliers and they say that their numbers are down 30 percent. Somebody elseís numbers are 10 percent. So, itís very, very hard to realize the true impact on our tourism industry here this year.

Mr. McLarnon:   Well, have department officials not already said that we expect a 20 to 30 percent drop? Canít we use those numbers?

The reason Iím asking is that we know itís going to be down. Everybody in the industry knows itís going to be down. People are ordering less inventory; people are hiring fewer staff; theyíre being cautious. The problem is that the museums donít have that ability. They have to deliver the services or close.

Since September 11, all projections have shown that it was going to be a cut year, but we didnít see any increase to museum funding to cover that difference. We did hear of some gift shops, but again, gift shops are dependent on traffic. So weíre going to be sitting in a situation where museums are going to experience deficits this year. Some of them canít experience deficits ó their non-profit rules donít allow them to, so they either cut staff or close.

The minister has a chance to be proactive here. Will the minister at least sit down with YHMA, find out what the projections really are, then find a way to keep a small pool of money there to get them through what we have gone through. The idea of this summer for the entire industry is to survive. Thatís all we want to do. The problem is, museums donít have the ability to make that adjustment in the same way private industry does.

Itís a final suggestion, and Iíll drop it after this, and hopefully the minister will take it to heart. Will the minister please look at ensuring the museums we have survive this year? Iíll leave it at that.

Mr. Chair, I am finished. I believe there will be some movement on the lines if you give me a chance to take the Chair.

Deputy Chair:   Is there any further debate?

Mr. Keenan:   Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of the Committee to deem all lines and title of Vote 54, Department of Business, Tourism and Culture, cleared or carried as required.

Unanimous consent re deeming lines read and agreed to

Chair:   Mr. Keenan has requested unanimous consent to deem all lines and title in Vote 54 cleared or carried as required. Is there unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members:  Agreed.

Chair:   There is unanimous consent. All lines and title in Vote 54 are therefore cleared or carried as required.

Operation and Maintenance Expenditures for the Department of Business, Tourism and Culture in the amount of $14,401,000 agreed to

On Capital

Capital Expenditures for the Department of Business, Tourism and Culture in the amount of $4,027,000 agreed to

Department of Business, Tourism and Culture agreed to

Chair:   We will proceed to the bill.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Clause 2

Clause 2 agreed to

On Clause 3

Clause 3 agreed to

On Schedule A

Schedule A agreed to

On Schedule B

Schedule B agreed to

On Schedule C

Schedule C agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that you report Bill No. 9, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03, out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by the hon. Ms. Duncan that the Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   We will now proceed to Bill No. 65, entitled Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act.

Bill No. 65 ó Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act

Chair:  Is there any general debate?

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Mr. Chair, based on an agreement among House leaders and pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of the Committee to deem all clauses and the title of Bill No. 65 read and carried.

Unanimous consent re deeming clauses and title read and agreed to

Chair:   Mr. McLachlan has requested unanimous consent to deem all clauses and title of Bill No. 65 read and carried. Is there unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members:  Agreed.

Chair:   There is unanimous consent. The clauses and title of Bill No. 65 are read and carried.

Clauses 1 to 5 and title deemed to have been read and agreed to

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 65, Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act, out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by Mrs. Edelman that Bill No. 65, Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Bill No. 62, Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act.

Bill No. 62 ó Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act

Chair:   I will now call forward Bill No. 62, Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act. Is there any general debate?

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Mr. Chair, based on an agreement among House leaders and pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of the Committee to deem all clauses and the title of Bill No. 62 read and carried.

Unanimous consent re deeming clauses and title read and agreed to

Chair:   Mr. McLachlan has requested unanimous consent to deem all clauses of Bill No. 62 read and carried. Is there unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members:  Agreed.

Chair:   There is unanimous consent. The clauses and title of Bill No. 62 are read and carried.

Clauses 1 to 4 and title deemed to have been read and agreed to

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 62, Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by Ms. Buckway that Bill No. 62, Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   We would like to move to Bill No. 60, Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Bill No. 60 ó Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Chair:   We will now open debate on Bill No. 60, Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Is there any general debate?

Mr. Fairclough:   I only have a few things to say about this act. The only question of substance in this bill is, why? What was the point of removing ATIPP from libraries to the archives, to Infrastructure? Like so much of renewal, the government hasnít explained how this will make government more open and accountable or how this change will serve them better. There is certainly no guarantee that this will result in better service to the public. The governmentís own employees arenít convinced, Mr. Chair, and we see that about 88 percent of them donít believe that renewal will improve services to the public. Eighty-one percent said they didnít like the consultation process that was used, and we certainly agree with that majority view.

Weíre not convinced that this multi-million dollar departmental juggling act will improve things for the public. We donít believe that the Liberal government really listened to some of the employees any more than it listened to the opposition or the Yukon people.

The official opposition will not be voting in support of this bill.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   With all due respect to the member opposite, unfortunately he is in error on this particular legislation. The present Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act assigns procedural responsibilities to the "archivist" ó and I use that word in quotes. This amendment simply reassigns the procedural responsibility to a records manager.

Itís simply a change in title, and the reason for this is that the vast majority of information involved in access to information requests resides in the active records of the government as opposed to those preserved in the archives.

So this change in particular will provide better service to the public and better administration of the access to information and protection of privacy requests, because this change ó the person who deals with the ATIPP requests from the public is someone who is familiar with the governmentís records and has good day-to-day contacts with all the departmental staff who manage the records.

