Whitehorse, Yukon

Wednesday, March 8, 1989 - 3:00 p.m.



Clerk: "To all to whom these presents shall come or whom the same may in any wise concern"


A Proclamation

Know ye that under and by virtue of the power and authority vested in the Commissioner of the Yukon Territory, the Assembly of the said territory is summoned to meet for dispatch of business in the Yukon Legislative Assembly Chambers, Territorial Administration Building, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory on Wednesday, March 8, 1989 at the hour of 3 p.m. All of which all persons concerned are required to take notice and govern themselves accordingly. Given under my hand and seal of the said territory at Whitehorse March 1, 1989.

Signed J. K. McKinnon

Commissioner of the Yukon."

Pursuant to the provisions of the Elections Act, the Commissioner has been informed of the receipt of returns to writs for the general election conducted on February 20, 1989. These returns show that the following Members were duly elected: Old Crow - Norma Kassi; Klondike - Art Webster; Mayo - Piers McDonald; Tatchun - Danny Joe; Faro - Maurice Byblow; Kluane - Bill Brewster; Whitehorse Porter Creek West - Alan Nordling; Whitehorse Porter Creek East - Dan Lang; Whitehorse North Centre - Margaret Joe; Whitehorse South Centre - Joyce Hayden; Whitehorse West - Tony Penikett; Whitehorse Riverdale North - Doug Phillips; Whitehorse Riverdale South - Bea Firth; Hootalinqua - Willard Phelps; Campbell - Sam Johnston; Watson Lake - John Devries. Signed by Patrick L. Michael, Clerk of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

Commissioner Ken McKinnon enters the Chambers accompanied by his Aides-de-Camp

Clerk: I am commanded by the Commissioner, in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor, to state that he does not see fit to declare the causes of the summoning  of the present Assembly of this territory until a Speaker of this Assembly shall have been chosen according to law, but today at a subsequent hour he will declare the causes of the calling of this Assembly.

Commissioner Ken McKinnon withdraws from the Chamber

Clerk: Would you care to proceed at this time with the election of the Speaker?

Motion No. 1

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move, seconded by the Leader of the Official Opposition;

THAT Sam Johnston, Member for Campbell, do take the Chair of this Assembly as Speaker.

Clerk: It has been moved by the Government Leader, seconded by the Leader of the Official Opposition;

THAT Sam Johnston, Member for Campbell, do take the Chair of this Assembly as Speaker.

Are you agreed?

I think the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to

Clerk: By direction of the Assembly, I declare that Sam Johnston is duly elected as Speaker of this Assembly.

Speaker: I beg to express my grateful thanks and humble acknowledgement of the high honour the Assembly has been pleased to confer upon me.

Mr. Clerk would you please advise the Commissioner, in his capacity as Lieutenant-Governor that the Assembly is now prepared to hear the Speech from the Throne.

We are now prepared to hear the Speech from the Throne.

Commissioner Ken McKinnon enters the Chambers accompanied by his Aides-de-Camp

Speaker:  Sir, the Legislative Assembly has elected me as their Speaker, although I am but little able to fulfill the important duties thus assigned me. If, in the performance of those duties, I should at any time fall into error, I pray the fault may be imputed to me and not to the Assembly, whose servant I am and who, through me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to their Queen and country, hereby claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of speech in their debates, access to your person at all seasonable times and that their proceedings may receive from you the most favourable construction.

Commissioner:  May I oofer you my sincere congratulations, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased to declare that I freely confide in the duty and attachment of the Assembly and not doubting that the Assembly’s proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temper and prudence, I grant, and upon all occasions will recognize and allow, the Assembly’s constitutional privileges. I assure you that the Assembly shall have ready access to me upon all seasonable occasions, and that the Assembly’s proceedings, words and actions will constantly receive from me the most favourable construction.

Please be seated, everyone.


Commissioner: Mr. Speaker and hon. Members, welcome to the First Session of the Twenty-seventh Yukon Legislative Assembly. I offer my congratulations on your election to this House, and I wish you well in your work here.

It is also notable that you are convened on International Women’s Day. Yukon women have made great strides in recent years, but much remains to be done: in government, in the work place, and in our communities. This government will actively promote the status of women within its own work force and through its programs, and will encourage other individuals and institutions to do so, too.

On February 20, the citizens of the territory elected a new government with a new mandate for the years ahead. Much of my government’s agenda was described in January’s Speech from the Throne and Budget Speech.

It is important to state again now that this government’s overriding priority is to settle the Indian land claim. Last fall, the federal and territorial governments reached a framework agreement with the aboriginal people of the territory. This has been approved by the Council for Yukon Indians and the Yukon government, and the new Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs has made a commitment to have it approved by the federal Cabinet as soon as possible.

Based on this agreement, this government expects to reach final agreements in several communities in the coming year, with more to follow. This prospect adds to the already optimistic attitude of Yukoners in recent years. It is a prospect of settling long-standing hardships and building new opportunities.

At the same time, the government is continuing its efforts to negotiate the transfer of federal programs to local control. On April 1, the Yukon government is scheduled to take over freshwater fisheries management and mine safety.

Work is also progressing well on oil and gas, lands, forestry, health services, and community airports. The Yukon government is committed to devolution where transfers can be negotiated on terms that clearly benefit the citizens of the territory.

