Whitehorse, Yukon

Thursday, March 8, 1990 - 1:30 p.m.

Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with Prayers.



Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper.

Introduction of Visitors.


Hon. Mr. Penikett: I would like to begin duties that I will share with the Leader of the Official Opposition today in introducing some very important visitors from the State of Alaska, a number of Members of the House of Representatives of that state who are here on an annual exchange between our two Legislatures; the exchanges began in the early 1980s.

The Member for Porter Creek East and I were in the first of these. A number of people who are with us today are here for the second, third or more times. We are extremely pleased to welcome them, but I would like to name some of the visitors.

Leading the delegation is Mike Davis, Representative for Fairbanks. An old friend of ours is Niilo Koponen, who is here in the delegation although he is not here in the building, and who is also a Representative for Fairbanks. There are also Fran Ulmer, the Representative for Juneau, and Max Gruenberg, here for the second time, the Representative for Anchorage.

Mr. Phelps: I am pleased to welcome and introduce the rest of the delegation from the Alaska State Legislature. Randy Phillips has been here many times before. He is the Representative for Eagle River and a Republican in the Legislature. Jim Zawacki is the Representative for Girdwood, and and is a Republican. Dave Donley is the Democratic Representative for Anchorage. Bill Stokes is the assistant to the Speaker of the House

I hope that your stay here is an enjoyable one. Certainly these visits have proven to be beneficial to all concerned in the past.


Ms. Kassi: I would also like to introduce a very special group, called the Vuntat Gwich’in Tribal Dancers. They will be part of the cultural contingent at the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife next week, and will also perform tonight at the International Women’s Year conference banquet. Tomorrow at 12:00, in the foyer, they will perform.

I would like to introduce to the House: Lorraine Moses, who is the coordinator of the dancers; Philip Rispin, Byron Charlie, Curtis Netro, Cheryl Charlie, Annie Blake and Deanna Moses. I would like to ask the Members to welcome them here today.


Speaker: Returns or Documents for Tabling.


Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have for tabling the annual report of the Department of Health and Human Resources, and a number of legislative returns in response to questions from Members opposite.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have for tabling responses to questions raised on government space.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I have for tabling the government-wide plan of action for women, entitled, “Strength in our Past, Determination in our Future”.

Speaker: Reports of Committees.


Introduction of Bills


Bill No. 87: First Reading

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move that Bill No. 87, entitled Act to Amend the Workers Compensation Act (No. 2), be now introduced and read a first time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 87, entitled Act to Amend the Workers Compensation Act (No. 2) be now introduced and read a first time.

Motion for first reading of Bill No. 87 agreed to

Speaker: Are there any Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?

Notices of Motion?

Are there any Statements by Ministers?


International Women’s Day and Government Action Plan for Women

Hon. Ms. Joe: As Minister responsible for the Status of Women, I rise to address the Members of the Assembly on this International Women’s Day.

Today is an appropriate day to look back at the history of International Women’s Day, why we celebrate this day, at the gains women have made through the years, and at how far we still have to go to achieve equality.

International Women’s Day occupies a special place in the history of women’s struggles. A century ago, women stood united to fight for fundamental rights: the right to vote, the right to be recognized as “persons”, and the right to participate in public life.

In 1857, in New York, women garment workers were dispersed and trampled by police as they staged a demonstration to protest against indecent wages, 12 hour days and intolerable working conditions. Three years later, in March of 1860, these women formed their own union.

On March 8, 1908, 30,000 women - this time from the needle trade - marched once again from the Lower East Side. Fifty-one years had passed since the earlier demonstrations, but their demands remained the same: shorter working hours and better working conditions. They wanted laws against child labour and they wanted the right to vote. One of the slogans they chanted as they marched was, “We want bread and roses.”

On March 8, 1910, at the International Socialist Congress in Denmark, it was proposed that, in memory of those first marches, March 8 be set aside to commemorate women and their struggles. The rose became the symbol of International Women’s Day.

Through strength and determination, those women had changed history for the generations to follow. Through continuing efforts of the women who followed in their footsteps, real progress has been made toward achieving equality. Much remains to be done, however.

In 1929, Nellie McClung brought a court case that led to the Privy Council ruling that women are “persons”. Sixty years later, the struggle continues. Women are still fighting for personal autonomy.

In light of the recent federal budget cuts to women’s programs, which we debated earlier, I am pleased to be part of a government that believes in a society where women and men have equal rights, opportunities, access to services and the same freedom of action.

Earlier this afternoon, I tabled a government-wide action plan for women, entitled “Yukon Women - Strength In Our Past, Determination In Our Future.”

This document is a result of consultation with Yukon women, rural and urban, Indian and non-Indian. The input was developed into a practical plan of action by a cooperative effort at every level of government. As the plan was being developed, many initiatives were implemented. A progress report from 1985-1990 shows how far we have come. Equal goals and objectives indicate how we intend to achieve a more equitable society.

Over the past five years, this government has demonstrated its commitment to improving the status of women. Most importantly, this government has encouraged an ongoing dialogue with Yukon women in order to address their concerns. Encouraging and fostering a dialogue between Yukon women and the government continues to be an integral part of the Women’s Directorate to enable it to fulfill its mandate of integrating women’s concerns into the mainstream of government policy making and program development.

I am wearing a rose today on International Women’s Day to pay my respect to those turn-of-the-century women who stood united to fight for their bread and roses. I wear this rose for the women who have followed in their footsteps to work toward a better quality of life for all women. I am wearing a rose today to symbolize the commitment of this government to encourage full and equal participation of Yukon women in all aspects of life. Improving the status of Yukon women will ultimately lead to a happier, healthier Yukon.

Mr. Phelps: I arise to support comments made by the Minister and to pledge the continuing support of our party in the struggle to improve the status of women in our society with the ultimate goal of full equality. I am pleased that the Minister has chosen this day to table the long-awaited government-wide action plan for women.

I have been looking forward to receiving the plan, and I am sure that the tabling of the document is another indication of this Minister’s commitment to the advancement of the cause of equal rights and equal opportunities for women.

Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period.


Question re: Yukon Pacific Forest Products

Mr. Phelps: I have some questions for the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation.

We understand that contempt to proceedings went forward in Vancouver today, and that the court ordered T.F. Properties to deliver the books of Yukon Pacific to the receiver. I wonder if the Minister can tell us if the books have been delivered to the receiver.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The latest information I received, which was at noon, is that the matter had been heard in court in Vancouver and that a judgment had been obtained that required the holder of the books to turn them over to the appropriate parties. I understand that the lawyer for the party against whom the proceedings were taken acceded to the court order in court today.

Mr. Phelps: We hear that the sawmill is pretty well out of money and is operating on a day-to-day basis. In fact, there were rumours that the sawmill was going to be shut down today. Can the Minister tell us if the receiver has managed to borrow any money for operating capital?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Those are two separate questions in the sense that the receiver has been in discussions with all the negotiating parties this week with a view to obtaining necessary capital to refurbish part of the plant, particularly the power plant. I understand it is the receiver’s view that it will be necessary to shut down the plant to effect those repairs and that that is what is contemplated by the receiver upon the delivery of the capital that he is seeking.

Mr. Phelps: The logging season is rapidly coming to a close. I wonder if the Minister can tell us if any logging is being done in order to replenish the almost exhausted inventory at the sawmill.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I cannot speak with certainty about the receiver’s decision on that score, but I suspect that it is inextricably linked to the question of available capital, and that this question is being addressed by the receiver in the context of the financial needs of the operation.

Question re: Yukon Pacific Forest Products

Mr. Phelps: With regard to the employees at the sawmill, and the 15 percent of the shares being held in trust for them by YDC, can the Minister tell us whether the Yukon Development Corporation has met with the employees to discuss the matter of the possible sale of those shares?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am pretty sure that a meeting has not taken place yet, although, both by way of a letter from me and a communication from the president of the corporation to the person claiming to represent the employees, we have indicated our willingness to meet at an early opportunity.

Mr. Phelps: Can the Minister tell us when it is anticipated that a meeting will take place?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The last information that I had heard was that no formal reply had been received from our communications, so it would be pure speculation as to when a meeting might be held, although every reasonable effort is being made by our president to arrange such a meeting.

Mr. Phelps: In regard to shareholders of the operating firm, Yukon Pacific, can the Minister tell us whether T.F. Properties is still a major shareholder of Yukon Pacific?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Nothing has changed in terms of the shareholding of the corporation, which I have described in this House in the past. Something may change if the receiver puts the property up for sale and someone bids an acceptable price. I cannot comment further except to say that that may be a possibility. The one thing I should explain to the Leader of the Opposition, which I did not do clearly: I find, upon reflecting on the record of the discussion we had some days ago that one of the obligations of the Shieldings group, the operators of the mill following the sale, was to complete the negotiations of our shareholding to the employees.

That was one of the obligations, among many, that was not met and that led to us going to court to have a receiver appointed.

Question re: Yukon Pacific Forest Products

Mr. Phelps: A lot of us are interested in the continuing involvement of T.F. Properties in the sawmill as owners. Can the Minister tell us what percentage of the issued shares are owned by T.F. Properties?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I can take notice of questions, but I cannot at this point add anything to what I have said previously. As the Member well knows, we did not sell the property to T.F. Properties; we sold it to the Shieldings Group. The arrangements they have made with other employees, agents or investors have been their private business.

As the Member knows, it is a matter of record that the largest single shareholder in Shieldings is, of course, the Bank of Nova Scotia. The complex relationship between Shieldings and T.F. Properties is generally known to us but I am not sure that we know all the dimensions of that relationship because it is, in effect, a relationship between two private parties.

Mr. Phelps: I was under the impression, and I am sure most Yukoners following this saga were under the same impression, that the Shieldings Group, as distinct from Shieldings Corp., was a partnership of some sort between Shieldings and the well-known T.F. Properties. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Leader of the Opposition says he has an impression and claims that impression is shared by - I cannot remember if he claimed the majority, but many Yukoners. All I can confirm is that since the Leader of the Opposition has told me that is his impression, I agree that that is his impression. The relationship we had was with the Shieldings Group, the largest shareholder of which is the Bank of Nova Scotia, a company which I understand is not only solvent but very solvent; and it was on the basis of our knowledge of that ownership that we proceeded to have dealings with them.

Mr. Phelps: I am concerned about what appears to be a lack of understanding as to who the principals are of the Shieldings Group. My understanding is, and I say it again, that Shieldings Corporation is what the Minister was referring to when he talked about the main shareholder being a bank. The Shieldings Group, as I understand it, and perhaps the Minister can confirm this or tell us he does not know, is a partnership between T.F. Properties, the Howe Street gang from Vancouver who were managing the mill and put the deal together, and Shieldings Corporation. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: As I speculate the Leader of the Opposition knows, I have had practically no dealings whatsoever with the well-known Howe Street gang. The Leader of the Opposition may have had some truck or trade with them, but I personally have not. I have never been in the financial position to do that kind of dabbling or gambling.

I say again, the arrangements the Yukon Development Corporation made were with the Shieldings Corporation; whatever partnership or business arrangements they chose to make with other parties were, I say with respect, their business, not ours.

