Whitehorse, Yukon

Monday, April 22, 1991 - 1:30 p.m.

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




Speaker: It gives me great pleasure to inform the House that the following students from G.A. Jeckell School will be serving as Legislative Pages this session. They are Kathleen Dyke, Karley Ziegler, Trevor Pilsworth, Sarah Morris, Melissa Yeomans, Kate White, Barbara Janko, Stephanie Hanulik, Melissa O’Brien and Ria Kisoun. Today we have with us Melissa O’Brien and Kate White. I would ask Members to welcome them at this time.


Recognition of Earth Day

Hon. Mr. Webster: Before we turn to some other serious business, I would like to take this opportunity to note that today is Earth Day, an occasion that reminds us all that our lives and those of every species depend on the well-being of our planet. To mark the day, in addition to the environmental challenge issued to all Yukon students by the Departments of Education and Renewable Resources, in cooperation with McDonald’s Restaurant, I want to advise Members that on Friday our caucus will do its first litter pick-up of the season in Rotary Park along the riverbank. I would like to challenge the Opposition Members and the independent Conservative Member to join us at that time.

Our Members will use a portion of each Friday’s caucus meetings to do clean-ups in various regions of the city. In this and in many other ways we can demonstrate our respect for the earth and the environment which sustains us.

Speaker: Introduction of visitors.


Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am pleased to welcome a distinguished audience of French-speaking Yukoners who are present in the public gallery today, including Jeanne Beaudoin, chair of l’Association Franco-Yukonnaise; André Pinette, and members of the Ecole Emilie-Tremblay school council; Louise Paradis, Serge Langlois, and 10 students from Ecole Emilie-Tremblay; Philippe Dumont; Jean-Pierre Flamant; Jean-Paul Chapdelaine and Lee Kirkpatrick; Cécile Girard; Daniel St.-Jean; Hélène LeMay; and Father Jean-Paul Tanguay.

Je vous féliciter de vous être déplacés pour venir vivre avec nous cet évenement historique.

Je me joins à tous et toutes mes collegues de cette Assemblée pour vous souhaiter la plus cordiale bienvenue.

Ms. Hayden: I would ask you and all members to join me in welcoming students and staff of Raven’s Wing School, in my constituency.

Mr. Nordling: I would like to introduce the Grade 5 class from Jack Hulland School in Porter Creek and their teacher, Len Walchuk. They are here to see the Yukon Government in action.


Mr. Johnston: Under Tabling Returns and Documents I have for tabling revision of the Standing Orders, which were prepared by the Clerk pursuant to the direction found in the first report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Elections and Privileges.

Are there any other Returns or Documents?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have for tabling a legislative return in answer to a written question by the member for Kluane, on November 27, regarding Mendenhall subdivision.

Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees?



Petition No. 5

Mrs. Firth: I have for tabling a petition regarding the 911 number. There are over 1,000 signatures in this folder to add to the over 4,000 signatures that I tabled when we were last sitting.

Petition No. 4

Clerk: Mr. Speaker and Hon. Members of the Assembly I have had the honour to review a petition, being Petition No. 4 of the second session of the Twenty-seventh Legislative Assembly as presented by the Hon. Member for Whitehorse Riverdale South on December 18, 1990. This petition meets the requirements as to form of the Standing Orders of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

Speaker: Pursuant to Standing Order 66, Petition no. 4 is deemed to be read and received.


Bill No. 11: Introduction and First Reading

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I move that Bill No. 11 entitled Electoral District Boundaries Commission Act be now introduced and read for a first time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Premier that Bill No. 11, entitled Electoral District Boundaries there can be some conflict and the judge may have to disqualify himself, because of his knowledge of the people and the north. In the past, the use of deputy judges has been quite high, and I think this will decrease.

The other thing that I think is very important, in regard to this amendment to the act, is that when people reach the age of retirement, many of them do not feel that they would like to retire or that retirement should be compulsory. In this case, it allows a person to continue to perform the duties of a judge, and I hope that would be something that we would support in any position that any Yukoner or other person might have. We do not like to force retirement on anybody, if they do not want to retire.

It is not for us to make any recommendations with regard to a replacement for a Supreme Court Judge. That is not done by this government.

There has been a committee, as the Member for Riverdale South knows, that has been struck to look at all of the names that have been recommended. That will be done by that committee. I would hope that there would be some consultation with this government. We are requesting that that be done. At this point in time, however, it is not for us to recommend a replacement. All we ask for is some consultation.

Motion on second reading of Bill No. 64 agreed to

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

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

Motion agreed to

Speaker leaves the Chair


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

We will now have a break.


Chair: I will call Committee to order.

