Whitehorse, Yukon

Monday, December 16, 1991 - 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.

Are there any Returns or Documents for Tabling?


Speaker: I have for tabling the Report on Activities of the Human Rights Commission for the year ended March 31, 1991.

Hon. Mr. Webster: I have for tabling two legislative returns.

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I have for tabling the 1990-91 Yukon Lottery Commission Annual Report and some legislative returns.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: I have a legislative return for tabling.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have four legislative returns for tabling.

Speaker: Reports of Committees.


Introduction of Bills.


Bill No. 9: Introduction and First Reading

Hon. Mr. Webster: I move that Bill No. 9 entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, be now introduced and read a first time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Government House Leader that Bill No. 9, entitled Legislative Assembly Retirement Allowances Act, 1991, be now introduced and read a first time.

Motion for introduction and first reading of Bill No. 9 agreed to

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

Notices of Motion.

Statements by Ministers.

This then brings us to Question Period.


Question re: Taga Ku convention centre project

Mr. Lang: I have a question I would like to direct to the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation. In the proposed new $43 million hotel that is to be built in Whitehorse, the Yukon Development Corporation has committed and forwarded $2 million toward that project. The Government of the Yukon has also made a substantial commitment for the rental of office space in the proposed office towers.

It was announced, over a month ago, that the project was going to go ahead and since that time there has been very little activity, despite the announcements made earlier this fall in favour of taking advantage of the weather, prior to the real winter weather setting in, which I suspect is not too far away. As I indicated, there has been very little activity around the site. It has been brought to our attention that tenders that were called for that project earlier this month have been delayed for consideration until January.

In view of the substantial investment that his government has made toward this project, could the Minister tell us the reason for the delay?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: It is not my position to speak on behalf of the proponents for the project respecting the progress of the project. As the Member knows, and as I indicated in a legislative return, the commitment by the Yukon Development Corporation has been in the form of a loan, and the project is expected to proceed on that basis, and will.

Mr. Lang: Can the Minister confirm whether it is true that tenders that were called for the project have been delayed until January for consideration?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: I believe the Member has answered his own question. He has indicated the delay of a number of tenders. It is the prerogative of the proponent to call the shots on the project and that is occurring. We are in contact with the proponents. We are monitoring the project and we have every indication that the project will proceed.

Mr. Lang: I asked the Minister a very direct question. Can he confirm that there has been delays in tendering for the project, since he has indicated to the House that he has been monitoring the particular project in question? Can he also inform the House of the long-term plans for the convention centre?

Hon. Mr. Byblow: Again, a delay of a month or two will not impede the long-term plans of the project. Clearly, the schedules for the project may have to be stretched. However, we have every understanding that the project will proceed in the new year.

Question re: Headway House

Mr. Lang: This question is for the Minister of Health and Social Services. This morning, we received a copy of an evaluation report on Headway House. It was a substantial report on the contract services that have been provided by Social Services. The report makes a number of statements regarding the service provided and significant recommendations for changes to that service.

Could the Minister tell the House what steps her department are planning to take as a result of this document?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: As the Member is aware, Dr. Anderson has been doing a number of evaluations for our department. We have been evaluating most of our rehab programs, and he has just recently completed the Teegatha O’Zeh evaluation. This is one of several.

We will be looking at the recommendations for the services that are contracted to be delivered and deciding where they can be strengthened. Somewhere in my notes, I have when the contract with Headway House will be up. It is in a short time, and anyone is free to reapply or apply when a contract becomes open. The department is continuing to move forward as quickly as possible to address the concerns raised in the evaluation ...

Speaker: Order please. Would the Minister please conclude her answer.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: ... and specifically to ensure that sound residential plans are prepared and followed for each resident of Headway House.

Mr. Lang: Some very significant statements have been made with respect to the report. The cost to the taxpayer last year, for example, as indicated in the report, was $72,000 per client who was part of this particular program. There was also a statement saying that assessments have not ...

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

Mr. Lang: ... been done properly in the past. In the past, why have there been no annual or bi-annual assessments done on this particular program?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I asked the same question. I am told that the program has been in operation for 10 years, and it has been monitored over that period. In the last year or so, there were concerns by the department. As I indicated, that was at the time when we began to plan the evaluations of our rehab services.

It was necessary, and important, that we do a thorough evaluation at that time, and it has been done.

Mr. Lang: The Minister has indicated that there are a number of other programs under review by Dr. Anderson. Would she give us an undertaking in this House that, once those particular programs have been reviewed and a report submitted to the government, all Members will receive a copy of the various reviews of the other programs that are presently being undertaken by Dr. Anderson?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I believe those reports are available but I will take that as notice.

Question re: Conflict-of-interest legislation

Mrs. Firth: I have a question for the Government Leader. I would like to ask him if he will establish and implement some interim conflict of interest guidelines to be in effect until legislation comes into force in the spring.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: The Member’s question would seem to indicate that there are no conventions or standards about conflict of interest for public officials in place now. That is not the case. We have committed ourselves to bringing in the new conflict of interest rules by way of legislation in the spring. I do not believe we have been presented with any situation that would warrant our adopting additional interim measures at this time.

Mrs. Firth: I am referring to post-employment conflict of interest - I think the Government Leader knows that - and there is nothing in place right now in conflict-of-interest rules or guidelines to address that. I would like to ask the Government Leader if he could tell us exactly what the plans are for the legislation and what areas of conflict of interest will be included in that legislation.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: First of all, let me deal with the preamble. The Member says there is no post-employment conflict-of-interest rule in place. There is no firm rule, as there is in the federal government where, I understand, the principle is that for some positions one is not allowed to do work for one’s former employer for a period of two years, but it is quite clear from even a casual observation of former employees of the federal government contracting with the federal government that this is not always the case.

My Cabinet colleagues have wrestled with this problem, because the two-year convention of the federal government clearly seems to be quite impractical when there are so many professions and so many occupations that would depend upon the public sector for work.

I think that the suggestion that we can have an interim measure is problematic, because finding the right rule on this question is central to the problem of the legislation that we hope to bring forward in the spring.

The conflict-of-interest rules that we intend to bring in will be based on advice that we have had and the observation of the rules and their effect in other jurisdictions. It is intended to apply to elected people, political appointees and public servants.

Mrs. Firth: I have the federal post-employment compliance measures. In the policy that I have been given it states that the limitation period is for one year. I am asking specifically about an interim policy dealing with post-employment compliance measures. The British Columbia government’s policy is not even two pages. The federal government’s - this is in two official languages - is four pages long. Therefore, I would like to ask the Government Leader again would he be prepared to put an interim policy in place until that legislation does come forward in the spring to cover six months to a year limitation period.

Hon. Mr. Penikett: No. For the reasons that I have just explained, it is a difficult issue. There are many more employment opportunities available to someone who might be a public sector accountant, a project engineer or even someone in senior management ranks in Victoria, Vancouver or Ottawa than there are here. We have to find the right measure for this jurisdiction. It is not one that can be brought in on an interim basis.

After a preliminary discussion, this is a point that, during the time between now and the spring when I will be bringing the legislation, or helping to bring the legislation, we will be talking about to people who are potentially affected by such legislation, both as employers and employees, contractors and consultants. We will want to have the benefit of their views before we legislate.

Question re: North to Alaska

Mr. Phelps: I have a question for the Minister of Tourism with respect to the publication North to Alaska. I spoke to the Minister briefly this morning about the problem. To summarize the problem, this very beautiful publication that has been produced has won an award. Unfortunately, it cuts out Carcross and the scenic loop from Tagish to Carcross. In particular, I refer to page 37 of the publication that mentions the side trip to Atlin. There is a map in the corner that does not even show Carcross as existing. It shows the South Klondike Highway as a side road as opposed to the North Klondike, which is designated “other highway.”

I have received complaints over the weekend from some of the tourist business people in Carcross and met with some of them. I understand from the Minister that at least one operator has been to see him this morning. I have also received a copy of a letter that was delivered to the Minister outlining concerns.

Would the Minister confirm that he has met with this operator and that he does appreciates the concern being raised?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I will indeed confirm that I met with one of the Member’s constituents this morning to discuss this matter. He presented me with a letter outlining the facts and some suggestions on how to alleviate the potential negative effects this oversight might cause.

I want to thank the Member for giving me some advance notice on this. It gave me some opportunity to check the complaint with the department. It is indeed an oversight. When this publication was first drafted, Carcross was on the map. However, on the second review, and by the time we put on the fine detail - in this particular case, naming the highways - unfortunately, Carcross was eliminated.

Although Carcross was eliminated from the main text, Carcross is included in the calendar of events and the map of the Yukon that accompanies this brochure.

Mr. Phelps:    The concern we have, though, is that the critical information is on page 37, because that is what tourists will be reading as they are going up the highway - where they are and where they can go. It is not just that Carcross is missing; it is also that nothing in Carcross is mentioned in the text, at all, and the South Klondike Highway is treated as a mere side road, rather than being the very good highway it is. In this, it has a lot in common with the North Klondike Highway to Dawson.

Can the Minister tell us whether or not he is going to take steps to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again, with regard to these publications?

Hon. Mr. Webster: The Department of Tourism informs me that they are already working on 1993 publications. They have noted this oversight and it will be corrected for this year. I want to inform the Member, however, that we do have other publications that we provide to tourists, free of charge, such as our tourist planner, our annual vacation guide and the free map of the Yukon, in which Carcross is prominently displayed and promoted quite heavily.

In response to the Member’s questions about this year, as I mentioned in my earlier response, the constituent did suggest to me some ways we may be able to provide some extra promotion for the Carcross area for this season, specifically in terms of addressing the condition of the South Klondike Highway and some of the attractions on the Jake’s Corner-Tagish-Carcross-Whitehorse loop. We are looking at doing that.

Mr. Phelps: The operator, in his letter to the Minister, recommends large signs, to be posted north of the Carcross cuttoff and south of Jake’s Corner - signs that would be at least as large, for example, as the ones at Haines Junction, showing the Haines road that goes to the Alaska Highway.

Is the Minister prepared to entertain having those signs installed by May?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I cannot give that guarantee at this time. I will have to raise that with the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, who is responsible for road signage. As I mentioned in my earlier statement, the Department of Tourism is prepared to do some extra work on providing supplementary information and brochures to better promote the Carcross area. I will take up the matter of improved signage with the Minister responsible.

Question re: North to Alaska

Mr. Phelps: Perhaps the Minister cannot answer this question right now, but is he thinking of a publication as suggested in the letter, such as the existing publication produced by PR Services of Whitehorse?

Hon. Mr. Webster: Yes, that is the only route we can go, at this late time, to adequately improve the promotion of the Carcross area, as this is an existing publication that has not yet gone to press. We still have time to supplement it with a few extra pages.

Mr. Phelps: There seems to be some confusion in the minds of business people on the loop with respect to whether or not there is going to be a kiosk established for this summer season. The concept was to have an information kiosk. First it was going to be at Jake’s Corner. Then it was suggested that it should be at the Squanga Lake campground. These were nixed for various reasons.

I would like to ask the Minister if he would support the establishment of a kiosk a few miles south of Jake’s Corner that could be used in conjunction with a large sign to give information to tourists this summer about the attractions - some of them are very expensive attractions - on the Tagish-Carcross loop.

Hon. Mr. Webster: At one time there was a possibility of having a kiosk to promote the Carcross loop, but nothing really came of it. I am not prepared, at this time, to guarantee that we would be willing to put in a kiosk at that location for this season.

Mr. Phelps: As a person who is absolutely astonished and a little hurt that his hometown has disappeared suddenly, I would urge the Minister to consider the establishment of a kiosk, fully-manned, for the three months, perhaps by those lakes just south of Jake’s Corner. In addition, I would like to ask the Minister if he will inquire to see if an FM transmitter could be installed there to transmit the portion of the tape that Tourism has and is broadcasted to tourists in various communities. It is on the tourist station, FM 90, I think it is.

Hon. Mr. Webster: As with the other matter involving the kiosk, I will look into this one, as well.

Question re: Forestry devolution

Mr. Devries: I also have a question for the Minister of Renewable Resources. Every week, in the local newspaper, we read about more raw log exports; we read about a shortage of woodlot cutting permits, leading to high priced firewood, and we are missing out on a lot of economic opportunities. We need to get control of our forest resources. When is this going to happen?

Hon. Mr. Webster: As we have already mentioned three or four times in this session, we are conducting negotiations and we do have a Cabinet-approved mandate to proceed with talk about devolution of the forestry management.

Mr. Devries: From the information I have received, I feel his department has been less than enthusiastic in response to my questions about this matter. Until I see some hard-copy evidence, I question if the Minister and his government are serious about this. When am I going to get this hard-copy evidence of the transfer?

Hon. Mr. Webster: The matter was raised about a week and one-half ago by the Member for Watson Lake, at which time he asked for some documents and dates as to meetings that had taken place among the principals to discuss the devolution of forestry. I mentioned to him that I would get back to him with that information. I still intend to do so before this sitting ends.

Mr. Devries: I believe it was in my opening response to the budget speech that I first brought it up - almost a month ago - and I look forward to receiving that information.

Question re: Whitehorse Correctional Centre

Mr. Nordling: I have a question for the Minister of Justice with respect to the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Several years ago, a comprehensive review of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre was undertaken and in that review 19 specific suggestions were made. I would like to ask the Minister whether she has been following up on this review, and how many of the suggestions have been implemented /

Hon. Ms. Joe: I am not exactly sure what the Member is referring to. A facility study was done, but I do not think that is what he is talking about. If he is referring to a specific document, I would like to know what it is.

Mr. Nordling: Perhaps the Minister was not the Minister of Justice at the time - I believe the department was still under the former Minister - but a review was done and I am told that one of the suggestions was that a clear philosophy for corrections must be developed and accepted by the staff, from the ministerial level down. I wonder specifically whether, by the Department of Justice or the Minister, a clear philosophy on corrections has been developed that is available and applies from the Minister on down.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I would have to have a copy of that report. The Member talks about a number of recommendations. If he is referring specifically to a new philosophy being developed, we have considered a philosophy that I believe has not yet reached the eyes of those individuals who work in the system. The philosophy we have developed was a result of a lot of changes that have taken place with regard to the manner in which we provide the service to the people within corrections. I believe times have changed drastically in the last few years in regard to the manner in which we provide those services. If that is what he is speaking about, yes, we do have a philosophy developed; it has been approved by  cabinet and, as I said, was done as a result of many changes that have taken place.

Mr. Nordling: If it is possible, I would like to have a copy of the philosophy so we know what is happening.

The other specific question that I have is with respect to the coroner’s inquest into the Blasdell suicide at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. A number of suggestions and recommendations were made by the coroner at that time. Can the Minister tell us if they have been followed up on, and how many of those recommendations have been implemented?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I would be happy to provide the Member with an up-to-date Ilisting of the recommendations and where they are at.

Question re: Whitehorse visitor reception centre/audio-visual production

Mr. Phillips: I have a question for the Minister of Tourism with respect to the audio-visual presentation facilities at the new visitor reception centre.

We have learned that the 18-projector Expo show, Out of Silence, will not be the feature show at our new visitor reception centre. By the way, this production was judged by the International Association of Business Communicators to be the best in the world in 1986, and it is not supposed to be a dated production. This production involved 18 projectors, and the new $200,000 production by Parks Canada only involves nine projectors.

What do we plan to do with the other nine projectors that are left over from the Expo event? Will they be used as spares at the visitor reception centre?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I do not specifically know what we will do with the extra nine projectors. I imagine that we will try to keep them in the best order possible and use them as spares, in case one of the first nine projectors breaks down.

Mr. Phillips: The Minister told the House on December 2 that the old video, Out of Silence, and others would be shown at the visitor reception centre. Is the Minister now telling the House that the award-winning video, Out of Silence, will not be shown at all at the new facility and that it will not even be a secondary production?

Hon. Mr. Webster: Can the Member please point out to me where I suggested that?

Mr. Phillips: Well, I thought I did. I told him that on December 2, in the House, the Minister pointed out that this production would be one of the productions that would be used at the new visitor reception centre.

The Minister did not answer that question, but I will ask him another one and try again.

Would the Minister be prepared to donate the video, Out of Silence, and its equipment to another community, for example Beaver Creek or Watson Lake - the entry points of the Yukon - so that they may use it as an attraction? After all, it did attract 1,250,000 visitors to the Yukon Pavilion and won a major world award, and we should not just put it in the closet and forget about it.

Hon. Mr. Webster: I do not remember saying on December 2, that the AV production would definitely not be used in the new visitor reception centre.

In response to the Member’s question, yes, I will consider that.

Question re: Predator control

Mr. Brewster: In Hansard on December 12, the Minister stated, “I guess this session has gone on a little too long. This is the same question the Member asked me two or three weeks ago.” I intend to keep on asking.

Does the Minister know if the Wildlife Management Advisory Board intends to travel to Alaska to study predator control?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I do not know for certain if the Wildlife Management Board plans to travel to Alaska to study predator control. I do know that at least one member of the board travelled to Alaska this past summer to take a look at what was done in that jurisdiction, particularly in some areas of that jurisdiction with respect to certain species.

Mr. Brewster: Can the Minister tell the House where the information comes from that predator control decisions are based on?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I would have to ask for some clarification on that question.

Is the Member asking me where in Alaska that information on predator control came from?

Mr. Brewster: I did not even know I had Alaska in that question.

Can the Minister tell the House where the information comes from that predator control decisions are based on?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I imagine that it comes from a variety of jurisdictions around the world where they have used their predator control measures to increase the population of other game.

Mr. Brewster: Would the Minister table these documents in this Legislature?

Hon. Mr. Webster: I will take that matter under advisement.

Question re: Public Utilities Board hearing

Mrs. Firth: I have a question for the Minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board, the Minister of the Yukon Development Corporation. When will the decision be made with respect to the Public Utilities Board hearings that we just had? When will Yukoners know whether they have a power increase or not?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I am responsible for the Public Utilities Board. I am sorry, but I missed the question.

Mrs. Firth: I will start my question over again, then. It is my fault; I directed it to the wrong Minister. I will direct my question, then, to the Minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board.

When is the decision going to be made with respect to the hearings that were just held and when are Yukoners going to know whether they have a power increase or not?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I have not had any indication from the board as to when a decision will be made. As soon as they have given me that information, I will be pleased to pass it on to the Member.

