Whitehorse, Yukon

Monday, November 17, 2003 ó 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:   I will now call this 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 National Addictions Awareness Week

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   At lunch today I was honoured to be one of several speakers at the formal launch of the Yukon National Addictions Awareness Week, which will run through the end of this Saturday. Since 1981, communities across the country have honoured National Addictions Awareness Week, described as a time to celebrate an addiction-free lifestyle. I ask my colleagues in this House to join me today in paying tribute to those who are free from addictions, those who are working toward that freedom, and those who help them along the road to sobriety.

Mr. Speaker, since 1988 the slogan of National Addictions Awareness Week has been "Keep the circle strong." This comes from Coppermine, a small community in the Northwest Territories, and was intended to convey the message of a circle of individuals, families, communities and nations who have chosen a healthy lifestyle, free from addictions.

The battle against addiction is made easier by support from families and communities.

The theme this year for the local committee is "Take time to live: make healthy choices", which very much supports the slogan of keeping the circle strong. Events this week focus on celebrating the positives with family members: a family skate, a family swim, a family dance. Other events are aimed at youth, some at women. One of them looks at another addiction ó smoking.

One of the most notable events will be a production of drug awareness organized by Yukon teacher Mr. Pickles, and featuring a group of students.

We recognize the value of celebrating events such as this and their ability to educate the public about serious issues and the work happening throughout our Yukon communities to fight addictions ó all addictions. Thank you very much.

Mr. Fairclough:   I rise on behalf of the official opposition in recognition of National Addictions Awareness Week, November 16 through to 23.

National Addictions Awareness Week is a time to celebrate the joy of an addiction-free lifestyle. The NAAW theme, "In these hands our future lies", conveys a circle of families, friends and communities who have chosen an addiction-free lifestyle.

The health, social and economic cost of addictions in Canada is shocking. One study done by the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse on the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs examined the cost to the whole society, not just governments. It estimates that 2.7 percent of our GDP, or $18.5 billion, is expended through services and lost productivity.

We in the Yukon do not have a proud record on addictions. We all know the facts: the Yukon has an extremely high rate of alcohol consumption. Statistics Canada says that, while the national rate of drunk driving went down by some four percent, in the Yukon our rates rose by 20 percent.

Hard-drug use is rapidly becoming a serious problem, even in our smallest communities. Thirteen percent of Yukoners smoke, costing our health care system millions of dollars. Another addiction that devastates families in the Yukon is gambling. Prevention of these abusive substances through education is a very powerful tool in the fight against addictions. The NAAW objective is to provide information and to promote a variety of activities to generate awareness on addictions issues.

For over 20 years, communities across Canada have been organizing events to raise awareness of addictions and the consequences of addictions ó particularly for our youth.

The theme in Whitehorse for this year is "Take time to live: make healthy choices." The local schedule of events include a family skate, a walk for sobriety, a forum on smoking in public places, a coffee house and a family dance. Kwanlin Dun will have its official opening of their Health and Awareness Centre on Tuesday, and alcohol and drug services will host a open house on Friday. I urge everyone to take in these events and become more aware of the services involved in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse in the territory.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Duncan:   I, too, rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to National Addictions Awareness Week. Itís the third week in November each year.

Addictions and the social problems they create are of great concern to everyone. Too many individuals and families have been and are affected by addiction. Since 1981, communities throughout Canada have been coordinating events to promote addictions awareness. In 1988 the theme "Keep the circle strong" was adopted. This slogan conveys the message of a circle of individuals, families, communities and nations that have chosen a healthy lifestyle free from addiction. In addition, the theme exemplifies the constant forward movement of the circle of life for all people and all nations, encouraging balance and harmony. Several Yukon organizations and groups have now joined the circle.

National Addictions Awareness Week takes a very positive and proactive approach to fighting addictions. I applaud the direction that organizers of the campaign have taken. National Addictions Awareness Week is a time to celebrate the joy of an addictions-free lifestyle, a time to recognize the hard work of those battling addictions and also a time to celebrate the work of counsellors, social workers and governments and those afflicted who have battled to rid themselves of addictions. Itís a time to honour one another.

National Addictions Awareness Week has become an avenue for effectively mobilizing communities in working together toward a common goal, as well as strengthening a partnership of First Nations and non-First Nation professionals working in the area of addictions.

Collectively, more than 600,000 people participate in National Addictions Awareness activities throughout the country, and Yukon involvement is growing. This involvement helps make "Join the circle" a success both in the Yukon and throughout the country, and this unity exemplifies the work that is being accomplished by individuals to fight addictions in their communities.

As has been mentioned, Yukon activities began on Sunday with a family skate at Stan McCowan arena, and opening ceremonies this week at noon today at Sport Yukon, and the official opening of the week is Tuesday at the Kwanlin Dun Health and Wellness Centre. There are numerous other activities, including public forums, walks, open houses and dances.

I urge Yukoners to take time to participate in these activities, take time to live and to support one another in this worthwhile event and initiative.

In recognition of LíAurore Boréale

Hon. Mr. Hart:   As minister responsible for the French language, Iíd like to make a tribute to the L'Aurore Boréale newspaper on its 20th anniversary. Iíll do it in French first, English next.

Au nom du gouvernement du Yukon, jíaimerais féliciter toute líequipe de LíAurore Boréale à líoccasion du 20e anniversaire du journal. Ce níest pas quíun mince exploit díavoir réussi au cours de ces années à faire díun petit bulletin mensuel de quatre pages un journal de 24 pages publié deux fois par mois.

En 1999, grâce à un partenariat entre le Bureau des services en français du gouvernement du Yukon et LíAurore boréale, celui-ci obtenait du gouvernement fédéral les fonds dont il avait besoin pour doubler sa fréquence de parution.

Le gouvernement du Yukon est fier díavoir pu contribuer à titre de partenaire à líessor et à la perennité de LíAurore boréale. Le journal remplit très efficacement son rôle díorgane díexpression de la communauté franco-yukonnaise et nous espérons quíil continuera de líassurer avec le même brio pour de nombreuses années encore.

On behalf of the Yukon government, I would like to congratulate the staff of LíAurore Boréale on the momentous occasion of its 20th anniversary. Over the years, we have seen this paper grow from a small monthly, four-page newsletter to a full, bilateral 24-page newspaper. In 1999, LíAurore Boréale partnered with the Yukon governmentís Bureau of French Language Services to secure a grant from the federal government to enable the paper to go from a monthly newsletter to a bi-monthly publication. The Yukon government is proud of the partnership it has had in ensuring the continued development and sustainability of LíAurore Boréale. This newspaper has effectively served as the voice of the French community in the Yukon, and we hope to see it continue for many years.

Thank you.

Mr. Cardiff:   Mr. Speaker, itís with pleasure that I stand on behalf of the official opposition to pay tribute to the 20th anniversary of the francophone newspaper, LíAurore Boréale, founded in March 1983.

The French community in the Yukon is more than 1,200 persons strong, and over the years it has contributed greatly to the social, cultural and economic life of the territory. According to the 1996 census, Whitehorse has the only French-speaking community outside of Quebec that has grown in size and percentage.

In addition, over 10 percent of Yukoners can now speak French. Thatís double what it was about 20 years ago. LíAurore Boréaleís success is a key element in keeping the francophone culture and language alive and thriving in the Yukon. The newspaper is distributed biweekly to every community in the Yukon, and some of its content can be found on-line at the l'Association franco-yukonnaise Web site. It is our hope that in the spirit of the ministerís tribute, this government will give appropriate recognition to the important role the francophone community plays in Yukon life.

Merci.

Ms. Duncan:   I rise today to pay tribute to 20 years of hard work by LíAurore Boréale newspaper in the Yukon.

What began in March 1983 as a small internal bulletin for the Yukonís francophone community has today blossomed into a full-fledged tabloid newspaper with a circulation of about 1,000 biweekly.

In 1986 LíAurore Boréale became a recognized newspaper, and for many years has been a member of l'association de la press francophone or the APF, the association for French newspapers outside of Quebec.

Recognition by the APF association has been very important to the newspaper, as the association has afforded opportunities and courses for LíAurore Boréale workers to gain experience and knowledge that they might otherwise not have had access to.

LíAurore Boréale has continually grown over the years to serve the growing francophone population in the Yukon. About two years ago the paper had grown enough that it became necessary to hire additional staff to look after soliciting private business advertising in addition to their existing government and francophone agency clients. They now boast two and a half paid employees, but countless volunteer hours are also put in to ensure that the paper gets out every two weeks.

The goal of LíAurore Boréale has been to provide a voice ó a forum ó for the francophones in the Yukon. Today itís safe to say that they have accomplished their goal.

The newspaper is also seeking to reach out beyond the francophone community. It actively covers the arts and boasts subscribers in Europe, Asia, Vietnam and every one of Canadaís provinces and territories.

The francophone community in the Yukon is vibrant and proud. Thanks to institutions like LíAurore Boréale, it will continue to be so. I salute them for their work in the past and wish them continued success and growth in the future.

Merci, Mr. Speaker, and bon chance to LíAurore Boréale.

Speaker:   Are there any further tributes?

Introduction of visitors.

INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS

Hon. Mr. Lang:   Today, Teck Cominco and Ross River Dena Council announced the signing of an agreement for mining exploration and development in an area about 140 kilometres southeast of Ross River. With us in the gallery today is David Moore, general manager of exploration business development from Teck Cominco. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Moore in the Legislature today.

Speaker:   Are there any further introductions of visitors?

Are there returns or documents for tabling?

TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS

Hon. Mr. Lang:   I have for tabling the annual reports for Yukon Development Corporation, Yukon Energy Corporation, and the Energy Solutions Centre for 2002.

Speaker:   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. Rouble:   I give notice of the following motion:

THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to work in partnership with industry to create a well-recognized "Yukon brand" that promotes the Yukon as an attractive year-round destination.

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

THAT it is the opinion of this House that

(1) the Golden Circle Route provides a high quality and scenic coastal-marine loop through several communities in the Yukon and Alaska, including Haines, Skagway, Carcross, Whitehorse and Haines Junction; and

(2) the Yukon government and the Department of Tourism both have a responsibility to protect our territoryís tourism interests with respect to strategic attractions such as the Golden Circle Route;

(3) Alaskaís intention to upgrade fast ferry service between Juneau and Haines, and Juneau and Skagway, without connecting Skagway and Haines, is scheduled to decrease the number of ferry sailings between those two Alaskan ports; and

THAT this House urges the Yukon government to work with the State of Alaska to develop options that will provide consistent and reliable ferry service between Haines and Skagway and to maintain the high-quality experience that currently exists with the Golden Circle Route.

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

THAT it is the opinion of this House that the Yukon Party government has acted as a bystander on important long-term economic initiatives such as the Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline; and

THAT this House urges the Yukon Party government to send a letter of congratulations to United States legislators signed by all members of this House thanking them for their hard work on Yukonersí behalf on the U.S. Energy bill.

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

THAT this House urges the Minister of Finance to present his proposal to dealing with outstanding government loans to the Legislature by the end of the current calendar month so that all members will have a proper opportunity to examine and debate it on behalf of Yukon taxpayers before the end of the current sitting.

Speaker:   Are there any further notices of motion?

Are there any statements by ministers?

This then brings us to Question Period.

QUESTION PERIOD

Question re: Alaska Highway pipeline

Mr. McRobb:   On Saturday U.S. House and Senate Republicans announced that they had reached broad agreement on the most ambitious energy legislation in more than a decade. The Energy Policy Act of 2003 sets the stage for congressional action this week on what is a top priority for the Bush administration.

With the passage of this bill the Alaska Highway pipeline could actually have preceded a Mackenzie Valley pipeline, but this government sold us out. It signed a memorandum of understanding with the Northwest Territoriesí premier that settled for table scraps while we could have had the full meal deal.

What is this minister now going to do to push our project back onto the front burner?

Hon. Mr. Lang:   I will answer the member opposite. Weíre looking at all our options, and I think that in working with government and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, weíre certainly prepared for whatever comes out of America.

Mr. McRobb:   Well, thatís simply not enough, Mr. Speaker. The U.S. Senate energy chair says the Alaska Highway pipeline will create 38,000 direct jobs and 80,000 indirect jobs and an estimated 400,000 jobs from the multiplier effect. This project means too much to let it slip down the memorandum of understandingís slippery slope. We could have won the pipeline war, but this minister and this government conceded the fight in the early stages. Now Paul Martin wants to make a Cabinet minister out of Stephen Kakfwi, the default winner of the pipeline war. What is this minister going to do to ensure that Ottawa gets onside with the Yukonís project, especially with the prospects of the N.W.T. Premier sitting at Martinís Cabinet table?

Hon. Mr. Lang:   Having the member opposite running Paul Martinís Cabinet shuffles must be a relief to Paul Martin.

We are working actively with all governments on the pipeline, Mr. Speaker. The member opposite can rest easy. Itís in good hands.

Mr. McRobb:   Right, Mr. Speaker. The government gave up too soon. It fumbled the ball instead of driving for a touchdown. In his March budget speech, the Premier said the battle was over. He said the Alaska Highway pipeline is likely a decade away. Au contraire, Monsieur le Président. This project could soon be set for kickoff, but now itís Ottawa and the Yukon that arenít onside. Yukoners deserve better than to watch from the sidelines. Itís time to lace up the cleats and get back on the field. The minister needs to pick up the ball and run. Can he tell us if the Premier even raised this matter with the future Prime Minister during yesterdayís Grey Cup?

Hon. Mr. Lang:   That was an Oscar-winning performance. The member opposite is afire with ambition. I think Yukoners are breathing a little easier, knowing we have these 11 people sitting on this side working for them and, when the pipeline arrives, Iím sure weíll still be in office, and we will be doing our due diligence. Iím sure the member opposite will be talking about different issues at that point.

We are working on all levels with the pipeline. Weíre working within our borders. We are meeting with TransCanada Pipelines as of tomorrow, and with the Aboriginal Pipeline Group. This thing is a job in progress.

Question re:  Taxpayer Protection Act amendment

Mr. Hardy:   I have a question for the Acting Minister of Finance or the government House leader. Is it the intention of this government to make the proposed amendments to the Taxpayer Protection Act a confidence motion?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Thereís no need to, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Hardy:   Weíve heard from the current Premier and the former government leader. It would be interesting to hear from the Premier-in-waiting on that side of the House.