We will deal with the bills in this order: Bill No. 25, Bill No. 85, 82, 40 and 3.

Bill No. 25 - Land Titles Act continued

On Clause 49 - continued

Chair:  We are on clause 49.

Hon. Ms. Joe: Someone had a question in the House last night with regard to the Hudson’s Bay Company and lands that they might have in the Yukon.

It is has been established that there are lands that Hudson’s Bay does own in the Yukon. It is also a concern that they may also have land that they had title to prior to 1987 - possibly in their archives or whatever. If they so choose to register this land at some time in the future, then they should be able to and this paragraph would accommodate that.

There were some other questions with regard to the reason why we were doing this act at this point in time. As I mentioned last night, it is something that has been in the discussion stages for three or four years and that there was an agreement with the federal government that we would adopt their act with some necessary changes. We have indicated already that the Government of the Northwest Territories has passed their legislation in their House and are awaiting the passage of our legislation in this House so that they can do the whole transfer at the same time, rather than doing their legislation and waiting for our legislation. This will make it more convenient for all of those individuals involved.

Mrs. Firth: I understand this whole piece of legislation is probably going to be redrafted anyway one day. It is quite an ancient - is “ancient” a good word to use, Madam Chair - piece of legislation; all you have to do is read a few of the clauses in it to note that it is quite ancient. When are the western provinces and territories going to get together to develop these common standards and redraft the act? What is the time line on that? When does the Minister expect that to happen?

Hon. Ms. Joe: There has not been a definite time set as to when that would take place. I think what is happening right now is that we do not have our legislation in place here in the Yukon and we have not adopted the federal legislation. Once that takes place, we can at least discuss with other jurisdictions a time frame as to when we would look at reviewing the whole act. As the Member said, it is a very ancient act and it has been an interesting venture to go through it and see all the things that are still included, and to note how long it takes the federal government to change acts, as opposed to what we are doing here. We thought some of our acts were very ancient but I think this one is even more so.

Mrs. Firth: I would like to get some kind of commitment from her or some projection as to when they are going to redo it. It is great to put an ancient act on our books and let it sit there for another long period of time.

It is interesting to know that this act was drafted at the time when lawyers got paid per word, so this act is 150 pages long - I guess that is not quite accurate now, as it is in two official languages now. Anyway, it is a lot of words. I hope that the new act is not going to be drafted with the lawyers paid by the word. If it is, I hope it is considerably shorter than this one. I am sure the Minister would agree with that.

I am not going to say to the Minister that she promised to have this done in two years or three months. I just want to know what the vague time line is. Will it be a few years or is this a priority with the western provinces and territories and will be done relatively soon? Perhaps she could fill us in.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I have been told that the government has given us three years to do the necessary work. As the Member knows, we do have a schedule to deal with legislation here in the House. I suspect that it will not be on the schedule one year from now. It could possibly be two years.

Clause 49 agreed to

On Clause 50

Clause 50 agreed to

On Clause 51

Clause 51 agreed to

On Clause 52

Clause 52 agreed to

On Clause 53

Clause 53 agreed to

On Clause 54

Clause 54 agreed to

On Clause 55

Clause 55 agreed to

On Clause 56

Clause 56 agreed to

On Clause 57

Clause 57 agreed to

On Clause 58

Clause 58 agreed to

On Clause 59

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: There is an amendment I would like to make in this section. I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Lands Titles Act, be amended in clause 59 at page 22 by removing “,” after may and delete the words “before him”. Sentence will now read “A judge may in any case direct that notice of the application ...”

The Member from Riverdale I am sure has picked up on that change that has to be made.

Mrs. Firth: I guess I recognize the government is making all these changes regarding the “he’s”, “she’s”, “him’s” and “her’s”. I question the prudence of doing it now when the whole bill is to be re-drafted anyway. I do not know why the Minister had someone do it as it was probably quite time consuming and put some lawyer to work for quite a few hours. I think it would have been acceptable to us if it had waited for the three years for the redraft. Perhaps the Minister can give us some explanation that indicates why they had to do it.

Hon. Ms. Joe: In the redrafting of this bill there were some changes that were made. There was also a direction to remove a lot of the sexist language and in some cases that was done. As we reviewed it after the final draft we found that we had missed 11 places where it should have been changed along with the other sexist language changes.

Mrs. Firth: That is my whole point. Somebody had to go to a lot of work to do this. The time could have been better spent drafting the new legislation. If we were going to do the whole act over within a three-year period, why did we put this poor, struggling individual to work going through all these “he”s and “she”s, “him”s and “her”s? That is the point I was trying to make.