Mrs. Firth: The Public Utilities Act says that the report can be requested at a time specified by the Minister. In the rate policy directive it also says that by June 1, 1992, the board has to deliver its annual report. Has the Minister given the board any direction as to the time that she would like this report completed?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I have not done that at this point in time. The hearing, as the Member knows, has been completed, and I am sure that there are a lot of things that the board has to take into consideration. I will certainly give the Member the information that she needs as soon as I have it myself.

Mrs. Firth: Perhaps I can ask the Minister if the government has given no direction to the board at all as to when it would like this decision made.

I find it quite surprising that that would not be done.

Hon. Ms. Joe: The problem that arises here is that there are two different departments involved in what is happening with regard to the hearing. There has been another department involved, and of course I am responsible for the appointments for the Public Utilities Board.

There has certainly been direction given to them in regard to the manner in which they have held the hearing. I would have to let the Member know the information that I have at hand. I also have to consult with my colleague, the Minister responsible for the hearing.

Question re: Canadian constitutional changes

Mr. Lang: I have a question for the Government Leader with respect to the question of constitutional changes that are being proposed as far as the country is concerned, and the parliamentary committee that was struck to deal with the process, at least in part, and whether or not Canadians were going to have direct input into proposing changes to the working document that was released by the Government of Canada.

Could the Government Leader tell this House whether or not he has been in touch with the Government of Canada with respect to this committee, and whether or not the committee still intends to come to the Yukon, which was its previous plan in November?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Yes, we have been in touch with the committee, now co-chaired by Senator Beaudoin and Dorothy Dobbie, a Member of Parliament. We expect the committee to come here on a January date. On my feet, I do not know if I can give the expected date. I think it is the third week in January.

The arrangements have not been finalized yet. I hope to be communicating to all parties of the House shortly.

On our part, we contemplate that the task force previously mentioned, which would have all-party representation in this House, would meet with that committee at a mutually agreeable time. I assume this would be for two purposes. One would be to give us an opportunity to ask the Members of the parliamentary committee to define, explain and elaborate on some of the proposals laid out by Mr. Clark and, the second would be to offer, in a tentative way, our opinions about some of the items among the 28 proposals.

Mr. Lang: That is very tentative with respect to the time schedule that the Parliamentary committee has indicated to the Minister. Could the Minister tell us when we will know for sure the definite dates when the committee will be in attendance in the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: It is amazing what a question before the House will do. I have just been handed a note from my office that says the committee has issued a schedule, which refers to being here in Whitehorse on January 28. However, as I understand it, there are no further details on the schedule that are not public yet.

Mr. Lang: The other aspect is the question of the position that will be taken, at least in part, by the Government of the Yukon about the proposed changes that are being brought forward by the Government of Canada.

When will the government be in a position to make its position on the proposed constitutional changes public?

Hon. Mr. Penikett: Although it does not give me much opportunity to elaborate, I previously committed myself to a ministerial statement, which it is my intention to give this week, all things being equal, on this question. I would, however, say to the Member that some of Mr. Clark’s proposals may not have much life in some places. There is not a great deal of interest in them.

If I could offer a tentative view, I think that whatever proposals survive the hearing process will certainly include four matters: the question of the distinct society, Senate reform, aboriginal rights and the economy - perhaps the economic union or some combination of economic union/social charter questions. I am judging from media reports here, but some of the ideas here, such as the Council of the Federation, as I conceded to the Member in previous questions, do not seem to have been well enough thought out for us to be able to respond to them. That is a problem we will have in taking too firm a position on some of those proposals, but we will certainly want to speak to the first four because every indication I have is that those will be in the final package, whatever it is.

Speaker: The time for Question Period has now lapsed.

We will proceed with Orders of the Day


Hon. Mr. Webster: 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 now call Committee of the Whole to order.

We will take a short break.


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

Bill No. 19 - First Appropriation Act, 1992-93 - continued

Department of Health and Social Services

Chair: We are on the Department of Health and Social Services. Is there general debate?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am pleased today to be able to present the 1992-93 combined capital and operations budget for the Department of Health and Social Services. This budget has been designed to meet the majority of identified needs of individuals, families and communities in the Yukon in a manner that is efficient and effective.

We cannot consider health as separate from the need for decent housing, safe drinking water, meaningful employment, support for substance abuse problems, quality child care, protection and support against violence and non-judgmental support in times of crisis.

All of these things are health issues and we are learning to view them as such. Health is a person’s total well-being - the physical, mental, spiritual, economic, environmental and social well-being.

Several years ago, the placement and support services unit developed a foster care recruitment campaign, based on the theme “sharing the caring”. I believe that theme runs throughout the Department of Health and Social Services.

This budget is designed to meet our objectives of investing in the future of Yukon people by maintaining and enhancing a strong safety net. But, a safety net has to be much more than simply a net to catch us when we stumble. The net has to be able to help us help ourselves to become whole again. It has to help us help ourselves to regain our balance. The net is complicated and many sided and so are the many issues that we face.

The services that we provide are built on respect for people we work with and for: the single, working mother who does not earn enough to pay for quality child care; the child who has been sexually, physically or emotionally abused; the senior citizen who wants to maintain his or her independence and their own home, but needs some assistance; the person who lives in fear because of what substance abuse is doing to a loved one. There is no immediate solution to any of these problems and until then my department has a role to play - a role of support, assistance, aid and hope.

In general debate, I will outline plans and expenditures branch by branch. Prior to that, Mr. Lang had asked for information on a number of topics and it is my intention to respond to those questions at this time.

One of the questions concerned the chronic disease program and where we stood with that. In the spring of 1991, direction was received from Cabinet to implement some changes in the chronic disease program, and the following is an update of what has taken place over the past year.

On July 1, 1991, the Government of Yukon entered an agreement with the Pharmacy Society of Yukon. The agreement sets the terms and conditions for the dispensing of drugs and supplies for chronic disease and Pharmacare programs. Mandatory substitution of a generic equivalent is part of the agreement and will be effective January 1, 1992.

In relation to Group Surgical Medical Insurance Plan coverage, health services branch has requested the Public Service Commission to approach GSMIP insurers in regards to the leverage on employees on the chronic disease list. The Public Service Commission has sent the request to Treasury Board and was advised that YTG could be the last payer of medical expenses, provided that there was no requirement to cover these expenses under the Canada Health Act. Legal advice is being sought on the matter.

On the formulary option: it has not been investigated yet. It will require support from the policy unit and they will be looking at that.

On eligibility and residency requirements: a request has been sent to the Department of Justice for the drafting of a new act for the chronic disease program, which would obviously include residency requirements.

Other initiatives include: Health Services will no longer reimburse the pharmacist if a prescription is older than a year. This requirement will ensure that patients’ profiles are reviewed and that the prescription is still valid for all charges to the chronic disease program.

Health Services branch will not pay for drugs or supplies sent out of the territory. The patient will be reimbursed only if receipts are brought back to the branch, on his or her return to the territory. The Health Services branch will produce doctors’ and patients’ profiles for the patients registered with the program. This will ensure better monitoring by the physicians of their patients and the drugs approved for them.

At the same time, we are reviewing requests for possible inclusions in the plan. The pharmacists have been requested to dispense a three-month supply of drugs whenever feasible and approved by the physician. This will reduce the dispensing-fee cost the government has to pay each time a drug is dispensed. Standards of dispensing for specific drugs are being developed; the first one will be on the Ventalin inhaler and the recommended usage for the drug. This will be used as a guide for the program. A letter will be sent to patients, doctors and pharmacists advising them of the standards of dispensing and what the program will agree to pay. Any excess usage will be the responsibility of the patient. A similar process will be undertaken for other drugs as feasible.

A question was asked about the waiting list for the speech and hearing clinic. The information is as follows: the waiting period for new referrals is at the present time three months, and we have 98 patients on the list. There was a high number of new referrals this fall. The waiting period for the reassessment patients is three months; we have 103 patients on that list. Patients typically do not wait more than three months for service and priority cases are being seen within two weeks of referral time.

Some of the reasons behind the waiting list are equipment problems and travel to the communities by the audiologist in September and October. The waiting list should be reduced to no wait at all within six months.

It appears that each September and October, if we continue the same pattern, we will build up a waiting list.

On counselling services available in home care and senior services, home care employs one full-time social worker, providing palliative, bereavement, adjustment and family counselling. Services to seniors employs two half-time social workers. They provide a one-stop shop for support and counselling services for senior citizens who are over 60 years of age.

Nurses in home care provide medical health counselling. There is no wait list for services in these programs.

Home care continues to service the general requirements for home support needs of Yukon people. Home care strives to be flexible in its delivery of mandated services. The program became operational in March, 1988, and is provided in all communities except Beaver Creek. There has not been a request for service from Beaver Creek. The program employs three nurses, 12 home-support workers and one social worker. An occupational therapist works half-time with the home care program. A physiotherapist works one day a week with the home care program. Home care has expanded hours of service to include evenings and weekends. Home care has become involved with public health in the provision of foot clinics. Home care continues to involve, and work cooperatively with, other community resources.

Regarding patient medical travel, the new medical travel policy became effective December 1990. This policy has been in place for almost a year now, and many patients have already received subsidies for meals and accommodation.

Under the policy, a subsidy of $30 a day can be provided to patients who require medical treatment outside their community. A list of boarding homes was developed to assist pregnant women from the communities who have to come to Whitehorse to have their babies. The list is presently being revised, as only a very few people from the original list are still interested in providing the service.

YTG provided financial assistance for a pamphlet produced by a group of parents called Whitehorse Parents for Parents. This is a support group for parents whose children have severe physical, mental or medical disabilities, and who spend a lot of time in hospitals outside. The pamphlet provides information on services available in various hospitals outside and how to best access them.

The living subsidy for outpatients reduces the burden on rural Yukoners who must travel to Whitehorse for births or medical services. It also allows flexibility for pregnant women to decide where they want to stay while awaiting the births of their children.

There was a question about UI claimants being referred to social assistance by the Unemployment Insurance office. The claimants who have been deemed eligible for UI benefits are being referred to the social assistance office as their cheques are being delayed; however, it is the responsibility of the UIC office to provide funds to qualified claimants.

A snapshot, manual review of new intakes to social assistance between September 1 and November 30 was completed, which showed that, out of a total of 536 intakes, 95 applicants were waiting for unemployment insurance - that is to say, they are eligible for UI, but have yet to receive their cheques. Sixteen clients had been on UIC and their claims ran out. They had reapplied for UI and were awaiting the start of a new claim; 12 cases were receiving unemployment insurance concurrently with social assistance benefits.

It is our belief that most of these people would not require social assistance funds if unemployment insurance funds were made available through a more reasonable intake system. Most of these clients will have collected three to four months of social assistance by the time they are in receipt of the full unemployment insurance benefits. The unemployment insurance system should be revised with the objective of having an enhanced, simplified application process. I am told that this is a national issue, and it may be discussed at the national Ministers’ meeting in January.

The local Unemployment Insurance office should be provided with adequate numbers of staff to process claims within currently determined standards. The current standard for waiting is roughly six to eight weeks. We have clients who have identified waiting time of up to three to four months.

Social assistance does not recover funds from clients when they receive unemployment insurance funds owed to them for the period in which they were assisted. The reason is that such a practice is considered to be punitive and administratively cumbersome. This practice would place social assistance in the position of being a lender of funds, which it is not. The Finlay judgment discourages the collection of money from people who have been found in need.

A department official has written to the local unemployment insurance officials, requesting clarification about what is happening and why.

There was a question about the alcohol and drug strategy. The department is in the process of developing a long-term, comprehensive alcohol and drug strategy based on information provided in the Yukon Alcohol and Drug Survey, research from other jurisdictions and recommendations from government addiction workers. The number of alcohol and drug counselling staff has been increased and another auxiliary staff person is being recruited to reduce waiting lists. Counselling is immediately available to people in emergency situations.

The Yukon Alcohol and Drug Survey was released in May 1991. It provides valuable information about substance abuse that will be the basis of a long-term strategy. This survey indicates that there has been a decline of 10 percent in the number of current drinkers in the Yukon, since 1985. However, the Yukon has the highest per capita alcohol consumption, however, there has been a decline of 11 percent in Yukon since 1979.

There are more heavy drinkers in the Yukon than in the rest of Canada, however, 80 percent of Yukon people over 15 years of age, are light drinkers, former drinkers or abstainers. The government is developing strategies to address different drinking patterns, different age groups and genders. Other elements of the long-term alcohol and drug strategy include recommendations from alcohol and drug services staff and Yukon Health and Social Services council.

A full-time permanent counsellor has been hired at alcohol and drug services. As of November 18, there will be four counsellors on staff. Another auxiliary counsellor is being recruited.

The waiting list at alcohol and drug services is now about three months; however, with the new counsellor on staff, hopefully this waiting list has been reduced somewhat. When a person is in an emergency situation, if they are referred by a doctor or nurse, alcohol and drug services will give them priority. There are no waiting lists for community addiction workers or social workers in the communities who provide addictions counselling.

Surveys of other non-government addiction services indicate that there is no waiting lists at NNADAP for counselling and there is no waiting list at Crossroads for treatment. There is a waiting list for treatment centres outside the Yukon, which are used by NNADAP for First Nation clients.

The Department of Health and Social Services supports wilderness camps for young offenders, where costs are reasonable, security and programming are suitable and the number of placements make it feasible. The Department of Health and Social Services placed eight youths at the Kaska Wilderness Camp during the summer of 1991, at a per diem of $128. These youths stayed at the camp an average of 45 days each. The department placed seven youths this past summer with Jack Smith in Mayo, for a flat rate. The program ran from July 1, 1990, until August 31, 1991. A proposal in April came from Dibs Williams for a camp on the Fish Lake Road. The department personnel explored this proposal and Dibs Williams indicated that he did not give himself enough lead time to develop the program. He withdrew his proposal.

So, of the various options, there are ongoing discussions with various First Nations about wilderness camps for young people.

Regarding programs for young offenders, the youth probation and youth custody programs, which form part of youth services, provide a variety of programs for young offenders. Each attempt is made to provide services that will address skill-deficit areas in youths. The offering of services and programs, however, is dependent upon a number of factors, some of which are numbers of youth requiring the service and availability of the required expertise and resources. As part of our strategic planning process, we will be looking more closely at the sharing and pooling of resources found both within the department and on an interdepartmental basis, and in collaboration with community resources.

Programs provided for young offenders run on an as-needed basis. Some of the programs have included anger management, alcohol and drug counselling and awareness, shoplifting prevention, community service work and the diversion program.

There is a growing need for an in-territory program to respond to the needs of youth who commit sex-related offences. It is proposed that discussions be entertained with the Department of Justice to examine the joint funding of an in-territory residential program for these youths.

Regarding initiatives by First Nations, there is a recognition that probation services requires an employment-equity plan. It is the intent of youth services to initiate a plan that would ensure that, at a minimum, 25 percent of all youth workers would be from Yukon First Nations. Discussions have begun with Kwanlin Dun to develop a process through which they are able to provide input in the preparation of predispositional reports when a Kwanlin Dun First Nation youth is before the courts.

Only 20 percent of all youth who are diverted into alternate measures are from the First Nations. Correspondingly, 80 percent of all youth on probation and in custody programs are of First Nation ancestry. In an effort to address this disparity, discussions have been initiated with Kwanlin Dun regarding the formation of a diversion program in the village. It is hoped that this initiative will highlight to the Crown the inequality of the current program of diversion and provide an alternative for their consideration.

In relation to custody programs, programs provided in the secure and open custody are three tiered. These tiers run parallel to each other and are ongoing, simultaneously. The first tier focuses on the acquisition of generic social skills that, we hope, will allow youth to function more successfully in a cross-cultural environment. This is accomplished through the use of positive and negative reinforcers and the obtainment of privileges.

The second tier focuses on their remediation of specific identified problem areas, for example alcohol and drug abuse, anger management and life skills. These needs are met either through internal programming or by accessing existing community resources.

The third tier involves education. Those youths involved in the secure program participate in an in-house school system jointly run by the Departments of Education and Health and Social Services. The educational program is individualized to the needs of the youth. The youth involved in the open-custody program are, as much as possible or practical, maintained within the regular school system. In cases where this is not practical, they participate in an in-house school program, again jointly operated by Education and Health and Social Services. The focus of this program is to return the youths to their regular school system.

General initiatives include a strategic planning process, recently initiated, where we are endeavouring to identify gaps in our service delivery to young offenders in custody and to find ways in which these gaps can be closed.

It is hoped that interdepartmental and inter-branch cooperation will allow for the sharing and pooling of resources.

A process of review of the open-custody program has been initiated. A First Nations person with life skills training has been contracted to interview a variety of people, both within and outside government, to determine what the goals and objectives of the open-custody program should be.

Upon completion of this task, we will move into the second phase of the review, which will be to design a program that will accomplish these goals and objectives and then implement them. The emphasis is on public participation, public feedback and in ensuring that the program is culturally sensitive. Once this process is completed in open custody, it will be started for secure custody.

Steps have been taken to start an active volunteer program within the custody programs and I am told an ad is probably in the newspaper either now or will be within the next few weeks.

The intent of the program is to bring people with special skills into contact with youth and have a positive influence on them. There has been a great deal of time and effort going into cultivating a more positive relationship with the First Nation communities.

Currently, open and secure custody have a variety of First Nation people providing programs to youths. Members of Kwanlin Dun have approached the secure program and expressed interest in visiting youth in residence. A program of reacquainting the youth with their spirituality will begin in both open and secure custody within a few weeks. The facilitators will be constructing a sweat lodge on the grounds of the secure program.

Youth services has developed an employment equity program for the custody programs. A recent competition was designated aboriginal hire only. The plan calls for 25 percent representation by First Nations people in the custody program workforce as a minimum. This target is to be achieved within two years.

The native intake liaison worker’s job description is being rewritten to give it a clearer mandate to develop culturally appropriate programs, resources and staff training opportunities in the area of cross-cultural training. This position will report to the manager. An application has been made to the employment equity program for a staff trainer position, which would be recruited as a native-only hire. A job description has been completed and we are currently awaiting confirmation.