Moving to full accrual accounting can be as easy and inexpensive as keeping two separate sets of books, so weíve learned. The Auditor Generalís office has confirmed this, and so have Finance department officials. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is very concerned about this governmentís plan to tinker with the Taxpayer Protection Act.

Why is the government making this move when it is completely unnecessary to change the act in order to move to full accrual accounting?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This move to amend the Taxpayer Protection Act will allow our government a great deal of flexibility. It will allow us to be open and transparent in dealing with issues and not hide some of the liabilities that previous governments have hidden on the balance sheet by keeping two separate sets of books.

The Liberals and the NDP did not book all the costs they incurred for pension liability. Under the NDP, the Connect Yukon project was shuffled off to a numbered company to initiate. This will allow our government to be open and transparent on this issue.

Mr. Hardy:   Nothing the minister says changes the fact. This is being done for political reasons only so that the government can go on a spending spree and rack up massive long-term debt. Dawson bridge ó take out a mortgage. Roads to resources in southeast Yukon ó take out a second mortgage at a higher interest rate. A new jail ó a third mortgage at an even higher interest rate.

Will this minister now agree to take this bill off the Order Paper until the Yukon people have had a chance to register their opinions on this proposal to mortgage their future?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Well, the member opposite is very much an alarmist. This change in our accounting procedures in the Government of Yukon is required by the Auditor General. It is required to be implemented by 2006.

Now, what the member opposite is suggesting is that we put in place two sets of books, or perhaps three sets of books when you look at the various options.

With respect to a bridge in my community, if the member wants to tout that as a mortgage, what is envisioned there is a P3 initiative to build a bridge and the debt-servicing would be the current cost of operating the ferries. Down the road that is a net saving for Yukoners and a positive initiative that will produce many benefits for all of us.

Question re:  Taxpayer Protection Act amendment

Ms. Duncan:   I have some questions for the Acting Minister of Finance with respect to the governmentís plans to run up the Yukonís long-term debt by gutting the Taxpayer Protection Act. The Premier spent the weekend with Paul Martin, the Prime Minister elect, and I am hoping that some of Mr. Martinís very good sense has rubbed off. We can hope, Mr. Speaker.

During Mr. Martinís speech at the leadership convention he provided some good advice for governments across the country. He talked about how to manage the publicís money. He talked about the dangers of running up long-term debt. He said: "I donít believe you should borrow from your children or your grandchildren."

Unfortunately that is exactly what this government is planning to do after it dismantles the Taxpayer Protection Act ó run up debt that our children have to pay back.

Now, the Premier was on the radio this morning talking about how much he admired the Prime Minister elect, Mr. Martin. Will he take Mr. Martinís advice and not borrow from the Yukonís future? Will he take the changes to the Taxpayer Protection Act off the table?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The simple answer is no, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Duncan:   The Yukon Party did not campaign on making changes to the Taxpayer Protection Act. In fact, they campaigned on exactly the opposite. The Yukon Party campaign platform said they would "maintain the Taxpayer Protection Act passed by the previous Yukon Party government."

The platform also said that the government would "conduct genuine public consultation on matters of importance to Yukoners with emphasis on proposed legislation." There has been no consultation on these changes. The former leader of the Yukon Party describes the changes as a mistake. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a national taxpayers watchdog group has spoken out against the changes as well.

There was a newspaper editorial last week ó donít plunder our kidsí future, Mr. Fentie. People are opposed to this government making these changes.

Will the Yukon Party, will the government, do the honourable thing and take these ill-conceived amendments off the table?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The government was elected on the basis of sound fiscal management ó get the economy rolling here in the Yukon. This one amendment to the Yukon Taxpayer Protection Act does not alter one iota the intent and purpose of that piece of legislation. All it does is it allows us the flexibility as a government to move forward on some projects.

If the member opposite is concerned with mortgaging the future of our children, just look at some of the initiatives that took place under the Liberal leadership, Mr. Speaker. We have a one-stop shop office building that obligates the Yukon to pay millions of dollars ó some $9 million ó in rental costs over the life of that agreement, but because itís rental, itís not booked at the front. A suggestion might be that we have a rental purchase where at the end of the period of time we own the building. But under the current legislation weíd have to book all those costs at the beginning.

Letís start making sense for the future of the Yukon. Letís start moving this economy forward. Letís start with sound fiscal management, which is a part of our platform.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Speaker, letís start with that. Letís start with the fact that itís not one but two proposed changes to the Taxpayer Protection Act. Letís start with the fact that what it does is it guts the act. It becomes the "taxpayer non-protection act" under this government. Letís start with the fact that there are two ó not one, but two ó commitments, which I have outlined today, that the members opposite have broken with Yukoners. The fact is the Yukon Party campaigned that they would maintain the Taxpayer Protection Act. They campaigned on the fact that they would engage in consultation on proposed legislation. They have done neither. Now they are suggesting that they are going to hide behind the Auditor Generalís skirts, saying that sheís making these changes necessary. Thatís not the case, and officials from the Auditor Generalís office have pointed that out.

The opposition to the changes is growing. The fact is the governmentís alibi in this case ó

Speaker:   Order please. Would the member ask the question, please.

Ms. Duncan:   Iíll be delighted to.

Will the Yukon Party do the right thing, and take the Taxpayer Protection Act amendments off the table?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Speaker, Iíve already indicated to the member opposite that we will be proceeding with the Taxpayer Protection Act amendment. It does not alter or change, one iota, the purpose of that piece of legislation. It allows us as a government to move forward under our watch with sound fiscal management to develop the Yukon economy. And yes, there are a number of initiatives that we can look at that we couldnít look at before. The structure of previous governments circumvented the existing legislation of the Taxpayer Protection Act ó and it was done. What I hear from the members opposite is, "Keep two sets of books." This will simplify things. We will be the open and transparent government that we agreed to be, with full disclosure and some of the soundest fiscal management you have yet to see in the Yukon, Mr. Speaker.

Question re:  Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board relations

Mrs. Peter:   My question today is for the Minister of Environment. Last year, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board conducted a comprehensive consultation on wildlife in captivity. In January, the board gave the minister its recommendations on this issue.

The ministerís decision to ignore most of the boardís advice seriously damaged his relationship with the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board.

What specific actions has the minister taken to repair this relationship, which he has so carelessly neglected?

Hon. Mr. Kenyon:   I would remind the member opposite that, while the first round of recommendations came in in January, the final recommendations werenít dealt with until May, so perhaps it might be worthwhile to go back and re-read that section.

We consider the Fish and Wildlife Management Board an excellent reference committee, an excellent group to look at a variety of issues and make recommendations, and we honour those recommendations and take them very seriously. But, Mr. Speaker, under most governments, in most situations, under most regimes, it would be folly to say that every single recommendation from every single board be taken. They are recommendations, and we very much value those recommendations, but we do not feel the requirement to honour every single recommendation.

Mr. Speaker, itís very clear in the Umbrella Final Agreement. The minister takes those recommendations but is responsible for the final decision.

Mrs. Peter:   In October, seven renewable resource councils wrote to the minister to express their concerns on several key issues. Of particular concern was the consultation process the Yukon Party government uses before making appointments to RRCs.

What specific steps has the minister taken to honour his commitments on consultation under the Umbrella Final Agreement and the commitments in the governmentís new consultation protocol with Yukon First Nations?

Hon. Mr. Kenyon:   I would like to point out for the member opposite that the consultation protocol that was signed by the government was signed by the Yukon government and the First Nation government. While the Fish and Wildlife Management Board is duly constituted under the Umbrella Final Agreement, it is, in fact, not a government.

Now we do take consultation seriously. Appointments come from two different directions on that. One is appointed by the government. In the case of the renewable resource councils, three of the six members are appointed by the Yukon government and three are appointed by the relevant First Nation whose traditional land that area looks after.

Those recommendations from each First Nation are taken very seriously and almost invariably are simply endorsed. But in terms of full consultation, again that consultation protocol is with First Nations and the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board is not a self-governing First Nation.

Mrs. Peter:   Two weeks ago the minister reluctantly released the Church report on changes to the game farming regulations. The minister had tried to hide the report from Yukoners and even his own staff. He later tried to wash his hands of the reportís recommendation on canned hunts when he should have washed his hands of the whole report. Besides the Yukon Game Growers Association and the Alberta-based consultant, exactly with whom is the minister actively consulting on changes to the game farming regulations and captive wildlife?

Hon. Mr. Kenyon:   The consultant in the case of the Church report was tasked with an individual set of tasks and had certain things to comment on. While he did that, he took it upon himself to comment on things that clearly are illegal and will remain illegal in the Yukon.

Of the rest of his recommendations, nothing is new or different. They are certainly part of our decision matrix, but they arenít something we are going to go with invariably, because he gave a wide variety of different options.

The member opposite definitely has some confusion on a number of things, but it would appear that everyone on the opposite side has some confusion.

Under the Umbrella Final Agreement, section 16.7.3: "The Board" ó and in this case the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board ó "shall determine its own procedures for selecting its chairperson from its membership. The Minister shall appoint the chairperson selected by the Board."

Our lonely Liberal leader opposite has a motion on the floor that there should be political intervention ó political interference ó and clearly this government will not go in that direction. We will honour the chair appointed as duly constituted under the Umbrella Final Agreement.

Speakerís statement

Speaker:   Before you ask your next question Iíd just like to remind all members not to put adjectives in front or behind either opposition or government membersí names.

Question re:  Ambulance services

Mr. Fairclough:   My question is for the Minister of Health and Social Services.

Last week we saw the situation with the ambulance attendants in rural Yukon in a crisis. This crisis is also apparent here in Whitehorse. Paramedics are saying that they are overworked, that there is not enough staffing and that the training is inadequate.

There is even a suggestion that rural Yukoners shouldnít expect ambulance services when they need it.

Does the minister agree with his paramedics in Whitehorse?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The information I have does not coincide with the information the member opposite has.

Mr. Fairclough:   Thatís very interesting. Perhaps the minister should have some discussions, some talks with paramedics. He is responsible for this field, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask the minister to do exactly that because heís obviously not taking the views of the paramedics.

This government has $20 million into health care. It also has an unexpected, large surplus but weíre told that the ambulances in the territory are in such bad shape that one wouldnít even start when they had a call coming in.

Many vehicles in the ambulance services need to be replaced. The minister must recognize this as a high priority.

Why didnít the minister fight for more money in the supplementary budget for the replacement of ambulances and medical equipment?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This Minister of Health did exactly that. In fact, our supplementary budget clearly shows that weíve allocated funds to buy for a four-wheel-drive ambulance for Ross River and, further to that, weíve put in almost half a million dollars of additional funding for equipment for the Whitehorse Hospital.

Mr. Fairclough:   It wasnít enough, Mr. Speaker, for the minister to address the situation weíre facing now. The minister said it was a high priority, so it should have been reflected.

When the crunch hit in one community, the response of the minister responsible was a slap-dash scheme of making the heavy-equipment operators for highways serve as ambulance attendants.

Before pursuing this strange notion in other parts of the Yukon, will the minister direct his department to consult with Yukoners on the development of a substantive and safe plan for rehabilitating the ambulance service? Will he at least do that?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   We have two different sets of ways that the ambulances are operated. In Whitehorse, we have full-time ambulance crews ó paramedics ó who operate the ambulances. The order of magnitude is about 2,000 calls per annum. In places like Teslin, where we have about 36 to 40 calls a year ó thatís about three to four calls a month ó we have volunteer ambulance attendants. We are upgrading equipment where necessary.

Just a couple of minutes ago, the official opposition and the third party were damning our government and saying that we were going to mortgage the future of our children. Now, itís "spend more; spend more". Which way are we supposed to go? Send a proper and concise message, not a mixed message.

Question re:  Speed limits

Mr. Cardiff:   Mr. Speaker, last May I wrote the Minister of Highways about public safety for pedestrians and cyclists, including children crossing the Alaska Highway at Cowley Creek to attend Golden Horn School. The ministerís first reply was inadequate. In the second letter, the minister refused to extend the 70-kilometre speed limit a few hundred metres north to include the Cowley Creek entrance. He said people wouldnít obey the speed limit, and the RCMP couldnít enforce it. We have one minister who says she canít enforce vehicle impoundments. Now we have this minister saying he canít enforce the speed limits. Why is the minister saying the Yukonís speed limit laws are unenforceable?

Hon. Mr. Hart:   We have had some consultation with the RCMP on this particular issue, as well as with our own people involved with the highways and the speed limits, and that is our feeling on that particular issue.

Mr. Cardiff:   So what the minister just said is that itís their view that the speed limits are unenforceable. So maybe we should take down all the highway speed-limit signs in the Yukon. Maybe we should have no speed limits. Either that, or maybe we should make them all 30 kilometres an hour.

Well, people in my constituency tell me that they want a 70-kilometre-an-hour limit extended in both directions from the Carcross Cutoff. The minister knows that the area is changing out there. There is more residential development south of town. People want a solution that promotes public safety in the entire corridor between Venus Road and Cowley Creek entrance, before the next cycling season.

Will the minister reconsider his decision and direct his department to commission a proper study on this issue, and will he be sure to involve the people who live south of Whitehorse in that study?

Hon. Mr. Hart:   I will take the member oppositeís comments under advisement.

Question re:  Business loans, outstanding

Mr. Hardy:   Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance. When does the minister intend to table the long-promised plan for dealing with the outstanding government loans?

Hon. Mr. Fentie:   As we have stated on numerous occasions in this House and in the public, we are a government that has taken on the issue of the outstanding loans, to find a solution to it. We are working on it at this time. We have stated that during this sitting we would be bringing forward the solution to this long-standing issue, and I would urge that the members opposite exercise a little patience. In due course, we will bring forward what is the solution to this issue. I would also state that there is clear evidence here, after many, many years of delinquency in these loans, that the government should not be in the loans business, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Hardy:   Well, weíve heard the words once again from the Minister of Finance, "in due course," and what "due course" seems to start to mean now is "when he feels like telling the people of the territory what they will hear and when they will hear it".

Mr. Speaker, I continue to run into constituents who want to know whatís happening on this file. They have asked me to pursue it, because they donít like the fact that two Cabinet ministers still owe Yukon taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Will the acting minister at least undertake to have the repayment plan tabled in this House by the end of this month, which is what we consider "due course"?