Anyway, it has been done, the money has been spent, the person has been seeing “him” and “her” in his sleep at night for a long time, I am sure, and we will just proceed.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 59 agreed to as amended

On Clause 60

Clause 60 agreed to

On Clause 61

Clause 61 agreed to

On Clause 62

Clause 62 agreed to

On Clause 63

Clause 63 agreed to

On Clause 64

Clause 64 agreed to

On Clause 65

Clause 65 agreed to

On Clause 66

Clause 66 agreed to

On Clause 67

Clause 67 agreed to

On Clause 68

Clause 68 agreed to

On Clause 69

Clause 69 agreed to

On Clause 70

Clause 70 agreed to

On Clause 71

Clause 71 agreed to

On Clause 72

Clause 72 agreed to

On Clause 73

Clause 73 agreed to

On Clause 74

Clause 74 agreed to

On Clause 75

Clause 75 agreed to

On Clause 76

Clause 76 agreed to

On Clause 77

Clause 77 agreed to

On Clause 78

Clause 78 agreed to

On Clause 79

Clause 79 agreed to

On Clause 80

Clause 80 agreed to

On Clause 81

Clause 81 agreed to

On Clause 82

Clause 82 agreed to

On Clause 83

Clause 83 agreed to

On Clause 84

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 84(a) at page 33 by adding “or her” after “through his”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 84 agreed to as amended

On Clause 85

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 85(1) at page 34 by adding “or her” after “from his”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 85 agreed to as amended

On Clause 86

Clause 86 agreed to

On Clause 87

Clause 87 agreed to

On Clause 88

Clause 88 agreed to

On Clause 89

Clause 89 agreed to

On Clause 90

Clause 90 agreed to

On Clause 91

Clause 91 agreed to

On Clause 92

Clause 92 agreed to

On Clause 93

Clause 93 agreed to

On Clause 94

Clause 94 agreed to

On Clause 95

Clause 95 agreed to

On Clause 96

Clause 96 agreed to

On Clause 97

Mr. Devries: On 97(3) there is a “him” that should be out of here.

Chair: Are you going to amend it?

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 97(3) and 97(4) by adding “or her” after “him”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 97 agreed to as amended

On Clause 98

Clause 98 agreed to

On Clause 99

Clause 99 agreed to

On Clause 100

Clause 100 agreed to

On Clause 101

Clause 101 agreed to

On Clause 102

Clause 102 agreed to

On Clause 103

Clause 103 agreed to

On Clause 104

Clause 104 agreed to

On Clause 105

Clause 105 agreed to

On Clause 106

Clause 106 agreed to

On Clause 107

Clause 107 agreed to

On Clause 108

Clause 108 agreed to

On Clause 109

Clause 109 agreed to

On Clause 110

Clause 110 agreed to

On Clause 111

Clause 111 agreed to

On Clause 112

Clause 112 agreed to

On Clause 113

Clause 113 agreed to

On Clause 114

Clause 114 agreed to

On Clause 115

Clause 115 agreed to

On Clause 116

Clause 116 agreed to

On Clause 117

Clause 117 agreed to

On Clause 118

Clause 118 agreed to

On Clause 119

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act be amended in Clause 119(5) on page 51 by removing the words “with him” after “filed”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 119 agreed to as amended

On Clause 120

Clause 120 agreed to

On Clause 121

Clause 121 agreed to

On Clause 122

Clause 122 agreed to

On Clause 123

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 123(2) at page 53 by deleting the word “him” after “from or through” and replacing it with the word “owner”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 123 agreed to as amended

On Clause 124

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 124(3) at page 53 by adding “or her” after “to him”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 124 agreed to as amended

On Clauses 125 - 137

Hon. Ms. Joe: If the Member would like to move a little more quickly on this, we could deem it to be read until the next section where I have an amendment. Is that agreeable to the Member?

Mrs. Firth: It is, but I do not know if I have to deem it to be read, or if the Minister can. It requires the unanimous consent of the House. I gather the next amendment is at page 60.

I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, clauses 125 to 137 be deemed to be read.

Motion agreed to

Clauses 125 to 137 agreed to

On Clause 138

Amendment Proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 138(2) at page 60 by adding “or her” after “executed by him”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 138 agreed to as amended

Hon. Ms. Joe: The next amendment is in clause 145.

On Clauses 138 - 144

Mrs. Firth: We have just passed the amendment and carried all of clause 138; therefore, I would move

THAT Bill No. 25, Land Titles Act, clauses 139 to clause 144 be deemed to be read.

Motion agreed to

Clauses 139 to 144 agreed to

On Clause 145

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 145(1), page 63, by adding “or her” after “be recovered from him”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 145 agreed to

On Clause 146

Clause 146 agreed to

On Clause 147

Clause 147 agreed to

On Clause 148

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 148(2), page 66, by adding the words “or her” after “him”.