Within youth services, they have undertaken the role of facilitating the creation of a day treatment resource centre. This program hopes to draw upon the skills and resources of various branches within the department and provide a common meeting ground for them, thereby facilitating the access and development of these resources to all children within the department. The program will develop in two phases. The first phase will see the drawing together of the various programs into a common area. To date, the CATS program - the child abuse treatment services program - has made the move to the centre. It is anticipated that alcohol and drug services for youth and family life education will be next. It is hoped that probation services will offer programs in the centre in the new year.

Some preliminary discussions have taken place with some First Nation members regarding the providing of a cultural awareness program, as well, in the centre. The second phase will see the development of a core day program with a possible education component.

Programs are being operated out of 305 Lambert Street. Recently, $90,000 was spent to upgrade this facility.

The Member asked a lot of questions.

Concerning amendments to the Children’s Act, a major comprehensive revision to this act will be prepared for the 1993 spring sitting of the Legislature. In preparation for drafting the amending bill, a two-stage consultation with interested members of the Yukon public will be conducted. The Children’s Act was passed in May 1984, and a number of changes have been recommended by social interest groups, task forces, the Department of Health and Social Services staff, and the Department of Justice. These have been collected in an inventory. Consultation with key interest groups is nearing completion, followed by a broader public consultation in preparation for a draft bill.

In addition to mandatory reporting, other issues to be examined include the role of Yukon First Nations in child welfare; developing a philosophy respecting children and families; making the act more user-friendly with less legalese, no gender-biased language and a reorganized format; developing a continuum of services to emphasize the help available to children and families without taking children into care; examining innovations from other jurisdictions; and a better, more appropriate system of dealing with complaints and appeals.

There was a question about the hospital in Mayo. The federal government is responsible for hospitals in the territory at this time. However, the Department of Health and Social Services is providing support to the group looking at the health service needs of the community and alternative methods of health service delivery. The federal government previously indicated their intention to downgrade the status of the Mayo hospital to that of a nursing station. The town officials and First Nation leadership had registered their opposition to the move. The reasons for downgrading are low occupancy rates and decreased population.

The Mayo resource project provided some input about health care concerns of the community pertinent to any planning for a different type of health care facility or service for Mayo. The Department of Health and Social Services continues to provide support for the resource project in their efforts. The federal government has indicated its desire to work with YTG and the community regarding the needs of the community and the best methods of providing health service delivery.

There was a question about office space for the dentist in Dawson. In 1979, the dentist in Dawson entered into an agreement with the federal government, with the understanding that he could use some office space and that he would relocate to a different location after 10 months. The initial arrangement was entered into as an incentive for the dentist to practice in Dawson.

The initial rental charge of $70 per month, included space and equipment. In April of 1991, the federal government undertook to have a multi-year agreement put into place with the dentist.

In September of 1991, a rental charge of $250 per month was agreed to with the federal government reserving the right to relocate the dentist depending upon the needs of other programs.

I am told that the federal government wants to expand the community health program and this would necessitate the relocation of the dentist’s office in the nursing station in the near future.

Chair: Order please. The Minister has now spoken for 30 minutes. Is there any other person who wishes to speak?

Mr. Lang: In deference to the Minister, I would appreciate it if she could continue. The Minister is answering a number of the questions that I would have raised in debate and it is not my intention to waste the time of the House if the Minister has the answers to the questions. I appreciate the fact that the Minister is covering the programs fairly well in her answers, and I think that the Minister’s answers are beneficial to all Members of the House, because I think that I touched upon most of the areas of concern that many of the Members in the House have. Obviously, what the Minister is telling us is raising some questions, but at least it is providing a worthwhile purpose.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am told that the dentist has not signed the lease agreement and has not submitted any payments for the space he now occupies. I am also told that the dentist feels a source of natural light is required in the proposed space. The federal government will investigate the possibility of installing a sky light window, however, other dentists feel that natural light is not essential to a dentist’s office.

The federal government, I am told, has shown considerable cooperation through ongoing renegotiation of the terms and conditions of the lease agreement. No formal notice has been given to the dentist to relocate yet, but, again, I am told, it is forthcoming.

We are very interested in ensuring that Yukon children receive an appropriate level of dental services. We have asked medical services branch for more details on their current activities to redistribute resources in the children’s dental program.

I am told the decay rates in Whitehorse are low and in the outlying communities, the decay rate is high. In light of the current needs for dental services in the Yukon, as well as current technology and so on, a review will be done.

The Public Service Alliance and YGEU paid for a full-page ad in an edition of a local paper. In June, 1991, medical services branch advised that they were redistributing resources of the program to make sure students up to grade 8, throughout the Yukon receive services that meet program standards. This redistribution meant that the extra services in Mayo and Dawson City were no longer provided for grades 9 through 12. We have asked medical services branch for more information.

The correspondence that was printed in an open letter in a local paper on December 4, identifies that the situation has changed since the program was initiated in 1963. Decay rates in Whitehorse are lower because of fluoridation, and MSB moves improved the level of dental care for those with greatest needs. An evaluation by an independent party is required to examine current needs, quality of care, cost effectiveness and methods of delivering care.

Perhaps services for children, who are covered by private insurance, could be charged back to insurance companies and the program could provide more services for those with the highest needs.

At the time this was written, the phones of medical services branch of the federal government were out of service, so there was no response from them.

The Member asked who the clientele at the young offenders facility have been over a given period. The average age of young offenders in custody is 16. Custody occupancy rates for 1991 are as follows: in April, there were seven in secure custody, three on remand, for a total of 10; in May, there were five in secure custody and five on remand, totalling 10; in June, there were five in secure custody and two on remand, for a total of seven; in July, there were two in secure custody and two on remand, for a total of four; in August, there were five in secure custody and two on remand, for a total of seven; in September there were four in secure custody and three on remand, for a total of seven; in October there were two in secure custody and four on remand, for a total of six; in November, there were two in secure custody and five on remand, for a total of seven. The total, from April through November, is 32 in secure custody and 26 on remand, for a total of 58.

The Member asked for costs associated with 501 Taylor. Costs to replace this facility would be at least $350,000, given the building standards requirements for an occupancy level of eight children. The $120,000 requested in the supplementary is for reroofing, installation of two fire escapes, supplementary heating and electrical upgrading.

The breakdown of the costs associated with 501 Taylor Street - did you want the breakdown? It is fairly extensive. In 1985-86, the house was purchased. The land cost $72,000. The total purchase was $183,000-plus. In 1986-87, renovations and repairs cost $16,000 and a few dollars. In 1987-88, it was same thing: renovations and repairs cost $325; in 1988-89, there was $12,550 to convert the pool to the computer classroom and the Raven’s Wing workshop; 1989-90, $4,800-plus for the workshop; and 1990-91, $10,025 for renovation repairs - I believe that was for the roof. These total $227,203.03 to March 31, 1991. The total cost of renovations was $227,203.03; so, add that to the purchase price - I believe this is the way it works out - and it brings it to $247,203.03.

There was a question about the extended care facility and the increase in traffic congestion. Although there will be approximately 40 people working at the extended care facility, there should be no remarkable increase in traffic congestion. The peak traffic period from Riverdale crossing the bridge is from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Most of the employees will be shift workers and shifts could be scheduled so that starting and ending would not be at peak traffic times. The concern about Riverdale traffic has been brought up in the House by Mr. Phillips and addressed by Mr. Byblow.

As far as I can recall, that is the list of questions. I also have my general debate comments but I will see if the Member has a question at this time.

Mr. Lang: I want to thank the Minister and staff for the work they have obviously done. I appreciate the information. It will save the time spent in the House. It was fairly comprehensive in a lot of areas. In some areas, I have questions and I would like to pursue those.

I want to reinforce my comments earlier with respect to the number of welfare recipients. It seems to me that this is an area that does deserve some scrutiny by the government with respect to what can be done to try to encourage individuals who have been on welfare for some time to become more productive citizens. I think that there are ideas from other jurisdictions, including areas in the United States, that can be used to put incentives in place to get people out of that vicious circle. Often they are in this position through no fault of their own. Even if we have to invest more money to help them, I think it would be of benefit to government and society as a whole and, most importantly, to the individuals involved.

I would like to ask some specific questions about some of the information that has been provided. One area that has been of constant concern to all Members of the House has been the young offenders facility and the programs that have been made available there. There are criticisms, not only from Members of the House, but also from members of the judiciary and other organizations in the territory that are working with young people on a daily basis.

The Minister outlined a number of steps her department is taking to meet some of the criticism and revise some of the programs so that they can be of more benefit to the young people who have been incarcerated. I want to ask the Minister if she is confident that the steps taken will meet the objectives set down by the judiciary and other organizations with respect to the rehabilitation of these young people.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: We are confident they will. The steps are aimed at moving young people back into their communities and families, and supporting and strengthening the families they come from, as well as providing the skills to young people to be able to survive within their own jurisdictions and culture. When I say survive, I mean survive socially. As I indicated, some 80 percent of the young people in our programs are First Nations children. Therefore, we are paying close attention to the requests of the various First Nations.

Mr. Lang: I am going to take the comments of the Minister at face value, but I want to alert her that this is an area we will be closely monitoring for success.

There is another area I want to move to. Yesterday, I asked some questions with respect to the health services in Dawson City. If the Minister recalls, it was not strictly confined to the question of the dentist. The dentist was part of the questioning, but there are some very significant concerns in Dawson City about the federal administration, primarily out of Whitehorse, issuing edicts on what is going to be done in the community of Dawson.

From what I can glean from conversations with people in Dawson, it is the typical way that this is done by those who are providing the service. I strongly feel that YTG does have a role in this area. They cannot just say it is a federal responsibility because, in part, we pay a good portion of the health services.

At one time, the cost sharing of the health services in the territory was on a 70/30 basis - 70 percent YTG and 30 percent federal. Is that still the case?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes, our commitment is to pay 70 percent. I do not disagree with the Member’s analysis of what is happening in Dawson City, and where we must come in.

What is happening that is encouraging is a group in Dawson City - and I can never remember what they call themselves, but it is an integrated group - is looking toward setting up a health and social services board under the Health Act, looking at devolution of responsibility relating directly to that board.

Last day, the Member referred to some of the studies, for example the Kellogg study and I have some further information on that available. It seems that the study, the Proposed Health Needs Assessment, will work toward recommendations  outlined in the Kellogg report.

The McQueen study was initiated by the Health and Welfare Canada medical services branch in Ottawa, initiating a community workload measurement study. Dawson City was one of the health units visited and the study was carried out to see if there are currently adequate resources to deliver the required functions as outlined.

In my opinion, these studies certainly show the need for local input and control. I think that is the bulk of what we are hearing from Dawson City; it is dismay, anger and annoyance because of other people making decisions about their lives for them. It is my hope that as we go through the transfer, we can devolve responsibility to local boards - well, we can do that prior to devolution. That will relieve a lot of frustration and anger, and the residents in Dawson City will be able to decide how they want the resources used in their community.

Mr. Lang: Let us leave that for a few minutes. First of all, I want to ask the Minister if it is true that YTG is considering or has made a commitment to do a study of health care in the Dawson City area, in conjunction with or on behalf of the Dawson Indian Band?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: We are jointly funding this. I am told the feds are funding the Dawson Indian Band for their portion of a needs assessment study and we are funding the municipality, the people in the community, to do a needs assessment.

Mr. Lang: I am baffled by all the studies, quite frankly. The Minister nods her head, and I have to take exception to what we are doing here. It seems to me that the amount of money we are spending on studies could be better spent in actually doing real things for the people in that particular community. Back in 1986, this House passed a motion unanimously asking that there be an upgrading of the status of the nursing station in Dawson City; since that time, we have had three studies - one completed, on which nothing happened; one underway, and one proposed. Now, the credit for upgraded medical facilities in Dawson City has to be given to the community and not to YTG, who has the responsibility, in part, for health. As the Minister just indicated to the House - and it is no secret, but I think the media should start realizing this - we pay 70 percent of the bill. Yet, at the same time, we are on bended knee trying to get some accommodation through some appointed administrator with the federal government.

I have had conversations with the people in Dawson - and I have no reason to believe they are misleading me - and their concern is with the arbitrary way this is being done.

I asked the question in Question Period the other day, and I did not think it was a frivolous question why are we relocating the dentist, who had been there for 12 years? It is easy for the Minister, or somebody who is not a dentist, to stand here and say, “Really, he does not need a window.” I can assure everyone that, if I was a dentist, I would probably prefer to have a window - because everybody knows that natural light is the best light that you can possibly get.

In speaking to the people in Dawson, and those directly involved, it seems to me that we are almost intentionally going in - and I use the royal “we” here - from Whitehorse, disrupting the whole medical services in that community.

If you read the documents that I tabled here the other day, it should not come as a surprise to the Minister or the front bench or the MLA from Klondike; this has been going on for over a year. What concerns me is the lack of interest, or appearance of a lack of interest, from YTG.

The Minister stood in her place and the MLA stood in his place the other day and they took umbrage at my comments because he had had a meeting three days previously with the administrator from the federal government. That is six months after he started receiving correspondence and information from the municipality, the Indian band and the personnel involved. It seems to me that surely YTG should be taking further steps in respect to the immediate situation in Dawson, as opposed to saying that they are going to set up a board. That board is, first of all, not going to have any authority because the federal transfer has not taken place. Second, you cannot just set up a board overnight; it is going to take a long time to do that, to get people to serve on it and to investigate the situation.

Here we have a situation where at least one of the doctors has indicated very clearly and unequivocally to the people in Dawson City, and to the administration, that he feels the rules are being changed beyond the original agreements, and second, I have the distinct impression from the information given here, as far as the dentist is concerned, that, in part, the rules are being changed.

I know that the federal government flouts what I see as a red herring: this question of rental accommodation within that particular building. Part of the arrangement for getting a dentist into Dawson was providing an incentive to get her or him to relocate there. I can tell you that it will continue to be a problem. My concern is that the present dentist may well leave and that there may well be a similar situation with the doctors, too, down the road, if we do not get a resolution.

Is the Minister aware that there is a representative from the community in Dawson City meeting with the federal Minister of Health and Welfare in Ottawa, today, to discuss this matter. Is the Minister aware of that?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: No, no one informed me of that. I have just asked the department, and they have not been informed of that, either.

I do not disagree that it is a very difficult situation for the people in Dawson. First of all, in relation to the needs assessment, the previous two were done by someone else to the people of Dawson. At this stage, we are talking about asking Dawson people to do an assessment themselves. We are providing the resources for them to decide what it is they want, which would seem to me to be a first step in providing that kind of local control.

The Member is quite right that we provide 70 percent of the funding. Many years ago, long before either of us were in this Legislature, I should think, someone decided that the territorial government would pay 70 percent of the cost of health, while allowing the federal government to call the shots on it. It does seem a most unequal distribution of power.

On my last visit to Dawson, I did spend some time discussing the issues with the doctor who was there, with public health people and with others in the community. What seemed to come out very clearly was a sense of conflicting interests within the community. It would seem to me that it would be inappropriate for someone from Whitehorse to make the decision on which service they want the most.

As is the Member, I am receiving letters, and I will certainly pay attention to them. I had some lobbying about the public health services while I was in Dawson City, and the need for expansion of those services. Those are some of the general comments in response to the Member’s question.

Mr. Lang: I go back to these studies. In fairness to the people of Dawson, they have a pretty fair idea of what has to be done to solve the immediate situation. One of the first moves that has to be made is to try to come to some successful compromise with the present staff, both nursing staff and doctors, as well as the dentist.

That is the immediate situation that faces that community. Otherwise, we are in a situation where they may well lose the dentist and suffer just as serious a consequence with the other staff if something is not done in the very near future.

I would like to ask the Minister if she would bring to this House how much the “needs” assessment that was done in the mid 1980’s cost. Also, I would like to know what the Kellogg report cost - I think that was what it was called. It was done in about 1987. I also would like to know what the McQueen report will cost the taxpayers. I also would like the Minister to bring us the costs of the proposed “needs” study for the Dawson City Indian band, in terms of both the federal and territorial contributions. Would she undertake to bring all this information back to us?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: What I can bring back is the entire cost of the Kellogg study, but it was prepared to cover the entire territory. It was not done just for Dawson City. I see no way of breaking it down.

We can ask for the McQueen study, which was done by Health and Welfare Canada. We can tell you what portion of the assessment we will be funding for the community of Dawson City and ask the federal government if they can tell us how much they will be funding the Dawson Indian band. I have no guarantee that they will give us the information; that one is still in the proposal stages.

Mr. Lang: As long as we get a commitment that we will get information on the cost of that particular study from both governments - not just YTG’s. I take it that the Minister has given us her commitment.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I will request the figures once they are known. We do not know yet what they are.

Mr. Lang: I would appreciate that.

I want to go back to the situation that immediately faces the people of Dawson. I would like to know if the Minister would table all the correspondence that she has transmitted to the Government of Canada on the Dawson situation, particularly any that requests that the Government of Canada reassess their position on the matter.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I will take that under advisement.

Mr. Lang: I would like to ask the Minister if she has corresponded directly with the Minister of Health and Welfare in Ottawa on this matter. How many times has the Minister corresponded with him?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I suspect that the Member will not like my answer. The reality is that we have been discussing this issue with the local people. We have been telephoning, but it is not usual to telephone or write my counterpart in Ottawa about his own budget on some things. I have not corresponded with him.

Mr. Lang: I have to voice my very major concern that YTG has not registered its very deep concern with respect to the situation in Dawson City, in any manner, especially in writing. I do not understand how the Minister expects the Government of Canada to take the situation in Dawson City seriously if the territorial government is not putting forward a position on what should be done. I think it is going to be of concern to the people in Dawson when they find out that YTG’s position has been almost lukewarm or non existent on that particular issue. I feel that the government should be taking a stronger and a much more aggressive role with respect to what has been taking place in Dawson.

I am very concerned about the situation that is immediately before us, which is the issue about the dentist - his location in the hospital. The Minister indicated in the last of her comments that no formal notice to - I think she used the word, relocate - has been given, but it will be forthcoming.

Is the Minister telling us that she is prepared to accept the edict from the federal government about the situation in Dawson concerning the dentist? Is the Minister prepared to accept the fact that if there is not a compromise, Dawson may well lose their dentist? The dentist is taking this matter very seriously. I am sure the Minister is aware of that.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I was giving the Member an update of the information that I have been given. I gave this information to the Member quite freely and there certainly are many viewpoints coming out of the community of Dawson.

I understand what the Member is saying when he says that he feels very strongly about the doctors and dentists being supported in their quest for a subsidy in Dawson.