It will simplify the internal communications involved in dealing with the requests and improve governmentís ability to respond quickly to simple requests. This amendment is strictly a procedural matter, dealing with how information requests are processed. It has no impact at all on the rights and the responsibilities that are enshrined in the act. It is, however, a matter of confidence, as this and the other five bills related to renewal all deal with the money matters and confidence in the government, and I encourage the member opposite to reconsider his position on this particular bill, as this particular bill will improve service to the public under this particular legislation.

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Seeing no further debate, weíll proceed then with line-by-line.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Clause 2

Clause 2 agreed to

On Clause 3

Clause 3 agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 60, Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by Ms. Duncan that Bill No. 60, Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Bill No. 58, Act to Amend the Economic Development Act.

Bill No. 58 ó

Act to Amend the Economic Development Act

Chair:   We will now call Bill No. 58, Act to Amend the Economic Development Act.

Is there any general debate?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   This is one of the five renewal bills. This particular act provides the government with the opportunity to amend the Economic Development Act in order that the government may carry out, as a whole, the functions of economic development. For example, it is an updated approach to delivering the economic development agenda.

The more specialized departments of Energy, Mines and Resources, and Business, Tourism and Culture, can focus their efforts on specific segments of the economy. The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources will be ready to accept substantial new resource-related responsibilities under devolution. The broadest economic planning and analysis functions in the Department of Finance will be housed where they fit better with that departmentís oversight role within government and its role to manage other levers of the economy. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am happy to respond to any questions.

Mr. Fairclough:   We wonít be supporting this bill, although we do recognize it to implement the governmentís renewal plan. The main reason we donít support it is because we donít support the way this government undertook the whole renewal process. Again, I say it is very significant that 88 percent of the governmentís workers who responded to the survey said they did not believe that renewal will improve service to the public. There is no evidence at all that breaking up Economic Development will do anything positive to help our economy, and the creation of Business, Tourism and Culture has certainly not been seen as a step forward. Even people in the department canít figure out what it is supposed to be, as it is referred to cynically as "BLT".

The creation of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources represents a step backward to the Yukon economy that is based almost exclusively on resource extraction.

The previous Department of Economic Development, at least under the NDP, was doing a lot to help broaden the base of economic activity. Weíll have to wait to see where those initiatives are going to go, even if this government has any commitment to diversifying the economy.

Finally, we have serious concerns about how this government is handling key corporations that could be major players in economic development, but weíll talk about that more when the governance act comes forward.

To conclude, Mr. Chair, we will not be voting for this bill, or any amendments that may come forward.

Mr. Jenkins:   Iíd like to indicate that our party will not be supporting this bill. We see this as a backward step, actually a backward leap, which probably spells out the way this government is going ó four gears in reverse and one gear ahead, and the gear for going ahead is broken.

We see very much a need for the Department of Economic Development in this government. We see very much a need for a stand-alone Department of Tourism. We see very much a need for a stand-alone Department of Highways. All the minister has done with this is create chaos out of some order.

There was some potential to take the Department of Economic Development and use it as a tool for economic development, but the minister has chosen not to, Mr. Chair.

The whole effort of this government has been on government reorganization, after it became abundantly clear that the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline basket, into which they shovelled all their eggs initially, was not going to occur.

Weíve been through the same scenario in the 1970s when the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline was first identified. We saw the government of the day go to great lengths to address the imminent arrival of that project. Weíve seen the revival of the project recently. Economic indicators are that this project will not come to fruition in the near future. In fact, Senator Torgerson indicated it could be a decade or more away.

What we are seeing is the pre-engineering underway for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. Itís interesting enough, Mr. Chair, that the company thatís looking after that is Esso, which is owned by Exxon. It is one of the three major players in the North Slope gas and it has basically backed away from that initiative along with BP. The only player still wanting to see something happening with North Slope gas is Phillips. Weíre not going to see anything. The minister put all their eggs in one basket and then had the ó I guess you might call it the "gall" to stand up and say that two pipelines are supportable, when the correct course of action would have been a Dempster lateral, bringing the Mackenzie Valley gas down through the Yukon, picking up Yukon gas that is now going to be stranded and bringing it down and adding it into the pipeline in the lower part of the Yukon. But thatís not going to take place, either. Itís interesting to note that the purchaser of Anderson is probably going to be just leaving their money on the table with respect to the leases that they have acquired in the Yukon and are not doing any work in the Yukon.

Why would they? Itís soon to become one big park under the Minister of Environment.

Mr. Chair, this is just one bill that Iím sure this government has set out to purposely destroy what existed of the economy of the Yukon and weíre seeing that happen more and more every day.

So, with that, Mr. Chair, our party will not be supporting this bill.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   First of all, the present Economic Development Act assumes that government should assign all the responsibilities described in the act to one specific minister and one specific department thatís named in the act. The fact is, Mr. Chair, that the member opposite is spinning around in a circle because he is suggesting that the government has done that with the Alaska Highway pipeline proposal, which we on this side actively support, and what this act does is remove the clauses that require the government to assign all the responsibilities to one specific minister and one specific department. Weíre not altering governmentís commitments to these responsibilities. What weíre doing is recognizing that all of government, including Tourism, including Energy, Mines and Resources, including Finance, are all involved in the economic development and health of the territory. Thatís an important recognition that has been missing from government. Itís not one departmentís responsibility. Itís the responsibility of all of us to do this.

The member opposite sees a need for a stand-alone department. He goes on and on and on about the Department of Tourism. There has never been a department of tourism act ó never has been.