Amendment agreed to

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 148(3) at page 66 by removing the words “before him” after “persons appearing”.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 148 agreed to as amended

Hon. Ms. Joe: The next amendment I have is in clause 168

Mrs. Firth: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act,  clauses 149 to 167 be deemed to be read.

Motion agreed to

Clauses 149 to 167 agreed to

On Clause 168

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 168 at page 78 by adding “or her” after “or proceeding in his”.

While I am on my feet, the last amendment is in clause 174. That is the last one I have.

Amendment agreed to

Clause 168 agreed to as amended

On Clause 169

Clause 169 agreed to

On Clause 170

Clause 170 agreed to

On Clause 171

Clause 171 agreed to

On Clause 172

Clause 172 agreed to

On Clause 173

Clause 173 agreed to

On Clause 174

Amendment proposed

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move

THAT Bill No. 25, entitled Land Titles Act, be amended in clause 174(1) at page 80 by removing the words “before him” at the top of the page. The section should now read

“174(1) The judge may issue a summons requiring a person or deponent referred to in section 173 to appear, at a time and place to be specified ...”

Amendment agreed to

Clause 174 agreed to as amended

On Clause 175

Clause 175 agreed to

On Clause 176

Clause 176 agreed to

On Clause 177

Clause 177 agreed to

On Clause 178

Clause 178 agreed to

On Clause 179

Clause 179 agreed to

On Clause 180

Clause 180 agreed to

On Clause 181

Clause 181 agreed to

On Clause 182

Clause 182 agreed to

On Clause 183

Clause 183 agreed to

On Clause 184

Clause 184 agreed to

On Clause 185

Clause 185 agreed to

On Clause 186

Clause 186 agreed to

On Clause 187

Clause 187 agreed to

On Clause 188

Clause 188 agreed to

On Clause 189

Clause 189 agreed to

On Clause 190

Clause 190 agreed to

On Clause 191

Clause 191 agreed to

On Clause 192

Clause 192 agreed to

On Clause 193

Clause 193 agreed to

On Clause 194

Clause 194 agreed to

On Clause 195

Clause 195 agreed to

On Clause 196

Clause 196 agreed to

On Clause 197

Clause 197 agreed to

On Clause 198

Clause 198 agreed to

On Clause 199

Clause 199 agreed to

On Clause 200

Clause 200 agreed to

On Clause 201

Clause 201 agreed to

On Clause 202

Clause 202 agreed to

On Clause 203

Clause 203 agreed to

On Clause 204

Clause 204 agreed to

On Clause 205

Clause 205 agreed to

On Schedule

Schedule agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Ms. Joe: I move that you report Bill No. 25 out of Committee with amendment.

Motion agreed to

Bill No. 85 - An Act to Amend the Electrical Protection Act

Chair: Is there any general debate?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: The Electrical Protection Act amendments that we are introducing provide what amounts to an improved, more efficient system to address electrical installations in Yukon buildings and facilities.

As I described to Members in my previous statements in the House, in second reading and in my updates to Members in memorandums, the electrical protection amendments have been the work of a review committee. It is very similar to the work done in the Building Standards Act review.

The discussion papers that were assembled by the department were released publicly a couple of years ago. A review committee was struck that had representation from a broad cross-section of interest and professional groups related to the electrical field. They spent the last couple of years reviewing the existing legislation and talking to interested parties and organizations throughout the territory. They provided to me a set of recommendations.

Yesterday I provided to Members a package of information that summarized that history. In that package I provided some of the historical information leading up to the review, going back to 1989 when the discussion papers were first released. It provided some update information between the time of release and now. Additionally, I provided the recommendations from the review committee as well as some additional summary material of the proposals to amend the existing legislation.

I have also provided to Members a copy of the existing Electrical Protection Act that we are amending and I provided to Members the existing regulations that, in part, will be rewritten as part of the new bill.

The act itself does quite a number of things. As we get into clause-by-clause, details of the new approach will become clear.

Essentially, the whole exercise was necessitated by the rapid technological  changes that have happened in the electrical field over the last decade. The last changes, or the existing act, was put into place in 1977, so it has been 14 years since there have been many substantive changes to the electrical standards.

One of the fundamental issues in the electrical field is that, under the old legislation and under the requirements of existing law, you had to be a journeyman electrician to do any kind of work anytime on anything. That is perhaps an oversimplification, but it nevertheless created problems in the industry. Due to all the technological changes, there have been much more sophisticated developments than was envisaged when the old legislation was put into place 14 years ago.