I am not at all sure - and I have discussed this with professional people - if it is our role to be pushing other communities to be providing subsidies. I do understand the very real need for a dentist and a doctor, and perhaps two doctors in Dawson City and in any of our rural communities the need becomes the same, whether it is Faro or Watson Lake. I am also aware of the kinds of subsidies that these physicians have been receiving over the years and I do not feel that it is appropriate to be talking about those subsidies in this Legislature.

As the community of Dawson makes their choice, I am sure that they will let us know. They have not written to me asking that YTG subsidize their professional people. Their argument at the present time appears to be primarily and almost entirely with the federal program. I do not know what more I can say on this.

Mr. Lang: I understand that certain terms and conditions were agreed to for the medical personnel to relocate to Dawson City. I want to inform the Minister that, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was very difficult to get anyone with the necessary expertise to move to the community of Dawson for any length of time. Whether that has changed or not remains to be seen. We could use trial by error. We could remove all the agreements that were in place, say these are the rules, and we could lose the dentist and the doctors. Then, we could see in the marketplace if there was anyone prepared to go to the community of Dawson.

I think there is a principle here that certain agreements were reached but, over the years, they appear to have been changed without both parties agreeing to the changes, i.e., the relocation of the dentist. This seems almost to have been an arbitrary decision made in Whitehorse, with the individual directly affected not having a lot to say about it.

I am just saying this from what people have told me, and from observations made with respect to the community. This is the way we feel when Ottawa makes arbitrary decisions on our behalf, without our being involved.

The Minister said it is not her, and I agree with that. However, I am taking exception when the Minister says it is a federal responsibility and has nothing to do with her. Yet, we pay 70 percent of the bill. I am trying to say that the Minister does have certain responsibilities and has certain direct avenues through which she can influence superiors here, if necessary. That is what I am saying to the Minister.

It greatly disturbs me that there have been no letters or direct correspondence with the federal government on this matter to try to impress upon them how important it is to work with the people in Dawson to accommodate change, not make arbitrary decisions. That is the message I am getting from Dawson, more than anything else. It seems the federal people go to Ottawa and say, “This is the way it is going to be and you are going to like it. Do you know why you are going to like it? Because I told you you were going to like it.”

I am asking the Minister, in her position as Minister of Health, to approach the federal government - basically the local people and, if we cannot get satisfaction here, then go to the federal government and ask them to take certain steps to see if this can be accommodated. It really does seem ridiculous to have a situation where there is, for example, a good dentist in that community, who has provided a service to those people, who is well accepted and well liked within the community, but all of a sudden we decide that we do not like his office space so we are going to move him. I do not think the dentist would disagree with moving if there was some way of sitting down with him and telling him what we could provide; but it seems to me it is becoming more and more a matter of principle, where all of a sudden he is being told he has to do this and then one side says, “No, I am not going to do it.” It just becomes a question of pride and both parties are sitting a mile apart as opposed to sitting down and trying to accommodate the situation.

I am sure that, if it is a question of losing the dentist and providing those other services that the Minister has said will be provided within that particular facility, the people in Dawson would prefer to keep their dentist. I think they will have a hard time replacing that kind of expertise.

Will the Minister, personally, undertake to contact those affected in Dawson and also approach the Government of Canada to see whether or not arbitration or another method could be employed to try to resolve this situation, most particularly to the satisfaction of the people of Dawson?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes, I would be prepared to approach them on the process they are using. I would not be prepared to lobby either on behalf of the nurses, who are the people who are objecting to the increased workload and the loss of space, or on behalf of the doctors; we know what their concerns are. But I certainly would be prepared to write and lobby the federal government on the issue of process. It should be the Dawson people making the decisions, not someone in Whitehorse or in Ottawa.

Mr. Lang: I do not think that the Minister can say it is just the process. There are some principles here. There are some very basic principles. Agreements have been made in the past that should be honoured.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Mr. Lang: I do not call that process. I want to make it very clear that I am referring to general principles. I would also urge the Minister to take this as an urgent, urgent matter, because I do not think that much time is on the side of the general public, as both sides become hardened in their positions. The ultimate end of this is that all of a sudden we have a winner and a loser and I do not think that that is to anybody’s benefit.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes.

Mrs. Firth: I just have a few general questions for the Minister. I have had it brought to my attention that there is somewhat of a morale problem in the department and quite a bit of difference of opinion, professionally. I do not expect the Minister to give me any great story about it but that is what I have heard. My concern is that this is an area where the incidence of burnout is very high, and if there is a bit of morale difficulty and a bit of professional differences, it does not take very long before the service that is supposed to be provided to the clients starts to be affected. I have heard about some difficulties in protective services and family children’s services. I would just like to bring it to the Minister’s attention and ask her to take a look at it, to investigate it and see if there is anything there. Perhaps she can address that at some time, after she has had a chance to look at it.

I also understand that one of the assistant deputy ministers for social services is going on a leave of absence. Is that correct?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: The Member suggested that there are morale problems within the department. Yes, I certainly will be asking the Deputy Minister about that, but when any department is in the midst of considerable change, as our department is, unfortunately, that does happen.

I will say that one of the things that I continually ask of department supervisors and of the Deputy Minister is: who is taking care of the care givers? I know that is a very stressful job and burn-out can happen to people and that is not fun.

With respect to the question about an assistant deputy minister taking leave, the answer is yes.

Mrs. Firth: I would like to receive more information with respect to the change that is going on in the department, and if the Minister could provide that to me in the form of some written documentation and support it with organizational charts, I would appreciate that.

As well, I would like to get some indication as to the numbers of resignations within the department as a whole. I would like to know exactly how many resignations there are and how many of the jobs have been filled. I would like a person year complement update for the Department of Health and Social Services and that can be provided to me at a later date, I do not need that information immediately, but I would like to get it before we next sit.

Regarding the assistant deputy minister who is going on some type of extended leave, is that position going to be open to competition to be filled on a temporary basis?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes, we will provide information about the reorganization within the department and it certainly does have to do with the amalgamation of the Department of Health and Social Services and other sections of the department.

The second question had to do with whether or not the department will be advertising the position. We are moving the director of family and children’s services into the position during the time that the assistant deputy minister is on leave.

Mrs. Firth: So that is an acting appointment that is taking place, not a competition?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes.

Mrs. Firth: That is fine. The Minister has indicated that that is correct.

I would like to ask the Minister about her comments about the chronic disease program. She listed in some detail some of the initiatives they were taking to try and reform the program and get some of the costs under control. With the initiatives that have been taken, I would like to know how much money they anticipate saving?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: We are not sure at this point. After one year, we will evaluate the program. It seems to be very difficult to anticipate, but we should be able to give you an answer at that time.

Mrs. Firth: The Minister also mentioned something about reviewing requests for more inclusions. I would like to recommend to the Minister that they not accept any more inclusions until they have completed the process of tightening up the program. Otherwise, things could get completely out of control. The program is already in excess of $1 million. It is important to see if the new initiatives result in any savings before adding any more diseases to the chronic disease list.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: At the present time, there are some specific issues. I will not name them because they have to do with people who have made submissions to me. It will be a comprehensive review. It may be that there are new drugs that come into use that may be included at some point.

Mrs. Firth: I am just making the point that I think the Minister should exercise caution about adding any further items. We raised a concern with the last initiative. The concerns fell on deaf ears, and the rest is history. I would like to just give the Minister that piece of advice for what it is worth.

I would like to follow up with a general question about the health status update. There was a report done by Dr. Paul Cappon that was very controversial. There was supposed to be another preparation for health status updates, and they were going to seek more public input. Can the Minister give us the status of that new health status update?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: We should have an interim status report by spring. It is under the auspices of the medical officer of health, and we are using local expertise. I expect we should have the next health status report by fall.

Mrs. Firth: Does “local expertise” mean that a local consultant is doing the report? If so, could the Minister tell us exactly what she means? Who is doing it?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: During discussions we had at various times with YMA and CYI, the decision was made that Dr. Sally MacDonald, the medical officer of health, would do the report. However, at times, we will be hiring specific experience, such as an epidemiologist, or someone to assist her, but that is the route the community has decided, and we agree.

Mrs. Firth: Is that done as part of the job of the chief medical officer, or is it a separate contract?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: It is part of the contract with the federal government. It is mandated by the Health Act.

Mrs. Firth: I would like to move to another subject. Last year, on April 22, 1991, there was a concern expressed about the amount of funding the Child Development Centre received. I believe there has also been concern expressed this year.

Is the Minister aware of this concern? Does she have any plans to address the concerns?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have requested to meet with the board members of the Child Development Centre. At the time the additional $180,000 was provided through the child care funding to the Child Development Centre, it had been my hope that that would have been a sufficient level of funding for the organization, but it appears that they feel that the funding level is not adequate. I am going to be talking with them to discuss what their concerns and needs are.

Mrs. Firth: Is the Minister prepared to look at giving them some additional funding if the need be? Last year, they had to lay off two staff members. Is the Minister saying that she is just meeting with them to hear their concerns or is there going to be some effort to get additional funding for them?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: That decision will not be made until I have met with them and until we understand what resources there are. As I understand it, they are hiring new staff again.

Mrs. Firth: Once the Minister has met with the Child Development Centre board, I wonder if she could get back to me on that issue and let me know whether additional funding has been provided, so I can follow up on the issue. The Minister may as well correspond directly with me. Then I will know whether or not the board has received any additional funding.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I will do that. It may be that the Member would be fully aware of my decision, because if it was very much money, I would probably have to come back for supplementary funding.

Mrs. Firth: I was expecting to know this prior to the supplementaries, as the Minister indicated she would be meeting with them in the near future. Perhaps she could let me know after that meeting? The Minister is nodding her head, indicating, yes, she will.

I want to move to another program that is a relatively new program shared by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Social Services: the teen parent access to education program that assists pregnant teens and young mothers to continue their education and learn some parenting skills. I would like to ask the Minister whether there has been any evaluation done of the program, and could she tell us today what that evaluation has shown?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Not of the day care/child care portion of the program, which is what we fund. The Department of Education may have, but we are not aware of it. If I may add, this is not in the area where our evaluations are being done this year.

Mrs. Firth: It would be up to the Department of Health and Social Services to provide that kind of evaluation, would it not? I think the Department of Education is just a contributing department to this program. Is the main delivery of the program not through Health and Social Services?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: No. The primary funder of the program is Education; Health and Social Services provides the child care element within the program. The program began as a joint operation but the primary funding comes from Education.

Mrs. Firth: I will be following up, then, with the Minister of Education regarding that.

In the statistics information provided, I noticed there is absolutely no reference made to the usage of the mammography program and the numbers of women who have actually had mammographies since the establishment of the program. I wondered why the Minister did not have that included in the budget for the information of everyone - particularly because it is a new program and particularly because I think the statistics associated with the program are very positive. The last I had heard, over 850 women had had mammographies, and the best news is that three women, who would not have been otherwise diagnosed, were diagnosed by the mammography unit and by the technician who operates the program. I think that is a very positive statistic and Yukon women should be made aware of it.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I agree with the Member and the figures that she has given. It has just been commented to me that it seems to be easy enough to forget the good news, but it is unfortunate that it is not in the book. I certainly have mentioned it in my general debate.

Mr. Nordling: I would like to say to the Minister that I am looking forward to seeing the revisions to the Children’s Act that we will be getting in the spring.

Another area of concern that has been expressed to me is with respect to the Health Act. I wonder if the Minister has given any consideration to amending the Health Act to require that notice be given to parents for non-emergency medical treatment or procedures being performed on minors.

I am sure the Minister must be aware of the issue. There is considerable correspondence on file with respect to this area, sent to the former Minister. I would like to know what the positions is of the department.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Not at the present time.

Mr. Nordling: By that answer, I conclude that revisions are not contemplated to the Health Act. Does the government have any policy that she can clearly state or enunciate with respect to the notice to parents regarding minors receiving medical treatment?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: We take the position that it is a professional decision on the part of the physician and their patient.

Mr. Nordling: I think that that is what is being done right now. I think the decision is made by the individual doctor that that minor goes to. Is the Minister saying that she is happy with the situation the way it is and is not prepared to address that issue, or to make possible changes to the policy that is in place?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am told that the client rights section of the Health Act provides for this situation. Anyone who can make an informed decision has that right, and age is not one of the factors.

Mr. Nordling: To confirm the Minister’s position, is she happy with the clause as it exists in the Health Act and is not prepared to look at it with respect to possibly changing it to give parents more rights than they have at the present time?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Like I said, not at the present time.

Chair: Shall we go to line-by-line?

On Policy and Planning and Administration

On Operation and Maintenance

On Administration

Administration in the amount of $2,100,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Equipment Operational

Equipment Operational in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

On Facility Construction - Integrated Health and Social Services - Mayo

Mr. Lang: Can the Minister outline what exactly these funds are going for?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am sorry I could not hear that question.

Mr. Lang: I am wondering if the Minister can outline how she intends to spend the $200,000 in Health and Social Services in Mayo.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Oh, I know what this one is. This is the $200,000 for Health and Social Services and it says in the line that it is for Mayo. It is a typo; it should be for at least two or three more communities. It is my expectation that it would cost about $50,000 for a community to set up a health board or to carry out a needs assessment for a health board.

There is certainly Dawson and either Watson Lake or Faro would be the community where there is also a possibility of this happening. The money should not have been allocated specifically to one community, because we have no way of knowing which community will be ready first, at this point.

Mrs. Firth: I want to follow up on that a bit. Is the Minister saying that these are needs assessments that are going to be done in all of these communities: Mayo, Dawson, Watson Lake and Faro?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: There will be needs assessments and planning in each community.

Mrs. Firth: I thought the government did a big needs assessment review. All of the communities were visited, discussions were held and recommendations were made with respect to the kind of health service that should be provided. Perhaps the former Minister of Health remembers this. I can clearly remember that quite an extensive study was done. It sounds like it is all going to be done again. There were consultants hired and two or three reports as a result. There were a lot of recommendations and input from the communities with respect to the delivery of health services to them. I guess I am concerned that the department is just duplicating that work.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes, it is. It is giving people the resources within their own community to decide what it is they want. That is the basis of the Health Act - the empowerment of local people. It is allowing them to use the resources within their community and to provide them with the money. If they need a staff person, that person would be sent to the community to help them to do the assessment.

Perhaps I can read from some of the notes I have on this issue. It might clarify some of it. The $200,000 will be used to provide such funds as may be required for the planning and development phases for integrated health and social services facilities in Mayo, Watson Lake and Dawson. Two hundred thousand dollars was originally budgeted in 1991-92. However, it is expected that only $50,000 will actually be required to meet community needs in the current fiscal year.

This change was reflected in the first supplementary for 1991-92. It is expected that expenditures will increase in 1992-93, as community committees complete the assessment phase and move further into the planning phase. Two communities are currently active: Mayo and Dawson City. In Mayo, a steering committee, comprised of eight people selected by the joint village and band councils, has been meeting for some time. In the early part of 1991, both health and social services staff and the bureau of statistics aided the steering committee in the development of a community-wide service-needs assessment."

A consultant was hired by the steering committee to complete a community resources survey in the spring of 1991. The steering committee is now developing recommendations based on the result of these reports. A Dawson health and social services council planning committee began meeting again in August 1991. This committee has requested the department to help them develop a needs assessment.

Mrs. Firth: Just so I have it clear then: this committee is given $50,000 to use as an operating amount of money to assess whatever the services are that they are going to need?

I am just trying to find out who gets the money and what is going to happen to the money and the accountability process.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: The $50,000 is for the three phases: the resources available, the needs and the planning. A committee that is established receives the money.

Mrs. Firth: The committee gets the money and they can put it into an account, then they are responsible for spending that money. Is there some kind of accountability, guidelines or rules, or can they just spend the money based on the decisions that the committee makes? It is a lot of money.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: There will be contribution agreement. The Health Act implementer will be monitoring the progress of the committee and the money will not be advanced all at once. It will be advanced in phases. Fifty thousand dollars is the rough estimate of the amount of money.

Facility Construction - Integrated Health and Social Services - Mayo in the amount of $200,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $210,000 agreed to

Policy and Planning and Administration agreed to

On Family and Children’s Services

On Operation and Maintenance

On Program Management

Mr. Lang: I do not know if this is the right area or not, but I would like to raise a question pertaining to Access House. I raised a similar question during Question Period the other day. My question has to do with the program that is being run there. During Question Period, I had asked if there had been only two people enrolled in that program up until last month.

Could the Minister tell me for what period of time there were only two clients enrolled in Access House, or what they call 503 Lowe Street, prior to last month?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have the information and I am trying to find it, but I may not be able to lay my hands on it right now.

Mr. Lang: My information was that there was a period of about eight months where only two clients were involved in this program once it got underway - and that is what I am trying to find out. It seems to me, just as an observer here, that I have to really question the demand for the program if those are the only individuals who took part in the program.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Certainly, we would be asking questions, too. That is not my memory of the briefing note. I believe it was for a maximum of six young people. There was some question about a psychiatric nurse, but there was no requirement for it to be a psychiatric nurse; this is the person who won the contract and the number of young people in the program has varied. That I remember, but I cannot give you the exact numbers without finding my detail. Perhaps I can bring it back as soon as I find it.

Mr. Lang: The legislative return indicates that, up to a month ago, there were only two clients involved in that program. We are now up to five, I gather, and my question was: up until a month ago, why was there only a maximum of two people involved in the program and for how long?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I guess the answer to that is that the goal would be for all of our facilities eventually to be empty, if there were not need for them. I remember that the Member’s question had to do with the number of children who we were sending outside, and that is around eight or 10 children. The service that is provided at the Access House is not the kind of service that we will be providing in our therapeutic foster home or the treatment home, or is provided outside. This is not a parent-modelled home; it is a 24-hour-a-day home.

One of the questions had to do with the number of staff: it is staffed seven days a week and 24 hours a day, which accounts for the eight staff members. I would have to bring back the remainder of the information.

Mr. Lang: I want to make it clear. I want to find out the number of clients involved, and for how long, since they opened the house for business, up to last month.

The other point I would like to ask, as far as the Access House is concerned, is that my understanding is that we had entered into a contract with the company or individual involved, but there was quite a period of time that lapsed before the program began because renovations were underway. For how long was the individual under contract before the renovations were completed?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I am sending a note up to ask for that information.

Chair: We will now take a break.