The amendments that weíre making today remove the red tape and the unnecessary constraints on the department. If the member could take the time to thoroughly review the act, Iím sure the member would recognize the support we have received from industry, from those involved in the Yukon economy, who have supported this move, who recognize that tourism is part of the Yukon economy, that infrastructure and energy, mines and resources are part of the Yukon economy, that Finance has a role to play with the levers that are contained in that department.

The broadest economic planning and analysis function belongs in the Department of Finance, and these amendments make it clear to a future government that they donít have to be constrained by an act that requires a specific package of responsibilities to a specific minister and department. Governments can define how they achieve their economic goals. I commend these changes to the House; they are part of the renewal package, part of the legislative amendments that are required as a result of renewal, and they are an expression of confidence in employees who have worked hard with the government on renewal to ensure that, legislatively, we are able to work toward completion of the renewal of the Yukon government.

I will be happy to entertain specific questions.

Mr. Fentie:   Well, I think the ministerís comments that she has just relayed to this House are the crux of the problem here. At a time when this territory most needs a focused government department working diligently on revitalizing our private sector, which is real economic development, this government has chosen to go navel gazing, turn the government upside-down and then expect those hard working, very capable government officials to deliver on what it is they should be doing.

The Premier has only herself to blame for the total disaster going on in this territory today. What has happened here, in all reality, is that we now have a government that may not even be prepared to accept devolution because of the capacity ó itís not there. With the lack of political leadership in this territory, with the chaos that this Liberal government has created within the Yukon government departments, we are compounding what is already a serious problem, and this Premier should know better than to stand in this House and relay such misleading information. The real facts are ó

Unparliamentary language

Chair:   Order please. The member must rephrase that "relay misleading information". Saying "knowingly" is implying a lie, and we know thatís unparliamentary.

Withdrawal of remark

Mr. Fentie:   Thank you, Mr. Chair. I respectfully remove that comment and say that this Premier is fabricating a picture for the Yukon public ó

Unparliamentary language

Chair:   Order please. We donít need any points of order on this. I currently think I have the record for most points of order in one minuteís span. I have a feeling Mr. Fentie is about to cross that record. That also is out of order.

Withdrawal of remark

Mr. Fentie:   Thank you, Mr. Chair. Let me rephrase. This is all a figment of the Premierís imagination, because what sheís saying is not happening. I think the Premier and her government should be ashamed of the terrible mess they have taken this territory into. They have mismanaged virtually every affair of this territory. They are driving people out of this territory, especially our young. The ages of 20 to 35 are the biggest segment of our population that is leaving here. Thatís our future, and this Premier has a lot of answering to do to the Yukon public and should drop the writ now.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, I have stated repeatedly for the public, for the opposition members, for everyone in this House, that these are confidence bills, as was the budget, which was passed through Committee. If there is an election this spring, it will be because the government is defeated on a matter of confidence. The member opposite suggests ó

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Chair:   Order please. Two hours left. Letís get through it.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Thanks very much, Mr. Chair. The fact is that this Economic Development Act is a good act, as are the five renewal bills. And if the members truly stand by their convictions, then they know what to do. The fact is this government has done a good job on renewal. These are the legislative provisions for it. Itís long, long overdue for this government, and the rhetoric from the member opposite about devolution and about the renewal ó the fact is that it was long overdue, that we have gone a substantial way to completing it, and the next step that is required is the culture.

It is not at the expense of anything other than the members oppositeís endless rhetoric. The fact is that the Act to Amend the Economic Development Act, Bill No. 58, which is before us, will enable the government and the Department of Business, Tourism and Culture, the Department of Finance and the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and the Department of Infrastructure, to proceed and continue to work on economic initiatives, including the Canada Winter Games and rebuilding of infrastructure, which the member opposite clearly seems to be against.

The fact is that the members opposite have stated today they are against Yukoners, against the Canada Winter Games, against private sector construction and against this territoryís infrastructure. Weíre working with Yukoners, and we will continue to do that.

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Mr. Fentie:   I have one final comment. This Liberal government ó because of the failure, their failure, of promoting the Alaska Highway pipeline in the appropriate manner and being totally outmanoeuvred by Premier Kakfwi in the Northwest Territories and are now jeopardizing even the Dempster Highway ó is now switching its only economic focus from the Alaska Highway pipeline, which is in severe jeopardy, to the Canada Winter Games as being the only economic initiative for this territory ó what a farce. This is a terrible situation for this territory to have a government simply ignore economic development and continue to have the southern taxpayer finance this territory. People in this territory want to move toward self-sufficiency, and itís high time this government got with the program.

Deputy Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Mr. Jenkins:   I guess what the minister has to learn is that confidence is based on competence, and we havenít seen any competence displayed by the minister and we have no confidence in what little has been displayed.

Deputy Chair:   Any further debate?

Seeing no further debate, we will go into line-by-line.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

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 Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Deputy Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 58, entitled Act to Amend the Economic Development Act, out of Committee without amendment.

Deputy Chair:   It has been moved by the hon. Ms. Duncan that the Bill No. 58, entitled Act to Amend the Economic Development Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Bill No. 59, Government Accountability Act.

Bill No. 59 ó Government Accountability Act

Deputy Chair:   Bill No. 59, entitled Government Accountability Act. Is there any general debate?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   The Government Accountability Act is a result of a follow-up. In the final report to the Public Accounts Committee, which has been referenced in the House this session, the former Auditor General of Canada, Denis Desautels, called attention to the lack of progress on improving accountability within the federal government and I quote, "providing performance information that is balanced and candid is seen to carry too many risks. This can be true for both ministers and public servants. In short, we have a government culture where mediocre reporting is safe reporting. To break out of this, Parliament may need to legislate the provision of performance information by departments. We have to move toward a culture where there is virtue in reporting the ways things are."