The industry and contractors were quite interested in trying to address this problem. I recall several years ago when I was working with the previous Minister, there was quite a major issue surrounding requirements for working on low voltage equipment. Under the existing legislation, a person could very well be competent and have the training and experience to do computer repair work. Yet, according to the standard, they had to be a certified journeyman to touch that equipment. That created problems and, in part, led to a need for a review of the standards and brought us to the point where we are reviewing the legislation in the House today.

One of the substantive changes in this bill is that we are going to be putting into place different levels of licensing for contractors. The bill explains how five different categories are established and, along with those categories, will be the required training and experience to become licensed at that level. The contractor will then be able to carry out work at one of those five levels, or any combination of more than one of those levels. That is a fairly new innovation.

Yes, the fees are going to be going up as a result of this bill, similar to what we have seen in the building standards. We are looking at a recovery of 60 percent of the administrative costs of the inspections in the permit fee structure. We are going to be allowing home owners to do their own work. That is somewhat innovative, in that we are setting up a mechanism, or procedure, whereby home owners can do their own electrical work, given that they are able to do so. They have to have the proven skill to do the kind of work that can be done in one’s own home. The bill explains the process.

Additional points being addressed in the bill include a call system for contractors. That is part of the attached innovation creating the different categories of licensing. The call system - or declaration system, as it is referred to - is where a contractor is not required to have an inspection, but he has to call for one. In that 72 hour period, if the inspector chooses not to inspect the work, the contractor, because he is declared capable of proceeding with the work, can proceed following the 72 hour period after the call has been made for the inspection.

So, that declaration system is one where, through the licensing and the performance of the contractor, the department will be granting the contractor the ability to do all installation and not have to have an inspector look at the work.

During that call period of 72 hours, the inspector could come in and inspect his work but, if the inspector does not show, the contractor has the right to close up the work and carry on. That is a much more streamlined and efficient system than where there have been delays in construction due to waiting for an inspector, as the Member has pointed out to me.

Those are some of the principal changes that we are undertaking. I am sure there will be specifics in clause-by-clause reading, which I can address at the time we cover the specific point. By and large, I am quite pleased with the work of this committee. I compliment them on their work, and I am pleased with their presentation.

For the benefit of Members, I should note that the Review Committee has looked at the bill and reviewed it. They did not approve of an earlier version of it, and we made substantive changes. Those changes are now here, and I expect that the group of people who have worked extremely hard over the past two years are going to be quite pleased with what we are putting forward.

Mr. Brewster: I would agree with the Minister that this is probably one of the easiest bills to read that has come into this House. I would make another suggestion. If you brought information like this when you first gave us the books, you would probably not be irritated with me when I do not understand some of the lawyer language in some of these bills.

The discussion paper is in plain English that anybody could understand. You can take that and refer it back to the bill, and it is easy to see. I should compliment the Minister. This is probably the easiest read bill I have seen in eight years in this House, where you can actually read the language. He must have gotten rid of a few lawyers and got a few people to do it who have to work out there. It is very simple and easy to read, especially if you have the discussion paper with it.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate the Member’s comments. I suspect that if the Member sees this particular bill in simple English, it is principally because the Review Committee virtually wrote it. They are the ones who spent two years explaining what they wanted to see, trying to achieve consensus and, believe me, consensus was not easy to achieve.

If the Member takes a look at the Review Committee and looks at some of the varied interests that were in the committee, they had to go the country mile to find common ground on some very tough issues relating to electrical standards. They have been extremely successful by consensus and they have managed to come forward with a set of very sophisticated and extensive recommendations in language that the Member and I understand and is part of the bill.

In short, if the bill is simple, it is because it was written by lay people.

Mr. Brewster: Perhaps I should not have said that. Now the Minister is going to keep talking all of the time instead of getting through with the bill.

I would also like to congratulate the committee that did this. As they turned one draft down it is quite apparent that for once somebody in the know backed the government off and got the bill they wanted - not the bill that the bureaucracy wanted. Therefore, I would like to congratulate them for standing their ground. If we had more of this, we would not have as many problems out on the street.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: To cover the Member’s point, I think that it is not a credit just to the committee, but also to the bureaucracy that we have legislation like this.

The civil servants who worked on this, particularly Mr. Yeomans and Mr. Toews, worked very closely with the committee to achieve the kind of consensus that we have been able to and the quality of the product that we have before us.

Mr. Brewster: I am quite determined that I am going to get the last word. If he wants to keep on talking we can stay here until 5:30. I would suggest that if the people in the civil service worked with this, they should be congratulated that they did listen to the people on the streets. We now have a “people’s bill” here.

If you want to congratulate them, that is fine. I am assured that they have already had one bill turned down. That must have been done by the bureaucracy. They brought it back to this one.