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

Program Management in the amount of $911,000 agreed to

On Family and Children’s Services

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I would just like to tell Mr. Lang that as soon as the information on Access House is provided to us, I will provide it to him. Meanwhile, I have a bit of an overview on family and children’s services.

Family and children’s services underwent a major reorganization in 1992-93. This reorganization is reflected in this budget.

Juvenile justice was combined with family and children’s services in order to permit a more effective and integrated approach in service delivery. Many of the problems affecting children taken into care or who require counselling services, also affect children who have entered the juvenile justice system. Some of these common problems include physical and sexual abuse and substance abuse related problems. Combining these two units, eases the delivery of integrated services, making the expertise of both services available to program development and case management.

Family and children’s services increased by $1,673,000, or 14 percent. This increase is due to increases in the following contract services: $773,000 in funding for the special treatment group home and satellite foster homes and foster support services in the amount of $138,000. These services include travel for foster children, extra insurance for foster parents, respite services for foster families and school supplies.

There is a $2,000 increase to basic foster rates to support a full year’s implementation of the foster rate increases implemented in July of 1991. The increase sought in 1991 permitted implementation for nine months.

There is a $23,000 increase to assessment contract services for placement and support services; $6,000 increase to legal contract services for placement and support services; $52,000 increase to day care and babysitting contract services for placement and support services. I hesitate on that, because I never call it babysitting, but it appears that it is care in the Child Development Centre so we will call it child care.

There is a $31,000 increase to contract services for the child abuse treatment unit; $3,000 increase to probation, promotion and education contract services; $7,000 increase to probation promotion and education contract services; $7,000 increase to probation training contract services; $22,000 increase to the day treatment program contract services; $19,000 increase in contract services for policy and program development.

Increases in contributions include a $15,000 increased contribution to the Teen Parent Association; $160,000 increased contribution to Yukon Family Services; $43,000 increased contribution to the Yukon Advisory Council on Indian Child Welfare; $5,000 increased contribution to the Community Development Fund. The Community Development Fund provides operation and maintenance funding to community organizations for special projects relating to family and children’s services programs.

There is $5,000 to a scholarship fund for early childhood education workers; $243,000 increase in child care operating grants to permit implementation of the new formula funding for a full year.

The funds added to this program in 1991-92 permitted a partial-year implementation. There is a $163,000 increase in child care subsidy grants to permit implementation of the new rates for a full year. The funds added to this program in 1991-92 permitted a partial-year implementation.

Other increases include: $1,000 for postage, $1,000 for foster care advertising, $33,000 for program materials - food for all facilities, $18,000 for utilities, fuel and electricity for all facilities, $21,000 for non-consumable assets for the day treatment program, $4,000 for the day treatment program honoraria. These honoraria are provided to First Nation elders, who contribute counselling and advice to the day treatment program participants.

There is $157,000 due to the collective agreement.

I want to bring the Members’ attention to the fact that there is an error in the budget for this branch. Seven positions were converted to permanent positions; however, the salaries related to these positions were not added back into the budget. The total amount related to this error is $336,000. The personnel budget is therefore understated by $336,000. The person year establishment reflects the correct number of positions.

The offsets include: $6,000 for travel, $2,000 for repairs and maintenance, $3,000 for rental expenses, $1,000 for entertainment, $2,000 for communications, $2,000 for supplies, $21,000 for child care workers contract services, $8,000 for custody management contract services, $5,000 for probation assessment contract services, $12,000 for cultural program contract services - this is a partial offset to the increase in day treatment contract services, which will provide cultural programs.

There is a $240,000 reduction in out-of-Yukon residential contract services for the young offenders program and a $22,000 decrease in funding to the Child Development Centre. The additional funding requested in 1991-92 included a one-time grant of $30,000. The funding requested for 1992-93 is an $8,000 increase in the base funding for this program.

This will result in a net increase - I get lost in the increases and decreases; I think it is a decrease requested - of $22,000, and $1,000 due to rounding.

That is the overview.

Family and Children’s Services in the amount of $924,000 agreed to

On Placement and Support Services

Placement and Support Services in the amount of $1,482,000 agreed to

On Child Care

Child Care in the amount of $4,023,000 agreed to

On Youth Services

Mr. Lang: I want to make an observation here. I am pleased to see that less money is going to be spent for the purposes of sending youths outside. Obviously, some of the comments in here have contributed positively to some of the programs up in the institute and, hopefully, we will not see any further problems in that particular area.

Youth Services in the amount of $5,990,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $13,330,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Group Homes

On Construction and Renovation

Construction and Renovation in the amount of $45,000 agreed to

On Equipment Replacement

Equipment Replacement in the amount of $45,000 agreed to

On Child Care Services Development

Child Care Services Development in the amount of $50,000 agreed to

On Foster Home Equipment

Foster Home Equipment in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

On Juvenile

On Facility Renovations

Facility Renovations in the amount of $100,000 agreed to

On Operational Equipment

Operational Equipment in the amount of $40,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $290,000 agreed to

Family and Children’s Services agreed to

On Social Services

On Operation & Maintenance

On Program Management

Program Management in the amount of $241,000 agreed to

On Alcohol and Drug Services

Alcohol and Drug Services in the amount of $1,698,000 agreed to

On Social Assistance Services

Mr. Lang: I want to go on the record, as I have in the past, with respect to this area. It is increasing. I want to point out that I had a constituent in my office today who was going to social assistance because his unemployment insurance was nine weeks late. The indications were that it would be some time before he received it. It is not an isolated case at all, as the Member for Hootalinqua mentioned.

Another problem is that there seems to be quite a number of people who are seeing this as a way of life. That should be of concern to all Members.

Social Assistance Services in the amount of $5,678,000 agreed to

On Seniors’ Services

Mr. Lang: I have a concern in the area of the home care program, which I am assuming comes under this. There are a number of senior citizens who are still in their own homes, but have to utilize oxygen. I want to say that I understand that the oxygen is provided through a local company and that they do a good job. At the same time, I think it is important that the home care workers be made aware of how the oxygen works. I have encountered two situations where, for one reason or another, situations have developed in the home setting where people taking the oxygen might not have understood the procedure or panicked or whatever. Subsequently, some problems developed. It would help if the home care workers were more knowledgeable in this area so that when they go into a home where oxygen is being used, they can see whether or not it is being used properly. If it is not, they could give advice on what should be done.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have good news and bad news. I agree. I had an uncle who was on oxygen for many years, so I know some of the ups and downs of it. I am told there is absolutely no problem in ensuring the nurses are trained in this area. It would seem there could be liability problems by training home care people, who are not professional people, in the use of this. I would say to the Member that I will ask the department to look into this and see if there is some way around that. It would seem logical that people know how to use it, whether it is specifically to use the system that is in place with me, if I were using it, or if it is general knowledge of that. Certainly, though, we have to look at the liability issue, as well.

I will follow it up.

Mr. Lang: Would the Minister undertake to correspond with me if we are outside of session?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Yes.

Seniors’ Services in the amount of $1,018,000 agreed to

On Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation Services in the amount of $1,498,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $10,133,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Alcohol and Drug Services

On Equipment Replacement

Equipment Replacement in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

On Home Care - Operational Equipment

Home Care - Operational Equipment in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

On General - Operational Equipment

General - Operational Equipment in the amount of $4,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $24,000 agreed to

Social Services in the amount of $10,157,000 agreed to

On Health Services

On Operation and Maintenance

On Program Management

Program Management in the amount of $155,000 agreed to

On Health Insurance

Mr. Lang: The Minister was going to check into the question of physiotherapy and where they were in examining this particular area.

Could the Minister please report to the House, since this has been under examination for over 12 months.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: This is one of those damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-do-not issues. Recently the Member for Riverdale South was just cautioning us not to put more programs on, although I know she was talking about chronic care.

We have been looking at it. One of the problems - I want to be careful, because I do not want to be critical of the person - is it seems that statistics are not quite available. There is insufficient information available to us through records kept of statistics in order for us to determine what it would cost.

The problem for the present time is: do we insure those services or do we wait until we know just what it is going to cost us? We have been looking at the possibility of including those services. There are questions that still have to be answered. Who can ensure quality controls for private sector operators? I am sure that can be worked out because there are services provided in other areas. Is the service warranted or not? The Member may have had a lot of people call. Personally, I have not. I have had perhaps one person call per year and say that they would like to have this service. The big question is, of course, how much will it cost the government?

There was another comment that I wanted to make, but I cannot recall it.

Some of the other jurisdictions are de-insuring. I do not know whether that is something we should do, but I suppose that we should pay attention to that. I have to tell the Member that it is a quandary and I do not yet have a solution to it.

Mr. Lang: I am not going to belabour the point, however, I do know that there has been a backlog of patients for physiotherapy that is presently covered through the plan at the present time. Subsequently, what happens is that an individual is in a situation that has to be dealt with, from their perspective, immediately, as opposed to waiting three to five weeks. Therefore, the patient is put in the situation where they either make use of that particular private service or they stay bed-ridden until such time as they can be dealt with at the hospital.

That is my concern, but I understand the quandary of the Minister and I would offer this: perhaps something should be looked at for those who are in a situation where they really cannot afford physiotherapy, then maybe there could be an option to say that there be some insurance coverage for these patients.

I know that this is discretionary. I think that leaves some leeway for the government to put something into place where it is a question of income to indicate whether or not you can use private physiotherapy to help offset an individual’s costs.

I have had a number of constituents in a situation where they were very hard-pressed and I know that they went without a lot of other things because of the fact that they required services and they could not get it through the normal channels due to the backlog over at the hospital.

Hon. Ms. Hayden:   I will certainly take that into my thinking. When the hospital is transferred, it may be that the best route we can take is to expand the physiotherapy services there and ensure that there are sufficient services available for people because I know that when you need a physiotherapist, you need one; you cannot wait for two or three months, or whatever it is.

Mr. Phillips: I have a similar question. It related to the patient load at the Whitehorse General Hospital. It has come to my attention that some individuals have gone to various doctors in town for tests, specifically blood tests. One of the blood tests that was requested was a cholesterol test. The doctors, at least in one clinic that I know of, were saying that the hospital had asked that they hold off on cholesterol tests for now because there was such a backlog of people getting blood work done that it was creating a long lineup. They asked the doctors to hold off, unless it was necessary, on this type of a test.

I think it would be a lot cheaper for the health care system to give someone like me a blood test, rather than treat me in the ICU unit, down the road. I think that blood tests are preventive medicine and I would hope that the Minister would look into that and look into why we have a big backlog; whether that department is under-staffed or there is more of a demand in that department right now than there ever has been before, and whether they are actually looking at increasing the staff there so that they can handle the load. Then we can do some preventive measures such as testing people for cholesterol.

Hon. Ms. Hayden: Having been one of the people sitting in line for an hour and one-half one morning recently, I understand the point the Member is making. Again, the options are: do we begin to allow the proliferation of private labs where costs go quite high or do we lobby now for more technicians and service at Whitehorse General Hospital? I am told, by someone who goes once a week, that the line-up is about an hour and one-half long; some people go about 7:30 and get in about 9:00. It is a very long line-up and, yes, I am actually glad you raised the point, because I felt rather foolish asking the department to make that representation when it was I who sat and waited; but, with the Member’s representation, we will follow it through.

Health Insurance in the amount of $29,542,000 agreed to

On Community Health

Community Health in the amount of $4,310,000 agreed to

On Extended Health

Extended Health in the amount of $3,173,000 agreed to

On Vital Statistics

Vital Statistics in the amount of $59,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $37,239,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Northern Health Services

Northern Health Services in the amount of $628,000 agreed to

On Communications Disorders Equipment

Communications Disorders Equipment in the amount of $15,000 agreed to

On Extended Health Benefits - Seniors

Extended Health Benefits - Seniors in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

On Chronic Disease Benefits

Chronic Disease Benefits in the amount of $12,000 agreed to

On Macaulay Lodge Renovations

Macaulay Lodge Renovations in the amount of $20,000 agreed to

On Macaulay Lodge Equipment Replacement

Macaulay Lodge Equipment Replacement in the amount of $40,000 agreed to

On Acute-Care Facility - Whitehorse Hospital

Acute-Care Facility - Whitehorse Hospital in the amount of $5,200,000 agreed to

On Ambulance

Ambulance in the amount of $80,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $6,005,000 agreed to

Health Services agreed to

On Regional Services

On Operation and Maintenance

On Program Management

Mr. Lang: Assuming this is the area where we can debate this, I would like some information on the question of the mentally handicapped, as well as on the new facilities for them, that were to be purchased or built. These were to go through the Yukon Mental Health Association.

Can the Minister update us on what is taking place?

Hon. Ms. Hayden: As of two or three days ago, within this budget is an additional $40,000, which would bring the amount up to $75,000. There are two departments involved, including the Yukon Housing Corporation. My last question a couple of days ago to that corporation was whether or not they had picked out a house yet. The answer was tentatively yes, but the association will need to do a neighbourhood survey prior to the people actually moving in.

When the interested applicants have been identified, initial selection will be done by a working committee. I believe that is made up mostly of CMHA, the Second Opinion Society and the department. The residents themselves will be involved in the final selection process. As you can see, this is all tentative until this happens.

The programming will be designed with the residents to meet their identified needs. The funding proposal will be developed with the residents after the selection. The most likely initial request is for a part-time short-term contract to assist residents in setting up the home and identifying their program needs.

As much as possible, it is an independent living situation.

Program Management in the amount of $1,738,000 agreed to

On Family and Children’s Services

Family and Children’s Services in the amount of $1,102,000 agreed to

On Social Services

Social Services in the amount of $1,144,000 agreed to

On Juvenile Justice Services

Juvenile Justice Services in the amount of $39,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $4,023,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Group Homes

On Construction and Renovation

Construction and Renovation in the amount of $60,000 agreed to

On Equipment Replacement

Equipment Replacement in the amount of $12,000 agreed to

On Safe Homes in Rural Yukon

Safe Homes in Rural Yukon in the amount of $150,000 agreed to

On Macdonald Lodge: Seniors Services Equipment

Macdonald Lodge: Seniors Services Equipment in the amount of $45,000 agreed to

On Operational Equipment

Operational Equipment in the amount of $10,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $277,000 agreed to

Regional Services in the amount of $4,300,000 agreed to

Hon. Ms. Hayden: I have the information on the Access House for the Member. In addition to the information that was in the legislative return - and I trust the Member does not want me to read that again - the contract was effective April 1, 1991. Renovations began in April. It was delayed from the original plan and was revoted money from the year before, sometime in late February and early March.

Renovations were a follow-up to the Boreal Report. The program started in June. It was supposed to start in April, but it was delayed because of the renovations. She had to hire and train staff, as well. In April and May, staff was hired and trained. The number of children now is five. In early November, there were two children and the cost of renovations was $47,000.

Health and Social Services agreed to

Department of Justice

Chair: On the Department of Justice, general debate.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I am pleased to present the Justice department’s combined estimates for operation, maintenance and capital expenditures for the 1992-93 fiscal year.

The mandate of the department is to ensure that all Yukon citizens are able to exercise their legal rights and responsibilities, so that Yukoners can assist in the economic and social development of the territory and society’s values can be protected.

With this mandate comes the recognition that justice is the cornerstone of a healthy society and as such, it is this government’s policy to build healthy communities by investing in their social and economic development. One is not sustainable over time without the other.

To that end the 1992-93 budget for the Department of Justice reflects that investment. The department’s operation and maintenance estimates for the coming year, total $27,416,000. The capital estimates are $1,189,000. These estimates are indicative of the department’s ongoing commitment to Yukoners. We offer many important services and programs, including policing by the RCMP, a service that is cost-shared with the federal government, corrections and probation services, legal aid, native courtworkers, the family violence prevention unit and court services, including the new programs to administer victim impact statements and fine enforcement.

As well, there is the victim-witness assistance program, the crime prevention program, justice services, including labour services, consumer services and corporate affairs, compensation for victims of crime and the Human Rights Commission. The department will continue to provide quality delivery in these services and programs.

In the coming fiscal year we will also undertake some new initiatives and enhance some existing ones. Research carried out by the department looked at the high caseload at the family violence prevention unit. It confirmed this caseload by finding a high number of violent acts against women and their children. The general public and the courts have called for more resources to break the cycle of family violence. As a result, two full-time counsellors, one for the assaultive husbands program and the other for the victims support program, will be added to the staff at the family violence prevention unit in the new fiscal year. This will require a base adjustment of $75,000.

Several recent inquests and court cases have reinforced the need for additional program requirements at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Four corrections officers, a program training coordinator and a clerical support person will be hired, at a cost of $300,000. This will have a number of significant advantages. By creating these six new positions, expenditures on both overtime and auxiliary personnel can be reduced without compromising minimum staffing levels. The safe, secure and humane supervision of inmates, particularly those in high-security areas, as well as those with a history of physical or sexual abuse, will be improved. Staff training will be enhanced. As well, better use of limited program space and volunteer time will be made.

These are all positive steps but that is not to forget what other corrections issues still need to be addressed.

Many of you are aware of the structural limitations of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. These problems have been well documented. They include safety and security issues related to overcrowding, and the inability to separate various types of offenders.

As part of corrections’ long-range plan, a 25-bed rural facility will be built in Teslin, with completion slated for the fall of 1993. One hundred and twenty thousand dollars has now been identified for planning and design. A further $1 million has been allocated in this fiscal year to begin construction. The correctional facility in Teslin will accommodate minimum security male and female offenders. It will be used to deliver programs that focus primarily, but not exclusively, on aboriginal needs. For example, the facility will provide a culturally relevant custodial option if First Nations so wish.

The location of this facility in Teslin is also important. It will help the community by providing new jobs and training for some of the people who live there. It is a clear example that this government is living up to its promise to decentralize some of its programs to the communities.

There are also other decentralization initiatives. Two justice employees - the occupational health and safety and mine rescue superintendent and the labour services intake worker - will move to the community of Faro. The cost for this transfer is $21,000. Moving these positions will contribute to the social and economic health of Faro.

Given the department’s mandate to ensure equity and protect the legal rights of Yukoners, funding for the legal aid society will continue. The society will receive a base adjustment of $84,000. The reason for this is two-fold: to maintain present service levels and to meet the increased demand of a growing population and a rising number of civil cases.