Hon. Mr. Fentie:   I would assume, Mr. Speaker, that the member opposite wants the minister. The acting minister would not be needed in this case.

This sitting is 24 days in its duration and, during that time period, we will be bringing forward the solution. We as a government obviously want to make sure that that solution treats everybody fairly and equally, as it should, and thatís what weíre pursuing and working on to bring it to a conclusion.

Mr. Hardy:   Actually, Mr. Speaker, I consider the performance from this Minister of Finance as an act so far.

This is an ongoing embarrassment for this government and a major irritant for Yukon people. Itís especially irritating for people who borrowed money from this government and who paid their debts in good faith. Itís also very bothersome for people who honour the mortgages they have, who honour the payments they owe in their own personal and private life.

When it comes to the two Cabinet ministers, a number of constructive suggestions have been made, from garnisheeing their Cabinet salaries to changing the Conflict of Interest (Members and Ministers) Act. What steps will the minister take to prevent any future Cabinet minister from remaining delinquent on a financial obligation to Yukon taxpayers?

Hon. Mr. Fentie:   It is a little bit concerning how the members opposite try to single people out. Yes, there are two Cabinet ministers in this government whose businesses ó or their relationship to businesses ó are linked to some delinquencies in loans. Weíre going to treat everybody fairly. This has been a long-standing issue in this territory. There has been a tremendous amount of effort put forward by this government to find a solution, considering all the issues that must be dealt with in this regard, whether it be the issue of security, the issue of a loan even being collectible, or whether it be the issue of past arrangements and commitments to proponents on profitability. There are many things that must be dealt with here.

Weíre going to do this in a very logical, forthright and thoughtful manner to make sure that all Yukoners in this matter are treated fairly and equally in the best interests of this territory.

Speaker:   The time for Question Period has now elapsed. This brings us to the end of Question Period. We will now proceed to Orders of the Day.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Speaker:   We are now prepared to receive the Commissioner, in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor, to grant assent to the bills that have passed this House.

Commissioner enters the Chamber announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms

ASSENT TO BILLS

Commissioner: Please be seated.

Speaker:   Sir, the Assembly has, at its present session, passed certain bills, to which, in the name and on behalf of this Assembly, I respectfully request your assent.

Clerk:   Act to Amend the Public Printing Act; Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act; Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act; Statistics Act.

Commissioner: I hereby assent to all of the bills as enumerated by the Clerk.

Commissioner leaves the Chamber

Speaker:   I will now call the House to order.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No 39: Second Reading

Clerk:   Second reading, Bill No. 39, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. Jenkins.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I move that Bill No. 39, entitled Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act, be now read a second time.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the Minister of Health and Social Services that Bill No. 39, entitled Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act, be now read a second time.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   We have before us a very important piece of legislation. It has been requested from a number of sources for quite some time. It is a piece of legislation that will allow individuals who cannot look after themselves to be protected. It will allow individuals who are in difficult times to be afforded a measure of protection.

It will allow those who are affected by various abnormalities such as FASD, when they achieve the age of majority, to be looked after by our system. It will provide certainty to guardians who are appointed to oversee the affairs of a number of individuals. It will allow us to move forward and do what is right for Yukoners.

This piece of legislation is not very complicated. Itís somewhat all-encompassing, though, and itís broken into three components. And it does trigger a number of consequential amendments in various other pieces of legislation, and therefore it takes one a little bit of time to weave through and ascertain what we, as a government, are moving forward on.

But, at the end, I can tell the House that there have been lots of Yukoners who have requested this piece of legislation. There have been many, many groups and organizations that have lent their support to the creation of this legislation.

And I would like to thank all the dedicated officials within the department who have laboured so diligently for so many years. And this initially came into focus quite a number of years under previous administrations, and there wasnít any appetite by the previous administrations to move forward on this initiative. Thus we took the bull by the horns, and we have brought this legislation to conclusion, tabled it, and I would request the support of all here in this House to pass this piece of legislation.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Fairclough:   Mr. Speaker, Iíll be brief in my comments on the bill that is being presented to the House, Bill No. 39.

There is a lot to this bill. Itís not a thin one. By the looks of it, itís very thick and complicated, and it obviously reflects many years of consultation and work in the department to bring this forward. People have been talking about this bill for a long time. I was quite surprised that the minister said that they were the ones who championed this when, in fact, the people who gave us the briefing, his own officials, talked about the fact that this was in the works since 1998. It was supported then by the Yukon Party and was supported by the Liberals. Many questions in regard to this bill were asked by the Liberals. Iím glad that they did carry through and continue the work on this bill. It had gone through some consultation last year, before the election was called, and again this year.

I thank the minister for allowing that to happen. He probably didnít know there was consultation taking place long before this party was even elected.

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House would support this bill going into Committee so some questions can be asked. Itís not a complicated one. This gives a lot of direction and a lot of help to those who need the help in decision making, and itís all about that. There are three parts to this bill, and we will have some questions in regard to that and would like to ask them in Committee.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Speaker, the initiative to deal with the adult decision-making support and protection began more than 10 years ago. The difficulty at the time, and the difficulty in public discussions, has been reconciling issues with the Mental Health Act, as well as differences between adults who require, or would appreciate, this sort of assisted decision making, support and protection, and youth ó how to deal with a piece of legislation that would meet both those needs.

Fundamentally, my former colleague, the former Minister of Health, Sue Edelman, began seven years ago, from this part of our Legislature, asking regularly the then Minister of Health when this legislation would come forward.

As Minister of Health, with her Cabinet colleague support, she appointed a committee to travel to every community in the Yukon and to do a thorough and complete community consultation. Those individuals ó I wonít name the individuals, Mr. Speaker, out of respect; however, I will mention their organizations ó included a representative of First Nations, the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon, the Medical Association, the Law Society ó and one cannot underestimate the importance of the family bar in this particular case ó as well as the Second Opinion Society, Mental Health, Family Services, the Yukon Association for Community Living, the Yukon Council on Disabilities, and also, fundamentally, the seniors, as well.

This group of individuals travelled throughout the territory, met one-on-one with individuals with concerns on this legislation in this area, and their consultation report was delivered prior to the election.

Now the election having been called and a new legislative agenda being presented to the government elect, I congratulate them on continuing forward with this bill, which was, and continues to be, of tremendous importance, and to the credit of my former colleague, Sue Edelman, for pursuing it.

I support the legislation as it has been written and the work that has been done. I would like to publicly thank the individuals who have been involved in it.

I would like to also recognize that while we, as a government and as legislators, have moved forward on an important issue and have the bill to debate, during that debate and Committee we must also recognize that there are important aspects of this bill that will generate additional work for Government of Yukon employees, and services will be required of the government. Itís fundamentally important that we resource those initiatives. They are primarily located in the Department of Justice, and itís important that we resource those initiatives. I will be asking about that in Committee and also about a few of the other provisions with respect to regulation.

I am looking forward to Committee of the Whole debate on this legislation, and I applaud all the past legislators who ensured that we did bring this legislation forward and continued the hard work of the citizens involved.

Mr. Hardy:   I wasnít originally going to speak to this but, in looking at it closely, I recognized some aspects of my own life that this would have had an impact on many, many years ago if it had been brought in. And if anything, this issue, this situation that many people find themselves in, is what activated me to become involved in politics, and it was a personal issue with my mother-in-law and the fact that we had to become decision-makers and provide support for her when she fell extremely ill.

At that time, of course, we had to go before the courts, and we had to get awarded the guardianship right to allow us to act on her behalf, for her health and betterment, because she was unable to do that. It was quite an ordeal for us, and there were really no guidelines on how to do it, and it put us in a difficult situation, as well as the rest of the family. Fortunately, it was sorted out; fortunately, there was a very good judicial system that allowed us to get through it. In the end, we were able to care for my mother-in-law for over eight years in this case.

So looking at this, Iím very pleased to finally see this being brought forward, and it has been many years in the making, and there are a lot of thanks that need to be given to the people who have worked on it. Hopefully, over the course of the next hour or so of debate, that will come out. This is a step forward. I know itís going to be beneficial for many, many people.

Thank you.

Speaker:   If the member now speaks, he will close debate. Does any other member wish to be heard?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Speaker, Iíd like to thank the opposition ranks for their support of this bill. It must be pointed out, though, Mr. Speaker, that the Yukon is, up until now, the only jurisdiction in Canada without some form of guardianship legislation. That issue was recognized as being paramount to us moving forward in this area. And the other area ó and it appears to be the reason why the previous administration didnít move forward as quickly as they could have ó is the cost implications. In order to address the additional components within government, you have to look at the operation of government, and you have to provide sound fiscal management in the Yukon. Thatís what our government is endeavouring to do. We provide sound fiscal management. We get a handle on the finances of the government, so we have the resources to direct and implement and deal with this new piece of legislation. But without the financial resources, Mr. Speaker, and without those involved in the system, in the government itself, there is no way that this could become a reality and be implemented in the manner that it must be implemented.

Mr. Speaker, this is a good piece of legislation. This is a piece of legislation that our party recommends, and we look forward to complete agreement.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 39 agreed to

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

Motion agreed to

Speaker leaves the Chair

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Chair:   Order please. Committee of the Whole will now come to order. Do members wish a brief recess?

Some Hon. Members:   Agreed.

Chair:   We will recess for 15 minutes.

Recess

Chair:   Order please.

Committee of the Whole will now come to order. The matter before the Committee is Bill No. 39, Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act.

Bill No. 39 ó Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act

Chairís statement

Chair:  This bill is procedurally complicated in that it shall, if passed, enact four pieces of legislation. One piece of legislation is the bill itself and the other three being the Adult Protection and Decision Making Act, the Care Consent Act, and the Public Guardian and Trustee Act, which are attached to Bill No. 39 as schedules A, B and C.

Procedurally this kind of bill is referred to as an omnibus bill. House of Commons Procedure and Practice defines an omnibus bill at page 615 as one that seeks to amend, repeal or enact several acts. It is characterized by the fact that it has a number of related but separate parts.

The procedure in Committee of the Whole will be as follows: when clause 1 of Bill No. 39 is called, Committee will proceed to general debate on Bill No. 39 as a whole. After completing general debate on Bill No. 39, Committee will proceed to general debate on Schedule A, the Adult Protection and Decision Making Act.

The Committee will then deal with each clause of Schedule A individually. The Committee will then revert to clause 1 and determine whether to carry it. When clause 2 is called, the Committee shall proceed to general debate on Schedule B, the Care Consent Act. The Committee will then deal with each clause of Schedule B individually. After concluding debate on Schedule B, the Committee will revert to clause 2 and determine whether to carry it. Once clause 3 is called, the Committee will proceed to general debate on Schedule C, the Public Guardian and Trustee Act. The Committee will then deal with each clause of Schedule C individually. After concluding debate on Schedule C, the Committee will revert to clause 3 and determine whether to carry it. The Committee will then proceed with clauses 4 through 22 and the title in the normal fashion.

Please note that members may use the unanimous consent provision in our Standing Orders to expedite this process.

We will now begin general debate.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   In the Yukon there are many individuals who are unable to make decisions about their personal care, their health care or for that matter, their financial matters. This may be due to a sudden event such as a brain injury or because of other reasons such as dementia, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, an intellectual difficulty or disability, or mental illness.

As I said earlier, the Yukon is the only jurisdiction in Canada without some form of guardianship legislation. Even more disturbing is that some of these people are also regular and repeated victims of abuse, neglect or self-neglect because of their diminished mental capabilities, and there is no mechanism currently available for government to step in and assist them.

This long-awaited piece of legislation will help support some of Yukonís most vulnerable citizens and demonstrate our governmentís commitment to assist elders and seniors, care for Yukoners, protect families and create safer communities. All of these themes were part of our governmentís election platform and by tabling this legislation we are demonstrating our commitment to respond to the needs of Yukon people.

The Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act is an omnibus bill that provides for three new acts. This new legislation will provide a variety of tools to assist adults in making decisions and managing their affairs. It will also help protect vulnerable adults from abuse.

This legislation provides a continuum of support in recognition of the fact that many people may have varying degrees of mental incapacity and many different needs. The pieces of this legislation might be seen as a package, but they are, in fact, independent. As a whole, this legislation attempts to balance the responsibility to protect and provide services to vulnerable adults with the duty to protect their rights to liberty and freedom.

Itís a very difficult balance to achieve, but we feel this legislation has struck that balance and will result in timely access to services and effectively provide safeguards for people with diminished mental capabilities.

This act provides for the following: supported decision-making agreements for those who need assistance and are capable of making decisions with help from other persons; representation agreements for those who want someone else to make decisions for them in limited areas related to daily living and finances; court-appointed guardianship for those persons who are not capable of making their own decisions in a number of different areas; adult protection measures to assist victims of abuse, neglect or self-neglect, who cannot seek their own help; advanced planning for health care and personal care decisions ó the so-called "living wills"; guidelines for health care providers in obtaining consent or substitute consent for health care; a capability and consent board that will provide a forum to review decisions made by care providers and substitute consent providers; the establishment of a Yukon public guardian and trustee who will investigate financial abuse, provide support to private guardians and act as the guardian of last resort if there is no one else who is able to do so.

This range of options will help to assist people with varying degrees of diminished mental capabilities in the more supportive but least intrusive manner possible, depending on the individual needs and circumstances.

I am very pleased to advise that these acts were developed in consultation with the First Nations, the Yukon public, and the legal and medical communities. Numerous meetings were held in Whitehorse and all the outlying communities. As well, many individuals took the time to respond in writing to the questionnaire that accompanied a public discussion paper.

Two separate meetings were held in Whitehorse with representatives form Yukon First Nations. These one- and two-day meetings proved to be great opportunities to share information and get input and reaction to this legislation.

In addition, a community reference group spent many hours at a time discussing policy issues and draft legislation with government staff. This group was made up of representatives from 10 groups: FASSY, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon; YMA, Yukon Medical Association; CYFN, Council of Yukon First Nations; the Law Society of the Yukon; the Second Opinion Society; the Yukon Council on the Ageing; Yukon Council on Disabilities; Canadian Mental Health Association; Yukon Association for Community Living; Yukon Family Services Association ó members of this group, who work every day with the very adults this legislation is designed to assist. They provided valuable advice and experience that resulted in what we have before us today with this bill.

I look forward to going through the various acts, parts of this act, in Committee of the Whole, Mr. Chair, and I look forward to going line by line in the manner that you have set out.