Question re: Yukon Pacific Forest Products

Mr. Phelps: I have to say, “Come on, come on.” The Minister has been playing with all our money. When he said he did not know whether I had any truck or trade with the Howe Street boys, I did indirectly I guess because part of my money I suppose makes up Yukon Development Corporation, as a resident and taxpayer in the Yukon Territory.

I am somewhat alarmed by the Minister’s professed lack of knowledge about T.F. Properties, since they are named in the documents we have seen so far. They are the ones responsible for building the brand new, state-of-the-art mill, which never came about, and they are the group that has been managing the sawmill operation since the closing of the sale was completed a year ago.

Is the Minister continuing to profess he knows nothing about T.F. Properties, after all this time?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Quite the opposite. I have been introduced to information about T.F. Properties by the Leader of the Official Opposition. I have been introduced to information about T.F. Properties by the media. Subsequently, in our dealings with Shieldings, we have learned something about T.F. Properties in the last little while, some of it fact, some of it perhaps fiction, some of it allegations.

The fact still remains that we did not make a business transaction with T.F. Properties. We made a business transaction with the Shieldings company. They made some subsequent transactions with another company. As all Members know, those parties are now in dispute.

Question re: Yukon College gymnasium

Mr. Lang: I have a question for the Minister of Education with respect to the gymnasium that, to all intents and purposes, was completed in October but was not available for the college students nor the general public. I understand there was a meeting last evening by the college board of governors to discuss the opening of the gym, where the Minister of Education challenged me to play basketball. I now understand I can only go and do aerobics there.

Has the Board of Governors formally accepted the transfer of the building that is closed, but presently being heated, from the territorial government?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Any reasonable person would accept I was joking when I asked the Member for Porter Creek East to play basketball with anybody. The facility is available to the college. The issue now, and which was reported in the news last night, is whether or not the facility is open to the general public.

At this point, my understanding is the college board is reviewing any arrangements they might make to allow for the general public’s use of the gymnasium. Up to this point, they have only made a decision with respect to the use of the college gym by residents at the college and by students and staff.

Mr. Lang: I know it was probably by mistake, but the Minister did not answer my question. Has the college formally accepted the transfer of the gymnasium to become the responsibility of the board of governors?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: That is an easy question to answer. Yes.

Mr. Lang: I do not understand why this particular gym would only be open for five hours of aerobics classes per week. Is it because of a lack of financial commitment to run this particular facility on a normal basis, like any other gymnasium in Whitehorse?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: The normal situation with gymnasiums in Whitehorse is they are part of school programming, because that is part of the curriculum. The gymnasium at the college is not part of the curriculum. It is there for the recreational use of college employees and students first. If the board agrees, then perhaps it would also be for the use of the general public after that.

The facility is open for use by the college in any way that is seen fit. At this time, if they feel they want to operate the gym and provide services for aerobics instructors for five hours a week, and that is all, then that is the choice they can make.

With respect to the availability of the gym for people to use, to run around and play basketball, do aerobics, weight lift or any other thing the gym provides, that is available to them, and they can use it in any way they wish.

Question re: Yukon College gymnasium

Mr. Lang: I would like to pursue this a little further. The information that we received is that it is only going to open for five hours a week for aerobic classes. I thought we built that building to have it open during the days and evening for both the students’ and the public’s use.

I do not understand why the use is limited to five hours a week. Can the Minister tell the House whether or not the problem is financing the programs that could be run in the gymnasium? Is that the problem?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: No. The culprit is the source of the information that the Member has. If the Member is referring to our dear friends who write the Yukon News, a well-respected journal in the City of Whitehorse, then the impression that one might get from the article is that the college is only open for aerobics classes.

In fact, the gym is open for the use of the college in any way it sees fit. The college board has been considering the organized use of the college gym for programming for staff and students.

The gym is available for their use. They can keep it open 24 hours a day if they like. People can weight lift in there is they like. People can play basketball if they like. If they only want to operate five hours of aerobics classes as an organized event, that is their choice, too.

There has never been any question that the college has been worried about operating this gym. They have resources available to operate the gym. It is open and is available for their use.

Question re: Education act

Mr. Devries: The Yukon Home Educators Society had several meetings with the Minister of Education’s department during the last few months. They are still very uneasy about how their concerns will be addressed in the proposed education act. The deputy minister made some changes to the final presentation at the Yukon Home Educators Society. He stated that he would get back to them. When will the Yukon Home Educators Society be hearing from the Minister and his department regarding this?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Yukon Home Educators Society will be hearing from us before the act is tabled in the Legislature. Ongoing discussions on the education system that pertain to home educators have been taking place. They have made requests for the use of education facilities to support home educating.

They have also indicated their desire to not have any government control whatsoever over curriculum or even to consider that the act itself has any mandate to deal with education as they perceive it.

The responsibility of the territorial Legislature is to take an interest in education, both the publicly funded education system as well as in the education of all students. We regard it as being a fundamental right for our children. We wish to see that education takes place.

The act clearly deals with that which is publicly funded. The territorial Legislature has some responsibility to ensure that education does occur. The question is how much of a responsibility or role will the Department of Education play in the lives of home educators.

Those discussions are ongoing. I had a very positive meeting with them so far. There is, however, more to do. We will try to come to a balance that works for everybody. I am hoping that they will be satisfied in the end.

Mr. Devries: My understanding is that a drafting committee has been formed and I understand the Home Educators Society was not represented on that committee. Does the Minister know if that is true?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Absolutely. I know that, because I indicated to Members last fall that there was a drafting committee and it was made up of representatives from the Education Council, the Yukon Teachers Association, the Principals and Vice Principals Association and the Council for Yukon Indians to help with the drafting of the legislation. We did not incorporate all interests - the French language interest or special needs children’s interests or any number of the myriad of interests that are affected by an education system, including the Home Educators Society, because it would have made it an unwieldy body. We tried to have general representation by those organizations to help in the drafting of the act.

They did that, and their first product was the draft education act, which I tabled in this Legislature. Then, after the input was received from many people - I believe we have received hundreds of submissions - the same drafting committee took those submissions, adjusted them and considered changes; I believe they completed their work last week and now it is the responsibility of the government to put the final touches on it and ultimately get the legislation into the Legislature.

Mr. Devries: The Home Educators Society’s feelings at this point, I guess, would be that at certain times the government does not consider their concerns legitimate. They are a very dedicated bunch of parents and I feel we definitely have to be sure they are considered.

Is all the work of this drafting committee now done? My understanding was that there was an original drafting committee and now there are members from each different interest group sitting in on the final draft of the education act. Am I incorrect in this understanding?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: The drafting committee I think the Member is referring to finished its work with respect to the digestion of public information after the public review. We do not, at this time, have work bees going on, busily trying to iron out all the wording in each section of the act as it pertains to various special interests; however, we will. We feel we still need to do some refinement and some work. We will contact the various interests to make sure we have it right, inasmuch as we can.

All I can say with respect to the home schoolers is that we have had many meetings with them. As the draft act itself even makes clear, they have had some major gains, such as the right to home schooling, which does not occur in the existing School Act. They also now have the right to have access to education resources in the territory, which is something that did not appear in the current School Act either. So, they are already making gains; they obviously have some concerns about the extent to which the government or the Department of Education has control or responsibility over curriculum design and such things as the entry age of students going into the home schooling education system. We will try to work out those things, and we will try to balance the responsibility of the Legislature to deal with education generally and the rights of the parents to undertake home schooling education that fits the family’s needs.

Question re: Litter

Mr. Phillips: At the Association of Yukon Communities conference held in Whitehorse earlier this year, several communities expressed the feeling there should be a stronger commitment from the Yukon government to address the problem of litter.

Does the Minister of Renewable Resources plan to increase the government’s commitment to combat the problem of litter, in light of the strong statements he made in this House last April when we unanimously passed a motion that dealt with the litter problem?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I thank the Member for his question. As recently as the last two weeks, the Minister of Education has outlined measures the Education department will be using to assist schools throughout the territory to enable students to clean up litter on their sites.

A couple of weeks ago, the Minister of Community and Transportation Services also referred in his budget to making monies available to communities to allow them to increase their litter attack programs.

The Member knows that our department will be making monies available again through its conservation demonstration projects fund for groups in the territory to access to do this very thing.

Mr. Phillips: Part of the complaints of the Association of Yukon Communities and the various communities that spoke out on this issue is that there was just a small amount of funds for each community. I think the amount was somewhere in the neighbourhood of $250. Has the Minister considered increasing that amount for the communities to assist them with their own community clean-up projects for the spring?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: Given the program the Member raises is in the area of Community and Transportation Services, I will take the liberty of responding. I am quite pleased to tell the Member that we are currently in discussions with the Association of Yukon Communities to address the issue of increasing funds and service for the purposes of clean-up.

We currently provide a program where, each spring, certain funds are allocated to municipalities and unincorporated communities for the purposes of mass clean-up campaigns. Additionally, we provide the services of our highways fleet to assist with pickup and disposal of litter. We provide our personnel in support to those communities throughout the Yukon, in addition to the funds we provide.

Yes, we are looking at increasing the available funds in discussions with AYC.

Mr. Phillips: I am not sure which Minister will answer this final supplementary, whether it will be the “magic” or the “mystery”. I will try the shotgun approach, and maybe they can all rise and answer this.

When will the Ministers inform the communities of the plans for the Yukon spring clean-up campaign? When do they plan to announce such a campaign?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I will give the Member an ace answer. The campaign for clean-up is expected to be announced sometime in early April. We would like to conclude the discussions with the communities, municipalities and AYC. The campaign is usually held, on the basis of past precedent and tradition, approximately the third week of May. We want to have our announcement of any change in the program at least a month in advance of that.

Question re: Fetal alcohol syndrome

Mrs. Firth: The seventh annual Health and Social Development Conference was just held in Mayo on February 26 and 27. At this conference, a presentation by Dr. Ann Streissguth, the leading North American authority on fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects, was extremely well received.

Parents, young adults, joint council members, teachers and service providers attended the conference. At the end of the conference, there was a consensus that the number one priority of the group was that we need a fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effects coordinator here in the Yukon.

For four years now we have been making representation to this government, through motions, Question Period and budget debates for a fetal alcohol syndrome coordinator. When will the Minister be hiring an FAS/FAE coordinator?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Following such an excellent representation, no doubt we will be taking another look at the question but I have to tell the Member that the view of the department, up to now, has been that it is not a good idea to hire a single coordinator for each single one of the health problems in the Yukon Territory, especially major ones like fetal alcohol syndrome, that in fact we have a large number of people who are dealing with this problem as part of their duties, whether in the health or social services field, both from the point of view of prevention and promotion, but also in terms of dealing with the awful consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome. It is the very firm view of the department, or has been the very firm view of the department up to now, that effective programming in this area is much better and more likely to be achieved by having a large number of people working in the field in a coordinated way, through the department and in coordination with the federal facilities, rather than assigning one person the responsibility.

Our experience with having one person devoted to an ailment or a disease or problem is that it is not a particularly effective way of delivering services or preventative or promotional programs, and it has not in the past been seen as the ideal way of administering to this need.