The department also funds the greater share of RCMP services throughout the Yukon. The Yukon currently pays 70 percent of the bill, while the federal government contributes 30 percent. There will be a $2.7 million base adjustment to the policing contract due to the forced-growth increases. These increased costs are based on the government’s position that the amount budgeted remain at a 70 percent cost-sharing arrangement. Negotiations for a new agreement are continuing.

This budget also provides for the continued enhancement of French language services in the Yukon, as called for by the federal government. The costs are 100 percent recoverable.

I believe these budget initiatives are important to the well-being of every Yukoner, because they are prudent and balanced. Equally important, I believe that these initiatives, taken together or separately, will contribute to the social and economic health of the territory.

As I said earlier, with the department’s mandate comes the recognition that a healthy society is founded on justice. These budget estimates are for the 1992-93 fiscal year and represent this government’s firm commitment to that most fundamental concept.

Mr. Phillips: I have a few questions in general debate. The first area I would like to deal with is the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Recently, I saw an ad in one of the local newspapers asking for six more permanent correctional officers for the centre. At the same time, we saw all the articles written about the centre that tell us everything seems to be fine up there.

Is this an unusually high turnover? I understand three quit recently and one quit during the summer. Why are so many people leaving?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I do not think the high turnover rate is above normal for that kind of position. It is a very stressful position and I think some changes are being made in the facility - some good changes. I was just up there last week and I had discussions with people who work there, including the inmates, and there appears to be a change in the manner in which people are working. I cannot say whether or not the turnover is any higher now than it was prior to that, but if there appears to be a high turnover rate, I think it is indicative of the kind of position it is; it is not one of those normal positions where things continue in the same manner as another position. I cannot offer any more information than that.

Mr. Phillips: It seems that we do not often see ads in the paper for six corrections officers at the same time, and that seems to me to be a bit high.

Another area where some concern has been expressed to me is the overcrowding at the facility. The Minister has told us the facility is severely overcrowded. The concern I have heard is that on a given shift - the night shift, for instance - there is well over 100 inmates in the correctional facility and approximately four guards in the four different workstations in the facility.

Does the Minister feels that is adequate, considering the over crowding? If there is an incident in one area, does that leave three other areas unprotected?

The concern I have is that the incident could get out of hand quite easily when you have an overcrowded facility and a limited number of corrections officers.  For example, if there are four corrections officers at the facility, and one, two or possibly three have to rush to a certain area to quell a disturbance, you leave three other areas unattended. It seems to me we are courting disaster with that type of environment. Are we doing anything to correct that? It must be very, very difficult for the corrections officers who work there to react to certain situations, when they do not have the backup they would normally have if the facility had the number of people it is built to hold. We are now looking at a facility that is holding three to five times that amount. You would think that we would have increased the corrections officers accordingly, but it does not seem to me that this has happened.

I have had some concern expressed to me by corrections officers with respect to their own safety if something got out of hand up there and what they would do in those particular cases.

Hon. Ms. Joe: The problem that has been stated by the person is a valid concern. We have had that same concern for a number of years, which is the reason why we have come to this budget session asking for additional money to put four more permanent, full-time job positions in that facility. The problem that we facing right now, of course, is overcrowding, and it gets much worse in the wintertime. I believe there are five corrections officers on staff at night...

Some Hon. Member: Four and a supervisor.

Hon. Ms. Joe: Yes. Four and a supervisor, which makes five. That supervisor, of course, can take over in case of an emergency.

There also is a process in place where, if an additional service is needed, for instance, in the case of a possible disruption in the facility, that there can be a call made outside of the facility.

We have learned over a period of time from experience that we have to answer the needs. There is nothing we can do about the overcrowding now. It is something that each and every one of us is concerned about. I am hoping that, with the new positions being filled after the new fiscal year, that that will take care of some of the needs.

The electronic home monitoring system will also take care of the needs of other inmates. It is certainly a long way off but the completion of the facility in Teslin will at least take care of 25 people.

Mr. Phillips: I am not disputing the fact that two or three years down the road, things will get a little better. They may with this new facility but I would suggest that down the road we are also going to get more people who are going to be incarcerated, as well. That will offset that a little bit.

My concern is for the safety of the guards in the existing facility. We are hiring six more corrections officers. Is the Minister telling us that when we hire them they will be added to the existing shifts? Will we still have only five people on a shift or are we planning to increase the numbers on the shift in the winter months? What is going to be done now to help alleviate the stress that the existing officers are working under because they are so limited in their manpower and there are so many people in that facility? What is going to be done now - not two or three months from now or two years from now?

Hon. Ms. Joe: First of all, I would just remind the Member that we have person power up there, not manpower.

The problem is very real. We are trying to deal with that situation through the use of auxiliary person years. The Member knows that we come here each year for supplementary funding to use auxiliary workers in the facility. I think last year it was something like $200,000 in additional monies requested. There is a recommendation from an inquest that was held on a death in the facility. We do have a problem. We are trying to deal with it as best as we can. Up until now, we have not experienced something we could not handle. In the case of any facility that houses these kinds of people, we always have to be alert to the possibility of something happening that would cause an emergency situation.

It is my hope that we will have enough people at all times to accommodate any need. I could tell the Member something was being done right now, but the kind of resources we would need would cost additional money. We are doing that by using auxiliaries. We come to the House and ask for $200,000 or so each year. We hope in the new year to be able to address some of those needs through these four new person years. It is a problem we have faced for many years.

Mr. Phillips: Is the Minister telling us that on a normal shift, for example, the shift last night, that there were over 100 inmates in the Whitehorse Correctional Centre? Is she saying that we had four corrections officers, plus a supervisor, plus auxiliaries working on that shift last night?

We will be taking a break shortly. Perhaps the Minister could give us some hard numbers for later on tonight. In the last week, for example, how many inmates were in the correctional centre? How many people were on shift? I would like to know the numbers. How many corrections officers were on shift? How many supervisors were there and how many auxiliaries were there? I would like to know how many people were taking care of these 100-plus inmates on each shift for the last five days.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I will gather that information during the two-hour break. I will have that information for the Member when we return at 7:30 p.m.

Chair: Committee will take a break until 7:30 p.m.


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

Hon. Ms. Joe: I have the information the Member was asking for and I will pass a copy to the Member for Riverdale North. As the Member can see, we have gathered the information he requested about the number of inmates on any given night, along with the number of people on staff. We have also provided for him details of the procedures in case of an emergency.

Mr. Phillips: I would like to thank the Minister and her staff for pulling this together in such a rapid response time. I realize everyone has to have dinner so somebody had to work over the dinner hour to put all this together.

This points to the fact that, although we have procedures in place, I still do not feel confident that we could deal with an emergency situation as appropriately as we should. I feel that if there was an emergency in one area of the facility, other corrections officers would have to be moved and that would leave other areas unattended. I think a concern has to be registered there and I would hope that the government will be doing something about it, and not wait until something happens. I would encourage the Minister to put extra staff on if necessary in those particular cases. This is something we have to be concerned about. The corrections officers and guards I have talked to are quite concerned about the stress they are under in conditions like that when they are so short staffed; if an emergency arose, even if just a medical emergency, some would have to leave their stations to help another corrections officer, and this could lead to problems in the future.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I thank the Member for his presentation. As he is aware, we have had some emergency situations in the facility. They have been dealt with. Unfortunately, we do not know when something will occur. I take his representation seriously. We are considering things we might be able to do in order to alleviate the situation.

Mr. Phillips: I wonder if the Minister could tell us about the courts. Are we backlogged at all now? We have a full complement of judges now. Has that alleviated the problem of the delays in the territorial court system at all? How are we doing with the court circuit? Are we meeting the requirements or do we need to bring in more deputy judges.

Hon. Ms. Joe: We have only had the other judge back since December 1, so we have not had that much time to assess the situation. We will be able to tell better after the new year. We do have three judges now.

With regard to the court circuits, they are scheduled to go into the communities on a regular basis. I do not think any new things are happening. The turn-around time is a bit slower, of course, in the communities than it is in town simply because the court circuits have to deal with them. I have not had any complaints for a long time. People are pretty well expected to be in court at the assigned times. The thing that reoccurs in terms of criticism is the very fact that they do not have the lawyers until the court circuit gets there.

There is not enough money for courtworkers in the communities because we have a budget that is so small we do not have enough funding to provide for courtworkers in most of the communities. I believe that all of the courtworkers are stationed in Whitehorse, although there is one courtworker position being transferred into a community. There are still some problems there, but they are being dealt with.

Mr. Phillips: I have one other area that I would like to touch on and that is legal aid. The previous Minister of Justice talked about reducing the need for legal aid and it seems to have continued consistently on its upward climb over the past few years. I would like to ask the Minister: do we have program in place to recover legal aid from people who initially need legal aid and can afford to pay it back? I would also like to know how well we do in recovering the legal aid from people who need it in the beginning, and then a few years down the road have a job and can afford to pay the legal aid back. Do we ever make attempts to recover some of it?

Hon. Ms. Joe: The average amount collected each year is in the amount of $25,000 to $30,000. We would expect that those people who are able to pay in the future will pay, but the people who normally apply to the legal aid are people who are in a position of need, or we would not be seeing them. However, we do have small recoveries from those individuals who can afford to pay at some later time.

Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask the Minister a couple of questions about staffing at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre.

Is there some plan for the Minister or the department to make some changes or adjustments to the shift rotations at the correctional centre?

Hon. Ms. Joe: At a prior session, we talked about a pilot shift change, where shifts would be shorter than they were before. At one time, employees were working ten days on and five days off. Toward the end of their shift schedule, we found that a lot of the people were taking time off through sick time caused by stress, or whatever. We will not know until some time in January whether or not the new shift change is effective and whether or not it will make a difference. We will see then.

Mrs. Firth: Is the new rotation 7 and 4 or 7 and 3? How long has the rotation been in effect?

Hon. Ms. Joe: The new shifts started in June and they are 7 and 3.

Mrs. Firth: I wanted to ask about the new jobs that are being created. There are four new positions for corrections officers, and the other two are something to do with training, I believe, the Minister said.

Are auxiliary staff going to be able to apply for those positions and have an equal opportunity to fill them, prior to us bringing people in from out of the Yukon?

Hon. Ms. Joe: Because we are using so many auxiliaries up there, it is our hope that the individuals who apply for these permanent positions will be hired. It is not my intention, at least, to advertise outside. If a position  is advertised out of the Yukon, I would have to approve it, and it is not my intention to do that.

Mrs. Firth: That is good to hear. I think it would be in all our best interests if we could have the auxiliaries filling those positions, and perhaps then train new auxiliary employees.

There is one annual question about the corrections centre. We are not accrediting it, or working in that direction, are we, I hope?

Hon. Ms. Joe: No. It has been a long time. I cannot even remember when it met that standard but, in the condition it is in, I do not think it ever will.

Mrs. Firth: That is all right. I want to ask about the position for the supreme court judge. The Minister brought legislation in last session, allowing a judge to retire supernumerary. Does the Minister have a time when that judge will be retiring? Have there been applications to replace him? Has the board considered any applications and made any decisions to give recommendations to the federal Minister with respect to filling that position?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I have no knowledge of that. As the Member knows, the applications go to the federal Minister of Justice, and they are considered. The committee in Whitehorse will know who those people are. I have no indication whatsoever that the judge has decided to retire, so I cannot give her that information.

Mrs. Firth: I would like to ask about the legal aid system as well. Is the government considering doing any reorganizing, first of all in the Department of Justice as a whole, and specifically in legal aid? Would there be any consideration given to having a public defender system put in place as opposed to legal aid?

Hon. Ms. Joe: As the Member knows, we did do a reorganization last year and we moved a lot of different people around. Since the emergency about a year ago, if the Member will remember, there was a lot of controversy with regard to whether or not we would be able to fund a legal aid to include a lot of different charges and people coming forward applying for funding. We did not know whether or not we would be able to recover it, but since that period of time we have looked at the possibility of a public defender and somebody in my department has been gathering information. I have also received a letter from the executive director of the legal aid program asking for information; I am sure the Member sitting beside her, who is a lawyer, is familiar with some of the things we are looking at. There is apparently not much support from the Yukon Bar Association in regard to a public defender, so I hear. We are gathering information from across Canada, trying to find out what other jurisdictions are doing and how effective a public defender program would be here in the Yukon. We have looked at estimates and have tried to determine whether or not it would be a cost saving to us. Information I have received so far has told me that there may be a cost saving, but we do not really know all of it yet. We are looking at the possibility.

Mrs. Firth: I would like to recommend to the Minister that she give it very serious consideration, if the suggestion does come forward and has any support and that she consult with the Law Society. I suspect they would not be strong advocates of that kind of system. I would also like to caution the Minister that it might look good on paper when they say that $400,000 will be saved a year, but we are going to have a staff of lawyers that will cost $1 million a year. It is not necessarily the cost to implement the program, but the cost to complete the staff program and provide the legal services that the legal community is providing very adequately right now. I caution the Minister about moving in that direction.

I want to move to a different area for a few minutes. It is about the whole court system. There has been a lot of controversy in the last six months to a year about the court system, on family violence, sexual abuse of children and the public generally has expressed that they are not happy with the way the system is working and the way the sentencing is going. It is to the point where there has been a local group planning a court-watch program. I would like to ask the Minister if she has had any contact with that group or expressed similar concerns to those individuals. We certainly have a lot of concerns about that issue. I have publicly expressed those concerns at the time of some of the controversial sentencing.

Has the Minister been in touch with this group? If so, does she have any plans to keep an open communication link with them so that her department can do what they can, without interfering - I am not asking the Minister to interfere with the court system - to provide some kind of support services in the way of research, or whatever.

Hon. Ms. Joe: Regarding the court watch, it is my understanding that, according to the radio and minutes that we received, the court-watch program has come to a stop for now. The Department of Justice is making provision for a victim-impact statement. The news has been in the paper. We are looking at the amendment to the criminal code that would allow that. Here in the Yukon, we would have to provide a regulation to make that possible here, and we are very close to doing that. I think that in that case, it would certainly answer a lot of the need out there and the controversy in which we are involved.

As the Member has mentioned, we have no control, whatsoever, in regard to the kind of sentencing that is handed down in the courts; nor would I want to be involved, because that would certainly be a conflict in my position as Minister of Justice. Unfortunately, individuals in the public do not realize that there is that kind of independence of the courts and the Crown attorneys from the Department of Justice. Very often, we get blamed for the sentences that are handed down, when in fact we are not a part of that at all. Our department also has a person year that has been in effect for about two months, to deal with the victim impact statement, when it becomes a reality, and also to deal with applications to the victims of crime program.

We also have a committee that I struck last August, that is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice. It is called the Committee to Assess the  Responsiveness of Justice in the Courts - or something like that. I did not give it the name; the experts did. What it is doing is gathering information to find out how effective existing programs are. It looks at the cases to see what the time frame is in regard to dealing with them, because there is a problem, always, of the victim waiting for something to happen in the courts that will allow her to have some kind of safety in regard to some violent action in her home. The committee members have gathered information and I think they either met last week or are meeting again very shortly.

What we are hoping to do is to find out exactly whether or not we need a family violence court and whether that would be the most effective thing. Everybody is looking at Manitoba as an example, to find out whether or not that is being used to the best advantage. We do not know that. It is a good idea and everybody seems to think it is the answer, but here in the Yukon what may be needed is to upgrade some of the programs that are being offered.

Certainly, in the family violence prevention unit we are doing some of that by putting two additional person years in the program. So there are a number of things that are being done and looked at. It is hoped that some of the information that we receive will help us in coming to some kind of a working relationship with all of the people involved.

Mrs. Firth: I wonder if the Minister could keep us informed as to the progress of the Committee to assess the responsiveness of Justice in the courts. Are there minutes kept of that committee meeting, and if so, perhaps we could have a list of the people on the committee, so that we could be kept informed on a regular basis as to the progress.

I would also like to say that I have examined the information from Winnipeg about the special family violence court. I wrote to the court at the request of a young woman who came to see me. This young woman had a great deal of interest in the special family violence court and she had read something about it. She had had some very bad personal experiences so she knew what she was talking about when she asked me to research the issue.

It looks good; I do not think that anyone could disagree that the statistics look favourable. The whole concept of the special family violence court is excellent just in the design of the objectives, which is to sensitize people within the system to family violence. This gives the people within the system a better understanding, so that you do not have a lawyer talking sharply to a woman who has decided to drop the charges when her husband has battered her, with the end result of the lawyer expressing his frustration at the woman. I think that is very important here and a big step in starting to address the whole issue of family violence in a positive way.

At first blush, I am a strong advocate of the concept of the special family violence court. I think that we could implement it very easily here, because we have smaller numbers to deal with than they would in a city like Winnipeg.

I will follow up with people who initiated the court watch and also the issue with respect to victim impact statements. I have been following this, and there have been representations made to me that people would like to see the government move in this direction. The Minister said that they have started drafting regulations. When can we expect these regulations? Will it be in the spring legislative program in 1992?

Hon. Ms. Joe: It will not be an act that will require a decision from this body here. It will be in the form of regulations. I would have no problem making that information available to her and to the Member for Riverdale North.

The committee was initially struck to look at the possibility of a family violence court. We involved individuals on that committee who in some way have dealings with the courts. This includes someone from the Crown attorney’s office, someone from the RCMP, someone from probations, and someone from the Women’s Directorate. I might have missed one or two people. This committee was formed because we wanted to know more about family violence court. I was aware that the Member for Riverdale South had contacted Manitoba in regard to the family violence court. Interest in this issue has been shown from each side of this House for a number of months.

The victim in those cases is also able to take advantage of the victim/witness program. They are given information and helped in regard to appearing in court. The victim is given all the information and help that they need. They are counselled by someone beforehand so that they will know exactly what is required of them, and to help them if they do not understand all of the procedures in court. We have provided that information for a couple of years now.

Mrs. Firth: Another issue that also came up a month or two ago was the rape shield law. New legislation has been brought forward federally, and I have had a chance to make an initial assessment of it. I think it is heading in the right direction and I would like to get some idea from the Minister whether the Department of Justice here is pleased with it. I personally think it addresses the concerns that we had, and I would like to hear what the Minister has to say about it.

Hon. Ms. Joe: At the last meeting of the Ministers responsible for justice I attended, this was one of the items that had a high priority. The federal Minister talked about the kind of amendments she was proposing to introduce to the House and, of course, they came about last week. The Deputy Minister of Justice also has been very involved in that. It is in her area of expertise. It has had a high priority, so we support what the federal Minister has done. We had discussions in regard to it and supported her at the time in bringing them forward.