As well as continuing its efforts announced in January, my government has made many other commitments during the recent election, particularly to improve social services, to ensure environmental protection, and to continue to diversify our economy. These commitments will be carried out over the four-year term of the government, but some will begin in the first year. My Ministers intend to act during this year’s legislative sittings to create a new Social Services Council; expand the Yukon Economic Council into a Yukon Council on the Economy and the Environment; begin tourism marketing for "Destination: Yukon”; work with other governments, businesses, and community groups to set up a Capital City Commission whose first task will be to oversee the development of the Whitehorse waterfront; continue to develop good government policies for consultation and the use of plain language in government laws and publications.

As well, the new government will carry through on its social, economic, and environmental actions pledged in the earlier Speech from the Throne.

This government will continue its efforts to greatly improve child care services in the territory. This includes doubling the number of spaces, keeping costs affordable, better training and pay for child care workers, supporting parents at home, and providing specific programs for special needs children, play schools, and after-school care.

Child care, of course, is only one part of the effort to improve social services. The Minister of Health and Human Resources will work with the community of Mayo on a demonstration project to make social programs more responsive and better integrated at the community level. Family support will be increased with more help for victims of family violence and a strengthened family support worker program.

Health services will be improved with more services to prevent and treat alcohol and drug addiction, and better provision for medical travel to Whitehorse and outside the territory, including temporary accommodation for rural residents who must come to Whitehorse for medical services.

The elements of a new education act will be reviewed with communities and, based on these consultations, legislation will be introduced in this House. The Minister of Education will also be working with the federal government to increase literacy programs and with mining, tourism, forestry and other industries to meet their training needs. New programs will be developed in Indian teacher education and other areas to support land claim training needs.

The Yukon Economic Strategy will continue to be our guide for the territory’s development through the 1990s. Our progress to date and the areas in which the strategy needs to be updated will be reviewed this year with the guidance of the new Yukon Council on the Economy and the Environment. Our goal is a diversified, stable and sustainable economy.

The major tools for this government’s economic program will be: lower power rates through a new electrical policy beginning April 1, and lower fuel prices through efforts to increase competition; a northern accord on petroleum revenues and management; a continued climate of financial and regulatory certainty for the mining industry; new tourism attractions, facilities, services, products and marketing strategies; support for the emergence of forestry as a major Yukon industry, including model legislation, transfer of federal authority, and more use of local materials in public construction; easy-to-use, flexible business and community development funds; and substantial investments in the territory’s transportation systems.

As well, the government will continue its commitment to communities. As in Faro and Watson Lake, the Ministers and their officials are working hard to revive the economy of the Elsa area.

During the Yukon 2000 process, citizens expressed a strong interest in balancing economic opportunities with protection of the environment on which our northern lifestyle is based. This interest is growing every year and reaching into new areas of our lives and our communities. These concerns are being reflected in consultations on the Yukon Conservation Strategy.

This government is committed to legislative action where it is needed. The Minister of Renewable Resources will be presenting a new environmental protection act to this House. He will also introduce major revisions to the Wildlife Act, based on the recommendations of the Legislative Select Committee and of the Wildlife Management Board.

As in the rest of Canada, clean water has become a symbol of environmental concern in the Yukon. Beginning immediately, the Minister of Community and Transportation Services will work actively and cooperatively with other levels of government on sewer and water treatment.

The Minister will also move quickly to put in place a hazardous wastes program. The safe collection, transportation, storage and disposal of these products is essential to protect the public.

This is the government’s plan of social, economic and environment action. Over the past four years, government, industry, labour and communities have worked hard to rebuild our economy. We see the results all around us today: new jobs, businesses, services and opportunities.

Let us turn our attention to the future. Government will continue to support the efforts of business and communities, but the territory’s agenda is becoming much broader. There is much to be done to settle land claims, to improve our social services, and to protect our environment.

This will be the focus of the new government, in this session and the ones that follow. So let us look ahead with optimism. Socially, economically, and environmentally, ours is a hopeful future. It is a future that we can continue to shape together.

The primary business before this House will be the government’s combined operating and capital budget for 1989-90. This will be presented by the Minister of Finance and will fully describe the government’s financial commitments to the actions announced today.

Commissioner McKinnon leaves the Chambers accompanied by his Aides-de-Camp

Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will proceed at this time with Prayers.


Speaker: It gives me great pleasure to introduce to the House the Pages who will serve in this session. They are Janet Arntzen, Amy Byers, Nicole Densmore, Brian Hanulik, Marlee Hoganson, Katy Klassen, Jennifer Mogridge, Kyla Piper and Ryan Reynolds from the Porter Creek Junior Secondary School, and I would invite them to join us at this time.


Bill No. 1: First Reading

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 1, entitled An Act to Perpetuate a Certain Ancient Right, be now introduced and read a first time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that Bill No. 1, entitled An Act to Perpetuate a Certain Ancient Right, be now introduced and read a first time.

Motion agreed to

Speaker: I beg to inform the Assembly at this time that, in order to prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy of the Speech from the Throne, which I now lay on the Table.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that the Speech from the Throne be considered on a day following.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government Leader that the Speech from the Throne be considered on a day following.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I wish to request the unanimous consent of the House to waive the provisions of Standing Order 26(2). This is to allow a motion for second reading of the bill containing the 1989-90 Main Estimates to be moved prior to proceeding with the consideration of a motion for an Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne on Thursday, March 9, 1989.

Speaker: Is there unanimous consent.

All Members: Agreed.

Speaker: There is unanimous consent. The Chair will call tomorrow’s business in the order now directed by the House.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that the House do now adjourn.

Motion agreed to

Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The House adjourned at 3:24 p.m.

The following Sessional Paper was tabled March 8, 1989:


Speech from the Throne (Speaker)