I will take notice of the Member’s question and have another look at it with our staff, but I have to tell the Member that the professional view of the people in the department is that this is not the best way to deliver programs in that area.

Mrs. Firth: The view of departmental officials does vary with the view of the people who are dealing with the issue every day. Statistics derived from studies in Alaska through Senator John Binkley conclude that for every one fetal alcohol syndrome person diagnosed, there are 10 fetal alcohol effect persons who have not been diagnosed.

This is evidenced by the young people in trouble in our schools and in correctional facilities. Will the Minister considering making this a top priority regardless of what his officials are saying? Perhaps they would not be taking that point of view if there was a fetal alcohol effects coordinator within the department.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: With respect, the Member is confusing two different things. We do take the problem of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects very seriously. It is a very high priority for the department. It is a serious public health problem in the territory. There is a serious effect of alcohol abuse in our communities. We are well aware that the incidence of this problem in some our communities is well above the national rates. From that it is an entire leap of logic to conclude that the recognition of the problem requires that we automatically go to one model of delivering services in the area.

The Member is making a strong representation for one way of dealing with the problem. Our department has been very strongly of the view that there are better ways of doing it. We do not, at all, dispute the claim or the assertion by the Member that it is a serious problem. We too recognize that. We see the effects of it every day in our school system and in our social services system.

The whole approach that we are taking to health promotion, health prevention and greater community control or community influence in these areas is, we hope, leading to an effective address of the problem.

Mrs. Firth: The people who are making this representation to the Minister are not his department officials. They are parents, young adults and council members. The CYI is writing letters to the Minister asking about it. There are also teachers and services providers.

Service providers from the Minister’s department attended this conference. The consensus was unanimous in that the first priority be a fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effect coordinator.

When is the Minister going to address this issue? I know that he is receiving correspondence already. The group will be lobbying him. He obviously has a conflict if he will not take the representations of those people over the representations of his officials.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have not yet received the representations except by way of the Member opposite. The Member will know this is not a new debate. The department has looked at the situation in the past. The Member is now claiming that officials of our department were joining in this consensus that she is describing in the Mayo meeting. I would be surprised if that were the case, but I will certainly be interested in it.

I want to clearly send the message that the department does not in any way diminish or belittle the seriousness of the problem, nor do we discount the advice from professional or well-meaning people in the community, in terms of the ways in which to address the problem. We have not been convinced that an effective way of addressing this problem is by having a single coordinator, any more than having a single coordinator for any other single health problem is an effective way of organizing and delivering health and social services.

Question re: Fetal alcohol syndrome

Mrs. Firth: I would just like to get a concrete answer from the Minister. The message I am going to communicate to the people on whose behalf I am making this representation is that the government is not prepared to hire one person, or a coordinator, to address this specific issue. Is he saying they are not going to do this?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: With respect, I hope the Member would understand I would rather communicate on behalf of the government to the people, rather than leaving it to the Member opposite to do it.

If the Member says the government has not been prepared to look at this, she would be correct. In answer to her first question, I indicated we were prepared to have another look at the question during the course of this summer, in view of the representations she has described today. At the conclusion of that review, we will be communicating to anybody who has written or spoken to us on this subject. We do recognize the seriousness of the problem. In the past, we have not believed that a single coordinator was an effective way of solving it.

Mrs. Firth: It is easy for the Minister to stand up and say that we recognize this as a problem, as an issue, as a priority. But the debate has been going on for four years now, so the length of time does not substantiate the Minister’s commitment. One of the items on the agenda was lobbying the government for action on the FAS/FAE issue. The Minister says they will consider it again this summer. These people want to know what kind of information this Minister needs and how serious his intentions are to re-examine the issue. I do not get a very positive message from the Minister. I do not have to communicate anything on his behalf. The people will be reading Hansard and will be listening to this.

Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please get to the supplementary question?

Mrs. Firth: I have asked it already. I am just providing an afterthought.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I gather that was just supplementary editorial comment. Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you would permit me to make my own.

The way our health and social services are organized is that we have people in the field and in offices here in Whitehorse. We have some specialist services. We have those people reporting to directors and ADMs and deputy ministers. That is how we coordinate programs now. We are looking at an innovation being considered in Mayo through a pilot project there, which is putting people in the community on boards to direct and give focus and direction to the health and social services care givers in those communities. We are looking at that as a model, as a way of communicating.

Another way of coordinating programs is, as the Member suggests, having a single coordinator - perhaps a single coordinator for a whole bunch of other problems. Let me suggest that, in our experience, we think that would not be a good way to organize health and social services. We have many people working in the field now, dealing with the FAS and FAE program between us and the federal government and people involved in the first nations...

Speaker: Order please. Would the Member please conclude his answer.

Mrs. Firth: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will conclude. We have many people working in this field. They report to their superiors either in the social services or health services field. We do have inter-agency groups; we have interdepartmental protocols; we have government coordinating committees. We do not believe that the present structure would necessarily be improved by having a single coordinator introduced into the work of all these other people.

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



Motion No. 82

Clerk: Item No. 2, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader

THAT this House recommends to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development the appointments of Jean Gordon and Grant Lortie to the Yukon Territorial Water Board for three-year terms.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: This month, the appointments of two territorial appointee positions to the Yukon Territorial Water Board will expire. The two members involved are none other than Mrs. Jean Gordon of Mayo and Mr. Grant Lortie of Whitehorse.

Over the past three years, Mrs. Gordon and Mr. Lortie have ably fulfilled the responsibilities required of them on the board and have proven to be valuable members.

Just to refresh Members’ memories, as we have nominated them through the Legislature before, three years ago, Mrs. Gordon is a long time resident of the Yukon, first coming north approximately 45 years ago, and was the first woman elected to the territorial council.

She is familiar with both the trapping and placer mining industries, as she and her husband, Wilf, have pursued those professions over the past 45 years. Mrs. Gordon understands the delicate balance that is needed to sustain renewable and non-renewable resource industries side by side.

Mr. Lortie is a biologist by profession and currently works as a consultant. His knowledge of the Yukon is extensive, and he was raised and educated in the Yukon.

Both Mrs. Gordon and Mr. Lortie express the desire to serve on the Water Board for another term. Because their past performances have been exemplary, I would like to ask the House to recommend to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development the reappointments of Mrs. Gordon and Mr. Lortie to the Yukon Territorial Water Board for an additional three year term.

Mr. Lang: I rise to say we give our full support to the two appointments. I have one correction for the record. Mr. Grant Lortie does live in the prestigious constituency of Hootalinqua.

We are pleased with these appointments, because they have served on the Water Board for a considerable period of time already. Through their long-term residency in the Yukon, they are showing a commitment to the Yukon that is so vital to the long-term decisions being made by this important board.

Motion No. 82 agreed to

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

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

Motion agreed to

Speaker leaves the Chair


Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order. We will have a short recess.


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

Women’s Directorate

Hon. Ms. Joe: The operation and maintenance main estimates total for the Women’s Directorate for the year 1990-91 is $333,000, which reflects a four percent increase over the 1989-90 mains. The continuation of the family violence second year initiatives will take up the major part of the directorate’s program development and public information budget.

A total of $73,000 will go toward the following: the directorate will spend up to $20,000 on the coordination of the family violence conference; an additional $8,000 will go toward coordinating workshops on family violence in communities, upon request; continued support of $5,000 will go toward ongoing training for the Helpline operation; the directorate will further spend $10,000 on newspaper and radio ads regarding family violence; another $10,000 will go toward producing print material and family violence literature. Finally, $20,000 will go toward the production of a video on family violence. These initiatives will be coordinated with the government departments of Justice, Health and Human Resources and Education as well as non-departmental agencies.

The government-wide plan of action is complete and was tabled in the House today. This action plan will advocate, assist and/or coordinate government-wide policy and program initiatives that will advance the status of Yukon women in the legal, social and economic areas.

The Yukon Advisory Council on women’s issues will receive $55,844 for travel expenses, honoraria and research. The council will focus their attention on family violence, fetal alcohol syndrome and education issues in the coming year. Their annual report for 1989 was tabled in this House.

As in the past, the directorate will continue its commitment to do outreach work through Women on Wheels. This project will receive $1,000 and is aimed at increasing knowledge of women’s issues, both at the community and government levels. An additional $5,000 will be spent on coordinating and bringing in a national speaker on women’s issues. In the past, the directorate has brought in such speakers as Nicole Morgan, Dr. Margaret Eichler and Monica Townsend; all have contributed positively to an increased awareness by government and the general public about women’s issues.

Work continues for the directorate at the national level. This year $10,623 will go toward attending national meetings here, meetings where Women’s Status Ministers and senior officials are dealing with issues such as work and family responsibilities - women and health and education.

Financial support continues to be offered through transfer payments to support women’s groups that work at raising the status of Yukon women. Of the $8,500, women’s conferences will take $5,000. The remainder will be used for educational materials and special activities like International Women’s Day, which promote the awareness of women’s issues.

Mr. Phelps: I do not have very many questions at this point in time. I noted with some satisfaction the tabling of the document, “Yukon Women - Strength in our Past, Determination in our Future”. It is rather comprehensive in terms of future goals for the government.

Unfortunately, it is a bit vague about how to achieve some of those goals. Reference is made on page 18, for example, to the future goals of women in government. Some of the ways in which this will be done are listed: increasing participation of women in government decision making. Some of the ways in which this will be done include increasing participation of women at middle and senior management levels of government through the affirmative action policy. I am wondering when we can expect to see that policy? Is a newer, more comprehensive policy going to be brought forward?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I hoped that I would be able to table that document in the House today. A bit more work has to be done on it. We have to work on a few things a little more. I would like to do that while we are still in this session. I cannot make that commitment, but it will be soon.

Mr. Phelps: I have the sense we are making some progress at last. I feel there has to be a continuous effort in order to make advances. We cannot let up.

Those are my questions in general debate. I do not know if others have questions. If not, we can proceed to line-by-line.

On Public Information, Policy and Program Development

On Operation and Maintenance

On Policy and Program Development

Policy and Program Development in the amount of $239,000 agreed to

On Public Information

Public Information in the amount of $94,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $333,000 agreed to

On Allotments and Person Year Establishment

Allotments and Person Year Establishment agreed to

Chair: Are there any questions on the yellow and green pages?

Public Information, Policy and Program Development in the amount of $333,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

On Operation and Maintenance

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $333,000 agreed to

Women’s Directorate agreed to

Yukon Development Corporation

Chair: Is there any general debate?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am going to be joined for the discussion of this item by some advisors from the corporation. With the consent of the Chair, I would like to mention who they are.

First of all, we will have Mr. Alex Raider with us, president of the corporation. Some Members have met Mr. Raider, others have not. As well, we will have our senior utilities engineer here, Mr. John Maissan, who was formerly with the Director of Energy and Mines in the Department of Economic Development and, prior to that, the mine manager at Mount Skukum. Thirdly, we will have with us the corporate secretary, Mr. Eric Woodhouse, who will be with us today.

I have a couple of remarks I would like to make in introducing this estimate.