Mrs. Firth: I think that is great and we should really extend our compliments to the federal Minister because she did move very quickly on this issue. It just goes to show that if the federal government gets its mind to it, it can implement legislation or make amendments to legislation quite quickly if it gets enough pressure. I am sure the Minister would have no disagreement with extending congratulations to the Hon. Kim Campbell for that initiative.

I think that is most of the questions I have for general discussion. I have already asked the Minister the question in Question Period with respect to the sheriff position. I have not really been given any specific time as to when the Minister thinks that position might be filled. Perhaps she could tell us today. Very briefly - because I did not cross-examine the person; I phoned - I was just told that there was some additional training being done. A lot of people have asked when is this position going to be finalized. Perhaps the Minister could give us some indication of that tonight?

Hon. Ms. Joe: There is a little bit more training involved. I am told we may be offering the position on a full-time basis or allowing people to apply for it in January or February.

Mrs. Firth: Will that be advertised locally first?

Hon. Ms. Joe: Yes. We will be advertising locally. It is my intention, again, not to approve an outside advertisement.

Chair: Shall we go line by line?

On Administration

On Operation & Maintenance

On Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister in the amount of $228,000 agreed to

On Finance and Administration

Finance and Administration in the amount of $583,000 agreed to

On Compensation for Victims of Crime

Compensation for Victims of Crime in the amount of $120,000 agreed to

On Judicial Recruitment

Judicial Recruitment in the amount of one dollar agreed to

On Training and Development

Training and Development in the amount of $74,000 agreed to

Operation & Maintenance in the amount of $1,005,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Departmental Equipment

Departmental Equipment in the amount of $6,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $6,000 agreed to

Administration agreed to

On Court Services

On Operation & Maintenance

On Program Director

Program Director in the amount of $475,000 agreed to

On Supreme Court

Supreme Court in the amount of $397,000 agreed to

On Territorial Court

Territorial Court in the amount of $1,570,000 agreed to

On Sheriff

Sheriff in the amount of $280,000 agreed to

On Maintenance Enforcement

Maintenance Enforcement in the amount of $120,000 agreed to

On Victim/Witness Administration

Victim/Witness Administration in the amount of $76,000 agreed to

Mrs. Firth: Just before we end here, this will be the first time we have had a full complement of three judges for territorial court - the chief judge and two others. We should not have the backlogs in court that we have had in the past. Is the Minister confident that this problem will be alleviated due to our having, for the first time in a long time, a full complement of judges?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I do not recall the number of times we have had a full complement. It is our understanding that if there is a great backlog, that will be dealt with and taken care of with the additional judge. We have also included a lesser amount this year for deputy judges, and we hope we may not have to use them as often as we did, but there are still things like holidays and things that judges do. We will know in about six months’ time whether or not it is going to be working.

On Capital

On Court Facilities Renovations

Court Facilities Renovations in the amount of $15,000 agreed to

On Court Equipment and Furniture

Court Equipment and Furniture in the amount of $40,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $55,000 agreed to

Court Services agreed to

On Attorney General

On Operation and Maintenance

On Program Director

Program Director in the amount of $233,000 agreed to

On Solicitors Branch

Solicitors Branch in the amount of $729,000 agreed to

On Legislative Counsel

Legislative Counsel in the amount of $1,014,000 agreed to

On Legal Aid

Legal Aid in the amount of $902,000 agreed to

On Litigation Costs/Judgments

Mrs. Firth: Could the Minister provide us with a list of outstanding court cases the government has entered into and the costs attached to them? We asked for that at one time, and perhaps the Minister has that ready to present to us.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I do have that information. I am sorry. I meant to hand it out before we sat down. I have two extra copies here, one for the Member for Riverdale North and one for the Member for Riverdale South.

Litigation Costs/Judgments in the amount of one dollar agreed to

On Outside Counsel

Outside Counsel in the amount of one dollar agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $2,878,000 agreed to

Mr. Phillips: I am sorry, but I was just looking at the list we were given to see if there were any other questions I would like to ask. That is why I did not immediately clear the matter.

We can clear it now, but we may come back to it.

Attorney General agreed to

On Justice Services

On Operation and Maintenance

On Program Director

Program Director in the amount of $191,000 agreed to

On Consumer Services

Consumer Services in the amount of $398,000 agreed to

On Corporate Affairs

Corporate Affairs in the amount of $273,000 agreed to

On Labour Services

Mrs. Firth: Can the Minister tell us when the amendments with respect to the labour law will be brought in? Will it be in the spring session?

Hon. Ms. Joe: That is our intention. It is a legislative session and it is our plan right now to bring those amendments forward at that time.

Labour Services in the amount of $410,000 agreed to

On Occupational Health and Safety

Mrs. Firth: I will take another shot at this. I know there is going to be some announcement made, sometime. Perhaps the Minister could tell us when the announcement is going to be made. Is it going to be in the next couple of days that we are here in the Legislative Assembly?

The issue I am asking about - just so Hansard can record it - is the possible transfer of the occupational health and safety branch to the Workers Compensation Board. I know there has been some onging discussions with respect to that change taking place. My colleague has indicated that there is lots of room in the new building. Is the announcement going to be made soon with respect to whether that change is going to take place?

Hon. Ms. Joe: It is my hope that there will be an announcement before this session ends.

Occupational Health and Safety in the amount of $906,000 agreed to

On Public Administrator

Public Administrator in the amount of $135,000 agreed to

On Land Titles

Land Titles in the amount of $235,000 agreed to

On Chief Coroner

Mrs. Firth: I will ask the question here. I asked the Minister in the supplementary estimates about the investigative coroner’s position and whether that job description was rewritten, and if it still is an investigative coroner or if it has been reduced to something else.

Hon. Ms. Joe: The job description was not rewritten; the person who has filled that position is on a term position that will expire in December 1992.

Mrs. Firth: Will that job go back out to competition, and be advertised to be filled?

Hon. Ms. Joe: That is a year away. As it nears the end of the term we will determine whether or not we will continue with that position. There has to be a Management Board minute or approval to allow us to extend that term, or in the alternative make it a permanent position.

Mrs. Firth: I guess my concern is whether or not the position has been filled as a full investigative coroner. The person had all of the qualifications; it is not in an underfill situation or on the job training. I can appreciate that the Minister will have to go back to the Management Board to get the position extended. However, can she answer the concerns that we have?

Hon. Ms. Joe: I am told that the person who is in that position has all of the necessary qualifications for the job.

Chief Coroner agreed to in the amount of $245,000

Mrs. Firth: Before we move I want to thank the Minister for this summary of contracts with outside counsel, but I had also asked for outstanding lawsuits and the status of those lawsuits and the amount of money that has been identified, the Minister gave us quite a lengthy list last year and I know that there are still some outstanding lawsuits with respect to the college and wrongful dismissals. If the Minister could provide us with that information, we would appreciate it.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I could probably have that information for the Member sometime tomorrow.

On Capital

On Occupational Health and Safety Equipment

Occupational Health and Safety Equipment in the amount of $3,000 agreed to

On Loss Control

Loss Control in the amount of $2,000 agreed to

On Mine Safety Equipment

Mine Safety Equipment in the amount of $40,000 agreed to

On Coroners Office Equipment

Coroners Office Equipment in the amount of $3,000 agreed to

Mrs. Firth: I have a couple more outstanding questions, dealing more with occupational health and safety and the risk reduction program.

I have had some concerns expressed to me by some businesses that they were offered an optional choice as to whether they wanted to develop policy manuals and so on, with respect to the different hazardous occupations in their businesses. They are being told now that they have to develop these policy manuals. This is going to mean a great deal of work for the businesses and probably it is going to have a fair amount of cost attached to it. You practically have to get a consultant or someone full time to do that kind of thing.

The Minister was supposed to come back and let me know what the changes were going to be in the risk reduction program. I wonder if she could respond to that for us now. We debated this issue at the last session when we did the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which dealt specifically with the risk reduction program.

Hon. Ms. Joe: I was not prepared for that question. I apologize. I am going to have to bring an up-to-date version of all of that back to this House. I will make a commitment to have it this week.

Capital in the amount of $48,000 agreed to

Justice Services agreed to

On Solicitor General

On Operation and Maintenance

On Program Director

Program Director in the amount of $231,000 agreed to

On Community Corrections

Community Corrections in the amount of $754,000 agreed to

On Institutional Facilities

Institutional Facilities in the amount of $4,263,000 agreed to

On Community Residential Centre

Community Residential Centre in the amount of $232,000 agreed to

On Family Violence Prevention Unit

Mrs. Firth: Is this the activity where the Minister mentioned the extra $75,000 for the two person years? I see the Minister nodding her head. Can the Minister explain why there is only an 18 percent increase? I would have expected that the $75,000 would have just covered the costs of the increase for the salary dollars because of the negotiations. Yet, the Minister has announced that there has only been $75,000 added to that program.

Hon. Ms. Joe: In order to allow the increase in the expenditure in this area, some of the other things have been decreased within the family violence prevention unit.

Mrs. Firth: Can the Minister tell us exactly what has been decreased - where the change has been?

Hon. Ms. Joe: We previously had contract funding available to contract some of the services we needed over a period of time and we decreased that part of it.

Family Violence Prevention Unit in the amount of $368,000 agreed to

On Yukon Work Camps

Yukon Work Camps in the amount of $310,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $6,158,000 agreed to

On Capital

On Equipment Replacement - Existing Facility

Equipment Replacement - Existing Facility in the amount of $30,000 agreed to

On New Equipment - Existing Facility

New Equipment - Existing Facility in the amount of $50,000 agreed to

On Electronic Home Monitoring System

Mrs. Firth: The electronic home monitoring system for which $80,000 was identified - has that not been used at all? Has anybody ever been hooked-up, so to speak, and sent out with this home monitoring system on?

Hon. Ms. Joe: The Member has preempted me again. I am planning to do a ministerial statement tomorrow with regard to that. I am going to do it anyhow.

Electronic Home Monitoring System in the amount of nil agreed to

On Correction Facility Planning

Correction Facility Planning in the amount of nil agreed to

On Correctional Facility Construction

Correctional Facility Construction in the amount of $1,000,000 agreed to

Capital in the amount of $1,080,000 agreed to

Solicitor General agreed to

On Policy and Community Programs

On Operation & Maintenance

On Operations

Operations in the amount of $199,000 agreed to

On Community Programs

Community Programs in the amount of $311,000 agreed to

On Native Courtworkers

Native Courtworkers in the amount of $270,000 agreed to

On Police Services Agreement

Mrs. Firth: Could the Minister give us some brief information about this? Is this another ten year agreement? What are the percentage breakdowns? I know from the supplementary budgets what the additional cost was, but perhaps the Minister could brief the rest of the House on the new agreement.

Hon. Ms. Joe: We are looking at signing a new contract, possibly in January. What we are looking at this time is a 20-year agreement, with a review every five years. There will be some costs to us for pensions.

In the last session, we talked about the contract negotiations that were going on. We were not very pleased with what the federal government was offering us. At the last meeting, attended by some people from the Department of Justice, the negotiations appeared to be more positive. Commissioner Inkster was there. The people from the Yukon Department of Justice brought up a lot of local concerns we shared with regard to accountability and the kinds of things we are concerned about here. We were assured that the plans for the future will be a bit more open. He has made a commitment to consult us about any changes that might come up in the future with regard to CO’s for the detachment.

We are looking at a long-term contract of 20 years, with a review every five years. Hopefully, in January, we will be able to sign a contract.

Mrs. Firth: Is it going to be a 75/25 split, or is it some other percentage? The other concern is with respect to them wanting the municipalities to enter into the agreements to handle the RCMP. Could the Minister fill us in on those two details?

Hon. Ms. Joe: The percentage will stay the same: 70/30. We were very fortunate that happened, because we were a bit concerned about how much it was going to cost us.

With respect to the municipalities, we are exempt, along with the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland.

Mrs. Firth: It makes sense to exempt us, and we had hoped that would be the direction they would take. The Minister already has some input into the appointment of the CO at the detachment, does she not? I believe I read a clause in the agreement that said the local Justice Minister was to be consulted.

Presently, the CO has perhaps another year or so left before he is due for retirement. Is the Minister aware of that? I do not know that as a firm fact, but that is what the speculation is.

Hon. Ms. Joe: My understanding is that he will be leaving sometime in 1992. At the last meeting of the negotiations, we were assured by Commissioner Inkster that we would be consulted with regard to that replacement. He could not say whether or not we would have a veto on anybody we thought would not be acceptable here in the Yukon. He assured us they would not want to take a chance of transferring somebody up here who would be unacceptable.

Police Services Agreement in the amount of $10,214,000 agreed to

On Native Special Constable

Native Special Constable in the amount of $375,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $11,369,000 agreed to

Policy and Community Programs agreed to

On Human Rights

On Operation and Maintenance

On Human Rights Commission Grant

Human Rights Commission Grant in the amount of $253,000 agreed to

On Human Rights Adjudication Board

Human Rights Adjudication Board in the amount of $42,000 agreed to

Operation and Maintenance in the amount of $295,000 agreed to

Mrs. Firth: I would like to say, for the record, that we did not ask the Human Rights Commission to appear as witnesses before the Members of the Legislative Assembly this session, but I think it is only fair to say that we did receive their annual report today and that they are showing a balanced budget and reporting a small surplus. They are reporting positive things from the conference that they had. I think that is fair to put that on the record for the Human Rights Commission

Human Rights agreed to

Department of Justice agreed to

Public Service Commission

Chair: Is there general debate?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: The Public Service Commission’s budget totals $8,571,000 in O&M. There is no capital allocation. The increase is solely attributable to salary increases and the costs associated with decentralization. The 1992-93 staff complement totals 37 full-time permanent positions and three half-time permanent positions, along with 10 term positions, all of which are associated with the employment equity program.

The Public Service Commission, in the current year, will be focusing efforts on supporting organization goals and training opportunities for government employees. It is the commission’s view that developed and informed staff will better serve the government and public in an efficient and economical manner. An orientation program will be delivered for new government employees and a skills inventory data base will be designed to develop career planning opportunities for those employees. This will assist them in acquiring training opportunities.

The commission will develop and deliver first line and supervisory training - to be done in conjunction with the union - generic leadership training and executive leadership training. It is continuing to integrate workplace wellness initiatives, re-training for the disabled workers and training relating to workplace harrassment are considered priorities.

The commission will continue to coordinate activities in the public service so that a wide range of health promotion, early intervention and treatment services are available.

This will continue to provide consultation to managers, unions and individual employees regarding workplace health. It will also provide confidential assistance to employees with personal problems.

Employment equity planning is also an integral part of the work environment and of the department’s objectives for the coming year. In response to the departmental needs and initiatives identified for the workforce profile survey, corporate services and employment equity is fostering the development of aboriginal women and persons with disabilities.

Perhaps the best approach for explaining the details of the department is to consider the department on a branch by branch basis, and if the Members want to discuss some items in general debate, they will have an opportunity to do so now.

Before we do, I would simply like to respond to a number of things that were raised in the supplementary debate that would be of interest to Members.

In discussing the delegation of recruitment from the Public Service Commission to line departments, Mrs. Firth wanted to know if there was any increase in complaints from the public or from employees relating specifically to the delegation. At the time, I indicated that I was not been aware of any increase in complaints, and the Public Service Commission itself did not notice any increasing complaints relating to the delegation.

A Member - it says Mr. Lang, but I think it was Mr. Phillips; I cannot remember which - wanted to know whether or not the Public Service Commission was aware of a policy change by Canadian Airlines that family fares were not available and that employees would have to pay the regular fare.

The Public Service Commission has indicated that it is aware of the policy change that occurred on October 26 of this year to discontinue family fares. In the collective agreement it states that employees are eligible on their anniversary date, to receive a sum of money to assist with personal travel expenses that is equal to the cost of full airfares for a maximum of three persons.

The change in Canadian Airlines policy involves the discontinuation of the old discount of 10 percent for spouses and 15 percent for children when the whole family travels together. The new policy is that spouses and children over 12 years of age will no longer be eligible for any discounts, but children under 12 who are travelling with a family will be eligible for a 10 percent discount.

The Public Service Commission, in accordance with its obligations under the collective agreement, has increased the Yukon bonus amounts to accommodate this change in policy and it is expected that the overall Yukon bonus costs will increase by approximately seven percent due to the modification.

The amounts that were paid for Yukon bonus - and this is another question I was asked - in 1989-90 were $2,357,000; in 1990-91, $2,718,000; and for 1991-92, is it projected at $2,847,000.

Mr. Lang: Could the Minister repeat those three figures, please?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: The actual amount booked for 1989-90 - and this is not including corporations; it is just for line departments - was $2,357,000, the amount for 1990-91 was $2,718,000, and the amount for 1991-92 is $2,847,000.

The policy change will only be in effect from October 27 to the end of the year, so the increase would only show that much; but it is expected that the increase overall for that line item, as a result of the policy change, will be seven percent. It would be a seven percent increase over 1991-92, as a result of the policy change.

I was listening to the estimates in the Department of Community and Transportation Services. There was a question with respect to employee numbers from Mr. Brewster. I do not know if the answer was given as to whether or not an employee could have two numbers. The answer, in case it has not been given, is, yes, an employee can have more than one number if they occupy more than one position.

There are times when a termination slip can be delayed. This is because the payroll is done every two weeks. If the information coming from the line department to the Public Service Commission and Finance misses a cutoff date, it can lead to some delay. This delay can be up to as much as a month in terms of providing the information out of the community, through the line department, to the Public Service Commission, and then to Finance, in order for the final pay to be calculated and paid out.

With respect to secondments, there are currently 17 secondments within the government. These secondments include branch-to-branch or department-to-department secondments. I have a list of them here and I will copy them for Members.

There was one other question with respect to organization charts. I have some organization charts here. I can send them over as well.

Mrs. Firth: Perhaps we could get that information and then have a short break. That would give us a chance to have a look at the information and then come back and ask the Minister some questions about it.

Chair: We will take a short break.


Mr. Lang: It seems that we have a significant escalation with respect to the collective agreement and how it relates to the benefit for up to three individuals within a family travelling outside of the Yukon. In 1992, it will be over $3 million when, less than three years ago, in 1990, it was $2.3 million. That is a $700,000 increase or a 35 percent increase. This is pretty substantive and reflects, in part, the growth within the civil service in general.