Mr. Fairclough:   I only have a few questions in regard to this bill. My colleague from Mount Lorne also has some questions that he would like to ask. I would like to respond to comments made by the minister when he had his opportunity on camera to tell people that this was thought up by the Yukon Party, I suppose, and brought forward to the floor of this Legislature, when, in fact, this bill has been in the works for many years. Heís saying two things.

I guess we should, first of all, set the record straight. Iíd like to ask the minister: when did he first come up with the idea of coming forward with an all-inclusive bill?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Much discussion ensued around that issue. I guess the main group that brought it forward and pointed it out to my attention was FASSY. A number of other First Nation groups stressed the need for this piece of legislation.

But before you can move forward on legislation, you have to identify the costs and how those costs can be met. It was only through sound fiscal management that our government was able to identify how we were going to put in place the necessary one-time costs and set-up costs to implement this piece of legislation and the subsequent costs that we would incur as a government to deal with this legislation. Thatís the issue.

Mr. Fairclough:   Weíd like an answer to that issue. What is the cost of bringing forward this bill?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   It breaks down over three different areas. For Health and Social Services, itís going to cost $91,400 in ongoing O&M. This includes a new half-time social worker position to work with the adult service branch, and this individual will work with regional social workers, adult services case managers and community agencies and First Nations to implement the adult protection provisions of this legislation, and itís the establishment of the capability and consent board to deal with matters arising out of the Care Consent Act and the Mental Health Act. In addition to that, we have $71,500 in one-time costs that go toward training, education, development of forums, brochures, manuals, et cetera.

In the Department of Justice we have $117,086 in ongoing O&M costs. This includes 1.5 new positions for the office of the public guardian and trustee and $50,000 in one-time costs, which include office equipment, computer, et cetera for the two new positions, system upgrades to address the added accounting functions required to administer the financial affairs of incapable adults, training, education, development, to forums, brochures, self-help kits, others.

The other costs in the Department of Health and Social Services that weíre anticipating are $24,000 in O&M for assessments in hardship cases, which must be done for guardianship applications, and $15,000 in one-time costs for training to perform these assessments. Itís specialized training for those who will be performing this type of assessment.

Mr. Fairclough:   The minister said that previous administrations didnít have an appetite to bring this forward because of the costs. How long has this act been put together, and how long has it been sitting on the shelf?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I donít how long it has been sitting on the shelf, but the fact is that ours was the first government that demonstrated a willingness to move forward on this piece of legislation, bring it forward, finalize it and deal with the financial implications. We are a government that is committed to undertaking a number of initiatives, and this was one of them, and we have done so.

Mr. Fairclough:   Iím surprised the minister doesnít know, since he made a comment about other administrations not bringing this forward. Can the minister tell us what his government has directed the department to do? What changes has the minister directed his department to make with this bill that were not in the previous one he said the other administrations didnít bring forward?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I donít know what was going on completely under the two previous administrations, if thatís where the member is going, but this legislation was just finalized prior to it being tabled in the Legislature.

Thatís the issue, and it was just concluded. We worked very, very hard at the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and moved it forward, and there were still a number of issues. I guess one of the biggest ones right at the end was the French translation. But that aside, we committed to bringing forward this piece of legislation, and we have done so, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Fairclough:   So what the minister is saying is that thatís the only thing that needed to be done ó the French translation. And I know that this bill was worked on long ago. It is not something new the members opposite thought up at all. It has been in public debate for a long time by many different groups and communities and so on, and their input resulted in what we have here today, not because the Yukon Party thought it up or thought that this was a good one. As a matter of fact, I wouldnít think that the member opposite would have brought this forward at all if that work wasnít done.

We on this side of the House agree with the bill; we just want to ensure that the minister knows about some of the background work at least that took place on this bill, because so far he has expressed and given no information as to how much work has gone into this bill in previous years. I believe his official said it was back to 1998. There was a lot of work that took place before that ó but putting together the bill that we are debating here today.

So the minister now says itís all about money and the fact that it is going to cost over $300,000 to get up and going, and $91,000 for operations and maintenance and an additional two and a half people to be hired to ensure that this bill is being implemented properly.

I was quite surprised that that was the reason, basically, more than anything else ó that just because of money. Now that this government has all kinds of money, itís able to do this type of thing.

We would like to see governments act on many different areas with the amount of money it has in government ó $20 million has come across the ministerís table. Yet, when the public is raising issues in regard to the Health department, it is still said that our government is broke and we canít do anything, or we canít do it all at once, we canít address certain things.

Now we have the minister finding approximately $300,000 to get this going, and we on this side of the House say "Great". We would like to see this bill passed on to communities and for everybody to know how it works and how they can see the changes that have taken place from what the other acts have as regulations and so on. I am including things like just the Health Act, or the Mental Health Act.

Obviously we had the ability to go a certain distance, and in the past there have been gaps identified. This is what I believe this bill is trying to do ó to fill in those gaps that we presently have in some of our legislation. I understand where it focuses in a number of different areas: health care and the decisions that go with that, and the personal care and the decisions that go with that also, and the financial and property decisions. Itís what people wanted and this is what we are finally seeing today.

I would like to ask the minister how this act will be implemented in communities. Is it contract work? How will the communities see this being implemented? Who would the administrator be?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Letís put on the record a couple of the realities that have transpired. The member opposite alluded there were gaps in previous legislation. That couldnít be, because there was no legislation. The Yukon is the last jurisdiction in Canada to bring this type of legislation forward.

For the member oppositeís information, and for the leader of the third party, this bill was drafted under our watch. It had never been drafted under the previous administrations. Thatís where the time comes in. Thereís no requirement for consultation, although it is very much part of the process, and we recognize the need for consultation. A lot of the consultation was done under the previous administrationís watch, but the actual drafting of this legislation started when our government pushed the button and said, "Go."

We see a need for this type of legislation, and we want it in place.

As to how the legislation will be implemented, we envision a social worker who will work with regional social workers and, basically, implement these three pieces of legislation via regulations.

Mr. Fairclough:   I donít believe my question was answered. The minister said a couple of different things, and one of them was that they had to do the French translation and the fact there was all kinds of work. Of course, when you bring a bill to the House, the governing party would do the final drafting. Itís with them that the final drafting that takes place.

By saying that, I guess the minister is saying that his officials were wrong in their briefing with the Liberals and New Democrats.

I guess this wouldnít be the first time that the minister would say that or even any one of his colleagues in regard to a number of different things in this House. It wasnít clear how the act would be administered in the communities and thatís what I wanted to know. If we were to take this legislation back to the communities, we would want to give them clear answers.

The minister had a note passed to him so I expect an answer now.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   For the third time, what we have created is a social work position. That social work position in the Department of Health and Social Services will work with regional social workers, the adult services case managers and community agencies and First Nations to implement the adult protection provisions of this legislation.

Thatís the second time Iíve repeated that verbatim.

Mr. Fairclough:   I guess thatís simple enough for the minister. This is how itís going to be implemented, but we were hoping to see, I guess, a bit more detail since this is not something that happens in rare cases. These are matters that are dealt with in fairly large numbers across the territory ó as a matter of fact, across the country ó and thatís why weíre seeing this act come forward.

What I can say is exactly what the minister has said, and this is supposed to satisfy the communities about how itís going to be implemented. So I will take the ministerís words back to them and say that they will be working with the social workers.

I would think that thatís a normal thing anyway. Now the minister said that there is a dedicated position to working with social workers in the communities. I am hoping to see more educational materials go out, some plain speak about this act and how things are compiled so that it can be simply put to people who work in this field, particularly to families who are going to be the ones dealing with this matter.

Itís a good-news thing, and so far we havenít really heard the minister punt that up as such.

I would like to ask the minister, in regard to conflicts, whether or not there are any conflicts or overlap with the Enduring Power of Attorney Act. It wasnít clear in the briefing when we asked these questions, so I would just like to ask the minister that and wait for his answer and go on from there.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I believe where the member opposite is going is an amendment that allows this to specifically deal with financial matters, and the other area weíll be dealing with via regulations for other matters. But for the specific area that the member is requesting information on, there was an amendment under the guardianship that deals with the financial implications.

Mr. Fairclough:   Then is the minister saying that there are no conflicts with this act coming forward and the Enduring Power of Attorney Act? Is that the case?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Itís my understanding that one complements the other and that theyíre not in conflict but they complement each other. If the member opposite could be specific as to where he envisions a conflict arising, could he please state so for the record?

Mr. Fairclough:   In the briefing it was not clear on this matter. I am reading some of the backgrounders given to us in the briefing. It does bring forward the Enduring Power of Attorney Act and that was one of the concerns that were raised. So far we havenít got an answer to that, but if there is, we on this side of the House would like some information brought forward to us.

By reading through the act and some of the background material that has been given to us, we didnít see it but it was a concern that was raised with us, so we have to ask the question.

I would like to ask another question: if there was a conflict with the Mental Health Act, which act would supersede?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The Mental Health Act takes precedence.

Mr. Fairclough:   I would like to thank the minister for that straightforward answer, because there are, I guess, sections in a number of the different acts that supposedly are taken care of under this act that we are debating now. One of them is the Mental Health Act.

The minister did say that each one of the acts that are in power now ó itís basically bringing out the Enduring Power of Attorney Act and the fact that the minister said that they are complementing each other. The question I had in regard to which act supersedes ó is that the case with the other acts that are in the department? Is it that this act is complementing the other acts and they normally supersede, versus the act that we are talking about right now?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Would the member opposite be specific as to what act heís referring to?

Mr. Fairclough:   Iíve talked about the Mental Health Act or the Enduring Power of Attorney Act.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Let me share with the member opposite. It doesnít apply to the Human Tissue Gift Act. It doesnít apply to the Mental Health Act, and it doesnít apply to the Public Health and Safety Act or regulations made under each one of those pieces of legislation.

Mr. Fairclough:   I asked a question about which one would supersede, and the minister did say the Mental Health Act does supersede, and in this recent information he gave me, heís saying it does not? Thatís a change from a couple of minutes ago.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This new piece of legislation, this Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act, does not apply to the Mental Health Act; it does not apply to the Human Tissue Gift Act; it does not apply to the Public Health and Safety Act, or regulations made under any of those pieces of legislation.

Mr. Fairclough:   Itís hard to wrap your head around all that are coming forward, but the Mental Health Act has provisions in there to substitute decision making, but it only deals with people with mental health disorders. I would think this act would apply in that case, because it talks about personal care and health care decisions.

Does the minister have any more to add to that?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Perhaps I could help the member out by pointing out that the amendments to the Mental Health Act remove any conflict and remove any overlap of jurisdiction. So, one, Mental Health Act is paramount. The Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act is number two, but there is no overlap between them. They dovetail. They complement each other.

Mr. Fairclough:   Would that also be the case with the Enduring Power of Attorney Act?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins: The Enduring Power of Attorney Act was passed in 1999, Mr. Chair, and there is a small amendment in there, but it is a stand-alone piece of legislation.

Mr. Fairclough:   The minister did say that with the Mental Health Act weíre taking out the overlap and the conflict, and Iím asking if that is the same case with the Enduring Power of Attorney Act. Is that the same case?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Yes, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Fairclough:   I thank the minister for that, Mr. Chair.

In regard to regulations and so on, we expect that the government, in their commitment to consultation, would be involving all affected parties ó FASSY, for example, or any of the NGOs or First Nations. Is this the case when regulations are developed, that First Nations, all the NGOs and affected parties will be consulted before regulations are made?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The short answer is yes.

Mr. Fairclough:   Weíre hoping so. We havenít seen that yet from the Yukon Party government. When it comes to the Taxpayer Protection Act and the fact that the general public is directly affected by that, there was no consultation, so I had to ask that simple question.

When it comes to a list of substitute decision-makers, is it a hierarchy? Who is asked first? Is it relatives? I would think sometimes they are not always acceptable, so maybe the minister can just lay out the hierarchy, if there is one. Who gets to be asked first?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I will outline for the member opposite the order, and they start with the care recipientís proxy if the directive confers authority to "not give or refuse consent to the careÖ" It goes on. The care recipientís spouse is first priority, a child of the care recipient, a parent of the care recipient, a grandparent of the care recipient, a brother or sister of the care recipient, any other relative of the care recipient, and last, a close friend of the care recipient who gives the care provider a signed statement setting out the proscribed information respecting their relationship with the care recipient.

Mr. Fairclough:   I will read the Blues to get that whole list. I have to thank members of the department who gave us the briefing. Even though there is a lot of information in this, I know that the previous administration had worked on this to bring it forward.

We understand the main drive behind bringing forward this piece of legislation and we will be supporting this bill, Bill No. 39. We feel that a lot of the direction that weíve given in the past is also reflected in this bill. Our challenge is to take back the things that have passed through this House and ensure that the public and the people out there who have asked us about making changes do have proper information brought forward.

My colleague from Mount Lorne has some questions and Iím sure that the Liberal Party also has questions in this regard.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Just before closing the debate with the Member for Mayo-Tatchun and the issue surrounding who did what ó we acknowledge that there has been a tremendous amount of background and legwork done by previous administrations, but the fact still remains that the drafting of this bill and the decision to go ahead with it took place under our governmentís watch. This was finally drafted and brought forward as a bill under the Yukon Party watch.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, the current Minister of Health is stubbornly insisting upon taking the credit for this legislation, and I would ask that one recognize the irrefutable evidence that the credit for this legislation belongs with the former Member for Riverdale South, Sue Edelman. She lobbied on this issue extensively as a member in opposition and as a minister of the government, and the now sealed Cabinet documents in her term as Health minister would provide such evidence. But the fact is that this issue, this bill, is about people, and I would suggest that we set aside the partisan, political rhetoric and recognize credit where credit is due and offer our thanks.

I certainly appreciate the efforts of my former colleague on this particular issue, and I appreciate the fact that the government has proceeded on this legislative agenda. Itís a very important agenda for the people of the Yukon.

The portion of the bill weíre discussing right now, the backgrounder that I have and the bill itself, Schedule A, is the adult protection and decision-making portion. As I understand it, in your advice to us as to how we were debating, this is the section weíre on. In general debate, I would just like to touch on a few points with the minister.

Chair:   Order please. I would like to let the Assembly know that weíre under general debate on the whole bill, not specifically on Schedule A yet. Weíll come to that.