The Government Accountability Act is about government performance. Government accountability is about managing tax dollars responsibly and explaining what we have achieved. Yukoners want a government that is accountable. Itís about Yukoners understanding the choices made by government and being able to find out what government has accomplished with their tax dollars. Itís about public servants having clear, achievable goals, a challenging work environment and the opportunity to demonstrate results. If we effectively measure results, weíll be able to recognize success. If we can demonstrate results, we can earn public support for our programs and restore confidence in government.

The Government Accountability Act is an important part of the renewal of the Yukon government, and I commend it to the House and to the Committee of the Whole.

Deputy Chair:   Is there any further debate?

Mr. Fairclough:   The official opposition will not be supporting this bill because itís so badly flawed. This bill is supposedly designed to require government to explain to the public in plain language what itís doing with the taxpayersí dollars, what its goals are and the degree to which it has achieved those goals. The official opposition does not believe that this bill will achieve that goal, even with the amendments.

The first major weakness of this bill is that it transfers the responsibility to conduct the publicís business in an open and accountable manner, away from the elected representatives of the people, and on to the shoulders of the public service. We would like to be perfectly clear on this: in our democratic system of responsible government, it is the elected representatives who must answer to the public.

It is the elected representatives on the government side who must explain and defend their spending priorities, their policies and the programs that they offer. It is the elected representatives on the opposition side who are responsible for questioning and challenging the governmentís actions and priorities and for suggesting positive alternatives.

For both government and opposition, the buck stops right here in this House, Mr. Chair, not in the offices of the public service. This bill simply creates a layer of insulation around the elected government members. It makes it harder for the public to evaluate the governmentís performance, not easier.

The second major weakness in this bill is the way the bill is written. The language of this bill itself may be plain, but it is by no means specific. For example, there are no requirements of the Finance ministerís budget documents to include the level of line-by-line detail and statistical information necessary for the opposition to do its job of holding government accountable to the people. Also, the requirements of the consolidated accountability plan and the departmental accountability plans are far too vague. Vision statements, mission statements, value statements, priority statements ó all of these things can mean almost anything, or almost nothing. It all depends on how they are interpreted and how they are applied, and the members opposite know that.

The meat of these so-called accountability plans is in the targets and the measurements of performance against those targets. The problem with the way things are laid out in this bill is that there is nothing whatsoever to prevent any department or any minister from setting the bar as high as they want or as low as they want.

All it takes is the ministerís signature saying he or she agrees with the targets and the departmentís performance in meeting them. Iím sure, in most circumstances, most ministers and most departments will use the targets and performance measurements in a responsible way. The trouble is that there is no incentive to exceed the minimum effort. There are no consequences for falling short of the performance targets.

Another weakness in the bill can be seen in clause 7, which basically provides a notwithstanding clause if the Finance minister canít come up with a consolidated accountability plan that lives up to the act. All the minister has to do is say so in writing. If a department or agency canít come up with a plan, the Finance minister just has to say so.

Thereís nothing to make these plans compulsory.

The final weakness in this bill is that it allows the Cabinet to have unilateral power to change the relationship of corporations, commissions and agencies to government basically at the Cabinetís whim.

This is just part of the very disturbing pattern, Mr. Chair, that we see in this Liberal minority government, to centralize control or destroy the concept of armís-length relationships or to weaken the role of the public in decision making.

Having said that, Mr. Chair, I will conclude my remarks by repeating that this bill does not have the support of the official opposition and we will not be voting for it.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Itís truly unfortunate that the member opposite has misinterpreted the bill ó the Government Accountability Act. In fact, this act responds to the call by the Auditor General in chapter 3 of her report of the Auditor General to the Yukon Legislative Assembly for 1998 and 1999 for enhanced accountability, at political and particularly at management levels. This was after recommendations were made in 1995 and 1997 reports that failed to adequately address the concerns that were raised by the Auditor General. So what weíre doing is responding directly through an act. And I might say that the Government Accountability Act is modelled ó and we have looked at the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and many other provincial pieces of legislation that are similar.

The management accountability is about results. All those who use public resources should set measurable goals and responsibilities, plan on how to achieve those goals, do the work and monitor the progress, report on the results, and explain any differences between planned and actual results, evaluate results, provide feedback to refine or adjust the plans. This accountability act is long, long overdue ó seven years overdue from the Auditor General. Itís a direct recommendation and itís a good piece of legislation based upon other provincial legislation and our own unique Yukon circumstances.

The member opposite mentioned performance indicators. The fact is that we have not had those to date in the Yukon. The discussion that performance indicators could be set too low ó thatís what this House is for. The mission comes back to this House and there is discussion on those performance indicators. Thatís what good legislative debate will be about in the future.

It is not about how many lug nuts there are in a blader in some community; it is going to be about achieving those goals. Did you achieve the safety standards on our highways? Did you achieve the results from the education system that the community wanted and that you, as a government, publicly committed to on the floor of this Legislature? This is the first time Yukoners will have the direct accountability from their politicians.

Some Hon. Members: (Inaudible)

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   No, they were not accountable before. There was nothing in law that required legislators to be accountable. There was nothing in law that required this and that is the point that I am making to the member opposite. In 1995 the Auditor General said to the Yukon government, "You should do this." It wasnít done. We went ahead and did this. We did the research and the homework. We have done what the Auditor General recommended, not only to the Government of Canada but to the Yukon. That was in the Yukonís report. Committees of the Legislature can close the accountability loop. This bill gives greater credence to the Public Accounts Committee, which the member opposite chairs.