That leads me to a question I have for the Minister. It is a question of term positions throughout the government. Can the Minister give us an idea of how many term positions the government has employed over the past year?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Page 14 of the budget book gives a fairly clear idea of the amount of term positions there are by department, as well as the overall total.

All I can say about the airfares is that there are a number of things that would cause the airfare costs to go up such as the bargaining for new airfare costs. Also, the number of eligible employees is up. There has been, for the Department of Education alone, benefits accorded to native language instructors and teacher aides in the course of the last year, as we move from employment contracts to position years, and we consequently accorded them airfares.

The cost of the airfare of course, goes up as well, however, that is impossible to control. A number of those things will contribute to an increase in the area. Does the Member want more information with respect to terms, other than what is on page 14?

Mr. Lang: No, that is fine; it was an oversight on my part.

I would like to ask another question, and that is with respect to the moving costs for bringing civil servant appointees into Yukon and also moving them out of the Yukon, depending upon the contractual relationships with the government.

I refer to the notorious horse that the government paid to bring here from Ottawa: Flip. I want to ask the Minister if there were any costs other than were stated in the legislative return to bring Flip to the Yukon, such as feeding the animal or anything of this nature.

Hon. Mr. McDonald:  The legislative return was in the spring sitting. I do not recall what it said, but there were two moves: from Ottawa to Edmonton, and Edmonton to Whitehorse. As far as I am aware, the return incorporated all of the costs associated with this horse. There were no extra grooming or feeding costs that I am aware of. It was just part of the cost of transporting a horse: you feed a horse on the way and do what you do to horses in transit. I am not experienced at moving horses. The Member for Kluane would know more of that than I. I am getting a lot more experience that I want to have about moving horses. I never imagined, in February of last year, that I would have to learn anything at all about moving horses.

The legislative return contained all of the costs associated with the move that I am aware of that the government bore.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Mr. Lang: Do you want to say that for the record?

I just want to pursue this a little further. I do not intend to be flippant about this, but the taxpayer finds it very difficult to believe that we ever put ourselves in that position - and I use the royal we when I talk about the government in this particular case. I want to know what steps have been taken to change policy so that the government is not put into the situation again where, all of sudden, Trigger appears at the Member for Mayo’s doorstep and, unbeknownst to him and everyone else, a couple of weeks later, we find that we paid to move Trigger from Newfoundland to the Yukon. I want to know what steps have been taken in the policy to ensure that this type of situation does not happen again.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: As the Member will recall from last spring, I explained that it was the moving expense directive that triggers expenditures for moving personal goods. The cut-off is not determined by what the person owns; it is determined by total weight.

I cannot remember what the expense directive indicates as limits, but for the sake of argument, let us say the limit is 10,000 pounds. If the person moves 10,000 pounds of bricks, then that person may be one brick short of a full load; however, we are still obligated to move 10,000 pounds of bricks. They can sleep on the bricks or they can wear their bricks. Those are their personal belongings or possessions. If they have more weight, beyond the 10,000 pounds, then they are expected to pay for it. In this particular case, the horse weighed between 1,200 and 1,400 pounds. Consequently, it was considered to be within the weight allocation allowable for employees.

I have done nothing in the interim to change the policy because it comes forward so rarely. I realize that people do not transport horses regularly. They do transport cars, but not many people transport horses - at least not since the 19th century. Given that this was a rare occurrence and given that it was obviously within the allowable weight allowance for an employee, I do not see the need to create more bureaucratic rules. Subsequently, I have not given the Public Service Commission any directions to make any changes.

Mr. Lang: Perhaps we should take a look at what we are doing. In fairness to the people whom we represent, I think one would say that we did go that extra country mile in interpretating the policy when we all of a sudden found out that we had paid for a horse to be shipped all the way from Ottawa to the Yukon. This is not the only case. We have had cases where vehicles have been shipped and boats have been shipped. This is because it comes within the weight limit that the Minister outlines.

I think this particular area should undergo a review in general. I also know of situations where if a person was paying for the shipping themselves, they would never, ever consider shipping certain items, but, because the employer is paying for it, they put in as much as they possibly can in order to get to the maximum allowable amount.

I think that area should be reviewed. We have had this debate before, if the Minister will recall, some time back when his predecessor, the Government Leader, was charged with that department, and we never got anywhere at that time, either. It seems to me that it is an area that one could look at from a logical point of view and address from the point of view of what you would do if it were your business and you were trying to be as fair as you possibly could with your employees yet, at the same time, understanding that somebody had to pay the bills at the end of the month.

I submit a number of things. It may seem bureaucratic, but whether or not a person hits the weight limit or not, I do not think we should be paying for a cow, horse or any large animal as a family heirloom to come up to the Yukon under the auspices of the moving expense directive.

If, on a good and logical day, the Minister finds time in his busy schedule, I would ask him to review that particular part of the directive and see whether or not he can come up with some sort of clear policy and amend the moving expense directive.

Further, I would ask the Minister if we should perhaps be assessing the allowable 10,000 pounds to see whether or not that is excessive.

The Member for Riverdale South indicates they may well have increased it from 10,000 to 13,000 pounds. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I realize we are not as sharp in the evening as we would like to be, but I was indicating that I did not recall what the directive said. I said, for the sake of argument, that I wanted to illustrate a concern with respect to designing a policy directive that can handle a variety of different situations. I did not say it was 10,000 pounds. I said, for the sake of argument, if it was 10,000 pounds, this is what would happen - whether it be 10,000 pounds worth of bricks or 10,000 pounds worth of bedroom suites.

After the horse incident, I discussed this matter at some length with the Public Service Commission, and the problem is in designing a relocation directive that is not overly bureaucratic and restrictive, and still accomplishes the general objective people want it to accomplish. The problem is this: If there is any arbitrary weight limit - for the sake of argument, say it is 10,000 pounds - and within that limitation can be moved 15 bedroom suites, sofas and chairs, toboggans, recreation equipment, and whatever is considered to be normal household goods and, along with the three family dogs, it all adds up to the total allowable weight, is that better from a public policy perspective than someone who moves a single bedroom suite, the kitchen table and their pet horse and comes in substantially under weight and substantially under cost? It is really very difficult, and I understand this has been wrestled with before - at least over the history of the people who are currently in the Public Service Commission. For the many years they have been there, they have been wrestling with the same issues.

If the Member can give even a slight suggestion of some new ideas, I am more than happy to wrestle with it without it becoming more bureaucratic. I think being more bureaucratic does not help anything. New arbitrary restrictions will create anomalies in the future that we will have to deal with perhaps in some way.

I do not see how the person who brings up the total allowable weight limit with lots and lots of furniture of all kinds, but all normal household goods, with their three pet dogs, which have to be moved at public expense too, is any better than the person who brings up a little bit of furniture and their pet horse - and comes in under weight and under cost.

Then there is the problem that I have dealing with a person who is hired who has a family of six and lots of household goods, and another person who is hired is a single person. There can be some unfairness created because the person with a family of six, presumably has more goods to ship than does the single person. From a public policy perspective, how does the public, in assessing the appropriate costs for moving expenses, decide how much each employee should receive?

In the past we have simply said that if you are coming from outside you get a certain weight limit. We do not care about the size of families, personal circumstances: there is a certain weight limit. If there are more restrictions that are not too bureaucratic that can focus it better, than I am more than happy to entertain that. I will make a commitment if the Member has other good ideas that I will review it further.

Mr. Lang: The first good idea is that we never pay for another horse to come to the territory: that is number one.

I have the Gazette on my desk. It has been brought to my attention that the maximum weight that is allowable under section 14(4) is 13,228 pounds. Can the Minister tell me whether or not that has been increased with the gazetting of this particular policy in the Yukon Gazette as of December the 15th?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not aware of any increase in maximum weight. I am not aware that that would reflect an increase at all.

Mrs. Firth: I just want to say for the record that I think the policy for relocation for employees coming to the Yukon is extremely generous. The point about the horse may not seem to be too important to the Minister but I am sure if a Yukoner knew about the generous relocation policy, was not able to get the job and then found out that all these benefits were paid to someone to come up from elsewhere in Canada, the horse situation would be like the straw that broke the camel’s back. That is why people were outraged about it. I do not want to get into a big debate with the Minister, but the policy is extremely generous from my point of view. I can see why people get annoyed when they lose out on a job and then find out what it cost to bring an employee up here.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: It is hardly a question of whether or not I think the matter is important. I have already indicated that the policy was reviewed following the questions in the Legislature about the transportation of the horse. I have already been very forthcoming with some of the policy complications associated with making a policy change.

I hate to point this out, because the Members always howl when I do, but we have inherited a certain amount of what we administer. What we inherited was a moving policy that was based on weight. Someone did not put in enough thought or imagination at some point in the past to address this particular concern.

I am not saying that it is the exclusive responsibility of the Members on the other side who were in government to have come to better conclusions. All I am saying is that I have tried to come to better conclusions that are not heavily restricted or very bureaucratic, with big thick manuals that say that one can bring up a kitchen table, but it cannot be a fancy kitchen table, that one can bring up a sofa, but it cannot be leather or you can bring up pets, but they cannot be pet horses. Rather than doing that - which I am loathe to do because I do not like creating that kind of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo - if there is some suggestion that the Members have that can make the policy better, then, darn it all, I will look at it again. But I have told the Members that I have looked at it already. I have difficulty designing something that will satisfy the sensibilities of everybody and still accomplish the task we want to accomplish without becoming bureaucratic and full of red tape.

If the Members can come up with something, I make a commitment here and now, absolutely, that the policy will be reviewed.

Mrs. Firth: I have some other areas of general discussion I would like to follow up on. The Minister made a comment with respect to the numbers of complaints regarding being able to get jobs with the YTG. I have noticed, as an MLA, an increase in the number of complaints. The Public Service Commission may not have, but perhaps I should have asked how many complaints they would get in a year that they may have to take action on. It may be that more people are starting to go to other MLAs with respect to those complaints.

I have definitely noticed in our offices that we have more people calling and saying that they applied for jobs and did not even get shortlisted; or they applied for a job and got an interview for one, and then they applied for a job requiring lesser qualifications and did not even get an interview. So, there is an increasing number of complaints. If the Public Service Commission receives a complaint, I believe they have to do an investigation of it and almost go through some kind of appeal process, which is what some of the people who have been coming to see me have been telling me.

I guess it goes back to the question that I asked with respect to the numbers of jobs that are being delegated now to the departments, so that they do their own hiring. If people meet with some lack of success in getting a job in the department, then they call up the Public Service Commission, and the Public Service Commission ends up running some kind of interference or, like I said earlier, doing an appeal of some kind.

Perhaps the Minister could look at it in that context and see what the number of complaints are that he gets within the Public Service Commission.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: There can be a variety of categories of complaints, I am sure. There is no appeal process if a member of the public applies for a job and does not get it. Within the collective agreement, however, there is an appeal process for competitions for employees who take issue with the process or feel they were short-changed in some way. I do not know what the numbers of appeals were. I presume the important statistic would be a comparison, year to year, of whether or not it was increasing. I think the new procedure has only been in place for a full year. I can check whatever figures I have with respect to that particular narrow band of complaints.

The Public Service Commission retains the responsibility to audit activities of departments, irrespective of whether or not the whole field of recruitment - like teachers for Education, or highway personnel for Community and Transportation Services - has been devolved to the department. For junior employees, from time to time, they will also delegate the recruitment to departments.

Again, all I can say is that the rules, regulations and procedures for recruitment must be followed. It is like the auditing functions in the departments when they are checking payments they make to the public when they pay bills. People in the finance sections of the departments approve the expenditures. For its part, Finance still retains the responsibility for doing test audits to make sure that things are going smoothly.

Certainly, that is the more efficient way of getting the job done without having to add more personnel, and it is also a way that makes the program managers more accountable for the things they do. They cannot assume that significant elements of their management responsibilities will be someone else’s responsibility.

The Public Service Commission will still retain the responsibility for auditing and checking how departments perform. I do not know why the Member’s frequency of activity may have increased, but the Public Service Commission has not noticed any increasing complaints in this particular area.

Mrs. Firth: I will look forward to receiving the number of appeals from the Minister. I will start keeping a record of the people who come in and the general area of the complaint. When we sit next time, perhaps I can give the Member more specific information, but I do know that it has increased. It has increased to the point where some individuals come and tell me that they have applied for 13 or 14 jobs and have been unable to get an interview for any of them. When I have gone through the list of jobs that they have applied for together with their resumes, it has raised some questions with me regarding people’s ability to start in the public service.

Generally, when people cannot get a job at a higher level, they start going down, get to the lowest level and are still unable to get into the system. It becomes very discouraging for people who are trying to find work here.

I will follow up with the Minister again with respect to the same issue.

I would like to move on to the list of secondments the Minister gave us and to the issues I have raised in the House with respect to the ADM positions that were not advertised.

Today, we found out that there is another ADM position that is going to be filled by an acting appointment process. The issue is the fairness of having the ability to apply for these jobs, and I know that they are not all jobs the Minister has knowledge of, but he is the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission. I think there is a general trust by government employees that the government will operate in a fair manner. Yet, when you see four assistant deputy minister positions being filled by secondment, or by acting appointments, without giving a lot of other people an opportunity to apply for those jobs, it is not perceived to be the fairest method.

I know what happens. The secondment or the acting position is filled for a while, and then the person who has been doing that job ends up applying for it when the job does come vacant; of course, they have an advantage over anyone else applying because they have been doing the job for some time. It does give them an unfair advantage so I would like to bring that to the Minister’s attention. I have now seen four of the ADM positions that are supposed to go out to competition being filled this way, and I think the secondments, 17 of them, looks like quite a high number for a government of this size. I know the secondments and appointments for the ADM positions did go from lower levels, MG6s or 7s up to an MG 9, which is quite a raise in pay and quite a raise in status and so on. I hope the Minister can appreciate the concern I am bringing forward.

I will be interested to analyze the list he gave us to see whether or not those individuals who have moved from one position to another have actually taken an increase in their position as well as in their pay. If that is the case, I do not think it is always the fairest way of doing things. It may be expedient, but it does not give the impression to other government employees or to other people who may be interested in these jobs that it is a fair way of doing it or that it allows everyone an equal chance at the job.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am looking for the four ADMs on the list.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I am not aware of the other two, but I will check those out.

With respect to the general policy, I do not have a lot to add. The Management Board procedure that the Member was citing the other day does talk about acting pay. A person who is in a secondment position would be receiving the acting pay if they are in that position. The general principle is that if you are doing a particular job you get the pay for that job.

In my view, a secondment, as long as it is a true secondment - meaning that the person goes to another position and then returns - is a form of training. Quite often this job training can be full of secondments or it can be a variety of job assignments that expose people to other work, which will ultimately broaden their chances of promotion.

One of the ways the Public Service Commission is presently exploring to encourage some people to leave what are classically referred to as job ghettos, is to move people from one position to another, in order that they can be exposed to different work assignments. For example, a worker in a clerical position might be moved temporarily into a policy area. This allows them to become more versatile and consequently improves their chance of promotion out of the job ghetto.

It is sometimes a good deal cheaper than an education leave, for example, and it also has a potential of providing new blood, on a temporary basis, into a particular work area. Of course, it is only legitimate if it is truly is a secondment, meaning that there is every intention that the person is going to go back to their work and not simply seek a full-time position inside the new position.

I was going to make another point. Well, perhaps the Member has more to add.

Mrs. Firth: It is getting late. I can appreciate the Member’s point about the job ghetto but when you are talking about MG6 and 7 positions moving up to an MG9, the MG6 and 7 can hardly be classed as a job ghetto position because it is quite a well-paid position.

I guess I will have to take an opportunity in the morning to review these other secondments and see what implications there are with respect to pay. I am being consistent in the concern that I am raising. The Deputy Ministers have the ability to offer these appointments and secondments, just as they do to hire people like communications persons or whatever - secretaries - on a part-time basis and then create a full-time job and that individual has an advantage over other people who wish to apply for the job.

I question the fairness of it and whether one is being given an equal chance to apply for the job. I will follow up tomorrow with the Minister regarding this issue.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I would like the Member, in her review tomorrow morning, to consider one further point, and that is that there are job ghettos that exist beyond that which exist in the clerical area and obviously some of these comments involve people at the entry level job categories in the government. But there can be job ghettos that, for example, up until a few years ago, seemed to be preventing women from taking on positions at the very senior levels of the department - the ADM and DM positions. One of the things, as the Member knows, that the government has done is to take very active efforts to improve the employment potential of women in the public service at the very senior levels of the government.

There are a number of barriers that must be broken in order to achieve true employment equity in this government. I admit that we are trying a number of them. I will be interested to hear what the Member has to say tomorrow, after she has done a review of the list and the latest secondments.

In the meantime, Madam Chair, I would ask that you report progress on Bill No. 19.

Motion agreed to

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

Motion agreed to

Speaker resumes the Chair

Speaker: I will now call the House to order.

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

Ms. Kassi: The Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 19, First Appropriation Act, 1992-93 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. Webster: 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 9:30 p.m.

The following Sessional Papers were tabled December 16, 1991:


Yukon Human Rights Commission Report on activities for the year ended March 31, 1991 (Speaker - Johnston)


Yukon Lottery Commission Annual Report 1990-91 (Byblow)

The following Legislative Returns were tabled December 16, 1991:


Investigation to identify predators responsible for five or six colts that were missing and an injured mare in Champagne/Aishihik area (Webster)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1475


Museum assistance project for $38,000 and Historic Sites planning project for $30,000 (Webster)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1484


Electrical Bill Relief Program - to soften impact of rate increases (Byblow)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1558-1559


Curragh Resources Inc. lawsuit against the Yukon Energy Corporation (Byblow)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1601-1602


Business ventures secured against land claims funds (Byblow)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1585


Federal Relations Office service contracts for 1990-91 (Penikett)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1543


Family and Children’s Services Program increased office rental expenses of $17,000 for space in the Royal Bank Building (Hayden)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1452


Access House Program (Hayden)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1558-1559


Young Offenders Facility - total capital cost (April 1986 - March 1992) (Hayden)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1457


Family Life Education Program (Hayden)

Oral, Hansard, p. 1454-1455