The Leader of the Opposition in debate the other day gave, by way of his speech, notice of some questions he wanted to raise, and I will try to answer those to his satisfaction today.

First of all, let me just review some of the activities of the Development Corporation. It was formed in late 1986 to develop and promote the development of Yukon resources, to promote employment and business opportunities for Yukon residents and to acquire and operate the assets of Northern Canada Power Commission, and to involve itself in areas of strategic importance to the Yukon economy.

As most Members know, I think, a major undertaking of the Development Corporation has been the Watson Lake sawmill; the history of the Development Corporation’s involvement in that operation is fairly well known, culminating in the recent appointment of the receiver/manager.

There was a recently announced project involving the renovations to the old Yukon College, which is an interesting experiment in not only the financing of such renovations but also we think the experiment will allow us to maximize local benefits and employment and to keep the proceeds of the venture in the community; also, hopefully to maximize the use and benefit of an important public asset.

As Members know, the Development Corporation has also been responsible for coordinating the Yukon government’s support of a free port or public port facilities in Skagway; that we have been doing to advance the public interest of both producers and consumers in the Yukon Territory, who, as Judge Lilles’ report confirmed, had been overcharged for fuel products. I think, by extension, as a result of the bottleneck monopoly there, perhaps constrained some of the development possibilities in our community.

As Members also know, the Development Corporation has been approached on and has evaluated a wide range of other possible projects involving everything from telephone companies to railways to a number of other projects, including some recent projects mentioned in this House.

The board and the officers of the corporation have been through a review of its activities as a result of the experience to date. They are continuing work on more precisely defining the development of the corporation’s role for the future by way of a strategic plan. The work on that plan might have been completed by now except for the very intense involvement that we have had recently with the Watson Lake facility.

The strategic plan work will be going on over the course of the summer, leading to some conclusions by the YDC board and some recommendations to our Cabinet. We anticipate that strategic document will be made public with the idea that it will represent something of a business plan for the corporation, indicating the kind of business strategy it will be pursuing.

This would allow for public comment on that document. This is the strategic plan that I anticipate the corporation having on an annual basis henceforth. It will require Cabinet approval. The corporation will then be able to conduct its work. We do need, in this House and for the public, to clarify the roles and the reporting relationships roles of the different parties - the YDC, the Yukon Energy Corporation and the government - on all those questions.

It will be better if, while the government can speak to the broad policy questions, the YDC will have made a public statement approved by the government as to its strategic thrust.

The Leader of the Official Opposition indicated that most of his questions today would be dealing with the Yukon Energy Corporation. I will speak about that before I submit myself to his savage and withering attack. I am speaking lightheartedly, of course.

The Yukon Energy Corporation has owned and operated the electrical utilities since April 1, 1987. It is our belief that the wisdom of our ownership has been confirmed by a smooth transition for employees and operations. It has provided a continuing reliable supply of power to the Yukon consumers.

The utility is now subject to regulation by the Yukon Utilities Board. This was not the case prior to Yukon ownership. The previous situation was that only the private utility was subject to regulation by the our local Utilities Board. We have had the first general rate application go before the board, and it was approved. That has produced substantial benefit to consumers.

In the recent past, we have also seen the first major construction project of the corporation in the Mayo dam rebuild. It is worth pointing out to the House, especially since the House has been somewhat focused on problems, that we view this project as a success. It was completed on budget, on time with very good and commendable use of materials. It included a high degree of local employment, excellent use of local subcontractors and good economic spinoffs. The benefits of doing this project the way we did it extended from the Mayo region all the way to Watson Lake.

We are becoming involved in a number of environmental projects, and we think this is consistent with a responsible mandate for an energy corporation. There is a project going on involving the improvement of the fish ladder/observation site, which is of benefit to tourists and will improve the understanding of the Yukon River as a salmon river. We are also involved in the planning of a facility with Ducks Unlimited that would involve public access to viewing areas of waterfowl. We hope to make more announcements about that down the road.

The main message I want to bring to the House today is that the Energy Corporation is involved in a long-range planning project right now, which will see its completion in 1990. We are planning for future challenges. It is looking at completing the process of developing a comprehensive strategic energy plan this year. This plan will address a whole range of issues that any electrical utility operating in the 1990s will have to address. There are some unique problems facing this corporation. It will have to finalize the assessment of the future supply needs. We are looking at a whole range of questions on the demand-side management, something I am sure readers of many popular journals will have noticed is becoming an increasingly-important focus of every electrical utility in North America. We are doing a final assessment of some potential inter-ties, the rationalization of electrical services, the rationalization of our relationship with our manager, and a participation with industry in potential major developments, which involves the very complex questions about financing and sharing of risks of such developments.

Once this strategic plan is complete and has been approved by the board and by Cabinet, we will be making it public and inviting public comment. As required by law, we will be appearing before the Public Utilities Board in respect to specific rate applications in future years and the furtherance of specific projects that proceed from this plan.

Since it was on the news at noon, some Members may know about this, but I would mention that, at 2:00 a.m. this morning, there was a failure at the Aishihik power plant which caused the entire Aishihik plant to shut down. This required Curragh Resources to shut down temporarily. This problem has been identified and rectified, and the plant is now operational again.

People responded very quickly to the situation. I will not go into the technical details, unless someone requires me to do so, and then I shall become excessively dependent on the assistance of Mr. Maissan, who is present.

The Leader of the Official Opposition indicated an interest in a number of questions in discussions the other day. I hope to be in a position to answer those as well as I can during the course of this afternoon’s discussions.

Mr. Phelps: In my approach to general debate, I want to break this into three parts. I want to briefly discuss the “old Yukon College experiment”. I want to briefly ask one or two questions about the Watson Lake sawmill, which has been covered fairly extensively, I can say quite modestly, in Question Period. After that, I will perhaps have more questions about Yukon Energy Corporation. Last year at this time, we dealt more heavily with the Watson Lake sawmill experience, and we had witnesses before the House to discuss the operation of Hyland Forest Products under the auspices of the Yukon Development Corporation.

I have some grave concerns about the mandate of the Development Corporation. I sincerely hope the corporation is not used in competition with the private sector or to do things and achieve goals that can be achieved through the private sector. I feel very strongly that a body corporate such as this ought to be utilized to fill needs and requirements that properly fall within the responsibilities of government. I supported the concept, or our party supported the concept, of a Yukon Development Corporation to take over the assets of NCPC, and I have no difficulty with that, although there has to be a further rationalization in my view with regard to the wholesale end and the retail end of electrical distribution in the Yukon.

We have already expressed our grave concerns about what happened in the Watson Lake sawmill fiasco.

With regard to the old Yukon College, it just seems to me that it makes a lot of sense for government to look at lease-backs. The experience in North America with large private corporations has been that there has been specialization within the private sector in this regard, so we have the situation I am sure we are all familiar with of many large corporations and chains such as Woolworths and Super Valu entering into long-term, lease-back arrangements with specialists in the field. Indeed, that is the situation in Whitehorse where the private sector leases back the Qwanlin Mall shopping centre from the private sector. I think this is an area that should be looked at very closely by government; it is a policy that has been used successfully in the Northwest Territories; however, I personally take a rather dim view of the Yukon Development Corporation getting into the field. I think it can be performed by experts in the field.

I am sure there would be very little difficulty encouraging private capital to get into the field in a competitive way. They could provide that service for a profit at a cost much more competitive and much less than the government ends up spending in running and maintaining public buildings.

I would be much happier not to see the YDC get into a lease-back situation. I would rather have seen a policy developed that would move in that direction, in particular toward office space with the private sector. There would then be that kind of specialization and that kind of infusion of capital, and there would be a more efficiently run end result for government.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Leader of the Official Opposition is making an interesting point. There is a big difference between new buildings being put up by the private sector and old buildings that the government already owns. That is the case with the old Yukon College building.

I lived and worked in Ottawa for a couple of years during the 1970s. Many of the buildings were financed the way the Member has described. They were the source of some furious public debate. Many allegations were made that there was favouritism involved in the identification of the developers. An argument was made that public funds were used to guarantee a profit for private developers, the arrangements being so handsome that a couple of developers in that area were then able to go off and become the billionaires in the American property market for a short period of time.

If their business skills had been tested earlier in a free market situation in Ottawa, perhaps they may never have had that opportunity. I do not want to make a partisan point here. I would like the Leader of the Official Opposition to understand that during this time there was a Liberal government in Ottawa. I participated in and overheard many discussions that critiqued, both from the Conservative party - the right and the left - and the NDP about the kind of arrangements that the Member is now advocating that were very common in that capital city.

We are seriously considering this question. Recently our Minister of Government Services was in another capital - I will not mention the name, because it might compromise me in some way - where many government buildings had been built there by the method proposed. There is great unhappiness by the client, the private sector, that buildings seemed to have been built in obsolescense that lasted only as long as the basic lease. Developers have done very well, but the government has had not an entirely satisfactory product.

This touches on another issue that the Leader of the Official Opposition and I have talked about before. That is the problem of capital formation in underdeveloped and northern areas and why we have things like development corporations.

During my time in government, a number of local developers have pointed out the problem of trying to get long-term leases. There have been very few in this government with one or two notable exceptions. When we came into office, we were told that a policy stated that there were to be no long-term leases. Two or three years after we were in office, we stumbled on the fact that there were some even though it was not the policy.

We have recently reviewed that policy and have had discussions with the Chamber of Commerce about it. The government is a triple A tenant, and there are not very many of them around here. Given the absence of insurance companies, trust companies and the kind of people who often finance such developments, it is still hard to put proposals like this together in this particular market.

That does not mean that we will not look at it, and this is much more the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Government Services. In respect to the old Yukon College, we have a somewhat different situation. It is an older building, and it is a building that we already own.

We are talking about a way of financing their innovations and the operation of the facility. For us, it is an experiment, and we will be evaluating it in terms of whether it has continued efficacy. Given the changes in our financial situation, and given the knowledge we have that this method is increasingly common for governments elsewhere in this country, as well as in other countries, we are keen to pursue this with this project and see how it works out. For us, it is an opportunity to achieve high quality, usable office space for our employees, as well as having an energy-efficient and attractive building in the end, which is important for the taxpayers, as well as the workers.

No doubt, we will be in discussions about this project when it nears completion, and we will have an opportunity to see how well it has done. My colleague, the Minister of Government Services, and I are keen to see this experiment go ahead and believe it is something that should prove out.

The general policies about government leasing, building or requiring space have been discussed by my colleague, the Minister of Government Services, elsewhere. The issue is related to a number of other questions and a number of other departmental responsibilities.

Mr. Phelps: I do not want to drag out this debate. I am sure there is an underlying difference in philosophy that will not be overcome in this debate. I am very doubtful about the ability of the Development Corporation to compete against experts in the field and to come in with the cost they have made public in this House to renovate that building. Renovations of old buildings can prove to be extremely expensive. Once you start tearing into the building and finding out just how bad things are, there are often a lot of hidden defects. Trust me. I recently rebuilt an 80 year old building in Carcross, where we live. There were many expenses there you could not tell about until you actively got renovating, in terms of foundation problems, and so on.