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Clause 2

Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is simply a cleaning-up of wording from the existing bill.

Clause 2 agreed to

On Clause 3

Clause 3 agreed to

On Clause 4

Clause 4 agreed to

On Clause 5

Mr. Brewster: I would ask for clarification on this one. Do they have to come with 72 hours notice, the same as building inspectors? I do not see the answer here.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: This is the same requirement as in the Building Standards Act. Upon being called, the inspector is required to come within 72 hours. If he does not, and the contractor has a declaration authority - in other words, he can declare his own work - he can proceed with the work after the 72 hours, if the inspector does not show up.

Mr. Brewster: Seventy-two hours is pretty short notice, I would have to say, to get to some of the rural areas. However, it is a good thing to go for. For a private home being built, when you have to have inspections every so often, how long does he have before an inspector has to show up to do the checking before he can board in the work?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I hope I understand the Member’s question. If a contractor does not have the declaration authority - in other words, he or she does not have the ability to proceed with the work as if they were entitled to approve it - then the contractor would have to wait for the inspector to get there. The 72 hours is applicable under the declaration system.

I am advised that in the absence of a declaration authority by the contractor, normality will prevail. In other words, they have to wait until the inspector gets there before they can proceed with another phase of the work related to electrical work. It does not prevent them from other activity on the construction job but at various stages inspections are required, so they have to wait for approval of those respective stages before they can proceed.

Mr. Brewster: I suspect a private individual building a home would be under the same thing. I would have preferred this to be the norm. I know cases where it is two or three weeks. I would like to have a set time, within reason. I do not expect 72 hours; I agree on that. Once you have started building, there is very little you can do if you cannot board up.

Mr. Brewster: The Member makes a valid point. We have discussed this, as has the committee. There has been no specific limit put in place for the inspector to arrive within after being called. In all reasonableness, the best effort will be made. Part of what this legislation will permit is a reduction in the workload of the inspectors. They will not be inspecting a number of the authorized contractors. In other words, they will have less inspections, because some of the contractors will be technically allowed to approve their own work after 72 hours. This frees up the inspectors to spend more time going to the jobs where there is no declared authority.

In the case of a licensed contractor who does not have the declared authority and is at a stage where he must get his inspection, he should notify the branch prior to reaching that stage and let them know he is going to need an inspection on Tuesday. He plans to work through the weekend to be sure it will be ready for Tuesday. The inspector knows that and, in all reasonableness, is going to time the inspection to that Tuesday. There is a fair degree of cooperation exercised between the branch inspectors and contractors.

We believe that because we are reducing the number of inspections through the declaration of authority being granted to licenced contractors, the inspectors will have more time to spend overseeing other jobs where there is no declaration of authority by the contractor.

The short answer is that we have no time limit, but we expect the time to be much shorter for people who have to wait for the inspector to show up.

My staff is staking its reputation on that commitment.

Mr. Brewster: I would just like to make one suggestion to the Minister. Would he not think that ten days should be plenty of time for a private individual building their own house, from the time they notify inspections branch to the time someone gets there?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I guess what I would like to say to the Member is that his suggestion will be taken under consideration. The Member is suggesting that ten days is a reasonable term of notice for an inspector. I believe, also, that it is a reasonable period of time. It is probably the upper end of reasonableness. I would like to think that an inspector can do an inspection in less than ten days.

It boils down to a question of the number of inspectors available to do the work, the number of jobs going on in the industry that year and the season. I have indicated in previous debate that we have no intention to increase personnel to address the requirements to maintain the standards in this bill. We do, however, intend to reduce the number of inspections. This ought to increase our ability to do them faster.

I take the Member’s suggestions as a reasonable assessment of what ought to be the time limit, and the branch will address the whole question of the possibility of putting a time limit into regulation.

Mr. Brewster: The reason I am bringing this up is that the big contractors - and I can understand this, they are in the contracting business - will be putting more pressure on the inspectors to be there, especially if they are not allowed to close up in 72 hours. Everyone thinks the home owner is not losing money because he is not a contractor and so he should be able to sit and wait. I would like there to be a ten-day time limit at the longest.

The contractors are in business to make money. The home owner is not, and may get lost in the shuffle.

This is particularly bad in rural areas where more and more people are trying to build their own homes and, I agree, it takes the inspectors longer to get to them because they are all over, from Dawson up to Beaver Creek and down to Watson Lake. If they knew about it within 10 days, I think most home owners could adjust for that - at the longest; if they could come in five days, fine, but I would not suggest five; I would suggest 10.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I appreciate what the Member is saying. I can give him every assurance that the department will make every effort to reduce those time lines. That is partly why we decentralize some of our positions on the building standards side to the rural communities. It makes it easier to provide these kinds of services. I take the Member’s suggestion as a good-faith suggestion on behalf of the small home owner and we will see what we can do about using it as something of a barometer.