I must address the key questions that the member asked again by referencing the Auditor General. The Auditor General posed four key questions that needed to be kept in mind for developing a framework for annual reporting to meet the governmentís responsibilities. The questions the Auditor General said we must answer are these: what are the departmentís mission and line of business? How does the department carry out its lines of business to achieve its mission? What are the departmentís strategic objectives for realizing its mission and plans for managing the significant public resources that are under its control? How did the department do in meeting its objectives and how much did it cost?

Those are key questions that the Government Accountability Act will require future governments to come to this Legislature and answer. They are critical to the public; they are absolutely critical. And the government accountability framework will not only require future governments to have raised the standard and to meet the standard but to continue to raise the bar in the delivery of service to Yukoners.

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Seeing no further general debate, weíll proceed with line-by-line.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

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 Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 59, the Government Accountability Act out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by Ms. Duncan that Bill No. 59, Government Accountability Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Chair:   At this time, because members on the opposition side need 10 minutes for a break, weíll take a 10-minute break and return at 4:35.

Recess

Chair:   Order please. I now call Committee of the Whole to order.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:  Bill No. 57, Government Organisation Act.

Bill No. 57 ó Government Organisation Act

Chair:   Is there any general debate?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   This is the Government Organisation Act, and the amendments that we tabled for the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Economic Development Act highlight a problem that we have with certain pieces of legislation. When we legislate detailed procedural and organizational matters, we run the risk that the provisions will become obsolete and impose unnecessary constraints on governmentís ability to perform.

This is the kind of thing that creates red tape, and itís a complexity that does not serve anyone well. Government has clearly defined mandates in legislation, clearly defined spending authorities in appropriation acts and now, clearly defined goals in the accountability plans. We need to free government from the procedural constraints that tie it down with red tape and work against effective management practices.

Change is ongoing, and government must be able to adapt continuously to new circumstances and to needs.

In response to these needs, and in an attempt to put some of what we have learned in the current restructuring process to practical use in the future, the government has tabled the Government Organisation Act. The act deals with executive or management matters related to how a government exercises its authorities. We often think of these as the rowing of government.

The act creates two new powers. When a government moves a program from one department to another, the act enables government to move existing spending authority for the program with the program, and any move is, of course, tracked.

I must emphasize the reference to existing spending authority. The Government Organisation Act does not allow the government to create new spending authority. The act enables the government to disestablish department and transfer existing legislative authorities from one department to another. It does not allow government to add, modify or suspend legislative authorities, only to move them.

In the Government Organisation Act, existing organizational changes to government have been implemented under existing authorities of Management Board and Cabinet.

I am prepared to answer in detail any questions with respect to this bill or any provisions of it.

Mr. Fairclough:   Mr. Chair, we will not be supporting this bill. We realize itís part of the renewal plan, and for the reasons weíve stated before, it is the way this government undertook the whole renewal process.

Mr. Chair, there is one thing I would like to state in this bill. Itís under section 7(2), and Iíll read it out: "If the powers, duties, or functions of a minister or department are transferred under section 4 or section 6, the Commissioner in Executive Council may, by regulation, order that all or part of an appropriation for the purpose of the transferred power, duty, or function be transferred to the different department or minister." We have problems with this. We feel that all votes and money spending in departments are done for this Legislature, not done internally, upstairs in the corner suite. We believe that this could even be a question or challenge under the FAA. We will not be supporting this bill.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, in fact, the member opposite is incorrect, again, and the fact is that there are specific authorities under which new departments were created, organized and staffed fully within not only the Financial Administration Act but the Public Service Act as well, and the orders-in-council have been done accordingly.

The Government Organisation Act is intended to provide a clear framework for the creation and realignment of government departments in the future. Such acts exist in other jurisdictions and Iíd be happy to send those to the member for his summertime reading.

This act complements the Accountability Act and, as we have stated on the floor of the House, the government should be accountable for the money it spends and the results it achieves.

This act, the Government Organisation Act, consolidates a number of authorities in Cabinet, including appointing a president of the Executive Council Office, appointing ministers, and transferring powers, duties and functions from one minister to another. There are also some new provisions in the act, which I have previously outlined.

The member opposite, if he wishes, Iíd be happy to ó the concerns he has raised are unfounded and Iíd be happy to respond in greater detail if the member wishes.

Mr. Jenkins:   Our party will not be supporting this bill. We have no quarrel with the parts of the bill that realign the departments ó of the reorganization of government. Where we have difficulties in this act is the immense transfer of power to the Premier and the ministers to move money around. I would be of the opinion that it even contravenes the Financial Administration Act and could be challenged on that basis. I have very serious reservations with the broad sweeping powers that it provides the government to move money around outside of the purview of this House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   The member oppositeís fears are unfounded, completely and utterly. The Yukon government has power to allocate spending authority to new departments. We have done this. The Government Organisation Act is no different from other government organization acts. It is completely in order with the Financial Administration Act, the Public Service Act, the Interpretation Act and others. It is a good piece of legislation for the territory and for Yukon citizens.

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Seeing no further general debate, we will proceed directly with line-by-line.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

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 Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 57, Government Organisation Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by Ms. Duncan that Bill No. 57, Government Organisation Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Bill No. 71, Corporate Governance Act.