The Minister mentioned the potential for political scandal, the kind of things that were said in the early 1970s with regard to the players in the lease-backs that were being built all over Ottawa in that boom period. It is my view that these are issues that can be overcome by appropriate policy. If your policy is one that is fair and seen to be fair, you can overcome that kind of problem. I do not want to get into a long debate about how that would be done, but there are various options that could be examined.

The Minister spoke to the issue of quality of building. It has been an experience in some places that the buildings have been inferior in quality and have worn out in the lifetime of the lease-back, or slightly prior to it. Again, that is an issue of policy and building standards, and one that can be addressed in an appropriate policy.

The Minister spoke to the fact that, in this particular situation, it is an old building. It has lived up to its name, and its land and materials are presently owned by the Government of Yukon. Again, in my view, that is not a conclusive argument against lease-back with the private sector, any more than it is with a Crown corporation.

Indeed, very often the large chain companies that refuse to get into land management will assemble land, own it, and then enter into an agreement, a lease-back arrangement, with the specialty companies that perform that service.

I want to be on the record as having made my point to counter some of the points made by the Minister. I think we can safely say we will agree to disagree; we will look with interest and will be scrutinizing very closely the end product across the river.

I would like to move on unless I have invited a rejoinder of course?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Later on, when we get to the Energy Corporation, no doubt we will get into down-side risks and the opposite. The Leader of the Opposition is describing himself as a skeptic or a pessimist on this score; I remain an optimist. That may summarize the philosophical differences.

I know that at one point in his career he studied philosophy. We all have these secrets in our past that we hide. He will know about Pascal’s gamble and he will know that, in this respect, he is on the safe side of the issue, but I do believe that, especially in an environment where there are not a great number of established local experts, this is a responsible experiment we are taking and we will assess it properly at the completion of the project.

Mr. Phelps: Sometimes fools step in where angels fear to tread. Speaking of optimistic gambles, one by renowned philosopher/scientist, Benjamin Franklin, almost proved fatal.

Moving on, I would like to briefly discuss the Watson Lake sawmill situation. I am concerned about the delay that has been experienced by the receiver in obtaining the books from the manager. I gather there will be a very close scrutiny performed by not only the receiver but also by the Yukon Development Corporation as a major stakeholder in the assets. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes. Just to be perfectly legally and precisely correct, I understand the receiver/manager will carefully and closely examine the books, but we will receive the information and review, study and analyze the information.

Mr. Phelps: All I can say is that the whole delay and circumstances certainly arouse my suspicions.

I am not going to get into all the issues we discussed at great detail in Question Periods this session, but without really pre-empting the debate that will take place on the new Public Accounts Committee report, which has been tabled here, I wonder if the Minister would agree with the suggested criteria concerning the financial operations, including the acquisition, operation and sale of the forest products company as set forward in Appendix I of the report as a suggestion to the Yukon Development Corporation as a blueprint to be followed in future - heaven help us should there be any future - endeavours such as this?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: First of all, we, as a government have not had a chance to formally consider and formally respond to the suggestions made in the Public Accounts Committee report. Obviously, as I always do, I will take the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee very seriously, and we will look at them very carefully and respond with all seriousness.

Mr. Phelps: I would like, then, to move on to Yukon Energy Corporation, the subsidiary of Yukon Development Corporation. I will perhaps begin by asking questions about current and future supply and demand. Right now, how are the two balanced off? Are we close to capacity or are we going to require additional diesel units, particularly with regard to the main grid - the main grid, of course, being the Whitehorse/Faro/Aishihik grid.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Those are among the questions that are being looked at right now by the officers and the employees of the corporation, with the assistance of the gentleman we described the other day in Question Period, among others. Yukon Electrical Corporation, of course, is pivotal in terms of the advice we are having from that source.

In broad policy terms, this government, as are most governments in North America now, would try to get off oil, not only for the environmental reasons - the burning of fossil fuels is a serious environmental problem with the effect of global warming and something that the Leader of the Opposition knows all about. The problem here is the most attractive alternative or the most obvious attractive alternative, which is hydro, is something which we have to access the risks of very carefully.

For example, as the Member knows, if we were contemplating a major new mine and they were looking for hydro power, we would obviously have to get into very serious negotiations with the proponent, as to how the risks would be shared between the developer and ourselves on such a project. If you were just looking at the short-term - this is a superficial example because we have not actually completed the work - quick fix to the supply problem, then obviously new diesel units are the easiest way to go. We have to consider both the short-term and long-term implications of that strategy and the intertwined  questions are ones that I have also mentioned.

A whole complex of issues are being assessed and considered, including the questions of financial resources and constraints and the optimization of the utility resources that we have here. Every utility now is paying increasing attention to conservation and demands among management options. We are also looking at both small and small-generation project options, as well as large ones. The environmental responsibilities, the whole environmental assessment process has been tightened and made more vigorous everywhere. There are not only time but also cost implications of that for responsible utilities. There are obviously assessments of growth and expansion, which have been done, which we are reviewing now - industrial, financial-stability questions, public service objectives. All of these things are being factored into the energy strategic planning process that we are now embarked upon.

Mr. Phelps: I think the strategic plan is long overdue. It should have been one of the top priorities of government. This kind of work should have been done some time ago.

Is there any surplus capacity right now in the system, with regard to the grid?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The short answer is that we have very limited surplus hydro capacity now. I will not elaborate on the answer. I will see where the questions go.

Mr. Phelps: Has the government assessed and priorized the various potential hydro sites in Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: We not only have fairly sophisticated projections, high-, low-, mid-range scenarios, in terms of demand, but we have also done assessments of the most opportune hydro sites. We have work going on now to refine that short list.

Mr. Phelps: Have appropriate steps been taken to protect those sites, at least the priorized ones, in land claims?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes.

Mr. Phelps: Has the government completed a study on alternative energy sources in the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: We have been studying those all along, as we have been studying all these issues. The question of sinergy, or coordinating and correlating all the information into the strategic plan, and certain decision points we have to reach on all these questions, is going to be concluded in the next few months. In the public statement of the strategy, we will have folded in all these considerations, including the alternate-energy ones and the demand-management possibilities that may exist here.

Mr. Phelps: Will the government be tabling its assessment and priorization of hydro sites? If so, when?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The assessment will become public at some point. I hope the Leader of the Official Opposition will understand that there are some complications that can arise on all sorts of fronts from premature publication of sites one is assessing, especially if, in the end, we are not prepared to proceed with, say, site X or site Y. This is particularly so if, from a public relations point of view, if we start having to deal with the “nimby” reactions that you will inevitably get with any conceivable site nowadays. As a matter of policy, we would have liked to refine our alternatives to the point where we really have a handful of options and have them clearly ranked in terms of our degree of interest in them, before we go to the regulatory bodies or make our plans public in that area.

Mr. Phelps: I understand the political problems, and I understand that the Energy Corporation would want to refine them down to a smaller number of top-priority sites, particularly hydro sites. I think that exercise ought to be completed as quickly as possible. It is impossible to protect sites without making them public, as we found from the kinds of protections that we have used to safeguard land claims.

It seems to me that there is going to be a point in time - and it ought to be sooner rather than later - where certainly the top priorized areas should at least be protected on an interim basis.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member is quite right, but I want him to understand that we already have a short list. Throughout the process, we have been in communication with claims negotiators about the protection of sites, and that is the most important vehicle for which we have been addressing that issue up to now.

Mr. Phelps: I am really not speaking about the land claims at this point in time, if that is a given. I know, when we went through the exercise of land selection, we had difficulty because, back then, the predecessor of Yukon Energy Corporation, the Northern Canada Power Commission, really had an abysmal inventory of future hydro sites and needs. In fact, they sent us a couple of experts who could not even pronounce the names - they were pronouncing Kluane as “Kloo-ane”, which I want to mention to the good Member for Kloo-ane and “Aish-a-hick” - and, with a straight face, attempting to have those areas protected at the land claims table, much to the sometimes disgust and sometimes amusement of the negotiators for CYI.

But, that aside, the issue I am concerned about is that we should, once the list is sufficiently priorized, see protective devices introduced in order to prevent the alienation of surface rights and mineral rights, where it is probable that some of those new sites might be developed in the foreseeable future.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I hope I can assure the Member that we are proceeding promptly on that score. I want him to know we are not planning to dam Kloo-ane; Aish-a-hick has already been “damned”, I understand; in fact, I could prove it as of last night.

Mr. Phelps: Speaking of Aish-a-hick, there was a potential for diverting other water bodies into it because of the low rainfall in the area; that is one of the things they were trying to press upon us during the sometimes amusing discussions we had about protection.

The issue of the Mayo hydro surplus: when can we expect to have a study to look at with regard to the feasibility of tying that power source into the main grid and the relative economic merit of that kind of a link being established rather than, or as opposed to, or as compared with, a supply to Dawson City?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The study on those options was commissioned last year. I think, as we come close to concluding the strategic planning process, we are fairly confident of the direction in which we will move by that point. I hope the Member will understand that, for all sorts of good reasons, we will not want to separate out some of these decisions, making them independent of their impacts on other parts of the system. For that reason, I think the final declaration, the advice I am getting from our people, is that the final decision or declaration of our intentions on that score will come as part of the publication of the strategic planning exercise, not in advance of it or as a separate decision.

I can tell the Member - because I anticipate his question - the decision in the end will involve a calculation of the upside and downside risks of taking the Mayo power north or south.

The upside opportunities of tying in with the Whitehorse/Aishihik/Faro system are fairly obvious, given the demand on that system. The downside risks are great though and are associated with excessive dependency on one industrial customer. That is something about which we have to be concerned for our whole system.

We are somewhat protected as a result of the agreements that we signed with the national government in terms of the transfer of NCPC, but we do have to be concerned about that.

The option of going north is not as attractive given the upside, but there is obvious demand there that can be displaced by hydro power. The preliminary assessment shows the downside risks to be minimal. We will probably be announcing a decision on this in the context of the overall strategic plan, not separately.

Mr. Phelps: When will the strategic plan be published? I take that word to imply being made public, as opposed to the document simply coming off the press.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: We are hoping to complete the work this summer or the early fall. I expect it to come early in the fall.

I know the appetite for definite dates and firm commitments. Having been caught out before, however, I will hesitate to give a definite date for fear that I end up being wrong and then accused of all sorts of evil things in the House.

The work is proceeding apace. Some of our efforts have been made a little slow by recent developments. We are looking to complete the work in the summer or early fall. We look toward publication this fall, 1990.

Mr. Phelps: This is a bit of switch in the old saw - once bitten, twice shy, 10 times bitten, once shy. Is that appropriate?

I have a question on the infamous Henderson Corner, the so-called main-line extension. Is there a written policy in existence regarding YEC paying for main-line extensions on a pre-build basis? If so, may we have it tabled? If not, will the YEC be preparing one so that all Yukoners can view it and be assured that everyone will be treated fairly and equally under the policy? Does this involve the expenditure of public fund?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: We believe, as the Leader of the Official Opposition apparently does not, that the analogy to the Henderson Corner matter is instructive. Should he wish, I will be happy to go through that again and explain why decisions were made at a certain point.