Mr. Devries: Just one question: where would these regulations fall into place for a rural home owner who, for instance, was supplying his own power with a power unit? Does he still fall under the act, or is it only if you are connected to the grid or whatever?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I believe the short answer to the Member’s question is yes; if a home owner is generating his own power, the provisions of the act would apply. In other words, electrical installation, by definition, would include a generating plant or small hydro facility or micro hydro installation. The ability to work on that system, or the right to work on that system as a licence requirement, would fall under the act if it was of a certain category in size and if installation work was being done.

A section later on speaks to the different licencing classifications for commercial work, but a home owner would still have to show competence to be able to do the installation off of that facility. The point is that the entire intention of the act is to provide safety for the individuals who are charged with putting in installations.

So a home owner doing his own installation off of his own plant would still have to have a permit. The permit would only be issued if he were competent to do the work and proved to the department that he does have the necessary experience and training to do the job.

The short answer is: yes, the act would apply. The longer answer is: the home owner would still be required to meet requirements of the act for safety purposes, but he could still do his own installation.

Mr. Brewster: There is one other thing that is not mentioned in here and I really do not know how you could make regulations to cover this. Many of the old lodges, let us face it, are not up to today’s standards. I think we all know that; however, quite a few of them do not have the money to do the whole job and they are very scared to start and do the worst part of it, because immediately everyone moves in on them and says they have to do the whole job or be shut down.

I think some leniency and consideration should be given to places that have been there for 35 to 40 years. They know they have to change some of the wiring and they would like to do it bit by bit when they have money.

There have been instances where they have been shut down. There is nothing in the act, and really I do not know how you could put it in the act, quite frankly, but I just hope that by getting this into Hansard people will consider this when they go after some of the old lodges.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: Again, the Member raises a general concern. My response on that score would be that this act would commit to doing things with lodge owners, as has historically been the case. Inspectors have constantly worked with the rural areas, in particular, and lodge owners, specifically, when they had work that took place over several years, allowing the permit system to be flexible enough that they could advance at their own pace. They were not required to meet rigid deadlines and be unable to make changes that were not originally planned.

The point is that the act is not intended to crack down. It is intended to be more flexible but, at the same time, provide safety. If the lodge owner was putting in a safe installation - that is, through competent contractors, or by his own skills- the chief inspector in particular would ensure that the greatest level of cooperation took place between the branch and the lodge owner.

Mr. Brewster: You are putting the onus on the contractor. If the contractor is accepted in 72 hours, then we have the problem that he does not want to do part of a job and not do the rest, unless there is an understanding between him and the inspector. He does not want to hurt his credibility. Yet, the lodge owner could say he could only do half his building this year. The credibility has now fallen back on the contractor. If the inspector decides something should have been fixed, but it was on next year’s agenda to be fixed, his credibility is risked and he might be a little afraid of going into a lodge to do these things.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: This ordinarily takes place in a situation where there is a major change in the permitting authority. It only stands to reason that the inspector, lodge owner and contractor would sit down and work out a reasonable schedule and reasonable job expectation so that no one is out in terms of credibility or stature or dollars. It would only be reasonable that that approach be taken.

I suppose one does not want to exercise this, but if there still should be objections about the process, we have set up an exhaustive appeal process here to deal with that - a right of appeal to an interpretation of the act by the inspector. The Member must realize that, in the existing act, there is essentially no appeal process. The inspector’s word is final. I think the wording of the existing act talks about “final” and “binding”. The only right of appeal would be political.

We have set up an appeal board that will consist of experts in the industry to address those kinds of interpretations and possible heavy-handedness that someone may feel has taken place.

Mr. Brewster: I am not saying there is any heavy-handedness. The inspector is doing what he is supposed to be doing according to the rules. The appeal board is fine. I agree we should have one. This means that the lodge owner has to take the day off work, hear the appeal and go back. After 40 years of hearing appeals on liquor licensing and other issues, I know all about it. It costs a lot of money. That is why the lodge owners are reluctant to even start. They have more trouble than if they had just left it alone.

I feel that there should be something reasonable here so that these people understand it.