Bill No. 71 ó Corporate Governance Act

Chair:   Is there any general debate?

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   This particular bill, again ó the last in the piece of renewal legislation ó clarifies the roles and responsibilities of ministers, corporate boards, corporate management with respect to three of the government corporations. I have already provided a lengthy explanation to members opposite in my second reading remarks, and Iím prepared to answer any specific questions.

Mr. Fairclough:   There is not much time left in the day to debate this act, this being the final day. Again, I have lots to say on this act. Our party will not be supporting this bill for the reasons I have given before. We think that the government undertook this whole renewal process in a way that is not suitable to employees and the Yukon in general.

Why this act? What does the government not like about the corporations that it has to decide to take control and abolish the armís-length relationships? I find it ironic that this legislation provides for negotiations of an annual protocol. When this government was in opposition, it was very critical of the protocol that was negotiated with the Yukon Development Corporation in February 2000. At that time, the Liberals felt that the protocols could not be easily changed and that they needed to be entrenched in legislation. This act does not do that. The goal of departments and the corporations could be incompatible. We have all kinds of problems with this; I donít want to go on about it. I know others may have comments on it.

We in the official opposition will not be supporting this bill.

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Seeing no further general debate, weíll proceed with line-by-line.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

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

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 Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 71, entitled Corporate Governance Act, out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by Ms. Duncan that Bill No. 71, entitled Corporate Governance Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Bill No. 61, Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002.

Bill No. 61 ó Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002

Chair:   Is there any general debate?

Mr. Fairclough:   We realize that a lot of work has gone into this. Many of us in the rural ridings feel that rural Yukon has lost again with this in not having the numbers we once had over 10 years ago. We realize that a lot of consultation took place, and we do not want to see it go back out to the general public at this point in time. We will be having a free vote on this bill on this side of the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, Bill No. 61 is a bill that we have said from the outset will be a matter between each member and their conscience, and certainly members will vote however they choose. I would just like to take the opportunity once more, in discussing this bill, to thank the members of the Electoral District Boundaries Commission, who had a very difficult task and one that took some time. They dedicated a great deal of thought and energy to this process, and for that we certainly appreciate their efforts and offer them a vote of thanks.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   I appreciate the fact that the Premier has allowed for a free vote on this side of the House. I will not be supporting this bill, subject to the reasons that I identified when we previously discussed the bill before the House. Iím doing what I have been asked to do by my constituents, and certainly my first loyalty is to the people of Riverside and representing their interests in the House. So, again, I will not be supporting this bill.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   I also will not be supporting this bill. The people of the Yukon and my constituents are very concerned about the increase in the number of MLAs. The boundaries commission did a wonderful job going out and speaking with everybody, and my understanding at this time is that, with the technology, the ATIPP legislation, the Office of the Ombudsman, rising health care costs, rising education costs, they would rather see the funds going into other services than MLAs, so I will not be supporting this.

Mr. Roberts:   The last time around when we talked about this, I said I would have my feelings and my thoughts in reserve as to where I was going with this. I havenít seen a lot to change my mind about supporting this bill. I did have a town hall meeting this week and had a few people there who were suggesting that it might be a good idea to have additional MLAs. I listened and I heard but it was basically one or two people. I respect their views on it. They felt that they could have more contact with their MLA. My response to that was that right now I believe that most of us ó those of us who do get out to our ridings and go door to door ó can do it over the four years at least twice.

So I very strongly feel, for the same reasons that the Member for Mount Lorne just mentioned, that there are other pressing needs, other expenditures that are far more pressing than adding another MLA when we have a population that has been dropping by about 2,000 or 3,000.

I really feel quite strongly about that. I think a lot of people believe that that gives another message out there, that we have all kinds of excess money and it is not a problem. We can just cry poverty, but when it comes down to adding more to the Legislature, it is not a problem; we just go ahead and do it. I really donít believe that this is a time for it.

As a matter of fact, as independents we are going to be on the road here in the next few months to look at hopefully different forms of government where we may not even need that kind of process. We may need fewer, much fewer, because unfortunately what happens now with the number of people we have is that we end up into all kinds of silos about personalities, about views and opinions. It seems to me that, rather than march down that path, I would rather see us collectively work together so that we can work for the better interest of all Yukoners rather than worry about what the party thinks or what certain individuals in the party think. I will not be supporting this bill at this point.

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Mr. Keenan:   I have listened to the comments of many others. I have spent much time thinking this situation through. I have had many conversations with constituents as to how I should be voting in support of or not in support of this bill.

I must say that I will be losing many constituents who have become very close friends in Carcross, within the Tagish area ó many, many people who have supported me ó and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their support and representation that they gave me so that I could move forward into this Legislature to provide that support.

I do feel that rural Yukon has lost in this exercise. I do not believe that by adding another member to urban Yukon ó certainly Whitehorse ó will help reflect rural Yukon, my ridingís needs. I donít see that there.

Mr. Chair, I can say, though, that Yukoners, through this new alignment, will be represented. How they will be represented, I think, is what is most important and is predominantly on peopleís minds. People want to be able, especially here in the Yukon, in rural Yukon, to have access to their MLA. Sometimes, Mr. Chair, the only access they have to government is through their MLA.