There are two important anchors to the policy considerations to which we would want to refer. One is the general policy of this government, which we would want to avoid in the future, that developers are responsible for seeing power go to the development and that that should be included as part of the development costs of subdivisions.

Secondly, power lines on main lines or routes are something that the general consumer has always absorbed. We can justify that to the Public Utilities Board. The main anchor for the defence of any such investment by the utility is the requirement of the act that calls upon the utility to make a prudent investment and to defend the prudence of that investment to the Utilities Board.

Mr. Phelps: Has this particular expenditure been defended yet before the Public Utilities Board?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Not yet.

Mr. Phelps: The Minister may not be surprised that there may be some additional interveners when it is discussed.

I just simply make the representation, once again, that there ought to be a policy that is in black and white that other Yukoners can read. People in similar situations ought to be treated similarly, and I can certainly give quite a few examples of people who feel they are entitled to this kind of treatment, in my riding and in other ridings around the territory.

Mr. Phelps: Given the Member’s interest in the question, I would certainly be talking our officials about refining policy on this question, as we are doing on a whole range of questions. The Member will understand that the staff of the corporation is quite small. We are dealing with, not only the global energy strategy questions, but policy in a number of areas. It may well be wise, given the peculiar character of the debate on this question, to give it a more refined and public expression of our policy.

The Member indicated an interest in being an intervener in the Public Utilities Board hearing and of course we would welcome him doing that. The Member asked if I would be surprised; no, I would not be surprised. I would, however, be disappointed if he chose his good friend, the president of the Conservative Party, as the lawyer, because he is supposed to be on our side on this question.

Mr. Phelps: I will probably not do that, in that case, because of the obvious conflict potential. I might even do it on my own and provide the barefoot-boy-from-Carcross perspective on these kinds of things and not dwell so much of statistics and such.

We of course are not happy with what happened with regard to that main-line extension. The gentlemanly tone with which we have been addressing the situation on both sides is not a reflection of our displeasure over it. With those comments I am prepared to go line-by-line.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his comments but if I could caution him not to be excessively subtle with me in the future, because I am just a sort of barefoot boy myself, and if there is great energy being invested in representation and argument and petitioning and questions on the other side, on behalf of a matter that they really do not wish us to pursue, I would hope in future that he could be clear on that point, so that we do not get confusing messages. I do want him to know, at the best of times, that, along with my colleague from the Klondike, that he does have influence on the government and when he is making representations we do listen.

On Operation and Maintenance

On Gross Advances

Gross Advances in the amount of $1.00 agreed to

On Less Internal Recovery

Less Internal Recovery in the amount of $1.00 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1.00 agreed to

Chair: Any other questions?

On Schedule “A”

On Operation and Maintenance

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1.00 agreed to

Yukon Development Corporation agreed to

Yukon Housing Corporation

Chair: Is there any general debate?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: Upon rising with opening remarks on the Housing Corporation budget, I have the feeling we have gone through a number of the topics in the past that seem to be popular in this budget. We have had a recent supplementary and, in addition, the previous budget dealt with a number of the programs. It is almost a feeling of deja vu.

Nevertheless, this budget is not much different from the previous year’s budget which, in turn, was supported by the supplementary we dealt with last month.

As indicated in the budget book, the budget reflects a $23 million gross expenditure. That is split into $8.5 million in the operation side and $14.8 million on the capital side.

There is a recovery of $4.8 million on the operation side, as well as a $13.1 million recovery on the capital side. The net result of that is that the net expenditure is $3.6 million on operation and maintenance and $1.6 million on the capital.

I would like to make several observations about the housing market in Whitehorse and Yukon. In the year ending June of 1989, there had been a 3.9 percent increase in population. That put a bit of pressure on an already fairly tight housing market, especially in Whitehorse. When we look at the vacancy rate, we note that on only one occasion last year did the vacancy rate rise above two percent. For the most part, it stayed well below.

Rents, again particularly in Whitehorse, showed a mean average increase of 5.8 percent. The Hillcrest and Porter Creek areas showed the highest increase in rents, averaging 19.6 percent. By and large, while the real estate market has been fairly steady, there is a noticeable increase in housing costs, on average, of 3.8 percent.

The impact of this fairly tight housing market has translated into some increased demands for adequate and affordable housing that we provide through the Yukon Housing Corporation. For example, in Dawson City, the number of people on the waiting list for social housing has more than doubled from 17 to 36 in the course of the last year. In Whitehorse, the waiting list has increased to 76. I use “waiting list” not as a necessarily accurate barometer of need or demand, because not all people who require housing put their names on a waiting list. We do not always have an accurate picture of precisely the numbers of people who are in a need situation for housing.

This budget reflects our response to that. In Dawson, we will be building a 13 unit apartment block. That should address the fairly chronic housing situation in the community. In addition, we will be putting six units into Carcross, six units into Carmacks, four units into Teslin and 48 in Whitehorse - six of  which will be rent-supplement to assist with the housing co-op in the Granger subdivision, and 12 units will be for Kaushee’s Place.

I expect that, as we go through line items, I can provide more detail on specific expenditures relating to construction and relating to staff housing we are proposing and relating to improvements that we anticipate spending money on.

In the last debate, concerning the estimates, we had a fairly extensive debate on the various housing issues and programs. There were two outstanding matters on which I committed to provide information to Members. One related to the turn-key proposals. I believe the Member for Porter Creek East raised the issue of what criteria we used and what were the results of the tendering process; I have assembled some detailed information on that for the benefit of the Member.

Additionally, there was an outstanding question on staffing of the corporation. I will circulate some statistics relating to the staffing pattern of the corporation over the past three years.

So, those are two outstanding commitments I remember from the last debate, and I invite questions from Members or we can go to line-by-line.

Mr. Devries: Actually, I had all those items the Minister just mentioned highlighted in my book here. One of my concerns is that we have seen the budget for Yukon Housing double over the last two or three years. My question is: how much longer can the government afford to carry on with jumps like that in the budget? Although, by the same token, I understand some of this is recoverable, no doubt.

The question still remains: regarding the Centennial Street project, as we all know, the contractors have been experiencing some problems. This is a turn-key operation and my understanding is that, for a specific price of $1.8 million or whatever it was, regardless of what happens with the contractor, we still get this thing for that price. What would happen if, for instance, the contractor could not finish it for the amount of money he has budgeted? Is there any way the government would ever be held liable for those additional costs at all?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member raised the question of the increasing budget and I hear his question. He is correct when he points out that the majority of the budget is recoverable. There are really only about five million new dollars in here, from what is recovered through the program recoveries with CMHC, through the rents collected from tenants, whether they be social or staff. In a very brief response, our sense of responsibility is to provide for what we see as necessary, adequate and affordable housing to people in need. Certainly from the waiting lists and certainly from the pressures we see in the communities, this is a responsible response to demands in the community.

I cannot predict when that demand will lessen. With continuing good performance by the corporation to bring the budget onstream, to bring all the programs onstream, and to bring all the units that are allocated onstream, we should be lessening that demand. In the future, we may well be in the position to start reducing the budgets because the demand and the need is no longer there, and the market place is looking after itself.

With reference to Centennial, we have a fairly iron-clad agreement whereby we buy the units at a pre-arranged price. We are not prepared to change that figure. The agreement says this will be the price we will play. Should there be problems with the contractor in providing those units, that is not our concern, technically speaking. Technically speaking, we have no responsibility to the construction of the project other than a commitment to pay for the completed units when they are ready for delivery.

The logical question is: would we would get involved in the construction of the facility if it or the firm collapsed? I do not know. We would really have to evaluate that to ensure we do not exceed our budget commitments.

Mr. Devries: I notice the Minister said it was fairly iron-clad. I guess he is saying that nothing is truly iron-clad. There is always a chance it will not go through.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I used the terminology “fairly iron-clad”. Iron-clad would work just as well. An agreement with a firm that has collapsed and is in bankruptcy does pose a problem for fulfilling commitments. The agreement is iron-clad in that it is a signed-off document that gives a legal commitment between us and the contractor to provide those units at a fixed cost.

Should that totally collapse, we have paid out no money, nor have we any commitment to go in and finish the job. As I indicated, we may want to go in and talk to the banks and reassess the financing of the project and, perhaps, become involved, but only if it is perfectly and totally safe for us not to be caught picking up unnecessary expenses.

Ms. Hayden: I have a couple of questions concerning seniors housing in Whitehorse South Centre. What are the plans for renovation for Ryder Apartments on Sixth Avenue? As I understand it, they had planned renovations last year, and they were cancelled. Is it planned for this year?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The understanding I have is that, in 1988-89, we did some $70,000 worth of improvements to the windows. In this last budget year, we had anticipated doing some additional work. We tendered, and it came in way over budget. Therefore, the project was pulled. Within this coming budget that is now tabled, it is our intention to do three principal areas of work: flooring in the amount of $58,000; roofing and ventilation in the amount of $200,000; and some appliance replacement for $10,000.

There will be nearly $250,000 for the Ryder Apartments.

Ms. Hayden: I have a question with regard to the Hanson Street seniors housing, which is one of the oldest units owned by the corporation. I had understood renovations were planned for Hanson Street after renovations were completed on the Ryder Apartments. Where are those plans in terms of this year’s budget, or are they for next year? Where would we expect that to happen?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: On the Hanson Street facility, I was advised that there was some substantial work done about seven years ago: a complete retrofit to the facility. It is considered to be in substantially better condition than some other units where the priority has been given. We do not have any major work intended for that facility this year. It is intended for next year.

On Operation and Maintenance

On Gross Expenditures

Gross Expenditures in the amount of $8,484,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $8,484,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Non-Profit Housing

Non-Profit Housing in the amount of $7,746,000 agreed to

On Home Improvement

Home Improvement in the amount of $1,000,000 agreed to

On Home Ownership

Home Ownership in the amount of $3,825,000 agreed to

On Staff Housing

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The staff housing construction and acquisition in the amount of $1,000,000 is intended to provide for a number of units in several communities in the territory where needs have been identified by various departments. I can go through the communities where units are intended to be constructed, if that is what the Member wants.

Mr. Devries: I just have had a few concerns and I believe most of them were regarding staff housing for some of the government workers in social services. I understand there was some shortage there. My understanding was that one of them was Old Crow. I would assume that the apartment complex in Dawson City would take care of the situation there. Another one is Carmacks.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Member is partly correct. We have received some expressions of need from Health and Human Resources in the area of social workers. In Dawson, we intend to construct two units from this funding line item, one that is intended for education purposes, vis-a-vis a teacher, and another for a social worker for Health and Human Resources.

The reason that the units in Dawson the Member refers to will not fulfill that need is those are constructed under the social housing program and are for people in need, as opposed to staff people. Those are the two units coming on in Dawson.

There are two additional units in Haines Junction, three units in Carmacks, and three units in Watson Lake. In the case of Watson Lake, they are units requested by Education. That is the current budgetary plan. Should something change, we would have to reapportion accordingly. The current understanding from Education and Health and Human Resources is that distribution I have just outlined.