Clause 4 agreed to

On Clause 5

Clause 5 agreed to

On Clause 6

Clause 6 agreed to

On Clause 7

Mr. Devries: As the Minister may be aware, I do not think that was when the government owned the sawmill; it was when the “shysters” owned it. I believe there was an article in the paper where the electrical inspector had indicated that the mill needed thousands and thousands of dollars of upgrading to its electrical system. The story was that they were pushing 800 amps through a 600 amp line and were pouring buckets of water over the lines to keep them cool, and there was a lot of concern about safety. At what point do Occupational Health and Safety and the inspector work together on issues like that? Or does this not apply to industrial situations at all?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: On the first point regarding unsafe installations: I am not particularly knowledgeable about the sawmill situation the Member describes but, based on his description, the responsibility would rest with the branch, with the inspectors, to review the electrical installations and, where they are unsafe or not up to standard, to advise the owners.

As I indicated earlier to the Member, no inspector, or government wants to come down heavy and shut everything down by virtue of arbitrary acts.

In the case of the sawmill, I am advised that the inspection report showed a number of unsafe practices. The owners were advised of it and, together, the branch and the owners worked out an upgrading program to ensure the that installation met standards. That is the normal practice.

However, on the second point the Member raises with respect to potentially unsafe conditions for people who are working there, which enters the realm of occupational health and safety, I am advised that, on occasion, we do work with occupational health and safety where there are unsafe conditions for people working in the area. I do not believe that arose in this case. I do not know the reason they did not become involved, if that is correct.

In a case where you have installations that are deteriorating and inspections reveal that, the first obligation is to bring them up to a safe and adequate standard, so you do not ultimately have a fire because of faulty wiring. That is a principle throughout the entire bill, whether you are dealing with a home owner or different licensing categories of contractors. You want people to be able to install equipment and wiring in such a manner that it will be safe and that after it is closed up and operational it does not become a hazard.

Coming back to the example the Member raised, it would have been our responsibility to address those unsafe installations, advise the owners and, through a cooperative effort, address the problem. I am told there was a cooperative effort by the owners to start upgrading. Had there not been, I am sure the branch would have felt obligated under the act to take sterner action.

Mr. Devries: I have just one more question on this. Who decides what size of an operation needs qualified electricians on site? Would that be occupational health and safety or would that also be electrical protection?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: This act does not address the need for licenced electricians to be on site at a particular operation.

In other words, it is not the same as boiler standards, for example. In the case of pressure vessels, you may, for a certain size installation, require a certain certificate of competence by a person who operates the boiler. That is not the case on the electrical side.

This act does not address any requirement for any operation to have a certain certification, licencing standard or training and experience level for the people working at that operation. In other words, we do not tell people that they have to hire a particular qualified electrician to be on site to operate the facility, but if he were then everything kicks in according to the standards that we are looking at in these clauses right now. He would have to meet certain training or experience criteria to do certain levels of electrical work.

Clause 7 agreed to

On Clause 8

Clause 8 agreed to

On Clause 9

Clause 9 agreed to

On clause 10

Clause 10 agreed to

On Clause 11

Clause 11 agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I move that

THAT you report Bill No.85, entitled An Act to Amend The Electrical Protection Act, out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Chair: Given the time, what is the wish of the Committee?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: What I was going to find out was what the wish of the Leader of the Official Opposition was on the question of the next bill. I have an amendment to propose but what might be most efficacious is if I were to table it now and allow Members to look at it before we proceed to debate the matter. I have shown it to the Leader of the Official Opposition. It is essentially a short bill and the amendment I propose is simple.

What I propose is that I could move the amendment; if we then adjourn for the day, we could get back to it on a day following.

Chair: You could read it into the record.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I will do that.

Bill No. 82 - Yukon Development Corporation Loan Guarantee Act

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I am tabling an amendment I intend to move when we get to the appropriate clause. I will now read it into the record prior to requesting adjournment of debate on this matter until the next day.

It reads: “I move

THAT Bill No. 82, entitled Yukon Development Corporation Loan Guarantee Act, be amended in clause 1 at page 1 by substituting the following subclause for subclause (1):

(1) The Yukon Development Corporation is hereby authorized to borrow up to $21,000,000 to be used consistently with the Yukon Development Corporation Act for the construction of an electrical transmission line from the Mayo Dam to the City of Dawson."

Would you like me to read it in French?

Chair: No, thank you.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Madam Chair, I move that you report progress on Bill No. 82.

Motion agreed to

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

Speaker resumes the Chair

Speaker: I will now call the House to order.

May the House have a report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole?

Ms. Kassi: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 25, Land Titles Act, and directed me to report same with amendments.

Further, the Committee has considered Bill No. 85, An Act to Amend the Electrical Protection Act, and directed me to report same without amendment. Further, the Committee has considered Bill No. 82, Yukon Development Corporation Loan Guarantee Act, and directed me to report progress on same.

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.

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 until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The House adjourned at 5:23 p.m.

The following Sessional Paper was tabled April 30, 1991:


Government Contracts 1990/91 by Type (McDonald)