Ms. Duncan:   Okay. I misunderstood your directions, Mr. Chair.

The Enduring Power of Attorney Act has been mentioned. There are or have been issues with that act in the past, and I understand that changes were made. I would like the minister to indicate if he has had any current discussions with the family law bar specifically on the Enduring Power of Attorney Act? Are there any existing difficulties presently with the Enduring Power of Attorney Act? There is reference made to it in this legislation, and it does correlate. So have there been any current difficulties brought to the attention of the minister?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   There were discussions with the society, and they seemed to be very pleased with what direction we were taking.

Ms. Duncan:   Iím going to take that reference to "society" to be the Yukon Law Society?

The supported decision-making arrangements that are outlined in the bill, like the Enduring Power of Attorney Act, make reference to one individual and in the Enduring Power of Attorney Act an individual is named and then a backup can be named. The difference with the enduring power of attorney is if the individual becomes incapable. With this supportive decision making, the person could still be capable but they would like the supported decision. But again, weíve named one individual and the potential for a backup.

I would like the issue addressed by the government as to what happens in an instance where there is more than one individual available? For example, suppose an elderly adult wishes to have not simply one child or a spouse assist in decision making but the family members collectively. How is that dealt with in the legislation? My read of it and my reference is that, like the enduring power of attorney, the individual who requests the assisted decision making may name one individual only rather than, say, the family make the decision. How is that reconciled in the act?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The content of supported decision-making agreements has the name of at least one associate decision-maker. There isnít anything to preclude having more than one, and thatís usually set out in any type of arrangement, but there isnít anything to preclude having more than one.

Ms. Duncan:   That was my question, Mr. Chair, whether or not it precluded more than one. It does not. Thank you, I appreciate that answer.

To be clear then, for example, if an individual who is affected by FASD requested that two custodial parents, as opposed to a single custodial parent, were to make the decision and be part of an assisted decision-making arrangement, that could be the case, then?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   While there are provisions for one or more, if the agreement spells out that two people will share it, the agreement has to spell out how they will reach an agreement on a decision ó unanimously or one takes precedent over the other ó but there has to be a priority and, at the end of the period of time, a decision has to be made. So, whether itís one person or two people, or one having priority over the other, the agreement shall indicate if they are to act jointly or successively and, where it does not so indicate, the person shall be deemed to be designated to act successively in the order named in the agreement.

So how theyíre named in the agreement spells out how theyíre to act.

Ms. Duncan:   I appreciate the clarity on that.

The other point with respect to the agreements in the act, and some of the matters ó legal papers and so on. One of the suggestions originally, I understand from the discussions ó one of the witnesses had to be a social worker, but my understanding is that the legislation has changed so that it may be a social worker but it may be another member of the community, that the consultation has made the suggestion that it be broader ranging. I just want to verify that, in fact, the act is broader ranging, that the witness does not have to be a social worker but may be another member of the community. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The issue of a designated witness will be spelled out in regulations. It will probably be as far ó it will encompass a group of professionals that can utilize that. A social worker is usually the one who is there at the onset assisting with a lot of this. They would be listed as a designated witness, probably among others.

Ms. Duncan:   In our smaller Yukon communities, the "among others" is critically important and it has to be recognized.

I would like to go into the discussion about regulations in a moment, but first of all I would like to deal with the issue around social workers. The Minister of Health has indicated that a .5 social worker ó a half-time position ó will be dedicated to, for lack of a better word, implementing this legislation ó so assisting the other social workers throughout the Yukon in making sure that this legislation is put in place.

My concern is that there is and there has been a great deal of difficulty over the past several years in the social workers being understaffed in the territory in a number of areas. I am concerned that the .5 is not enough. How is the minister reassured that .5 is indeed enough? Can he make the case that it is going to be enough?

My understanding is that there is expected to be quite a volume of increase when legislation is first put in place. So, how does he feel that .5 is enough? Is there provision, if itís not enough, to expand that position?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   What is envisioned is a new half-time social worker. This position would work in the adult services branch. This position would work with regional social workers, adult service case managers, community agencies and First Nations to implement the adult protection provisions of the legislation.

It is envisioned in the service delivery model to be through the existing SA workers, the social workers. But this social worker at the top would be more involved in training of all the social workers in this area. In addition to that, we will have one-time costs of $71,500 for training, education, development of forms, brochures and manuals ó procedural manuals, operations manuals. It is not envisioned that this individual will go out and blanket the Yukon in 30 days. Weíll start in Whitehorse, and weíll slowly expand from there. But it is going to take time to develop the regulations after this legislation is assented to. That will require consultation, and at the same time, weíll go ahead and develop forms, and weíll have this part-time social worker hired, brought into the department and implement the training. So there is a natural progression of implementation, but itís not going to be like somebody turning the light switch on and voila, itís all done. This is something that is going to have to be worked on over a period of time, and it will take our very dedicated staff to effectively oversee and implement it.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, the minister has not answered the question. I appreciate that there is going to be $71,500 spent on manuals and forms and regulations and so on and that there would be a .5 position overseeing this and that itís not all going to happen all at once. The fact is that there is a very large ageing population in the territory, and the incidence of FASD is ó weíre still waiting to know the extent of the issue in the Yukon.

The difficulty I have is that my sense is that .5 is not enough to begin with. This is a long-overdue, new initiative. Why not provide it the full-time dedicated resources required and then, as individuals become trained and more familiar with the work, then allow the position to be three-quarter or half-time?

It would seem to be thereís a great deal of work to be done to start off with only half-time resources. So my question for the minister was, why start off with half-time? Why not provide this position with the full-time resources that are required?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   In addition to the half-time social workerís position, who will work in the adult services branch, there are also one and a half new positions for a two-year term for the office of the public guardian and trustee. Weíre talking two FTEs when we add them together ó we have two people overall, but the one whoís going to take the effort in doing the training and getting out to the communities to implement this would be the social worker working in the adult services branch.

Yes, there will be an initial bubble, and yes, itíll settle down over time, but thatís where weíre heading, Mr. Chair. We could probably make the case that we only need .25 instead of .5 FTEs. Itís a subjective call, but if weíre going to err, we err on the high side and thus the need for sound fiscal management.

I would hope that the member oppositeís sense in this area doesnít rival her political sense. This is an issue dealing with people, and we recognize thereís going to be an initial intake and then itíll level out. Thatís where weíre at.

Ms. Duncan:   Providing only a .5 social worker to implement this legislation is not erring on the high side. It is, as usual with this particular minister and with this particular department, unfortunately, not providing people ó the resources ó that they need.

The minister brought up the issue of the public guardian and the trustee. Currently there is a very well-respected individual who does a great deal of work on behalf of the entire Yukon community in the role of the public administrator. That role is envisioned to change, to be the public guardian and trustee. Now, it is anticipated that this "bubble" referred to by the minister ó this large amount of work, for lack of a better word ó is going to be in this office initially. There is going to be a tremendous amount of work anticipated here. We were advised in the briefing that there is only a term position allocated to this particular role.

Because I donít anticipate the member opposite ever agreeing with me, I would strongly recommend that that matter and the amount of staffing be revisited once the act has been proclaimed and regulations are in place. Because it certainly will require more resources, and that is recognized in part by the government, but not fully by the government. The experience of other jurisdictions in respect of this legislation bears that out.

The other question I would like the member opposite to try to respond to is: is there an anticipated date for proclamation of the act and what is the anticipated timeline for regulation development?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   It will probably take over a year to develop the regulations flowing from this legislation, and until weíre satisfied with those regulations, the consultation program that precedes the development of those regulations, it wonít be proclaimed. But probably the earliest date, the earliest opportunity, will be a year from this going through this House.

Ms. Duncan:   So in other words, in December, perhaps 2004, the act might be proclaimed ó that is the best guess of the member opposite?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Just speculating, Mr. Chair, it probably would be brought into place to coincide with a new fiscal period so that we would know what our cost implications are.

And Iím pleased to note that the member opposite recognized, Mr. Chair, that the public administratorís office will be taking over. And recently that office has assumed a tremendous burden in that, with the settlement of land claims with a number of First Nations here in the Yukon, the public administratorís office has taken on an additional load of probating the estates of all the First Nation members that pass away intestate. Previously they were all administrated by the federal Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. So there has been a load that has been picked up there by the public administratorís office, and the member opposite suggested that I do not agree with her, Mr. Chair, but that is incorrect. I would agree with the leader of the third party that the public administratorís office is doing an excellent job. That said, itís going to encompass an added role. The full-time employees are being increased in that area, and theyíre being increased on a term basis because we donít know how big the bubble is going to be initially and how things will flow after that bubble has been dealt with.

Ms. Duncan:   I appreciate that the member opposite is playing lip service to the importance and role of this particular office. I would encourage all members of Management Board ó

Some Hon. Member:   Point of order, Mr. Chair.

Point of order

Chair:   Mr. Jenkins, on a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Pursuant to Standing Order 19(g), the member is imputing false and unavowed motives to me. Itís just silly what the member opposite is suggesting.

Chairís ruling

Chair:   There is no point of order.

Ms. Duncan:   The member opposite and all his current colleagues in Management Board have to recognize that there are substantial costs in terms of individual time and expertise required when we are implementing changes such as those proposed before us.

We cannot ask individuals to take on added responsibilities without also providing a commitment and certainty of resources to do the tasks. All I am asking is that the current government recognize and remember that there may be additional resources required ó the bubble referred to by the member opposite ó may be larger than anticipated. I encourage members to recognize that and to be prepared to deal with it and to adequately and appropriately fund and resource the individuals we ask to perform these public services.

There is a great deal of concern with respect to the development of regulations under this particular act. The concern arises because there is no legislated requirement that these regulations go out to public consultation.

In other pieces of Yukon legislation there is requirement that an act doesnít come into place until the regulations have gone out for public consultation and been agreed to. In this case, there is no requirement in this legislation that the regulations will go out for public consultation and review just as the act has done.

The act has been extensively reviewed by members of the public. There is no requirement that the regulations under this act, which will have substantial authority, will also be publicly reviewed.

Now the minister has suggested they will be. I would ask again that he reiterate that public commitment, and that he outline if that provision to include the public consultation was not included in the act for a reason. Was it simply not contemplated, or was it not recommended by the draftspeople, and would they consider it as an amendment?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Iím familiar with quite a bit of legislation, but Iíve never known it to be spelled out in legislation that consultation will take place before regulations are developed. A government would certainly be remiss to proceed in that manner. As the member opposite very carefully pointed out in her preamble, Mr. Chair, it will take money to administer this kind of legislation, and our government, through sound fiscal management, has a handle on the finances here in the Yukon. Now weíre able to put that money to work for Yukoners, and this is an area where weíll be doing so, Mr. Chair.

As to tying the regulations back by way of legislation, the regulations flow from the legislation, the legislation is enabling in that area, and they will be approved by Cabinet and Management Board if there are cost implications.

Iím not aware of any piece of legislation that spells out specifically that regulations will only be done after consultation. If the member opposite could help me out there, Iíd certainly appreciate it.

Ms. Duncan:   I would encourage the member opposite to listen carefully to what I said. What I am making reference to is that there are acts in the Yukon Territory ó legislation. The legislation came into force after subsequent development of the regulations. An example of this is the Environment Act. The Environment Act was not proclaimed until ó I think it was ó the litter regulations were done first. The litter regulations went out to public consultation.

What I am referring to in this instance ó the minister has said that the act is unlikely to be proclaimed until the regulations have been developed. Fine. The problem I have is that there is no requirement for public consultation of those regulations. There is nothing to prevent a Cabinet from examining regulations proposed by the department and saying "fine", and passing them. There is no legal requirement. There is a moral requirement but there is no legal requirement in the act that the regulations would go out to public consultation.

Morally ó I know that the public servants would likely do that. They are hardworking professionals and they have developed relationships with the individuals who have commented on this bill and helped in its development, so they will be watching it very closely.

I am simply asking the question. The government didnít choose to proceed this way. Will the minister give a public moral commitment on the floor that the regulations will be sent for public consultation prior to their passage by Cabinet, as long as he is a member of that Cabinet? Can he provide us with that public commitment?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Chair, Iím at a loss as to how to respond. But Iíd like to point out for the member opposite that this is a Yukon Party government. Itís not a Liberal Party government. We only proceed as a government after careful consultation with all affected parties and move forward.

The Taxpayer Protection Act ó the member brings this up and quips about it, but the bottom line is we ran an election campaign platform of sound fiscal management for the Yukon, to restore investor confidence and to develop the economy. And we ran on the platform of identifying and dealing with the social agenda at the same time. But in order to deal with the social agenda, you have to have money flowing in to pay out.

We are doing that. Weíve identified how we are going to deal with the sound fiscal management. And the member opposite obviously has a problem with it, but thatís going to be a debate left for another day. But with respect to this legislation and the regulations that will flow from it, I can assure the member opposite that careful consultation will take place across the Yukon. And there is also a very good understanding of what regulations will be necessary at this time because, in the dialogue that has already taken place, a lot of the regulations that will have to be developed are understood and theyíre known. And the officials have not been working in isolation.

As a minister, Iím very cognizant of public consultation.

Now, Iím sure that doesnít satisfy the member opposite, but just refocus. This is a Yukon Party government, not a Liberal Party government. We do things in a clear concise manner for the enhancement of all Yukoners. We stand for sound fiscal management that will provide the necessary funding to implement the social programs.

Ms. Duncan:   I heard the minister, and I want to review the Blues, but my understanding is that the minister has said there will be "careful consultation" ó not "public" ó and he also said there would be Yukon Party consultation, which leads me to a great deal of concern given the lack of consultation weíve seen and the careful Yukon Party consultation weíve seen to date with, for example, the Taxpayer Protection Act.

I would hope there will be public consultation on these regulations. The minister could perhaps provide a time frame for the regulation development. He has said perhaps over the next year in terms of proclamation. Does the same apply to the regulations?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Iím sure the member opposite must be aware that the regulations are needed before you can move forward with the legislation and implement it. The regulations flow from it, so itís kind of like a hand and glove. Thatís the way it has been for most of the legislation here in the Yukon, save and except perhaps that which was developed under the previous administration, to which I canít speak. Iím hearing a different way of conducting government business, and I canít quite agree with it.