Mr. Devries: The Member for Kluane raised a concern about staff housing for the highway workers in Beaver Creek. Does the Minister have an update on that?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: Yes, I do. I was quite surprised the Member raised the issue as a matter of major concern. In that community we currently have two staff units and they are both vacant. When I further inquired about what the Member was talking about, it was difficult to understand what the specific concerns were.

From the understanding that I have gained from an investigation by the Yukon Housing Corporation, we currently have two empty staff units in Beaver Creek. We have had no requests from staff to move into these units. The Highways employees own their own homes. The teachers are in the teacherage. I imagine that is “teacher”, singular. No other employees, to our knowledge, are eligible for staff housing. I did have some difficulty understanding the problem.

Mr. Brewster: I can put it simply. The government is charging today’s rent on buildings that were built by the American army in 1942. Plus that, they have to pay one of the highest electrical bills. They also have one of the highest fuel bills; therefore, they cannot foot the bill and stay on the same wages that people in Whitehorse get. It is simple.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not know if I have an appropriate answer for the Member. The rents charged to staff people have adjustments built into them for the community in which they live. In other words, the basic rent structure around the territory is scaled to Whitehorse as being central and there are adjustment factors for whatever community people live in. That is related to factors within that community.

The rent in Beaver Creek is $350. If that is inappropriately high, the Member can offer his opinion. We now have electrical equalization in the territory, so that should not be a factor unless excessive electricity is used. I would appreciate any additional information. If the Member perceives a real problem, I would like to be able to address it.

Mr. Brewster: If the rent is down to $300, I guess we have done enough hollering in the last eight damn years, because it has been $600 all along, on old houses. The funny thing is that the customs people get their brand new  homes cheaper than people who live in houses built in 1942. It is a fact, and I am a little sick and tired of people sitting here who have probably never gone out and looked at the houses these people are living in and the shacks they are living in in the bush because they cannot afford it. I am getting sick and tired of coming in here and saying, “This is the way things are.” Those people are the ones paying the bills. Those people are the ones who are taking the beating. That is why you have a continual turnover of staff up there who will not stay because they have no place to live; they are living in little log shacks with no water and nothing else. It is about time someone took a serious look at them, not just run around and say, “Well, this is what is in the books.” If it is now down to $350, it took eight years to get it down there.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I do not want to belabour the point, because I have some respect for what the Member is saying when he talks about the need for adequate facilities and services to ensure that people stay in communities. Housing is definitely one of them. I am not aware that people in Beaver Creek were charged $600 or $700 rent in the past. My understanding of the rent structure is that it is scaled, as I described, to the distance from Whitehorse, to the amenities within that community and to the nature of the house itself. That is how rents are structured and that is what the $350 is being charged for in the case of Beaver Creek. I agree with the Member that it is our business, we ought to be providing for the best state of amenities and services and support to ensure that people stay in those communities, because housing is a critical component of why people remain in communities.

Mr. Brewster: I do not want to carry this on but I want to point out to the Member: he says, number one, they get electrical rebate; we get an electrical rebate on only so many kilowatts. They average over two months more winter than any of the rest of us - in case none of you have ever been up there to check on this. Therefore, their heating lines for the water pipes are on more, their fans and furnaces are on for two months longer than anybody else’s and living up there is very difficult. It is one of the worst places in the Yukon to live, quite frankly. There is very little of anything; they are isolated completely. We have had to fight for everything up there. I had to fight for nurses; I have had to fight for the school; I had to fight for everything else, and I will keep right on fighting until they get decent homes.

Staff Housing in the amount of $1,300,000 agreed to

On Joint Venture

Joint Venture in the amount of $1,000,000 agreed to

On Central Services

Central Services in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $14,881,000 agreed to

Chair: Any other questions on Allotments?

On Allotments

Allotments agreed to

Yukon Housing Corporation in the amount of $23,365,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

On Operation and Maintenance

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $8,484,000 agreed to

On Capital

Capital in the amount of $14,881,000 agreed to

Yukon Housing Corporation in the amount of $23,365,000 agreed to

Yukon Liquor Corporation

Chair: Is there general debate? We are on page 376.

On Operation and Maintenance

On Gross Advances

Gross Advances in the amount of $500,000 agreed to

On Less Internal Recovery

Less Internal Recovery in the amount of a recovery of $500,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1.00 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

On Operation and Maintenance

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1.00 agreed to

Yukon Liquor Corporation agreed to

Loan Capital and Loan Amortization

Chair: Is there general debate?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: This is a pretty standard item. Members have seen it over and over again. The two items are merely to grant vote authority to the government to makes loans to municipalities and to pay back loans to lenders to whom the government is indebted.

The loan capital expenditure of $2 million is an outside estimate of the loans that municipalities may require in this coming year. The estimate is based on a canvass of the communities by the Department of Community and Transportation Services.

The associated recovery of $2 million reflects the fact that loans to municipalities do not affect our surplus or deficit position. In other words, when a loan is an expenditure, it is not an expense. Instead of charging an expense or cost account when we pay out the money to the municipality, we charge an asset, a loan receivable.

A loan amortization expenditure of $2,121,000 provides authority to make repayments on loans that are outstanding. These loans were taken out by us in the past to reloan to municipalities. The expenditure consists of interest and principal portion, and only the interest portion has an impact on the surplus/deficit position. In this case, it is an expense of $912,000.

The associated loan amortization recovery of $2,037,000 represents the receipt from the municipalities of monies that we have loaned to them in the past. As for the expenditures that I just mentioned, the interest portion of recovery affects the surplus/deficit calculation.

As usual, the expenditure and recovery do not match. This is a result of several things.

Some of the older loans to municipalities were made for amounts and on terms that varied somewhat from the amounts borrowed from the federal government. It is probable the difference in these cases was in the amortization periods and did not show in the difference between the inflow and outflow of funds.

It is a standard item and merely accounts for the loan funding we provide to municipalities and the expenditures we must make back to the party that loaned us the money.

Mr. Lang: Are all the municipalities paying their outstanding loans, according to their agreements?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Yes, everything is in good shape. The loans are as follows, in terms of outstanding money owing. It is a total of $9,705,000: Dawson City, $275,000; $2,455,000 remains outstanding in Faro’s debt; Whitehorse now stands at $6,974,000 in loans outstanding.

On Loan Capital

On Expenditure

On Loans to Third Parties

Loans to Third Parties in the amount of $2,000,000 agreed to

On Recovery

On Loans to Third Parties

Loans to Third Parties in the amount of $2,000,000 agreed to

On Loan Amortization

On Expenditure

On Interest

Interest in the amount of $1,209,000 agreed to

On Principal

Principal in the amount of $912,000 agreed to

Loan Amortization in the amount of $2,121,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

On Loan Capital

Loan Capital in the amount of $2 million agreed to

On Loan Amortization

Loan Amortization in the amount of $2,121,000 agreed to

Schedule “A” in the amount of $346,602,000 agreed to

On Schedule B

Schedule B in the amount of $24,007,000 agreed to

On Schedule C

Schedule C agreed to

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Clause 2

Clause 2 agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move you report Bill No. 19, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1990-91 out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Bill No. 34 - Third Appropriation Act, 1989-90

Hon. Mr. McDonald: We discussed the bill in second reading. It is a fairly straightforward bill. As Members will know, its main purpose is to fund the teacher and auxiliary employee wage settlements, although it deals with several other matters as well.

We are requesting $2,169,000 additional spending authority in the bill. This is a gross figure and, after identified lapses are taken into account, it amounts to $1,632,000 net.

Members will appreciate that we must vote all increases in departments but do not deduct the decreases from the sum being request.

When recoveries are factored in, the effect on the surplus position is to reduce it by $1.3 million.

The settlement with the Yukon Teachers Association accounts for $662,000 of the funds contained in the supplementary, while the auxiliary agreement amounts to $306,000. The auxiliary sum is spread among several departments, as Members can see in the bill.

The Executive Council Office is requesting an additional $552,000 for the French and aboriginal languages program. These funds are fully recoverable from the federal government.

The Department of Community and Transportation Services needs $185,000 more for operation and maintenance purposes. This is entirely the result of the auxiliary contract.

The department’s capital expenditures are decreased by $219,000, which is largely the result of some work under the engineering services agreement not being able to be completed this year. It is accompanied by an associated decrease in recoveries.

The Department of Education requires $749,000 in operation and maintenance funds. The bulk of this is the result of the YTA and auxiliary settlements. There is also a slight increase in the operation and maintenance recoveries for the department.

The Department of Government Services is requesting $170,000 for operation and maintenance purposes, but this is largely offset by a decrease of $150,000 in capital spending.

The Department of Health and Human Resources requires no new money, but there is a transfer of $130,000 from operation and maintenance to capital to fund the purchase of equipment for the mammography unit we have discussed in the House.

The Department of Justice operation and maintenance vote shows an increase of $233,000. These monies are needed for several purposes. By far the most significant is an increase in the police services contract with the federal government. The federal government costs for this service are running higher than they were originally predicted and we assume these costs under the contract. There is also a small requirement for additional capital funding.

There is a small decrease in the operation and maintenance required for the Department of Renewable Resources, but this is more than offset by an increase in capital expenditures. The capital is required for numerous purposes, which I will leave for the responsible Minister to explain.

Members will note that our income revenues are now expected to be $1.5 million higher than the estimated amount in Supplementary No. 1. This revised figure reflects current data we received from the federal government, and also reflects the general health of the Yukon economy.

At the same time, current federal estimates of established program financing show a decrease of $456,000. Neither of these changes have any impact on our surplus/deficit position, because they are failsafed under the formula financing agreement. In other words, the financing arrangement is either increased or decreased by a like amount.

Members may have general questions; I am sure responsible Ministers will be prepared to answer any questions about their own budgets. The primary factor here is the wage settlements.

Executive Council Office

On Operation and Maintenance

On French and Aboriginal Languages

Hon. Mr. Penikett: It is through this supplementary that we are requesting spending authority for an additional $552,000 in the aboriginal language program. This will increase the total budget to $935,000 from $383,000.

These expenditures are 100 percent recoverable from the federal government. In 1988, we negotiated a funding agreement with the federal government to provide $4.25 million over a five year period for an aboriginal languages service.

We are processing this supplementary in a sense, in order to accommodate the federal Department of the Secretary of State. We have been advised that if we do not take this money now, we could lose it. We intend to invest this money in a trust fund for the program needs in the future.

The original agreement with Canada allows for uncommitted funding out of the $425 million originally budgeted to be rolled over into future fiscal years. We have now been given to understand that the federal Treasury Board has not, to date, approved this rollover.

Therefore, the uncommitted funds of $552,000 could be lost. The most prudent course that we are taking as a result with the Department of Finance is to deposit the money in a special fund to support the preservation, development and enhancement of aboriginal languages. That is pursuant to the Languages Act that was passed in this House in agreement with the federal government.

This situation, unfortunately, has only recently come up. Upon advice from the federal government, we are even at this moment working out the specific details for the administration of the fund. It will probably be run much like trusts that we run for all other purposes, whether they are estates or for other purposes, which the Department of Finance now holds.