Mr. Chair, I feel ó and I will say now that I will be supporting this bill, but I must say that I will be working very, very hard in the future to be able to find a way, a mechanism that will guarantee the voice of the rural representation in this House so that their views will be heard and acted on, not just simply heard and dismissed. I do believe that that is where the energy must go and that we must have much, much greater input into budget development so that areas in the Yukon will not lose out in the budget, such as the Village of Teslin, which has been neglected sadly by this Liberal government. They stand on the floor of this House, and they say that Tagish is getting what they need in recreation communities. I want to tell this Liberal government at this point in time that what Tagish was going to receive was already within the community development fund application process, and so when this government came in two and a half years later, they made much hoopla about what theyíre doing for rural Yukon.

Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting this bill, and I will be working very hard to make sure that rural Yukonís voice is heard, and it will be much, much more difficult with the alignment now for whomever will win that riding in the future, but it is a job that must be done.

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

Mr. Keenan:   Mr. Chair, at this point in time, I would like to inject a point of order, if I may, and I would like to introduce Mr. Richard Sidney, former Chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council and the Sha Da Hone of Dakh Ka Nation. At this point in time, please welcome Richard Sidney.

Applause

Chair:   Is there any further general debate?

Weíre going to get right under the time wire.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

Chair:   Now, for people going through their bill at home, if you go to page 10, clause 2.

On Clause 2

Clause 2 agreed to

On Clause 3

Clause 3 agreed to

On Clause 4

Clause 4 agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 61, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002, out of Committee without amendment.

Chair:   It has been moved by the Ms. Duncan that Bill No. 61, Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:  I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.

Chair:   It has been moved by Mr. McLachlan 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.

Chairís report

Mr. McLarnon:  Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 9, Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03; Bill No. 62, Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act; Bill No. 60, Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act; Bill No. 58, Act to Amend the Economic Development Act; Bill No. 59, Government Accountability Act; Bill No. 57, Government Organisation Act; Bill No. 61, Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002; Bill No. 65, Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act; and Bill No. 71, Corporate Governance Act, and directed me to report them out of Committee without amendment.

Speaker:   Youíve heard the report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker:   I declare the report carried.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 9: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 9, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 9, Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill No. 9, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03, be now read a third time and do pass. Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Disagree.

Mr. Keenan:   Disagree.

Mr. McRobb:   Disagree.

Mrs. Peter:   Disagree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Disagree.

Mr. Fentie:   Disagree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Agree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are nine yea, seven nay.

Speaker:   The yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 9 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 9 has passed this House.

Bill No. 62: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 62, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Buckway.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 62, Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. minister responsible for the Public Service Commission that Bill No. 62, entitled Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, be now read a third time and do pass. Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Agree.

Mr. Keenan:   Agree.

Mr. McRobb:   Agree.

Mrs. Peter:   Agree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Agree.

Mr. Fentie:   Agree.

Mr. Jim:   Agree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Agree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are 16 yea, nil nay.

Speaker:   The yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 62 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 62 has passed this House.

Bill No. 65: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 65, standing in the name of the hon. Mrs. Edelman.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 65, entitled Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Minister of Health and Social Services that Bill No. 65, entitled Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act, be now read a third time and do pass. Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Agree.

Mr. Keenan:   Agree.

Mr. McRobb:   Agree.

Mrs. Peter:   Agree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Agree.

Mr. Fentie:   Agree.

Mr. Jim:   Agree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Agree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are 16 yea, nil nay.

Speaker:   The yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 65 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 65 has passed this House.

Bill No. 60: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 60, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 60, an Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill. No. 60, an Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker: Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Disagree.

Mr. Keenan:   Disagree.

Mr. McRobb:   Disagree.

Mrs. Peter:   Disagree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Disagree.

Mr. Fentie:   Disagree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:  Disagree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are eight yea, eight nay.

Speakerís casting vote

Speaker:   Standing Order 4(2) states that in the case of an equality of votes, the Speaker shall give a casting vote. In general, the principle applied to motions and bills is that decisions should not be taken except by a majority. In this case, however, the Chair is aware that the passage of this bill is a test of the confidence of the Assembly in the government. It is my view that questions of confidence are of such importance that an expression of non-confidence should be clearly stated by a majority. The Chair, therefore, votes for the motion. The motion for third reading of Bill No. 60 is carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 60 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 60 has passed this House.

Bill No. 58: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 58, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 58, an Act to Amend the Economic Development Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill No. 58, entitled Act to Amend the Economic Development Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Disagree.

Mr. Keenan:   Disagree.

Mr. McRobb:   Disagree.

Mrs. Peter:   Disagree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Disagree.

Mr. Fentie:   Disagree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Disagree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are eight yea, eight nay.

Speakerís casting vote

Speaker:   Our Standing Orders, section 4(2), states that, in the case of an equality of votes, the Speaker shall give a casting vote. In general, the principle applied to motions and bills is that decisions should not be taken except by a majority.

In this case, however, the Chair is aware that the passage of the bill is a test of the confidence of the Assembly in the government. It is my view that questions of confidence are of such importance that an expression of non-confidence should be clearly stated by a majority. The Chair, therefore, votes for the motion. The motion for third reading is carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 58 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 58 has passed this House.

Bill No. 59: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 59, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 59, Government Accountability Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill No. 59, entitled Government Accountability Act, be now read a third time and do pass. Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Disagree.

Mr. Keenan:   Disagree.

Mr. McRobb:   Disagree.

Mrs. Peter:   Disagree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Disagree.

Mr. Fentie:   Disagree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Agree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are nine yea, seven nay.

Speaker:   The yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 59 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 59 has passed this House.

Bill No. 57: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 57, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 57, Government Organisation Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill No. 57, entitled Government Organisation Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Disagree.

Mr. Keenan:   Disagree.

Mr. McRobb:   Disagree.