The regulations that flow from this legislation will be developed by our government in consultation with all the stakeholders in this area and all those who have a vested interest. Thatís where weíre at. So when that is satisfactorily completed, we will move forward on the whole legislation/regulation package, Mr. Chair.

Ms. Duncan:   Itís a pretty simple question: when does the minister anticipate that being satisfactorily completed?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I am advised that it will probably take at least a year from this date forward but, if there are any additional costs that we havenít identified that may come light, itís probably best that we implement it so that we can pick up these additional costs that I have identified here in the next fiscal cycle.

So it wouldnít be the fiscal cycle that comes up this next year. It would probably be April 1, 2005. That would be a likely target for implementation if all the regulations are done, and done in a satisfactorily manner, after consultation with all the stakeholders.

Ms. Duncan:   Could the minister clarify for the record: did he just indicate that the additional resources will not be provided to the departments affected, such as Health and Social Services and the public guardian and trustee, until such time as the regulations are in place and the act has been proclaimed, beginning in fiscal year, say, 2005? Or will the resources be put in place in fiscal year 2004? Assuming the act will be passed and regulations will be developed in due course and then the act will be proclaimed, when does the minister anticipate the additional resources to be in the budget for Health and Social Services and, I believe itís still Justice? When will the additional resources be in place? Beginning in April 2004, next budget year in the O&M or will it be in 2005?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Assuming this legislation passes ó I was very pleased to see that tremendous leap of faith on the leader of the third partyís part, but the money for this implementation will be budgeted for in the next fiscal cycle commencing April 1, 2004.

Ms. Duncan:   The last series of questions in terms of general debate that I would have at this time would focus on the issue around the board that is to be established under this particular act ó and I donít have the name immediately in front of me ó thereís some concern about the makeup of that particular board. Thereís a heavy preponderance of the members of the legal profession. We donít have any currently in the Legislature, and I certainly mean no offence, but I believe itís called the capability and consent board; the chair must be a lawyer; there must be members of the Law Society on that board. Could I just ask the minister to outline the reasoning behind this for the public record? There are those who believe that it should be a layperson with a good understanding of the act, so I would just like an explanation for the public record as to why it must be a member of the legal profession.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This area we basically picked up from the Mental Health Board, which has as its chair a member of the legal profession. Itís a quasi-judicial board. You need someone who has a clear, defined understanding of the law, probably perhaps better than either the member opposite or I have, and thatís the reason it was decided to go in that direction.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, officials mentioned this quasi-judicial nature of the board as a reason during the briefing. We have other lay people who chair other quasi-judicial boards of tremendous importance to Yukoners, such as the Water Board. I canít recall off the top of my head a recent chair who has also been a lawyer. They have all been engineers or individuals. Just because itís a quasi-judicial board doesnít mean it has to be a lawyer. Weíre insisting upon it in this legislation, and I would just like more of an explanation as to why it has to be a lawyer. For the Mental Health Act, the Mental Health Board, we currently have one, but why does it have to be in this legislation?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Consultation took place by the officials from other jurisdictions, and it was a strong recommendation arising out of many other jurisdictions for the person who chaired this board to be a lawyer.

Ms. Duncan:   And just for the record, my understanding is that the other jurisdictions we consulted with heavily were Prince Edward Island, B.C., Alberta and Ontario, and that British Columbia in particular assisted with the drafting of the act. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Iím advised that they were the main jurisdictions that we consulted with.

Mr. Cardiff:   Weíve heard the minister today say that theyíll consult on regulations and that the timeline is approximately a year. I have a question around that for the minister, through a constituent. Iím wondering if the minister will consider adult care regulations under this act, which will allow for foster home payments to caretakers of adults?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I am at a loss to understand where the member opposite is headed with this, because currently the government already provides for funding for these types of individuals in homes, save and except when it is a parent or a member of the same family looking after a spouse or a sibling.

Mr. Cardiff:   Well, thatís exactly what I was asking. That is what I am asking.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This legislation doesnít address this area at all.

Mr. Cardiff:   Itís my understanding that the act provides rules for obtaining consent or substitute consent to any person to give care. It applies not only to health care but to the admission of a person to live in a care facility. Does that mean that it is just a government care facility? Where is the facility then?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The government has a number of homes that we access, depending on the level of care that is needed. Some are in other jurisdictions, in Alberta; some are here in the Yukon. The government can designate a home as a care facility. That is what currently has happened and does take place after the officials in the department have carefully scrutinized the proponents and the facility itself.

Mr. Cardiff:   So, this is about facilities. What if it isnít a government facility or a facility Outside? What if itís a family home? If the person who is in need of care needs to live in a care facility, what if itís another home ó if itís a foster home or a family home?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   People, by and large, have a choice to live wherever they want, Mr. Chair. This legislation deals with the consent part of it. I donít know where the member is headed with this line of questioning.

Mr. Cardiff:   Maybe Iím wrong, but I have a constituent who has a concern about someone they have to care for, or that they have decided to care for, who, I believe, would fall under this act. Theyíre not capable of making decisions for themselves, and somebody has to provide care and assistance for that person. If itís not in a government facility or in an outside facility, itís in their home, but thereís no financial support for that.

I can ask a different question if the minister canít answer that. Will he ó or if he can, Iíd be more than willing to ó

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   If the member opposite is referring to someone looking after an individual who is eligible to receive social assistance, for example, that social assistance payment from the department would flow to the individual in care and, in all likelihood, would probably be administered currently by the care provider. There are issues currently surrounding that issue as to the legal authority of the caregiver to control that social assistance payment.

Thatís one of the areas that has given rise to the need for this type of legislation. There are various areas where the department is currently assisting: if the care provider required respite for a weekend or a week, the department can and does make arrangements on a continuing basis for respite.

Weíve gone the extra mile on a lot of these cases. Could the member opposite be more specific as to ó thereís something there that Iím not getting or the member opposite is not explaining it correctly, Iím not sure which.

Mr. Cardiff:   You answered a question that I havenít asked yet and that gives me hope. Iíll ask the minister this question: has the minister been approached by caregivers or caretakers of adults to respond to their financial concerns?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   On a continuing basis, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Cardiff:   I guess the issue is what would happen to a person who fell under this act, who needed to be cared for if they had no family. Where would they go, and who would be responsible for paying the bill?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Thatís where the public guardianship trustee would become the administrator and make the decision.

Mr. Cardiff:   And who would bear the cost, then, of that care in a facility or a home?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Well, there are a number of factors that enter into the equation. It would depend on the financial situation of the individual who required care; it would depend on what level of care was required; it would depend on the home that is accredited, where this individual would be determined to go into, so there are all sorts of factors and variables that enter into the equation.

Mr. Cardiff:   But we still donít know who pays the bill. There are lots of factors. I mean, the reality is that if you look at the population and the way that people are ageing now ó all the baby-boomers are getting older, and there are a lot of senior citizens who are going to be going into facilities and are going to fall under this piece of legislation. So theyíre either going to be going into government-run facilities like we have up in Copper Ridge, or family or some trustee is going to be assisting them in making decisions when theyíre incapable of making those decisions. Who is going to pay for their care? Probably the government, or theyíll pay for it out of whatever is in their savings account, I guess.

But I guess what it comes to is: is there a cost saving? For instance, if the government were to look after a person in the Copper Ridge facility or a home that the government has to care for these people, the cost would probably be quite a lot and could be in the neighbourhood of between $70,000 and $100,000 a year to look after a person. But my understanding is that if, as a family member, I were to bring that person into my home, there are very little resources. We would be saving the government a lot of money by not having them in that facility, but what I am asking is: what is there in the way of support for a family member who wants to care for a person who canít make decisions for themselves and who canít provide care for themselves and who needs to be looked after on a 24/7 basis?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Letís back up a little bit. The information that the member is coming forward with doesnít accurately reflect what the department currently charges.

If someone is a resident of Macaulay, McDonald or Copper Ridge, there is a daily charge. Itís a daily charge for basically room and board. If that individual has a source of income, that comes out of that source of income. That said, we have some of the best facilities in Canada and we are providing the facilities at some of the lowest, if not the lowest, cost in Canada.

If you have an individual who has a disability of some sort and does not have an income and they qualify for social assistance, that social assistance is usually looked after by the caregiver ó usually, not in all cases. Thatís one source of income.

If the family is the caregiver or care provider to an individual and thereís a need for respite, the government will provide that kind of assistance. So there are a number of programs we currently have in place that function very well and look after the needs of Yukoners who are so afflicted.

Thereís also a series of other programs. I donít have them on the tip of my tongue, Mr. Chair, but they aid individuals and their support unit, support family or caregiver in a number of ways. The current financial obligation on the government is, in some places, quite a large order of magnitude. $40,000, $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 a year is not out of line.

So thereís a lot of care thatís provided through various government departments and programs and, in addition to that, there are some of the NGOs. Some of the NGOs are funded by Yukon and they provide additional support and help. I refer to FASSY, for which our government has put $210,000 over the next three years into programming and service delivery. This is another initiative in this area.

Yes, we were fortunate to do so. That came through the agreement that was reached between the Premier of the Yukon and the ex-Prime Minister of Canada. It was the northern premiers who negotiated a $20-million pot of money to address health care needs. It flows to us over three years. Thereís $20 million for the Yukon, $20 million for N.W.T., and $20 million for Nunavut.

With that additional money we were able to meet the volume and price increases that weíre experiencing in a number of areas, as well as to take $1 million and earmark it for FASD. To that end, a lot of money is going into the Child Development Centre, a lot of money is going into FASSY.

We have a platform commitment and our government is going to meet that commitment to do what we can to identify FASD and to deal with it. This is just one of the steps that are required, one of many that are required, but weíre moving forward. Weíre not sitting on our hands.

The first thing you have to do before you can spend money is identify where the money is going to come from and how you are going to target it at achieving the results you want to achieve. Our government is very proud that we are moving forward in those areas.

Mr. Cardiff:   That was a fairly long speech that patted the minister and the Premier on the back.

The minister talks about priorities and establishing those priorities and focusing and finding out where the money is going to come from to pay for things.

What I would like to ask him to do, I guess, is that when he is considering and consulting on these regulations, he look at making some of those financial resources available to support families that care or wish to care for ó be able to provide a good environment for looking after some of these special needs adults or their parents and provide a family environment as opposed to an institutional environment.

So I donít expect to necessarily get an answer to that, but thatís what Iíd like him to consider when they go out for consultation on the regulations.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Chair, as a government and the Department of Health and Social Services, we have moved forward on a number of other initiatives ó Iíll share with the member opposite the autistic families. We moved financial resources into that area to address the needs from a number of families with children who are autistic, and that wasnít done before to the level that it is currently being done. We went from, I believe, around $40,000 to $180,000 under our watch. This is a good initiative, and these initiatives can only be put in place when you can identify the resources, and the resources are not just the qualified people but the money to fund the resources.

So letís not kid each other. The first step that you have to take as a government is to get the economy rolling, get the money flowing into the government in one form or other, because there is no shortage of ways to spend it. There is no shortage of ways to spend money when youíre in government. Thatís evidenced by a number of initiatives from the previous administrations.

Mr. Chair, if you can target that money to serve those with a disability or an affliction or a difficult time, weíre all better off. Thatís what this legislation does, and I see no reason to get into a prolonged debate on certain little areas with the member opposite. If the member has a concern with a constituency issue and an individual who doesnít feel like he or she is being treated properly by the department, come and see me.

Iím sure that my casework is such that this situation has come to my attention somewhere along the line. Although I canít share confidential medical information with the member opposite, I can certainly tell the member what the policies are in this area.

It will probably save a lot of debate here in this Legislature when the member opposite isnít able to focus right in on a specific area.

So, there is an offer. Itís a sincere offer and I will leave it with the member opposite.

Chair:   Mrs. Peter, prior to you beginning, the Chair notes that itís almost 4:00.

Do members wish a recess?

Some Hon. Members:   Agreed.

Chair:   We will sit in recess for 15 minutes.

Recess

Chair:   Order please. Committee of the Whole will continue. The matter before the Committee continues to be Bill No. 39, Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act.

Mrs. Peter:   I would just like to clarify a few issues for myself regarding the bill that is before us with the minister responsible.

I heard the minister earlier saying that there is going to be a part-time social worker assigned to this responsibility. I am coming from the perspective of the rural communities and, more especially, from the community of Old Crow where the social worker responsible for the community resides in Dawson City.

So, just for the record, with the kind of chain of command, so to speak, the social worker in Dawson City would be trained in these many areas and then the regional social worker in Dawson would be covering these responsibilities in Old Crow.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Chair, that overview is absolutely correct, as far as the member opposite went. There have been some discussions between the department and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation with respect to seconding some responsibility on a contractual basis to the First Nation, but to date nothing has come into place yet.

Mrs. Peter:   In regard to the discussions that the minister has had with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, did the issue around the program that is in place now called adult care ó is that program going to be used to cover some of these responsibilities, or is there going to be a separate contract with the Yukon territorial government?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   There are separate and distinct issues and programs.

Mrs. Peter:   I have some concerns about how these issues are going to be addressed in the smaller communities, especially with regard to caretaking. A few of the communities throughout the Yukon have facilities. I think the only place that I could be corrected in this is that the closest facility to the community of Old Crow is in Dawson, where they provide any kind of care in regard to respite for adult care. I know we have used that facility in the past and will probably continue to use it in the future.

Would that facility be the kind of facility that the minister sees us using to take care of some of these issues that are before us?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   What we have before us is the legislation that enables us as a government, through the various parts that are set in place, the authority to provide for care. But, while weíre dealing with the legal authority for the care, weíre not dealing with the actual care program. Thatís another issue altogether, Mr. Chair. So this here is the framework under which we can deal with somebody who requires care. Thatís all.

As to the program into which the individual would be entered once they come into care, thatís another issue completely. Itís entirely separate and distinct from this legislation.

Mrs. Peter:   Mr. Chair, I apologize because Iím not making myself very clear to the minister. Iíll address a few of the issues first, and then Iíll come back to that. In the case where there has to be an application to the Yukon Supreme Court for a guardianship order, how would a person, say, from Old Crow, make such an application and follow through with the whole process, and how long would that take?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   A lot of the assistance would be provided by the public administratorís office, who takes on the responsibility for this area. A lot of it would be done over the phone. If there is a requirement for legal advice and there is not access to an individual ó to a member of the Law Society ó for that purpose, Legal Aid would be brought into play, Mr. Chair.