French and Aboriginal Languages in the amount of $552,000 agreed to

Community and Transportation Services

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The $174,000 in transportation and the $11,000 in community services are strictly the additional costs required for the new auxiliary employee agreement.

On the Capital side, the engineering services agreement reflect all those reductions of work that was not completed.

The highway construction on the planning and engineering side for $39,000 is the auxiliary employee cost again. So, what we have is strictly auxiliary costs and some reduced work under ESA.

On Operation and Maintenance

On Transportation

Transportation in the amount of $174,000 agreed to

On Community Services

Community Services in the amount of $11,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $185,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

On Operation and Maintenance

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $185,000 agreed to

Community and Transportation Services agreed to


Hon. Mr. McDonald: As I indicated, the entire increase in this supplementary results from the salary increases awarded to departmental employees since those shown in the last supplementary in the initiation of the math and science tutorial program - the recovery that I mentioned in the opening remarks.

The salary increases are for 396 teachers awarded by the arbitrator, covering the period August 31, 1989 to June 22, 1990. The 1989-90 impact is $592,000. When I mention 396 teachers, it does not mean that we have 396 teacher person years; we have about 340 teacher person years and they are the half-time teachers and all teachers in the system.

Salary increases for 35 teacher aides, who received the same award as the teachers, received a total package of $20,000 as a result of the increase.

There are salary increases to 19 tutors costing $11,000 and benefits to auxiliary employees, as negotiated with the Yukon Government Employees Union; these are retroactive to April 1, 1989. These benefits cover such things as the Yukon bonus, special and sick leave and all sundries.

Total cost for the 63 employees affected is $44,000.

There is a market supplement to salaries of education consultants negotiated with the YGEU, which provides for a 10 percent increase in salaries for the 12 consultants. This adjustment costs $26,000.

There are payments to the 22 rural native language instructors under their contracts, which were adjusted after discussions with the YTA and the YGEU. The adjustment will now provide for equity amongst all instructors with similar qualifications by placing them on the same teacher-salary grid as that negotiated with the Yukon Teachers Association.

These increases are retroactive to December 1, 1989, and will cost $37,600. The cost of the salary increases I have just mentioned for this fiscal year total $732,000, which is approximately the amount the supplementary is requesting.

In addition to the salary increases, the department initiated a math and science tutorial program designed to assist young students in their classes with the hope that they will enter the health care and related professions. The total cost of this initiative is $16,500, and is fully recoverable from Health and Welfare Canada.

The addition of the salary increases of $732,000 and the cost of the tutorial program miraculously add up to the $749,000 we are requesting.

There are a couple of transfers between programs to segregate all costing relating to certain initiatives into one code. This will provide better accounting and tracking for certain expenditures. This is carried out in two areas: teacher recruitment costs and expenditures related to the education act we mentioned in the supplementary.

All recruitment costs are now in one code under Public Schools, and the education act expenditures are in the Finance Administration section.

There was a minor reallocation between programs in order to cover the costs associated with additional busing for Haines Junction, which was not budgeted for.

On Finance and Administration

Finance and Administration in the amount of $294,000 agreed to

On Public Schools

Public Schools in the amount of $380,000 agreed to

On Advanced Education

Advanced Education in the amount of an under expenditure of $33,000 agreed to

On Libraries and Archives

Libraries and Archives in the amount of $3,000 agreed to

On Policy, Planning and Evaluation

Policy, Planning and Evaluation in the amount of an under expenditure of $55,000 agreed to

On Yukon College

Yukon College in the amount of $160,000 agreed to

Department of Education in the amount of $749,000 agreed to

Government Services

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The reallocations here reflect a net increase of $20,000. We are taking $150,000 from the capital side to provide for the $170,000 that is shown on the operation and maintenance side. That consists of some costs related to the auxiliary employment contract. There is $20,000 calculated for that amount. There is $70,000 as indicated under Supply Services for some additional vehicle maintenance and servicing that is currently required. The fleet is aging considerably. We have reduced our acquisition and stepped up our maintenance, which has cost us on the operation and maintenance side.

On the Property Management side, I have already indicated $20,000 was required for the retroactive increase to auxiliary employees, and the $80,000 is for some additional contracts that are required territory-wide relating to different work involved with things like snow clearing, boiler work, maintenance work with electrical, and so on.

On the Capital side, there are just a number of readjustments and reallocations to maintain the net $20,000 increase.

On Operation and Maintenance

On Supply Services

Supply Services in the amount of $70,000 agreed.

On Property Management

Property Management in the amount of $100,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $170,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

On Government Services

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $170,000 agreed to.

Government Services agreed to


Chair: Is there general debate?

On Operation and Maintenance

On Consumer, Corporate and Labour Affairs

Consumer, Corporate and Labour Affairs in the amount of $83,000 agreed to

On Solicitor General

Hon. Ms. Joe: The $150,000 represents the latest estimate from the RCMP the for the cost of policing services for this fiscal year. The original estimate from the RCMP at the time the budget was prepared for 1989-90 was $7.3 million.

At the period 5 review, this was increased by $165,000 to meet the estimate provided by the RCMP at the time. The reasons they supplied for the increase were the transfer costs for members retiring, recruitment costs of new members, costs in Dawson where was there was an attempted murder of a police officer and increases in salary and northern living allowance. The RCMP are now indicating that the actual costs will probably exceed the estimate of $7.46 million, although they cannot predict by how much. We have asked for an additional $150,000 in anticipation of an increase at period 5.

Solicitor General in the amount of $150,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $233,000 agreed to.

On Schedule “A”

On Operation and Maintenance

On Justice

Justice in the amount of $233,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $1,889,000 agreed to

Health and Human Resources

On Capital

On Health Services

On Mammography Unit

Mammography Unit in the amount of $130,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $130,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

Health and Human Resources in the amount of $130,000 agreed to

Department of Justice

On Capital

On Consumer, Corporate and Labour Affairs

On Mine Safety

Hon. Ms. Joe: This amount represents the capital associated with the mine safety program as negotiated with the devolution of the program. Of this $67,000, $20,000 represents a one-time-only budget for the relocation of the laboratory from the federal building. We are required in the agreement to move it by March 31, 1990 and the work is under way. The additional $47,000 represents the capital operating costs of the program. Part of the money has already been spent on mine safety equipment and a computer terminal. The rest of the money will be used in this fiscal year to cover the costs of renovations to office space in the Law Centre to accommodate the personnel transferred. Conditions have been cramped.

Mine Safety in the amount of $67,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $67,000 agreed to

On Schedule A

On Capital

Justice in the amount of $67,000 agreed to

Justice agreed to

Renewable Resources

On Capital

On Information/Interpretation/Public Education

On Yukon Conservation Strategy - Final Publication

Yukon Conservation Strategy - Final Publication in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

On Pamphlet Series: Yukon Large Mammals

Pamphlet Series: Yukon Large Animals in the amount of $5,000 agreed to

On Parks, Resources and Regional Planning

On Herschel Island Park - IFA

Herschel Island Park - IFA in the amount of $16,000 agreed to

On Campground Facility Replacement

Campground Facility Replacement in the amount of $47,000 agreed to

On Yukon Land Use Planning

Yukon Land Use Planning in the amount of $15,000 agreed to

On Agriculture

On Determination of Forage Productivity

Determination of Forage Productivity in the amount of an under expenditure of $10,000 agreed to

Renewable Resources in the amount of $83,000 agreed to

On Schedule “A”

Renewable Resources in the amount of $83,000 agreed to

Schedule “A” in the amount of $2,169,000 agreed to

On Schedule “B”

Schedule “B” agreed to

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Clause 2

Clause 2 agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that you report Bill No. 34, entitled Third Appropriation Act, 1989-90, out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

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

Motion agreed to

Speaker resumes the Chair

Speaker: I will now call the House to order. May the House have the report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole.

Ms. Kassi: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 19, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1990-91, and directed me to report the same without amendment.

Further, it has considered Bill No. 34, entitled Third Appropriation Act, 1989-90, and directed me to report the same without amendment.

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

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker: I declare the report carried.


Bill No. 19: Third Reading

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 19, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. McDonald.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 19, entitled First Appropriation Act, 1990-91, be read a third time and do pass.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Minister of Finance that Bill No. 19, entitled, First Appropriation Act, 1990-91, be now read a third time and do pass.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 19 agreed to

Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 19 has passed this House.

Bill No. 34: Third Reading

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 34, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 34, entitled Third Appropriation Act, 1989-90, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Minister of Finance that Bill No. 34, entitled Third Appropriation Act, 1989-90, be now read a third time and do pass.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 34 agreed to

Speaker: I declare that Bill No. 34 has passed this House.

Mr. Brewster: I would request the unanimous consent of the House to proceed with the third reading of Bill No. 101, which stands on the Order Paper under Bills other than Government Bills.

Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members: Yes.

Speaker: Unanimous consent has been granted.


Bill No. 102: Third Reading

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 102, standing in the name of Mr. Brewster.

Mr. Brewster: I move that Bill No. 101, entitled An Act to Amend the Workers Compensation Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Member for Kluane that Bill No. 102, entitled An Act to Amend the Workers Compensation Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 102 agreed to

Speaker: Bill No. 102 has passed this House.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move

THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Premier, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;

THAT the Speaker give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and

THAT if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader

THAT the House, at its rising, do stand adjourned until it appears to the satisfaction of the Speaker, after consultation with the Premier, that the public interest requires that the House shall meet;

THAT the Speaker give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time; and

THAT if the Speaker is unable to act owing to illness or other causes, the Deputy Speaker shall act in his stead for the purpose of this order.

Motion agreed to

Speaker: I would like to inform the House that we are now prepared to receive the Commissioner, acting in his capacity of Lieutenant Governor, to grant assent to certain bills passed by this House.

Commissioner enters the Chamber, escorted by the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms


Commissioner: Please be seated.

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

Clerk: Second Appropriation Act, 1989-90, First Appropriation Act, 1990-91, Third Appropriation Act, 1989-90, An Act to Amend the Workers Compensation Act.

Commissioner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Clerk, I hereby assent to the Bills as enumerated by the Clerk. Have a pleasant break.

Commissioner leaves the Chamber

Speaker: I now call the House to order.

Mr. Phillips: On behalf of the House, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all participants in the Arctic Winter Games the very best, and to the Yukon contingent every success, good luck and Godspeed in their journey.

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

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.

Motion agreed to

Speaker: This House now stands adjourned.

The House adjourned at 5:04 p.m.

The following Legislative Returns were tabled March 8, 1990:


Nursing Options Ltd.: possible use at correctional centre; use on weekends by homemaker services clients (Penikett)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1313


Rural Boarding Facility: for rural residents waiting to enter hospital (Penikett)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1304


Audrey McLaughlin: contract work for Health and Human Resources (Penikett)

Oral, Hansard, pp. 1083 and 1084


Space vacated by Government Services (Byblow)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1330


Breakdown of future office moves planned over next three years (Byblow)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1330

The following Sessional Papers were tabled March 8, 1990:


Health and Human Resources - Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 1989 (Penikett


Yukon Women’s Directorate - Government-wide action plan for women: “Yukon women - Strength in our Past, Determination in our Future” (M. Joe)