Mrs. Peter:   Disagree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Disagree.

Mr. Fentie:   Disagree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Disagree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are eight yea, eight nay.

Speakerís casting vote

Speaker:   Our Standing Order 4(2) states that, in the case of an equality of votes, the Speaker shall give a casting vote. In general, the principle applied to motions and bills is that decisions should not be taken except by majority. In this case, however, the Chair is aware that the passage of the bill is a test of the confidence of the Assembly in the government. It is my view that questions of confidence are of such importance that an expression of non-confidence should be clearly stated by a majority.

The Chair therefore votes for the motion. The motion for third reading is carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 57 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 57 has passed this House.

Bill No. 71: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 71, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 71, entitled Corporate Governance Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill No. 71, entitled Corporate Governance Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Agree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Disagree.

Mr. Keenan:   Disagree.

Mr. McRobb:   Disagree.

Mrs. Peter:   Disagree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Disagree.

Mr. Fentie:   Disagree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Disagree.

Mr. Roberts:   Agree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are eight yea, eight nay.

Speakerís casting vote

Speaker:   In our Standing Orders, section 4(2) states that in the case of an equality of votes, the Speaker shall give a casting vote. In general, the principle applied to motions and bills is that decisions should not be taken except by a majority. In this case, however, the Chair is aware that the passage of this bill is the test of the confidence of the Assembly in the government. It is my view that questions of confidence are of such importance that an expression of non-confidence should be clearly stated by a majority. The Chair therefore votes for the motion. The motion for third reading is carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 71 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 71 has passed this House.

Bill No. 61: Third Reading

Clerk:   Third reading, Bill No. 61, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Duncan.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   I move that Bill No. 61, Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the hon. Premier that Bill No. 61, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002, be now read a third time and do pass.

Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:   Division has been called.

Bells

Speaker:   Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Ms. Duncan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. McLachlan:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Eftoda:   Agree.

Hon. Mrs. Edelman:   Agree.

Hon. Ms. Tucker:   Disagree.

Hon. Ms. Buckway:   Agree.

Hon. Mr. Kent:   Disagree.

Mr. Fairclough:   Agree.

Mr. Keenan:   Agree.

Mr. McRobb:   Agree.

Mrs. Peter:   Agree.

Mr. Jenkins:   Agree.

Mr. Fentie:   Agree.

Mr. Jim:   Disagree.

Mr. McLarnon:   Disagree.

Mr. Roberts:   Disagree.

Clerk:   Mr. Speaker, the results are 11 yea, 5 nay.

Speaker:   The yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 61 agreed to

Speaker:   I declare that Bill No. 61 has passed this House.

Withdrawal of bill

Speaker:   The Chair would inform the House that Bill No. 103, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Act, standing in the name of the leader of the third party, will be dropped from the Order Paper, as it is similar in intent and subject matter to Bill No. 61, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002, which has now passed this House.

We are now prepared to receive the Administrator of the Yukon to grant assent to the bills that have passed this House.

Administrator enters the Chamber, announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms

ASSENT TO BILLS

Administrator:   Please be seated.

Speaker:   Madam Administrator, 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:  Third Appropriation Act, 2001-02; Act to Amend the Workersí Compensation Act; Spousal Compensation Act; Official Tree Act; Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (No. 5); Act to Amend the Financial Administration Act; Act to Amend the Tobacco Tax Act (No. 2); Second Appropriation Act, 2002-03; Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act; Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act; Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act; Act to Amend the Economic Development Act; Government Accountability Act; Government Organisation Act; Corporate Governance Act; Electoral District Boundaries Act, 2002.

Administrator:   I hereby assent to the bills as enumerated by the Clerk.

Administrator leaves the Chamber

Speaker:   I will now call the House to order.

Adjournment of sitting

Speaker:   As the House has reached the maximum number of days permitted for the spring sitting, as established pursuant to Standing Order 75(3), and the House has completed consideration of the designated legislation, it is the duty of the Chair to declare that this House now stands adjourned.

The House adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

The following Sessional Papers were tabled May 30, 2002:

02-02-160

Yukon Education, Public Schools Branch 2000-01 School Year Annual Report (Tucker)

02-02-161

Yukon Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board: letter (dated April 18, 2002) from James E. Brohman, Vice-Chair, Workersí Task Force to Hon. Sue Edelman, Minister responsible for the Yukon Workersí Compensation Health and Safety Board regarding comments made on April 17, 2002 in the Yukon Legislative Assembly (Edelman)

The following Legislative Returns were tabled May 30, 2002:

02-02-127

Property taxes: list of outstanding property taxes owed to the Yukon Government by mining companies (Buckway)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3136

02-02-128

Property taxes: outstanding amount owed on Elsa mine properties (Buckway)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3138

02-02-129

Natural gas distribution utility franchise: Letter dated (May 7, 2002) from Mayor Bourassa, City of Whitehorse to the Hon. Mr. Kent, Minister of Energy Mines and Resources and Minister Kentís response letter (dated May 15, 2002) (Kent)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3735

02-02-130

Energy policy of the Yukon Government: information pertaining to (Kent)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3439

02-02-131

Pipeline unit: list of contract staff and contract costs (Kent)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3733

02-02-132

Dempster Lite Pipeline cost: estimates and explanation (Kent)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3740

02-02-133

Dawson Airport construction contract: explanation of compensation to the contractor (Kent)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3637

02-02-134

Whitehorse Correctional Centre: explanation of policy and procedure regarding return of inmates upon release (McLachlan)

Oral, Hansard, p. 3505