Mrs. Peter:   Mr. Chair, with all due respect, I just want to make the minister aware of certain issues that will come up for an individual requiring these services. Our community is very much isolated, and our access to such programs is limited in ways. If an individual from the community is seeking legal counsel, that counsel has to be done through the telephone.

If we need services under the Yukon territorial government social services program, we have to call Dawson City to reach the regional social worker.

The vision that I have in my mind right now, when I have trouble seeing how the process will work, is for an elder who has no family member available for their support. Or else, in a situation where you have a large family with many siblings and extended family, where there is conflict and there has been no written documentation from the person with whom they are dealing to say that one person is to be responsible for all their decision making.

In the community of Old Crow we are very lucky that we have always depended on extended family to be our caregivers. That responsibility is still there; however, in todayís society we like to depend a little more on programs if they are available to us and give family members some comfort that there is assistance available.

My question for the minister is, in those maybe two or three different scenarios that I just mentioned, how does the minister see those issues addressed?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The member opposite is very, very supportive of a system that her community has in place. Itís a wonderful example of a community and family units bonding together to meet the needs of the immediate family, extended family and community members.

We as a government have offered programs ó an extension of programs through the Department of Health and Social Services. That said, under this legislation, the public guardian and trustee would have the authority for the area that the member opposite describes. If there is assistance required that canít be obtained through legal channels and there is no money to pay for that, Legal Aid would step in and come to the plate.

The member opposite is also very fortunate in that the Vuntut Gwitchin have a final agreement. They are self-governing and these are powers that can be drawn down under their self-government agreement. They can be drawn down and implemented in the manner that the First Nation itself sees fit.

Mrs. Peter:   I thank the minister for that advice but it took 30 years or some to sign some of these agreements and, you know, for drawing down any sort of programs it takes awhile, and this is before us right now. The court circuit comes to our community once a month and we have access to Legal Aid in person once a month; otherwise, that process is done over the phone.

I donít believe itís fair to expect our people who are afflicted in the ways that are pointed out in this bill or their families to be dealing with this. Some of these situations are very sad, and it has an impact on the families. Then you have to call these 1-800 numbers, and it takes days sometimes for people to get back to you. And there are decisions that have to be made right now ó today. That, Mr. Chair, is very important to the people in the rural communities. Those services are much more accessible in Whitehorse.

Another issue that concerns me in this whole process and afflicts many people in the communities is the language barrier. When youíre talking about an elder in my community, you have to take that into consideration. If someone is going to take over legal guardianship or take over the position of power of attorney or be a substitute decision-maker, the person with whom youíre dealing at the time, if at all possible, needs to understand in detail what it is theyíre accepting.

I would like to hear, for the record, hear from the minister if this issue has been addressed or has been brought before the ministerís attention?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Well, with respect to language, if there is a language barrier, it is the duty of the guardian to get someone who can understand the language and provide for the translation. Thatís how far weíve gone, Mr. Chair, cognizant of the situation of which the member opposite has spoken.

On par, this piece of legislation is actually going to help a number of individuals in the memberís community.

Mrs. Peter:   In regard to addressing fetal alcohol syndrome in this bill, again, I could be mistaken, but when a person is assessed and diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome, is that when this bill confirms the services that they will need?

The fetal alcohol syndrome in the student within the school system has to be confirmed. Would the same hold true for an adult who may require services that are pointed out in this bill?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This legislation is strictly for those who have achieved the age of majority and beyond. That said, there is an assessment and a concurrence of jurisdiction ó if you want to look at it that way ó as to how and what is required, and what level of involvement is required to assist the individual who is afflicted with FASD.

Mrs. Peter:   I thank the minister for his answers. With respect to the court-appointed guardianship, the minister mentioned earlier that a consultation process was followed in this regard. When was the consultation done?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The groups included in the last round, starting April 25, 2002, were the Yukon Council on Ageing, the Yukon Medical Association, the Law Society of Yukon, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon, Second Opinion Society, Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Family Services Association, Yukon Association for Community Living, Yukon Council on Disability, and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

Mrs. Peter:   Can the minister clarify for me how he would see the court-appointed guardianship work for rural communities and whom the minister would see being involved in that?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The public guardian and trustees department is the contact point.

Mrs. Peter:  That contact point ó for a person in a community who has no other family members ó and this would be the worst-case scenario ó in a community where a person requires such an appointment, in a small community, community members are usually aware of who would need support in their community. I can only speak from the experience that I have in my own community but Iím almost certain that every community throughout the territory is similar where, if a person in the community has no family members who would be able to look out for their well-being, who would contact this office in Whitehorse to say this person has this need? Do you see the RCMP doing that? Do you see the First Nation government? Who does the minister see as being the person looking out for these individuals?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Chair, it could be the First Nation government itself, family, friends, RCMP, a social worker. It could be any one of a number of members in the community, but the contact is the public guardian and trustee, and they would subsequently deal with the concerns.

Mrs. Peter:   Just in closing, again, I would just like to clarify for the record who is responsible for the costs after the decision is made that a person is in need of a guardianship. Where does the social worker, if they come to that decision about an individual ó I know this bill deals with the consent of taking responsibility for making decisions for an individual. Where would one go in a community to take it a step further?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Well, Mr. Chair, I didnít quite understand where the member opposite was heading, but if we can deal with the monetary issue of who would pay for what, the public guardian and trustee would pay for their involvement. There would be no cost to the community for the services that are provided. Then, if there was a program or some initiative that the individual was taken into guardianship under, if there were any costs there incurred, the first avenue the department would pursue would have that individualís estate or financial well-being used to address the costs. It could be that the individual might have some form of social assistance, for example, and thatís where some of the money could be drawn from to pay for an involvement of this individual in a program.

So there are a number of avenues that are left open, but they are on the programming side. What this legislation deals with is who looks after gaining the guardianship order and who deals in the department with the individuals. As I stated earlier, itís the public guardian and trustee. That department has the responsibility for this specific area.

I trust that answers the memberís question. If the member would like further clarification, if the question could be rephrased somewhat, I would appreciate it because I didnít quite get the gist, Mr. Chair.

Mrs. Peter:   That did answer my question.

Mr. Fairclough:   I have a couple questions for the minister in regard to this bill.

One is that I know of organizations that take government legislation and simplify it for easier understanding. Has government done this or are there any plans for them to do it? Is there any interest on behalf of the minister to have this done?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Well, the member opposite raises a very good issue and itís one that I constantly harp on: do we actually need all of this legislation for these specific purposes?

Basically this is three pieces of legislation. Most of the work comes in the regulations, and the bulk of this is all the consequential amendments to the various other pieces of legislation.

So, while on the surface itís looks like a monstrous piece of legislation or a monstrous bill, when you start weaving through and focus on the three specific components and how they dovetail together, you can come to the same conclusion that I ultimately did, that there may be some ways to simplify it but it does capture the essence of what we are looking at.

This bill was developed after extensive consultation with a number of other Canadian jurisdictions as to what they have in place and what worked and what didnít work.

Flowing from this legislation will be a series of booklets that spell out the specific areas, and there will be handbooks. Hopefully, they will be developed very quickly, paralleling the regulations that will allow people to grasp an understanding of this legislation a lot faster.

But I agree with the member opposite that it is somewhat of a task to get oneís head around what we have before us.

Mr. Fairclough:   It appears that the minister is warming up for his leadership speech.

Some Hon. Members:   (Inaudible)

Mr. Fairclough:   Sorry, I just had to say that.

I thank the minister for that. It was an issue that was raised with me, and I think people would be glad to see a lot more of this in government legislation. I asked a question about the Enduring Power of Attorney Act ó whether there is an overlap or a conflict. The minister said they did pull this conflict out.

Is the government thinking about eventually getting rid of the Enduring Power of Attorney Act, or are we still going to have it in a smaller form?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The Enduring Power of Attorney Act is for financial issues.

Mr. Fairclough:   Okay, I understand that. A lot of the proposals in this act that weíre debating now are directly related to the Enduring Power of Attorney Act. At one point, through consultation, there were discussions about scrapping the Enduring Power of Attorney Act, and thatís why I asked the question. Is it being looked at again? Is this what we can look forward to down the road ó this act disappearing?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I am advised that during the consultation process there was a suggestion that it was no longer needed, but thatís not the case. Itís needed for financial matters and thatís where this act will remain and continue to be used.

Chair:  Is there any further general debate?

On Clause 1

On Schedule A

Chair:   Is there any general debate? Hearing none, weíll move on to part 1 and general debate on Schedule A. For membersí convenience, this is on page 21. Once weíve concluded general debate on this act, weíll then proceed with line-by-line.

Is there any general debate?

Weíll proceed with line-by-line.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Clause 2

Ms. Duncan:   I would just like to recognize for the record and compliment the drafters and those who worked on it in including clause 2(e), the guiding principles, that the values, beliefs, wishes and cultural norms and traditions that an adult holds should be respected in managing the adultís affairs. This applies throughout our society, and I would just like to recognize the importance of including that particular section and I appreciate it being there.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Mr. Chair, this is just another example of this wonderful government that we have demonstrating our care for Yukon people.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 2?

Clause 2 agreed to

On Clause 3

Clause 3 agreed to

On Clause 4

Ms. Duncan:   Clause 4(b) ó this is the part that provides more than one individual with legal status, and I had asked about this in general debate. My concern is just procedural, in terms of more than one individual named in a supported decision-making arrangement. If there are four or five individuals who are accompanying someone to a doctor or dealing with the bank, for example, does every person have to be named in the decision-making document, or is it ó itís fairly fluid now with professionals. This gives the legal entity. Iím just wondering, does everybody have to be named if theyíre doing the banking on behalf of a person or if theyíre accompanying them on a medical visit ó do they all have to be named? Yes or no ó start with that. I see the minister nodding, so perhaps he could confirm that.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Thereís an agreement that, if more than one associate decision-maker is named, it will have to be spelled out in that agreement how each one will function and what the responsibilities of each one of the associates will be. If itís not spelled out, the associate named first is deemed to be the primary associate and have all the responsibilities.

Ms. Duncan:   Let me just give a practical example for the minister. Iím trying to just be clear on how it interacts with this legislation.

John or Jane Doe has a supported decision-making agreement that involves his or her spouse and two or three children, maybe a close friend. It could be any one of those people who accompanies that person to the doctor or who goes to the bank on behalf of that person, but it might not be. Suppose none of those four are available and John or Jane Doe asks so-and-so to take them to the doctor.

My concern is that what Iím hearing the minister say is, if itís someone who is part of and named in the supported decision-making agreement then, yes, they have a legal responsibility; theyíre there, and the point of first responsibility is the first person named. So none of these other people can be pulled in because theyíre available, for example. They are either part of this supported decision making, and yes they have a legal status in that doctorís office and with the bank, or no they donít.

So, if you want more than one individual to be responsible, name them in the agreement.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   People have their own informal network. But if it goes beyond something ó like, if you want to take a banking issue, where somebody wants to go to the bank and take out a certain sum of money, only the person who has the authority can do that. If itís to go to a medical appointment at the doctorís, thatís fine, there is not an issue with anyone taking the person to the doctorís. But when it comes to signing for an operation for X, Y, or Z, then only specific individuals can undertake that responsibility. So you have to be named in it.

But with informal arrangements for taking someone shopping, or on an outing, or to an appointment, there is not an issue. Everyone has their own network of support. That network is very valuable, and it enhances the life of the individual who is perhaps in the care of the guardian. There are a lot of informal arrangements. This formalizes the formal aspects of those arrangements.

Ms. Duncan:   If those informal arrangements exist, if youíre named in this agreement, then youíre given formal legal status. Then the doctor can say, "Yes, Iím prepared to share this patient information with you" or "Yes, you may sign the release form from one of our fine institutions, such as Macaulay Lodge." Yes, you can sign for it because you are part of this. Otherwise the informal arrangements really donít help the informal person if there is ever an issue. Youíre better off being named in the decision making than not. Itís helpful for both parties to have the status this section gives them, as opposed to the ó I agree that the informal arrangements are an important part of our life, but more and more, and for a variety of reasons, our life is being regulated.

For everyoneís protection and safeguarding, it would be better to have it formalized in a decision-making relationship. If youíre dealing with banking and medical issues, youíd be better off to be named.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The associate decision-makers can only go so far; they donít have full authority to make decisions on the part of the individual. There are restrictions on that area. They are supportive. They can be named and they can fill a role but it only goes so far.

Am I confusing the issue? Am I confused or is the member opposite confused? I would suggest the latter.

Ms. Duncan:   Neither. I just want to be clear, then, that the person who is requesting the supported decision making can say, "I give this primary caregiver" ó for lack of a better word, or this individual and these associates ó "decision making power. I have requested their assistance with my banking and with my medical."

The person can ask for that. Those are the broad parameters.

I see that the official is nodding and the minister is nodding as well. Thatís what I was asking.

If someone is going to the bank on your behalf, you are better off naming them as an associate decision-maker than just depending on these informal arrangements. It gives greater clarity for everybody under the law.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The member is right. If you name the people in there, they have a lot more power and authority than someone who is casual. Itís absolutely correct. Itís rather self-evident though.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 4?

Clause 4 agreed to

On Clause 5

Clause 5 agreed to

On Clause 6

Chair:   The Chair would appreciate some direction or guidance from the opposition as to whether they wish to see a clause carried or not.

Mr. Fairclough:   If weíre going to speak to it, we will stand up and speak to it.

Clause 6 agreed to

On Clause 7

Ms. Duncan:   I have a question of a conflict between clause 7 and clause 16. Clause 7 says, "Persons who may not act as an associate decision-makerÖ" and it lists (a) and (b), but clause 16, persons who may not act as a representative goes further. It says "a spouse, child, parent, employee or agent of any person to whom paragraph (a) (b) or (c) applies", so the way I read that, clauses 7 and 16 are inconsistent. I prefer clause 7, and I can wait to make this point in clause 16, but the two clauses are not consistent.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Clause 7, Mr. Chair, applies to an associate, and clause 16 applies to a representative. Theyíre separate and different. There is more potential for a conflict in one area than there is in the other, so itís spelled out.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, I disagree with the minister, with all due respect. People who cannot act as an associate decision-maker, people who are employer or employees of the adult or a person to whom a family violence order has been issued ó I agree with clause 7. I think that those are good safeguards. As the minister has pointed out, they make sense. We are being far more restrictive, perhaps to the detriment of the act, in clause 16. And I would like some clarity as to why theyíre different. I understand theyíre different because one is an associate decision-maker and one is a representative; I understand that. But clause 16 is far more restrictive than 7. Clause 16 goes so far as to say that a spouse of someone who has had a family violence order or a child of a person against whom a Family Violence Protection Act order has been issued cannot act in this way. Why are we being more restrictive with the representative than we are with the associate decision-maker?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   There are more opportunities for a representative to coerce the individual than there is for an associate, thus the requirements for more conditions to be placed around the representative than the associate.

Ms. Duncan:   I am not entirely accepting of the ministerís argument. I would suggest, however, that I would be prepared to clear clause 7 and I would advance those arguments in clause 16.

Chair:   Is there any further debate 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

Ms. Duncan:   This is the one I have issue with, as I just mentioned. As I read it ó and the minister can correct me if Iím wrong ó a child of an individual against whom an order has been made under the Family Violence Prevention Act couldnít act as a representative.

That doesnít necessarily mean that that person is still a child. You could interpret that ó certainly, a child couldnít act because theyíre not legally capable of doing so. But you could be an adult child of someone who has had an order. What youíre saying is: anybody who has had an order issued against them under the Family Violence Prevention Act ó youíve damned the family of that individual, so to speak.

I would like the minister to make his case again as to why this clause 16 has to be more restrictive than it was for an associate decision-maker.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Letís go back to the child issue. We are all somebodyís child, and the only people who can act are those over the age of 19. Why are there limitations on who can act as a representative? This is to protect the adult from undue influence and coercion. Thatís the whole basis for it. There is the potential for a lot more in this area, and itís specifically spelled out.

Iím given to understand that weíre relying on what has transpired in other jurisdictions and dovetailing it back here into our legislation.

Ms. Duncan:   I understand that weíve followed the other jurisdictions and that weíve dovetailed it with ours and put in safeguards. But an associate decision-maker can do the banking on behalf of an individual, as per clause 7, can they not, if that individual gives them permission? So here you can act as a representative.

As the minister himself pointed out, a 19-year-old who had a parent, who may not have even been involved in that personís life ó but if they ever had an order against them, they canít legally act as somebodyís representative, according to the way the act is written.

Why would we do that? At 19 or 20, surely your parentsí actions shouldnít be held against you if youíre trying to do something for someone else and act as a representative. It may not even be an order in this jurisdiction. Thatís not unheard of but legally, according to this act, that child couldnít act. I understand the reasons in part for it but I think, at some point, you have to recognize that the parentsí actions under the Family Violence Prevention Act may or may not have an impact on how that 19- or 20-year-old person would act on behalf of this individual. Why do we have to have subclause (d) in there when we have covered it off with (a), (b) and (c)?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   For the record, the associate that the member opposite spoke of cannot do the banking on behalf of the individual. They can assist with the banking. There is quite a difference. They canít do the banking on behalf of the individual. They can take the individual to the bank, they can assist them there, but they canít go to the bank on their own and bank for the individual. So there is a difference.

When we look at the issue of the representative and the restrictions placed around the representative, itís there for a very, very good purpose. Itís to protect the adult from undue influence and coercion.

Now, when we deal with a child, it specifically spells out that only an adult ó somebody over 19 ó may act as a representative. Thatís the age of consent. And if you look back at 16(c), that person to whom an order has been made under the Family Violence Prevention Act or part 4 of this act Ė (d) is very specific: "A spouse, child, parent, employee, or agent of any person to whom paragraph (a), (b) or (c) applies."

So there are quite a number of parameters placed around who can act as a representative and why some cannot. And the reason that some cannot is to protect that adult from undue influence and coercion.

Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, the minister makes his argument for protecting this adult and having someone not act as their representative who is their employer or is an employee of the individual, a person who is paid to look after them or provide accommodation or someone to whom an order has been issued against under the Family Violence Prevention Act. And it makes sense that it shouldnít also be that personís spouse. That makes sense.

I donít see that "child" should be included in there, necessarily, particularly "child" ó if itís a child under the age of majority, they couldnít act anyway. What if itís the adult child? Thereís nothing in here saying that these rules donít also apply to the adult child of any one of (a), (b) or (c). Thatís the problem Iím having with it. So ó well, it does apply. This has been extremely restrictive, and for protection purposes, yes, I understand that they should be there, but the child, as well, so youíre limiting the adult children who may live in an entirely different community or somewhere else from these people. I just would like to hear the minister make the argument.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The object of this whole piece of legislation is to protect the individual. You tend to err on the side of caution in all respects. Weíve gone the extra yard and identified all those individuals and categories of individuals who can act as a representative. The basic reason why it has not been expanded on or elaborated on is because, for that group, it is very easy for them to coerce or influence the decision of somebody in that care system. Itís another safeguard, and Iím sure, had it not been included, the member opposite would be arguing the other way, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Hardy:   I also have a concern about this one, if I can understand it correctly. I do know some people who do care for their ó they would be considered a child ó elderly parent, and they have received remuneration of some sort ó whether itís for services or for the accommodation, to help cover some of the cost of the parent staying with them. Would that mean, basically, that they could not act as their representative? Itís plain and simple.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   If they have been receiving remuneration, they couldnít ó thatís correct.

Mr. Hardy:   I have a problem with that because thatís assuming that the child is caring for their parents without good intentions. Itís almost a disincentive to take on the responsibility of caring for your parent, if itís written this way. Itís almost a punishment ó by doing something that we in our society feel is a correct act, what we should do for our parents. I have a very strong concern of the kind of messaging that is being sent out.

So is there any way to remove something like that or write it in a manner that does not seem to send a very punitive message to a very caring child? Because right now the way it is written is that you are punished for being a caring person.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The opposite is in fact the reality. What is envisioned is that the regulations may allow, in certain circumstances, someone who is receiving remuneration for accommodation or other services to be the representative. An example is that it might be appropriate to allow a relative of an approved home operator who provides accommodations, or room and board, to an adult to act as representative.

This is covered off. Itís envisioned to be covered off through the regulations as to how it would work. Itís better to make the legislation restrictive in this case and the regulations enabling but discretionary.

Normally the trend today in a lot of legislation is to make the legislation enabling and restrict by way of regulations. This kind of goes the other way.

Iím sure the member can follow it. It can be permitted under certain circumstances.

Mr. Hardy:   In this case weíre focusing more around a child. What would the process be in order for them to be able to care for their parent and still receive remuneration, but also be the representative, without having somebody else come in to speak on their behalf?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I know exactly where the member opposite is heading. The problem is that normally these arrangements are entered into on a very informal basis. Mom and/or dad need some more assistance and they canít remain in their own home, so a suite is built or accommodations are provided for mom and dad, and theyíre brought in and, over a number of years, the health deteriorates and thereís a requirement on the part of the sibling providing the care to step further into the life of the adult.

By regulations, itís envisioned and spelled out how this will all work and come together so there is no intrusiveness, yet thereís a dignity retained by the adult.

Itís well recognized that we want to keep our seniors in their own homes for as long as we possibly can, and the best opportunity for them, should they require assistance, is to live in very close proximity to other members of their immediate family and for them to obtain some assistance from them. That level of assistance will depend on the level of care thatís needed, but usually over time the level of care ramps up, and the level of responsibility that has to be vested with the care providers ramps up also. They kind of parallel each other, but usually they lag.

And sometimes thereís friction. So there has to be a very concerted effort on the part of the regulators to deal with this area, and these regulations will be very cognizant of this area. I can assure you of that, because itís a concern of not only the opposition but all of us. You want to make it as easy as possible, but yet you want to make sure that the regulations are fair and reasonable to all parties.

As a care provider to our parents or senior members in our families, one takes on a tremendous amount of responsibility, and that level of responsibility increases tremendously as the level of mobility and health care demands by that individual increases. So weíre aware of it. It will be done through the regulations. It will dovetail into this legislation, and it will serve to protect all parts of the equation, all members of the family, but it has to focus, number one, on the person who is by this legislation legally brought in to the system in one form or other.

Ms. Duncan:   How exactly is restrictive legislation going to be made more permissive under regulation? For example, the example the minister gave ó a person who receives remuneration for providing accommodation or other services. Itís not unheard of ó theyíre called "granny flats" or "granny suites". A person could be receiving remuneration ó ordinary living expenses, cost of the rent ó but then, by law, you are receiving remuneration. So how is it going to be more permissive under regulation? If itís going to be under regulation ó nothing outside of the ordinary cost of living or living expenses, as defined by regulation, then shouldnít we say that in the legislation? Iím just concerned that you canít make regulations more permissive than the legislation is. If the legislation says, "No, not if youíre receiving money," how do we allow it under regulation?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   Iíd encourage the member opposite to go back and read clause 16(1). It says, "Except as permitted by the regulations, the following may not act as a representativeÖexcept as permitted by the regulations." Now, this is envisioned to be dealt with by regulations. Does that answer the question? I thought it was very specific there, but one has to read the entire area, not just single out the little areas that grab oneís attention.

Ms. Duncan:   I do thank the minister for the lecture. I want to be absolutely sure that we do this right. And those ordinary living expenses, as the leader of the official opposition has pointed out, are often incurred, and we should not be discouraging individuals from taking up our responsibilities, not only as family members but as members of society.

I appreciate the clarification. I am concerned about the clause. And if that is what is envisioned by ordinary living expenses, fair enough.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   The issue is that it is clearly spelled out. Itís the first paragraph in that section: "Except as permitted by the regulationsÖ" Now, that should tell one a lot. "Except as permitted by the regulationsÖ", you canít do this. Thatís where I spelled out that this area would be captured and how we would deal with it. We are very, very cognizant of what is transpiring in society and the role that the family unit plays and the role that the family unit has dealing with seniors among us and those who are otherwise afflicted with some sort of difficulty where they require an additional level of care.

But this piece of legislation has been drafted, cognizant of those areas, because that area is an extremely important one. It might be fluid; the regulations might have to change over time. Itís easier to put it in the regulations than spell it out in the legislation. So, except as permitted in the regulations, these conditions apply.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 16?

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Ms. Duncan:   Throughout these discussions and sections referencing the application to the Supreme Court, there are no time frames listed. For example, in some other pieces of legislation weíll often see a reference to application that has to be heard in a certain period of time. This is a "may" make application.

It can take some time and the Member for Vuntut Gwitchin noted that there can be circuit court only during certain periods of times. Was the length of time this may take and the difficulty that may then impose on the applicant a discussion during the consultation?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I donít know much about the court system, but I know the circuit court that goes to Old Crow is not the Supreme Court, so there is a difference there. That said, if there is an urgency, there are provisions for a temporary order.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 36?

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On Clause 38

Mr. Hardy:   Just detail, under 38(1)(i)(i), the "adultís minor children", whatís the age for minor, powers of the guardian?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   A minor would be anyone under the age of majority ó 19 years of age here in the Yukon.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 38?

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Chair:   Turning to the main bill, is there any further debate on clause 1?

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Chair:   Weíll now continue with general debate on the Care Consent Act. This begins on page 75.

Hearing no general debate, weíll go line by line.

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Ms. Duncan:   Mr. Chair, my understanding of the preceding sections of this bill and in part this one, as well, is this is where the term "living will" would come in, and this is where ó if you had expressed that you wished the donation of organs or something like that, is that not in this particular area of the bill or under the intent of this bill? This is where a living will would be exercised, or no?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   No, Mr. Chair. The living will comes into the next section, and itís a directive.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 25?

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Ms. Duncan:   The next section with the living will, is this part 2, directives?

I see the minister nodding.

Could the minister, then, explain what public education campaigns are designed to make living wills more available and more readily understood? Specifically, there was an initiative by previous governments to enhance the donation of organs, making available organ donor cards. With respect to a living will, this is where an individual would direct that their organs be used for science in the event of death.

What plans are there to enhance the public information about this aspect of this bill and the whole nature of living wills?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I would like to thank the member opposite for the question, in that, through sound fiscal management, our government has identified money that we are going to use in this area for public education. Thatís one of the ways that we will get the message out.

Ms. Duncan:   We can thank the Liberal government for the money.

When will these initiatives start? Are they part of the $71,500 that was earlier identified? Is it at the start of 2004, and what is the overall plan for the public campaign?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   This will be in place before proclamation.

Ms. Duncan:   Which budget year ó April 1, 2004 or 2005?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   As I indicated earlier, it would be for the budget cycle commencing April 1, 2004.

Ms. Duncan:  Could I have the broad outline, as I had asked in an earlier question, of what sort of a public education campaign we plan in this area? Has it not been determined yet? So far, has it simply been the money and resources identified, or has the campaign been identified?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   When we develop the initiative, the member opposite will be the first one we share it with, so that she can gain a thorough and complete understanding of this area of this legislation.

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Chair:   Weíll now continue on to clause 3 and general debate on the Public Guardian and Trustee Act. Is there any general debate?

On Schedule C

Chair:   Hearing no general debate, weíll proceed line by line. This can be found on page 118.

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Chair:   Is there any debate on clause 2?

Ms. Duncan:   For the record, the public guardian and trustee ó is it anticipated that the current public administrator would be appointed to this position?

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   At this juncture, we do not know if Justice is going to do a competition, if it will be internal, or how itís going to flow. But it will be housed in that area.

Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 2?

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Chair:   Is there any further debate on clause 3 of the main act?

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Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I move that Bill No. 39, entitled Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act, be reported without amendment.

Chair:   Mr. Jenkins has moved that Bill No. 39, Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act, be reported without amendment.

Motion agreed to

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

Chair:   It has been moved by Mr. Jenkins 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. Rouble:   Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 39, Decision Making, Support and Protection to Adults Act, and directed me to report it 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.

Hon. Mr. Jenkins:   I move that the House be now adjourned.

Speaker:   It has been moved by the government House leader that the House do now adjourn.

Motion agreed to

Speaker:   The House now stands adjourned until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

The House adjourned at 5:57 p.m.

 

 

The following Sessional Papers were tabled November 17, 2003:

03-1-54

Yukon Development Corporation 2002 Annual Report (Lang)

03-1-55

Yukon Energy Corporation 2002 Annual Report (Lang)

03-1-56

Energy Solutions Centre Inc. 2002 Annual Report (Lang)